CSEES is pleased to announce that the Elisabeth List Fellowship Programme has been awarded to Dr. Chiara Bonfiglioli (University College Cork) and Dr. Rory Archer (University of Graz). Their project, “Women’s and gender history in Southeast Europe in the 20th Century: Oral history, ethnographic and biographical approaches as a way to advance intersectionality”, will start in the in Spring of 2022 and employ two junior fellows selected through an open call and Dr. Bonfiglioli will be hosted in Graz as a visiting scholar. In order to establish a network of young scholars working in the field, a doctoral workshop will be organized in May 2023, which will interrogate best practices in applying oral history, qualitative and biographical approaches to women’s and gender history in Southeastern Europe.
Gender and women’s history in SEE has been witnessing a considerable interest in the past two decades, particularly when it comes to the history of women’s participation to interwar religious associations, antifascist resistance movements, state socialist women’s organizations, the second feminist wave, and peace movements during the Yugoslav wars. Recent studies have also interrogated the interrelations between gender and women’s history, social history, and labour history. Despite such scholarly advancements in the field, however, gender is often still treated in isolation rather than in its intersection with other factors of social differentiation, even though intersectionality as a theory and as a method is well established in both the social sciences and in the humanities. When it comes to the application of intersectional, post-socialist and post-colonial approaches, women’s and gender history does not seem to follow suit, even if several philosophical and political debates are happening within the field of women’s and gender studies in the region, both on intersectionality and on the necessity to combine post-socialist and post-colonial studies
The project will highlight how oral history, ethnographic and biographical approaches can help us challenge a simplified understanding of gendered transformations during the socialist period and in its aftermath, and to integrate ongoing debates about intersectional, postsocialist and post-colonial approaches and interpretations within women’s and gender history in Southeastern Europe.