Ordinary women are among the least known subjects of Ottoman Turkish historiography. One of the most important reasons for this lack of information is that the Turkish archives are not organized in such a way that researchers can easily access documents on ordinary women. However, the difficulty in finding women’s voices in historical documents is only one part of the problem. Whereas conventional Ottoman-Turkish historiography prioritizes the acts of those holding power, most Turkish feminist historiography focuses on the organized activities of elite and middle-class women rather than ordinary women due to various paradigmatic and methodological restrictions. This article explains these limitations and proposes less conventional methods for conducting research on ordinary Ottoman women, who were important actors on the home front during World War I. It discusses theoretical approaches, methodology, and alternative sources that can be used to conduct research on women in the Turkish archives. It also presents some examples of ordinary Ottoman women’s voices and everyday struggles against the violence they suffered during World War I, using new, alternative sources like women’s petitions and telegrams to the state bureaucracy as well as folk songs.
Elif Mahir Metinsoy
Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild
Melanie Ilic, Life Stories of Soviet Women: The Interwar Generation
Marianna Muravyeva and Natalia Novikova, eds., Women’s History in Russia: (Re)Establishing the Field
Francesca Stella, Lesbian Lives in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia
Asli Davaz, Birsen Talay Keşoğlu, D. Fatma Türe, Suzan van Dijk, Francisca de Haan and Annette Mevis
Kadin Eserleri Kütüphanesi Ve Bilgi Merkezi Vakfi: The First and Only Women’s Library and Archives in Turkey
Women’s Memory: The Problem of Sources. A Conference Report
Ann.: Women Writers in History: Toward a New Understanding of European Literary Culture
Ann.: MATILDA: Joint European Master’s Degree in Women’s and Gender History
Ann.: Aletta – Institute for Women’s History (the Former IIAV)
Women's and Gender History in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe (Part One)
Krassimira Daskalova, Maria Bucur, Ivana Pantelić, Biljana Dojčinović, Gabriela Dudeková, Sabina Žnidaršič Žagar, Nina Vodopivec, Şirin Tekeli and Oksana Kis
After publishing a two-part Forum about women’s and gender studies in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe (CESEE) in Aspasia (vols. 4 and 5), this and the next issue of Aspasia will host a Forum about the “state of the art” of women’s and gender history in the same region. Women’s history as we know it as an academic discipline appeared in Western countries in the late 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Many practitioners in this period came from social history and/or were influenced by the overall progressive political climate of the 1960s and 1970s. Another important characteristic of the earlier period is that women’s history was one of the forerunners in women’s studies. But as important as this period was for the formation of our field, in many countries around the world women’s history is much older and was practiced by women and men in many different contexts and different ways, as the work of both Western—Gerda Lerner, Bonnie Smith, Natalie Zemon Davis, to name but a few, and East European historians has shown. Although we do not exclude the earlier developments in the field, the major aim of this Forum is to bring together contributions about the situation of women’s and gender history in CESEE during the past few decades.
The eleventh volume of Aspasia, the international peer-reviewed yearbook of women’s and gender history of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe (CESEE), is the first volume that has been edited without the guidance of our founding editor, Professor Francisca de Haan from Central European University. Francisca has established Aspasia as a significant publication in the field of gender and women’s history, and we hope to continue the work that she started with as much energy and commitment. We welcome Francisca to our Editorial Board. The articles in this volume of Aspasia cover a wide range of topics. Two articles tackle different meanings of revolution.
Sercan Çınar and Francisca de Haan
Şirin Tekeli made a decisive contribution to the scholarly literature on women’s history in Turkey. She did so as a prominent feminist scholar in the fields of political science and history and as a leading activist of the “second-wave” feminist movement in the 1980s, a historical epoch in terms of the revival of feminism in Turkey. Tekeli’s contributions can be classifi ed under two main themes: her earlier works on women’s political participation in Turkey were the first that incorporated a gender perspective in the scholarship; second, for the Kemalist modernization project and reforms of the early republican period, she proposed to use the term “state feminism.”
Mobility is often mentioned in African history, but rarely is it examined to its full analytical potential. This is unfortunate, in part because in the 1960s the first generation of African historians considered cultures of mobility a means of challenging stereotypes of African backwardness and simplicity. Jan Vansina, for example, used mobility to uncover “complexity” and “efficiency” in African political history—a stated goal of early Africanist historians working to debunk colonial stereotypes—and to challenge the structural-functionalist lens through which colonials and outsiders had understood African identities and social systems. In the following decades, mobility was critical to several aspects of African history—including slavery, women’s history, labor migration, and urbanization. Yet the makings of a recognizable field of African mobility have not emerged until recently.
Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild
It is with great pleasure that Aspasia offers its congratulations to Dr. Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild, the 2018 recipient of the Association for Women in Slavic Studies’ Outstanding Achievement Award. A historian of the Russian woman suffrage movement, Dr. Ruthchild played a foundational role in the development of women’s history within Russian and Eastern European studies. She helped to establish the Association of Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS) in 1988, serving as its first president. She also contributed to the inaugural volume of Aspasia in 2007,1 and has served as an editor of this journal for over a decade. She is an exemplary scholar, a champion of women’s studies and women’s achievements, as well as a mentor to colleagues and students in the United States and abroad.`
Francisca de Haan, Maria Bucur and Krassimira Daskalova
This is the fourth volume of Aspasia, an international peer-reviewed yearbook, the aim of which is to provide a forum for the best scholarship in the field of interdisciplinary women’s and gender history of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. The articles published in Aspasia contribute to the expansion and enrichment of the field of women’s and gender history by making it more inclusive and by constructing bridges between the scholarship produced in and beyond the region. In addition they make it possible to challenge and deconstruct widespread notions about the ‘otherness’ and/ or ‘backwardness’ of the region by allowing us to expand our knowledge of a part of Europe that has a complex, though little known, gender and women’s history, and to situate these histories within broader contexts. A number of items included in this volume, not only articles but also book reviews and contributions to the Forum and News and Miscellanea, take up the challenges of deconstructing superficial notions about the region and of offering comparative perspectives.