ISSN: 1451-2203 (Print)
ISSN: 2620-181X (Online)


GENERO #13, 2009

GENERO Cover Page

Issue: 13

Year: 2009

ISSN: 1451-2203

Publishers: Center for Women's Studies, Belgrade and Center for Gender and Politics, Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade

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Table of Contents


The Body of a Female Folk Singer: Constructions of National Identities in Serbia after 2000

Olga Dimitrijević

Summary / Abstract: In this paper I analyze the position of female body in the space of Serbian music show business, popularly called estrada. I see estrada as a complex phenomenon; a culturally specific, market oriented social space that reacts to and interacts with the processes of social, cultural and economic transformation of the Serbian society at present. The body of a female folk singer is estrada’s main representative. I use this body to explore the relationship between estrada and Serbian nationalism, and how estrada engages in construction of various national identities in Serbia, taking as a historical reference the year 2000 and the official end of Slobodan Milošević’s era. To demonstrate the complexity of these identities, I explore the role of a female singer’s body in the construction of two seemingly paradoxical identities: the national and the gay one. Finally, through the relationship of the singers with their female audience I continue to examine the limits of estrada’s possible subversiveness against the dominant patriarchal ideology.

Keywords: estrada, neofolk, female body, transition, nationalism, LGBT, melodrama, female audience

Page Range: 5-41

Language: English

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“Ideally Bad”: The Politics of Reconstruction of Turbo-Folk Identity in Contemporary Serbia

Jelena Višnjić

Summary / Abstract: This paper analyzes the constitution of women’s identities in the context of turbo-folk music during the period of post-socialism and transition. In other words, the processes of re-construction and re-presentation of the identities of turbo folk singers in public and media discourses are analyzed within and in relation to the changes of the social context, and historical and institutional characteristics of modern Serbia. Cultural - political narrative of turbo folk presents the territory of identity construction and identity formation, in which, with the use of certain social practices, preferred gender identities were included in the symbolic order of the community. However, they also abandoned the very same order.
Women’s identities in the system of representation usually have the function of affirmation and promotion of the dominant social order. The most numerous and dominant representatives of turbo folk music and ideology are women, that is, turbo folk singers and their identities and visual transformation during the past decade to the present days have been litmus paper for the social changes that run parallel to their identity and aesthetic metamorphoses. I argue that after the original instrumentalization of female identity of turbo folk singers who had been in the function of confirmation of the social order (which was typical for the first half of the 1990s, the period of rehabilitated nationalism and patriarchy, and the warrior ideology of ethnic cleansing), the construction of their identities aft er 2000 incorporates the emancipatory potentials in relation to the ruling political practice of Serbia. Identities and actions of turbo folk singers in Serbia today represent models of personal (individualized) resistance that may indicate a progressive power and/or subversion of the socio-political and ideological dominants of the current moment, provided there is social awareness of this issue.

Keywords: identity, representation, turbo-folk, female singer, Serbia

Page Range: 43-61

Language: Serbian

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Pink Cyborgs and De/centered Ideological Machines: Makeover of the (Turbo)Folk’s Musical Culture

Iva Nenić

Summary / Abstract: Like most post-traditional musical genres that draw upon the global symbolic exchange and consumption, turbo-folk employs different strategies of borrowing, copying, citing and stealing, while at the same time prescribing the desirable form of gender identities and, specifically, desirable femaleness. ‘Turbo-folk’ designates a rather short but nevertheless highly criticized episode of the so-called neofolk culture in Serbia, strongly shaped by the political and ideological transmutations of the nineties. In transitional Serbia, this brief period and its assumed political agenda were quickly transformed towards global pop culture – both on musical, visual and ideological level. A new and heterogeneous post/turbo or post/neofolk musical culture, therefore, emerged and quickly went through several changes that eroded the alleged core of the genre: namely, the sexed and ethnicized body (and vocal embodiment) of the female star seen as a property of powerful men, a specific female turbo-folk public persona staged in order to confirm the regime’s ideology. What happened was that post/turbo-folk came to be ‘one of many’ in the expanded local and regional scene of pop(ular) music: together with social change towards (limited) plurality, this contributed to the more diverse popular concepts of gender identities, to representational strategies where gender, technology and power constantly build unstable and contingent alliances. A new influx of global musical models flooded ex-turbofolk culture: an altered current of transnational musical exchanges and appropriations was born. Leaving aside the argument on ‘authenticity’, in this paper I track three diff erent localizations of a same piece – a Bollywood song that quickly got its Bulgarian (chalga) and Serbian (pop-folk) cover – the latter being a critically acclaimed piece Insomnia by singer Jelena Karleuša. By employing different means (melody and musical style, lyrics, visual staging and the dramaturgy of the musical video, discourses on music etc), popular representations of gender tend to conform to ruling cultural norms, but also, inversely, shape the tensions between dominant (gender) ideology and more or less progressive proliferation of difference. I therefore track two axes: the first one points to the alteration of ‘natural’ turbo-folk bodies towards openly modified post/turbofolk corporealities where artificiality (mocked as ‘cyborgness’) is positively valued, while also tracing different popular conceptions of gender that the same song as a cultural text enacts in the aforementioned local cultures.

Keywords: ‘turbo-folk’, post/turbo-folk, technology, gender identity, cyborg, Karleuša, representation, cover, simulacrum

Page Range: 63-80

Language: Serbian

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The Art of Motion in the Space of Void (Technology and Practice of Virtual Characters)

Nataša Teofilović

Summary / Abstract: This essay is conceived as two interrelated parts. The first one is dedicated to the work of art named 1:1, while the second one is a theoretical elaboration on the main theme of the first part – digital character technology. The work of art 1:1 was developed as a 3D ambiance. Through spatial disposition and animation of the protagonists, the work re-examines the perception of virtual creatures and the boundaries between the virtual and the real space. The second part deals with digital character technology. The term “digital character technology” refers to the theory and practice of the creation of digital characters. Digital character is defined as a computer-generated entity with the ability to act, that is, to transmit a specific human emotion to the observer. Unlike these characters, digital clones represent virtual replicas of real people. Photorealistic portrayal is one of the biggest challenges in the field of character animation. However, after the technology made possible the use of realism in computer animation, the appearance of virtual clones has once again raised the problem introduced in the Uncanny Valley theory, developed in 1970s, in the field of robotics. This theory holds that the more humanlike these characters are, in their appearance and motion (animation), the more revulsion they invoke in observers. The author argues that this problem can be eliminated by returning to stylized characters, by trying to produce the more exact human clones, or by applying a diff erent approach. Chris Landreth’s work was used to demonstrate that the characterization can be based on psycho-realism, that is, on the metaphorical expression of human nature.

Keywords: hybrid art, computer animation, 3D character animation, digital character technology, uncanny valley, digital clones, virtual humans

Page Range: 83-119

Language: Serbian

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Discursive Construction of “Modern Woman”: Analysis of Linguistic Means of Representation of Women in Magazines

Ana Petrov

Summary / Abstract: Drawing on recent debates in feminist sociology and sociolinguistics, this paper deals with mechanisms of discursive representations of woman’s identity in the print media. Accepting the poststructuralist understanding of gender as a performative category that is constructed through language, I explore the performativity of gender by analyzing the topics and linguistic solutions found in articles in women’s magazines. The problem of the modern woman has arisen from the analyzed data – most of the material in the print media addresses the modern woman (forming in this way its imaginary construct), whether it is directly put (in the texts in which the very phrase „modern woman” is used), or the discourse is about what “a woman” should know or do in a particular area. The specific focus of interest here are advice columns. The paper presents the analysis of such articles, which include two groups of magazine texts: those that are in the form of questions and answers and those that are composed of listing pieces of advice and recommendations, usually formulated as imperatives. Final results of the analysis point to the existence of divergent types of construction of modern women that are made through the construction of various types of discourses used in a particular magazine. In other words, different linguistic solutions refer to different styles of discourse, and they, in turn, continue to point to the construction of completely diff erent lifestyles that are promulgated by a particular magazine. From this perspective, magazines can be construed as a mechanism of regulating normative femininity.

Keywords: magazines, language, identity construction, gender performativity, modern woman, sociolinguistic

Page Range: 121-152

Language: Serbian

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Gynocriticism and Methods of Teaching Literature

Žarka Svirčev

Summary / Abstract: Taking into consideration the idea that contemporary methods of teaching literature should be opened for methodology of contemporary literary theory, the author explores the possibilities of including of gynocriticism in the teaching practice. The analysis of the writings of Jefimija, Isidora Sekulić and Desanka Maksimović, which are included in the existing high school curricula, shows that gynocriticism, in combination with other literary theories and approaches, can be the starting point for teaching methods as well as enriching the problem-creative and integration-correlation systems of teaching and model methods procedures. In addition, based on feminist reading-response theory, the author emphasizes the need for including more female writers in high school curricula in order to achieve the goals immanent to teaching literature.

Keywords: gynocriticism, methodic standpoint, immasculation, revisionist reading

Page Range: 153-168

Language: Serbian

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Serbian Literature in the Twentieth Century or the Circulus Vitiosus of Patriarchy

Milena Jakovljević

Summary / Abstract: Analyzing the representative works of three perhaps most important authors of different poetic paradigms in 20th century Serbian literature, Borislav Stanković, Ivo Andrić and Danilo Kiš, from the perspective of feminist and gender theory, the author explores how Serbian literature related to the patriarchy as a dominant cultural model. This paper examines the points of continuity and discontinuity that Serbian literature reached regarding the patriarchal tradition of the Serbian society and culture. It focuses on the analysis of Danilo Kiš’s central piece Family Circus from the perspective of the masculinity theory. Investigating the position that Kiš’s prose trilogy takes in relation to patriarchy, it particularly emphasizes the new sociocultural phenomena of the so-called masculinity crisis that developed within the masculinity theory.

Keywords: patriarchy, female/male identities in text, masculinity theory, masculinity crisis

Page Range: 169-181

Language: Serbian

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Queer and Queer Theory

Ivana Simić

Summary / Abstract: We could easily say that the term ‘queer’ has become part of modern European day and age. In order to define it, the following analogy can be applied: anarchy is to politics what queer is to sexual orientation and nationality. We could even go a step further and really simplify it: queer describes everything that is (considered to be) unnatural, weird, and even morbid!
While queer symbolizes resistance towards everything that people usually define as ‘normal’, it also questions normality. The essay deals with linguistic, historical, and spiritual development of the term ‘queer’ that has been questioning the overall instability of subjective perception and relativity of the good old question “Who Am I?” By introducing some key terms, such as sexuality, instability of discourse, power games, performance, the essay shows how the concept of ‘queer’ and theory of (being) ‘queer’ have become established over the years.
Overall, queer rebels against stability, against being defined and therefore put in a box, and against the traditional gender division, since all those have been molded by societies and, as a result, exist only on a level of discourse. Consequently, by focusing more on the disbalance between genders, sexes and desire, queer demonstrates the impossibility of both ‘natural’ sexuality and ‘natural’ gender. In a nutshell, the theory of ‘queer’ deconstructs socially accepted images and questions the stability of identity in general by avoiding moral judgment. In the same manner, queer focuses its attention on identity but without actually establishing it as a fixed category. Instead, it examines the problem of multi-dimensional differences and celebrates them through a colorful spectrum. Since people observe the world through language, in some ways queer ‘solves’ not only the identity crisis but the linguistic crisis as well.

Keywords: queer, queer theory, sexuality, performativity, deconstruction

Page Range: 183-192

Language: Serbian

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Osveta zaboravljene heroine

Ivana Prentović Krivokapić

Page Range: 195-199

Language: Serbian

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Konstrukcija pamćenja i sistemi reprezentacije

Dubravka Đurić

Page Range: 201-205

Language: Serbian

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Fundamentalizmi i ženska ljudska prava

Vladanka Malešić

Page Range: 207-210

Language: Serbian

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(A)politika poezije

Milena Stefanović

Page Range: 211-216

Language: Serbian

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Blame It on Feminism

Susan Faludi

Page Range: 219-236

Language: Serbian

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