Page Range: III-IV
Publisher: Center for Gender and Politics, Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade
Co-publisher: Center for Women's Studies, Belgrade
Imprint: Download as pdf
TOPIC OF THE ISSUE: “LINEAR EXPLANATIONS ARE ALMOST ALWAYS LIES” – FEMINIST READINGS OF ELENA FERRANTE’S WORKS
Page Range: III-IV
Summary / Abstract: The paper details an analysis of mother–daughter relations in Elena Ferrante’s first three novels (L’amore molesto, I giorni dell’abbandono and La figlia oscura), by tracing changes in mothers’ and daughters’ perspectives. It is shown how networks of female relationships in the novels are based on the mother : daughter pair, only to end in interconnected matrilineal chains. The narrators themselves struggle to overcome patriarchal constraints, in order to find their own voice. By analysing mother–daughter relations, the paper aims to trace key points in Elena Ferrante’s poetics.
Keywords: female narrator, motherhood, matrilieality, mother–daughter relations, networks of female relationships, emancipation, Elena Ferrante
Page Range: 1-18
Summary / Abstract: This paper represents an analysis of the doll motif in the works of Elena Ferrante. It`s primary goal is to acknowledge the subversive potential of these literary figures in interpreting female relationships represented in Ferrante`s novels such as The Lost Daughter and My Brilliant Friend, as well as in her children`s book The Beach at Night. The meaning of dolls is usually connected to trash and poetics of abjection and it affects some of the main literary aspects of Ferrante’s works (composition, narration, etc.). These figures are characterized by their liminal elements, their connection to trash, as well as abjection which allows them the potential to break binary structures and hierarchies these female relationships are based on. Throughout the paper it will be shown that these relationships vary from a mother-daughter relationship in a post-structuralistic key, the paradigm of the symbolic mother and, at times, even very conservative stands on structuring female relationships. The analysis is mostly based on the works of the second wave theorists such as Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray.
Keywords: My Brilliant Friend, The Lost Daughter, The Beach at Night, Ferrante, dolls, trash, poetics of abjection, affidamento, frantumaglia
Page Range: 19-42
Summary / Abstract: In this paper, we are going to analyze narrative strategies in Neapolitan novels by Elena Ferrante. In this analysis we apply feminist narratology. Feminist narratology is a syncretic approach that seeks to link structuralism to gynocriticism in order to provide a precise investigation of both political and poetic aspects of the text. The aims of this paper are twofold. First of all, we want to explore the connection between the formal attributes of Neapolitan novels and the textual politics of gender which is directly or indirectly incorporated into them, assuming that certain emancipatory attitudes and discourses can be read from the poetics of the novel and from the manner in which the author modifies genres and literary conventions.
Addtionally, since feminist narratology is not the only method of the feminist criticism we use in this paper, the second goal is to present the relationship between different approaches such as feminist narratology, gynocriticism and gynesis, as well as their inherent constraints.
Keywords: Neapolitan novels, Elena Ferrante, feminist narratology, textuality of gender, feminist criticism, gynocriticism
Page Range: 43-59
Summary / Abstract: This paper gives a queer reading of the novel tetralogy My Brilliant Friend (L’amica geniale 2011-2014) of the author Elena Ferrante, and is focused on the narrative treatment of sexuality and sexual and gender identities, specifically in the context of patriarchal and heterosexual normativity. The aim of queer literary criticism is to question heteronormative desires and structures – in what way they are held, undermined or completely transfigured in literary representations. This text analyses the ways in which firm identity categories in the novel are dissolved by highlighting homoerotic elements of the female friendship and non-normative agency of two male characters. By using Ferrante’s key theoretical concept of frantumaglia, the main purpose of the paper is to examine the ways in which destabilization of gender and sexual norms in the novel corresponds with the poetics of Elena Ferrante.
Keywords: queer theory, sexuality, female friendship, Elena Ferrante, My Brilliant Friend, frantumaglia
Page Range: 61-84
STUDIES AND ARTICLES
Summary / Abstract: The aim of this paper is to position Sylvia Plath’s novel The Bell Jar within the genre of Bildungsroman and tradition of the female Bildungsroman. Firstly, the genre is defined and differences between male and female types of Bildungsroman are pointed at. The paper focuses on analyses of The Bell Jar. Hence, the history of publishing and reception of the novel is given as well as the historical and ideological context of the book. Intertextual comparisons between the novel and Sylvia Plath’s letters from Letters Home, edited by Aurelia Plath, helped to illuminate some aspects of the novel.
Keywords: Bildungsroman, female Bildungsroman, Sylvia Plath, gender, identity
Page Range: 87-116
Summary / Abstract: The main aim of this paper is to show the ways in which socialist legacies were constructed through museum practices. The paper focuses on the importance and meaning of gifts to socialist leaders and the representation of gifts received by Tito in Belgrade’s Museum of Yugoslav History. Starting with usual Foucauldian readings of museums and museum narratives in new museology, the paper moves to new readings of classical anthropological theories of gifts and Michael Herzfeld’s theory of cultural intimacy and offers a more anthropologically grounded analysis of the Museum’s narrative. Concentrating on the House of Flowers – Tito’s former winter garden and the place of his tomb where the current permeant exhibition is placed, it is concluded that both former socialist and contemporary Serbian state is encompassed by a singular museum narrative, whose meaning is brought out through the shared cultural intimacy of its visitors.
Keywords: Museum of Yugoslav History, new museology, gift exchange, cultural intimacy
Page Range: 117-135
Summary / Abstract: The analysis in this work is focused on the feminist art understood as art production created by women, through a process that strengthens themselves, makes them rethink feminist practices and directly intervenes into social and political spaces of patriarchal culture. Theory and practice of the feminist art are intended to produce knowledge that problematizes the position of women in society, mechanisms of discrimination, exclusion strategies, the position of women artists, redefined thematization of female reality, while at the same time deconstructs the concepts of body, sexuality, phantasies, desire, power. The specificity of feminist performative art practices in Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav space is the context marked by wars, re-traditionalization and re-patriarchalization, post-socialist transformation, the culture of violence and their direct implications on the position of women and the female body. This work analyses the art practices of prominent artists from the region in order to document the success of these practices in solving “private” traumas of participants of performances, which can be seen as an important contribution to a more global solution of the issue of violence against women. The focus of the analysis are four case studies problematizing violence against women and presenting their final results in public spaces. Through the analysis of works of Aprilija Lužar, Sanja Iveković, Zorica Jevremović Munitić and an art collective ACT Women, this art shows how feminist art practices contribute to the visibility of violence against women, open public spaces for this problem and for new forms of activism, resist to prevailing violent norms and change them.
Keywords: feminist art, performance, performative practices, public space, activism, women, violence, body
Page Range: 137-166
Summary / Abstract: This essay analyses lives and works of three distinguished female physicists of the 20th century - Irène Joliot Curie, Lise Meitner and Maria Goeppert Mayer. The essay emphasizes the obstacles that existed regarding the possibilities for education and then employment in laboratories, institutes and universities, obstacles that often prevent women from doing scientific research. Those obstacles include institutional discrimination of women (in the educational system and in the employment policies), but also tell us about the world of science as the men’s world in which women rarely got an access and had a lot of difficulties to win the right to be a part of that world. On the other side, this essay indicates, using the example of these three female physicists, although they are certainly not the only ones, that women are credited for some of the most important discoveries in the 20th century physics, or they were important part of teams that came up with great discoveries: the discovery of the nuclear fission, the nuclear shell model (the first successful model of the atomic nucleus), the discovery of the Higgs boson. Pursuing that line in reasoning, the article also indicates a surprisingly small number of women who won the Nobel Prize for physics.
Keywords: intellectual biography, women, science, female physicists, history of science, discrimination, scientific discovery, Irène Joliot Curie, Lise Meitner, Maria Goeppert Mayer
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