Private and Public Patriarchy: Social Position and the Role of Women during the Socialist Period in Yugoslavia
Summary / Abstract: This paper represents a social analysis of the social role and position of women in Yugoslavia in the period 1945–1990 in the context of (changes in) global society, and/or the level of its patriarchality. Relying on the terminology and theoretical contribution of Sylvia Walby, the author points out the existence of private and public patriarchy which, through its joint action, (re)produces gender inequalities within the society. Namely, the egalitarian ideology, changed legislation and modernization processes during the socialist period really promoted greater presence of women in public sphere, but that sphere obtained the form of public patriarchy, while the social position and role of women in it become characterized by segregation, marginalization and lack of privileges. Conversely, the new social order did not destabilize the traditional family model – private patriarchy was present and women remained “in the chains of tradition,” trapped in their role of “wife, mother and housewife”. The analysis of the above mentioned social–cultural and historic framework indicates the subdual of women in both social spheres, which has resulted in their being overburdened. The so-called “socialist” emancipation of women is seen here as a process mainly characterized by the contradiction between the proclaimed ideals of equality and changes arising from the above mentioned reason, on the one hand, and reality in which women, unrelieved from their traditional role, are far from becoming equal members of society on the other hand.
Yugoslav Feminists in Socialism: Disrupting the Mainstream Narratives
Biljana Kašić, Sandra Prlenda
Summary / Abstract: Our impulse to probe the concept of women’s heritage of the socialist past in the former Yugoslavia comes from the concern for enriching both theoretical and activist endeavors of contemporary feminists with a novel perspective and knowledge of the past. Starting from discussing epistemological questions related to the concepts of heritage, time, and memory, we briefly outline main problems of the historiography of women’s experience during socialism in Yugoslavia, including the emergence of feminist theory and activism, and proposing some theoretical tools for further debate. These theoretical tools could help to account for multiplicity and complex temporalities of feminist paths, interplay between Marxist and feminist agency in socialist Yugoslavia, and, finally, they could reposition the debate on the feminist and socialist past in the complex reality of the post-Yugoslav space/time.
Keywords: heritage, time, memory, Yugoslavia, socialism, feminism, epistemology, space, timescape
South-Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Gender, and Colonial Strategies: Necessary Resistance
Summary / Abstract: The article tries to establish a model of critical reading/deconstruction of the last twenty years of academic dealing with the region and, its gender-related and other relevant consequences. The article will explain how (due to colonizing interpretations, imperial revival, wisdom of the colonized and unexpected alliances) the intellectual landscapes of the region have been shaken; as well as how, along with the social systems, their dissidence has been diminished leaving a huge empty space in knowledge production, cultural creativity, and state-of-the-art communication with humanities outside the region. At the same time, mobility and exchange have increased immensely, along with the skillful use of academic jargons, often lacking criteria. How can we address these paradoxes? Since it does not suffice to project them against the prevailing screen of nationalist narratives mixed with neo-liberal rhetoric, what we need is an analysis of inside problems of former dissident schools of thought. This will show how the old pitfalls and traps have accommodated new self-deceiving strategies. Forced oblivion and newly constructed memories have very much affected all areas, including gender studies, transforming them often into sites of power-games.
„Živana’s Shoes”: Patriarchy, Misogyny, and Nationalism in the Novel The Book about Milutin by Danko Popović
Summary / Abstract: Through the lens of feminist critique and theory of literature, this paper will attempt to critically analyze the narrative strategies in the novel The Book about Milutin by Danko Popović which are directly related to the valorization of patriarchal values. By analyzing the way in which gender is presented from the perspective of the book’s two narrators, Milutin Ostojić and his wife Živana, this paper will try to show the relationship between the stereotypical depiction of the female identity in the novel and its importance in creating the desirable type of society. This analysis will then be linked with the remarkable success that the novel received after its publication and the fact that it is still perceived as one of the most important Serbian anti-war novels of the late 20th century. This work will have as its aim to highlight the importance of the revival and new examination of those strands in Serbian literary tradition that in practice actively and openly promoted the ideals of patriarchal society.
Keywords: feminist theory, theory of literature, gender, gender roles, stereotypes, patriarchy, misogyny, The Book about Milutin, literary criticism, nationalism
hic & nunc / anticarpediem: Low Tech Postfuturist Poetics in the Service of the Subtonic Hi-Fi
Summary / Abstract: Ever since humanity started a rush along the progress path, it seems that there has been an increase in desire to advance the endeavor in question. More often than not, the word faster has been used to signify betterment. How such erratic semantics can affect communication is among the issues pertinent to the thematic of this article. It looks at fictional portrayals of the hollowness of spam emails, swarmed interaction in the shadow of grotesquely absent fruitful conversation, and reverberation in the vast spaces void of communal cohesion. Neither demonizing nor lionizing either advanced technology or progress per se, but rather trying to discern in them—freed from distorted interpretation and perception—sources that render distraction and confusion soluble, the inquiry focuses on the idea and practice of the remix as a form of resistance to oppression, and a means in the service of the preservation of both individuality and unity epitomized in the notion of refacement. It seeks creative / critical responses against bewildering, yet remixable, cultural realities threatening to obfuscate language and dissolve solidarity within the community of human beings.
Summary / Abstract: One of the central concepts of feminist psychoanalytic film theory that emerged in the 1970s is the notion of gaze, taken from the theory of Jacques Lacan, French philosopher and psychoanalyst. Heavily influenced by Sartre’s existential philosophy and phenomenology of late works of Merleau-Ponty, Lacan further developed the concept claiming that the internalization of the eye-gaze dialectics is essential for the process of subjectivization. This paper seeks to sketch out the trajectory of Lacan’s notion of gaze once taken over by feminist film theory - from Mulvey’s influential manifesto, through the criticism it received, to possible revitalization of the term within feminist theory owing to Bracha Ettinger’s contemporary articulation of the notion of the matrixial gaze.
Keywords: feminism, film theory, psychoanalysis, gaze, Jacques Lacan, Bracha Ettinger, matrix
Authenticity of the Derivative: Re-contextualizing the Oral Heritage of the Balkans
Summary / Abstract: This text identifies different segments of musical identity, meaning, and socio-cultural value of compositional works influenced by oral tradition of the Balkans. Through detailing some of the elements of the oral culture that have had a great influence on the author as a composer and a performer, it also discusses some observations on the ways in which the Balkan oral tradition and its derivations are perceived in the region today. Through discussing other artists with a similar approach to oral tradition, this text also explores the problems of constructing artistic identity and the meaning of a creative practice in relation to the socio-cultural environment of its origin. Socio-cultural environments are established through exploring the writings of the authors who depict the spheres of history, culture and music in the Balkans.
Keywords: Balkan, tradition, traditional music, oral heritage, electro-acoustic music, music technology, vocal improvisation, storytelling
Mourning for Tomorrow: Hope and Hopelessness in Oncology Wards in Serbia
Milica Milić Kolarević
Summary / Abstract: This paper is designed to show how the space of the clinic powerfully shapes the relationships between oncology patients and their doctors as well as how it informs the relationships between patients themselves. It illustrates how historically particular ideas about citizenship and the role of the state in a postsocialist context of contemporary Serbia produce specific ways through which hoping and hopelessness are manifested. In the space of the clinic the patients’ subjectivities and state hierarchies are amplified by constant engagement with the urgency of decision making, and the immediacy of decay and suffering. Negotiation for possibilities of treatment through the interactions with doctors and medical institutions as fetishized extensions of the state creates distinct strategies deployed by oncology patients to understand one’s future and one’s place in the space of the clinic. It is the goal of this project to pursue a deeper understanding of how the haunting manifestation of fear of the possibility which future brings shapes patients’ understanding of daily living. Unraveling the narratives about illness, fears and expectations of oncology patients in Serbia will lead to grasping their ideas of what it means to be alive in the characteristic context of postsocialist oncology wards in Serbia.