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.
Eric Blanc provides a fresh look at the Finnish suffrage struggle and specifically at the role of women workers, whose contribution has remained undervalued by historians in Finland as well as internationally. Blanc’s article provides the invaluable service of making Finnish-language archival materials and research on this topic available in English. His analysis helps to understand the tensions between national and socialist movements that characterized other parts of the Russian Empire as well.
Agnieszka Mrozik approaches the notion of revolution more broadly. Building on the work of Michel Foucault, she asks what a revolutionary is and answers the question by presenting the personal genealogy of Polish communist activist and writer Wanda Wasilewska (1905–1964), a person embedded in her sociohistorical context and its gender, national, and class norms. In addition to providing fresh insights into the case of Wasilewska, Mrozik also shows the mechanisms involved in shaping historical narratives about controversial historical actors.
Emily R. Gioielli’s “‘Home Is Home No Longer’: Political Struggle in the Domestic Sphere in Postarmistice Hungary, 1919–1922” is dedicated to the social history of postarmistice Hungary. It specifically focuses on the domestic sphere and the ways in which the elites and the middle class re-established their political power by resorting to the legal system as a tool to suppress revolutionary struggle. Women were active in this counterrevolutionary activism. Gioielli demonstrates the impossibility of separating personal and political violence in such contexts.
Tracie L. Wilson, in “Migration, Empire, and Liminality: Sex Trade in the Borderlands of Europe,” focuses on narratives of sex trafficking in and from Galicia, on the eastern border of the Habsburg Empire. Wilson, relying on the concept of liminality, draws attention to the crossing of borders in sex trafficking as well as in the process of maintaining the empire. Gender and empire emerge as linked concepts in discourses about migration, cultural hierarchies, and cultural change.
We are introducing a new section, Research Notes, with Adrienne M. Harris’s article “Gendered Images and Soviet Subjects: How the Komsomol Archive Enriched My Understanding of Gender in Soviet War Culture.” Harris describes her personal journey through Soviet archives and the emergence of her research on WWII martyr heroes in Soviet collective memory.
The Book Review section includes two review articles in addition to book reviews. Chiara Bonfiglioli discusses two volumes that both engage with the topical issue of feminist knowledge production, with valuable insights into the colonial position of the postsocialist region in international academic literature. Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild analyzes the narrative of women and gender in Europe in several recent collections and monographs that reassess the Cold War and the standard narratives of the two sides of the conflict, revealing gendered complexities and reminding us how critical gender is in understanding the history of the region.
We would like to thank all of our authors and colleagues who have helped us by providing blind peer reviews. Without this collegial support we would not be able to produce high-quality scholarship. Our thanks also go to the members of our Editorial Board. All of the editorial team is going to miss Francisca de Haan’s leadership and wisdom. Many thanks to all of our editors who make up our international team that keeps Aspasia going. The publication of our yearbook would not be possible without the warm and supportive spirit of cooperation that Francisca created. Special thanks to Krassimira Daskalova, our book review editor, and Melissa Feinberg, who have made the transition period smooth. Svetla Baloutzova, as managing editor, has been a central figure in the transition process. Our final thanks go to our publisher, Berghahn Books.
I would like to conclude by inviting new submissions to Aspasia. We are a yearbook, but we welcome contributions on women’s and gender history on an ongoing basis, like any journal. Even if there is a theme issue, we are open to other topics as well. Information for contributors can be found on the inside back cover of this volume and on our website at www.berghahnjournals.com/aspasia.