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Feminism and Feminist History-Writing in Turkey

The Discovery of Ottoman Feminism

Serpil Çakır

The formation of a feminist consciousness and memory in Turkey coincided with a historical period in which both social movements and academic studies proliferated. Towards the end of the 1980s, the increasing number of women's organisations and publications began to impact upon both the feminist movement and academic research in the area of women's studies. This, combined with the expansion of the civil societal realm, has resulted in many topics and issues related to women becoming part of the public discussion, thereby contributing to the development of a new feminist consciousness. This article discusses the impact of the work in the field of women's history and the ensuing discovery of an Ottoman feminism on the formation of such a feminist consciousness and memory in Turkey.

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History from Down Under

E. P. Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class and Australia

Ann Curthoys

E. P. Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class was influential in Australia as it was throughout the Anglophone world. The focus of interest changed over time, starting with the fate of those of The Making's radical protesters who were transported to the Australian colonies, and then focusing on questions of class formation and the relationship between agency and structure. The peak of influence was in the 1980s, especially in the rising field of social history, and a little later in the burgeoning field of cultural history. Yet The Making's own limitations on questions of gender, race, and colonialism meant that feminist and indigenous histories, which were transforming the discipline, engaged with it only indirectly. In recent years, as the turn to transnational, imperial, and Indigenous histories has taken hold, Thompson's influence has somewhat declined.

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Sakai Magara

Activist Girl of Early Twentieth Century Japan

Barbara Hartley

In this article, I profile the activism of 18-year-old Sakai Magara (1903–1985). I focus in particular on her role in the Sekirankai (Red Wave Society), which was a short-lived women’s political organization formed in April 1921 and aligned directly with socialist and anti-capitalist worker issues. My discussion draws on three principal sources: contemporaneous accounts of the Society; writings by women with whom Magara collaborated; and the words of Magara herself. I pay attention to Magara’s contribution to Sekirankai, the influences on the development of her activism, and the barriers to political participation by girls and women in Japan.

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Claudia Mitchell

In March 2019, I had the pleasure of giving a talk at Peter Green College at the University of British Columbia that I called “The Politics and Possibilities of Girl-led and Youth-led Arts-based Activism to Address Gender Violence.” I wanted to highlight in particular the activist work of numerous groups of Indigenous girls and young women in a current project and the youth AIDS activist work of the Fire and Hope project in South Africa but I also wanted to place this work in the context of girls’ activism and youth activism more broadly. To do this I started out with a short activity called “Know your Girl Activist” during which I showed PowerPoint photos of some key girl and young women activists of the last few years, and asked the audience if they could identify them. The activists included two Nobel Prize Peace Prize winners, Malala Yousafzai (2014) and Nadia Murad (2018) along with Autumn Pelletier, the young Indigenous woman from Northern Ontario, Canada, well known for her work on water activism, and, of course, Greta Thunberg, now a household name but then, in 2019, already well known for her work on climate change activism. To my surprise only some of these activists were recognized, so, during the Q and A session, when I was asked if there is a history of girls as activists I could see that this question indicated clearly the urgent need for this special issue of Girlhood Studies which was only just in process then. Now, thanks to the dedication of the two guest editors of this special issue, Catherine Vanner and Anuradha Dugal and the wide range of superb contributors, I can point confidently to girls’ activism as a burgeoning area of study in contemporary feminism rooted in feminist history.

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Sercan Çınar and Francisca de Haan

[Women and men in 75 years], ed. Ayşe Berktay (Istanbul: Tarih Vakfı Yurt Yayınları, 1998), 337–347, here 337. 8 Serpil Çakır, “Feminism and Feminist History-Writing in Turkey: The Discovery of Ottoman Feminism,” Aspasia 1 (2007): 61–83, here 63.

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Chiara Bonfiglioli

(hardback), ISBN 978-1-137-46238-1. The field of gender, women’s, and feminist history in Southeastern Europe is undoubtedly a very lively one, as demonstrated by these two recent edited volumes, whose main insights, approaches, and limits I will only be

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“I’m No Donna Reed”

Postfeminist Rhetoric in Christian At-Home Daughterhood Texts

Elizabeth Shively

] as a cool, fun, accessible identity that anyone can adopt” ( Zeisler 2016: xiii ). It is against this background of feminist history and progress that proponents of at-home daughterhood make their case for girls to opt out of going away to college or

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Ten Years After

Communism and Feminism Revisited

Francisca de Haan, Kristen Ghodsee, Krassimira Daskalova, Magdalena Grabowska, Jasmina Lukić, Chiara Bonfiglioli, Raluca Maria Popa and Alexandra Ghit

agendas were “feminist.” Funk calls this work “feminist revisionist” and attributes it to a “desire” of these researchers, including myself, to find feminist foremothers (along the lines of Joan Scott’s analysis in The Fantasy of Feminist History ). 16

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Ritty Lukose

shaped by colonialisms, imperial formations and nationalisms around the world. Counter to a dominant, Eurocentric and Western view of women’s and feminist history that typically runs from women in the French Revolution to Mary Wollstonecraft

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A Woman Politician in the Cold War Balkans

From Biography to History

Krassimira Daskalova

narratives about the state socialist period in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. 94 We need to take a critical stance and write a critical feminist history of state socialism (in the spirit of “critical history” articulated by Joan W. Scott). 95 In