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Women and Gender in an Age of Fervent Nation-Building

Case Studies from Southeastern Europe

Svetla Baloutzova

Tatyana Stoicheva, Bulgarski identichnosti i evropeiski horizonti, 1870–1912 (Bulgarian identities and European horizons, 1870–1912) (Sofia: Iztok-Zapad, 2007), 377 pp., 14 BGN (pb), ISBN 954321345-3.

Mari A. Firkatian, Diplomats and Dreamers: The Stancioff Family in Bulgarian History (Lanham, MD, UK: University Press of America, 2008), 359 pp., ISBN-13: 978-0-7618-4069-5.

İpek Çalışlar, Latife Hanim (Kalem Literary Agency, 2006; Bulgarian translation: Sofia: IK “Uniskorp,” 2009), 479 pp., 17 BGN (pb), ISBN 978-954-330-222-2.

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Communism, Consumerism, and Gender in Early Cold War Film

The Case of Ninotchka and Russkii vopros

Rhiannon Dowling

This article deals with ideologies of domesticity, femininity, and consumerism as they were articulated in two films in the early Cold War. These films, shown in occupied Berlin from the spring of 1948 through the first few months of 1949, were Ernst Lubitsch's Hollywood classic Ninotchka (1939) and the Soviet film Russkiivopros (The Russian Question, 1948). They portrayed competing notions of domestic consumption and the “good life” in the aftermath of the Second World War—issues more commonly understood to have characterized the later, thaw-era, years of the conflict. Though they were shown at a time of heightened political and ideological tensions, neither painted a one-dimensional or demonized portrait of the enemy. Instead, both films employed narratives about the private lives and material desires of women in order to humanize their enemies and yet make a statement about the inhuman nature of the other system.

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Mary Phillips

Recusant confessional texts were discursively produced by and productive of secret spaces – the confessional itself and the torture chamber. They were sites of private, intimate probing that enabled disclosures of truth, which, to the English recusant community of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, had a particular resonance. The confessional was a site of Catholic reconciliation, but to the state it was a signifier of Catholic treason. The state used the torture of recusants, particularly priests, to reveal the truth, but here the ‘truth’, ostensibly a list of people, places and actions that can be discovered in the body of the victim, was opposed to the recusant’s ‘truth’ as internal belief. But despite these opposing concepts of the location and nature of truth, the discourses of its revelation are similar. Torture binds together the perpetrator and victim through the secrets the participants strive to reveal or conceal. In the confessional too, the confessor and the confessant are bound together by what is hidden.

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Diederik Janssen

Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men, by Michael Kimmel. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2008, xviii+332 pp.

Men to Boys: The Making of Modern Immaturity, by Gary Cross. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008, 316 pp.

Permanent Adolescence: Why Boys Don’t Grow Up, by Joe Carmichiel. Far Hills, N.J.: New Horizon Press, 2009, xi+244 pp.

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Ana Kolarić

Slobodanka Peković, Časopisi po meri dostojanstvenog ženskinja: Ženski časopisi na početku 20. veka (Journals suited for respectable women: Women’s journals from the early twentieth century), Novi Sad-Beograd: Matica srpska, Institut za književnost i umetnost, 2015, 378 pp., RSD 550 (paperback), ISBN 978-86-7946-154-4.

Stanislava Barać, Feministička kontrajavnost: Žanr ženskog portreta u srpskoj periodici 1920–1941 (The feminist counterpublic: A genre of woman’s portrait in the Serbian periodical press from 1920 to 1941), Beograd: Institut za književnost i umetnost, 2015, 436 pp., RSD 1100 (paperback), ISBN 978-86-7095-224-9.

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Katja Mihurko Poniž

The article explores to what extent, as well as how and when nationalism, feminism and their intersections facilitated women's entry into the literary field in Slovenia. In particular, this article presents the work of Slovene women writers from about 1850 to 1918 and demonstrates the importance of the journal Slovenka (The Slovene woman, 1897-1902), in which many women writers found their voices and that allowed a relatively brief but fruitful encounter between nationalism and feminism. The main change in the development of Slovene women's literature in the period discussed is the shift from topics connected with the strengthening of national consciousness, which emerged after 1848, to a portrayal of women's subordination and emancipation, which took place at the fin de siècle and the beginning of the twentieth century. The work of women writers introduced independent female characters to Slovene literature. These characters no longer saw their mission solely as sacrificing themselves for the nation.

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Jennifer Ruth Hosek

The years following the fall of the Berlin Wall saw a wave of interest in a far away nation now largely independent of Soviet influence: Cuba. The three documentary fims that this article treats are a part of this "Cuba wave." Yet, as I argue here, more than simply tales of the Caribbean, Buena Vista Social Club by Wim Wenders and Havanna mi amor and Heirate mich! by Uli Gaulke and Jeannette Eggert are ciphers for competing and unpopular discourses surrounding German (re)unification. As sanctioned narratives of the Germanies increasingly ossify, these films articulate obscured and agonistic visions of national identity in the Berlin Republic.

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Ann-Mari Sellerberg

The article draws on the reports by 12 guest professors - all women - who participated in an EU-financed pedagogical project within a Swedish university's postgraduate studies course, the purpose of which was to address equal opportunities in academia. It has been established that women with doctoral degrees are not being absorbed into the research community. The purpose of the project was to persuade more women postgraduate students to consider university research as a possible future career on finishing their postgraduate studies. The article focuses on the question of whether guest professors, in their capacity as outsiders, observe significant factors in postgraduate students' circumstances that elude departmental staff. Can these observations provide knowledge that might persuade more women to continue in research? Can guest professors provide postgraduate students with experiences and lessons that are not readily available from departmental staff? The analysis of the professors' reports indicates that such is the case.

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The Birth of a Field

Women's and Gender Studies in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Part II

Gorana Mlinarević, Lamija Kosović, Kornelia Slavova, Hana Hašková, Raili Põldsaar Marling, Theodossia-Soula Pavlidou, Irina Novikova, Laima Kreivytė, Katerina Kolozova, Serpil Sancar, Elif Ekin Akşit and Krassimira Daskalova

Women’s Movements and Gender Studies in Bosnia and Herzegovina Gorana Mlinarević and Lamija Kosović

The Beginnings of Gender Studies in Bulgarian Academia Kornelia Slavova

Establishing Gender Studies in Czech Society Hana Hašková

Out of The Room of One’s Own? Gender Studies in Estonia Raili Põldsaar Marling

Gender Studies at Greek Universities Theodossia-Soula Pavlidou

Gender Studies in Latvia: Development and Challenges Irina Novikova

Gender Studies in Lithuania Laima Kreivytė

On the Status of Gender Studies in Macedonia Today Katerina Kolozova

Women’s and Gender Studies in Turkey: From Developmentalist Modernist to Critical Feminist Serpil Sancar and Elif Ekin Akşit

“The City of Gender Studies” in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe: Concluding Remarks Krassimira Daskalova

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Who (the) Girls and Boys Are

Gender Nonconformity in Middle-Grade Fiction

Michele Byers

In this article I use four middle-grade novels to query the relationship between gendered forms of childhood and gender nonconformity in tweens. For the young characters in these novels, objects and spaces of gender enfranchisement— including gendered forms of childhood—are often out of reach. Using conceptual tools such as the orientation of objects, queer futures, and the transgender gaze, this work examines the ways in which these novels narrate their main characters’ yearning for things that will make their gender identities legible, and how they, as agentic subjects, attempt to take revenge on the rules and structures of gender normativity.