Gender • Power • Eastern Europe - 20. - 23. Juni 2017 Berlin - Call for Papers

Das Osteuropa-Institut richtet vom 20. bis 23. Juni 2017 eine internationale interdisziplinäre Konferenz zum Themenfeld Gender und Macht in Osteuropa aus. Für die Konferenz mit dem Titel "Gender • Power • Eastern Europe - Changing Concepts of Femininities and Masculinities and Power Relations" können bis 20. Oktober 2016 Beitragsvorschläge in Form von Abstracts in englischer Sprache mit einem Umfang von ca. 500 Wörtern an a.wierzcholska@fu-berlin.de eingereicht werden. Alle weiteren Informationen im folgenden Call for Papers. Den CfP gibt es auch als PDF.

News vom 30.09.2016

Call for papers for an international interdisciplinary conference, 20 -23 June 2017 in Berlin

Gender • Power • Eastern Europe -

Changing Concepts of Femininities and Masculinities and Power Relations


The rise of right wing populist parties  and conservative  movements in Eastern Europe i , from Poland to Hungary and Russia, has dramatically affected discourses about and concepts of gender. The “turn to the right” ii has also ushered substantial shifts in policies concerning women’s rights as well as gender studies as an academic and educational project.iii Arguably, in some cases right wing political victory was facilitated by usage of anti-gender equality rhetoric (anti-genderism; anti-gender mobilization).iv These  worrisome  developments  demand  exploration  in  broader  contexts.  Yet,  the  situation  in  East European societies is quite diverse if scrutinized from a gender perspective. After the transformation process of the early 1990s, increasing participation and liberation of women in public spheres can be observed in various countries. Other countries like Poland and Hungary experienced setbacks at several points of their history and in diverse spheres of society. There, traditional gender roles re-entered the discourse  and  practice.  In  other  countries  again,  new  problems  arose  with  political  and  territorial tensions. In Ukraine, for example, spaces of violence and war are forcing us to monitor gender roles, women’s rights, and participation from a new perspective. In Russia, Ukraine and Belarus strong antiauthoritarian protests are renegotiating gender roles and concepts in multiple ways v , and creating new potentials for feminist and LGBTQ movements.


The role of gender within power relations of new political and social constellations, the participation of women in politics, economics and warfare, as well as spaces of violence need to be scrutinized and explored.

The Institute of Eastern European Studies at the Freie Universität in Berlin is inviting scholars from different disciplines to debate these questions in an interdisciplinary conference entitled “Gender • Power• Eastern Europe” to be held in June 2017 in Berlin. Our aim is to open up a space for discussions not  only  about  recent  developments,  but  also  to  investigate  the  cultural,  sociological  and  historical patterns of these developments in the longue durée. Above all, we focus on the agency of women and thus  we  move  away  from  describing  the  status  of  women  solely  as  an  objects  of  discrimination  in economic and societal structures. Similarly important are the new roles and models of masculinities exercised by men in Central and Eastern Europe, which are being shaped within and outside of family. Finally, we intend to explore how power  relations are negotiated in diverse societies and what role
gender plays therein.


Three thematic panels are planned:
1) The new conservativism and changing concepts of masculinity and femininity
2) Gender and participation in politics and economics
3) Gender, sexuality, and violence

Panel descriptions:
1) This panel will explore the gender dimension of the new political configuration – right wing populism. Concepts of masculinity and femininity and their historical, political, sociological and cultural heritage and legacies will be at the focus of attention. Papers focusing on the interconnectedness of gender concepts and national discourses are welcome. We are intending to debate mechanisms of inclusion, exclusion and instrumentalization of certain images and concepts of femininity and masculinity and their re-figurations in contemporary East European discourses. Both theoretical and empirical papers are invited for this panel.

2) Participation of women will be the key issue in this panel. We welcome papers addressing political participation  of  women  in  Eastern  Europe,  especially  formal  and  substantive  representation  in parliament,  official  institutions  or  the  role  of  political  quotas.  Economic  factors  are  vital  to understanding how gender roles and gender relations of power are constructed. Powerful economic actors can influence not only discourses, but also economic realities of men, women and families. In 2009 Nancy Fraser’s critique of the neoliberal market policies and the consequences of financial crisis brought about an important debate on the role of women’s social movements in neoliberal landscapes.vi Numerous  scholars  have  shown  the  profound  effects  of  neoliberal  policies   on  the  socio-economic position of women in Eastern Europe during and after the transformation. On the one hand, economic policies contribute to the rise of new gender regimes and change the nature of activism.vii On the other hand, also pro-family and social policies are capable of creating new economic realities.

3)  This  panel  addresses  the  power  relations  in  both  public  and  private  spheres,  where  gender  is discoursively  produced and reproduced, but also where violence  is perpetuated. Several countries in the  Balkan region and post-Soviet republics serve as source countries for traffickers in women, which has been recognized by  Human Rights Watch as one  of  the most severe examples of human rights violations in Eastern Europe. Other types of relations between gender,  power  and  violence can be observed in the case of Euromaidan protests in Ukraine, where women actively participated in military formations. Additional  topics, which are welcome in this panel, might include:  domestic violence and the fight against it, gender in right-wing  violence, gender and militarization, alternations in abortion laws, changing landscape of LGBTQ movements in Eastern Europe. Scholars from a wide range of disciplines are invited to participate. Comparative papers are very welcome in order to reveal intertwined processes occurring in different East European countries.

Please send your abstract of around 500 words and a CV  to a.wierzcholska@fu-berlin.de until 20 October 2016.


The organizing committee:
Prof. Katharina Bluhm, Dean of the Institute of Eastern European Studies
Prof. Gertrud Pickhan, Head of History Department at the Institute of Eastern European Studies
Dr. Justyna Stypinska, Department of Sociology at the Institute of Eastern European Studies
Agnieszka Wierzcholska, Department of History at the Institute of Eastern European Studies
Dr. hab. Agnieszka Graff, American Studies Centre, University of Warsaw

__________________________________________________________________________________________________
i Jan-Werner Mueller, Putinism, Orbanism… But Is There an “-ism”?, In: Aspen Review Central Europe. The Rise of Illiberalism (2014) 3: 10-14.
ii Nadia Plungian, Feminist Art in Russia in 2014–15: The Problem of the "Turn to the Right", in: Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and
Society 2 (2016) 1: 181–222.
iii Krassimira Daskalova et al., The birth of a field: women's and gender studies in Central, Eastern and South-eastern Europe, in: Aspasia 4
(2010): 155–205.
iv Agnieszka Graff and Elżbieta Korolczuk, ‘Worse than communism and nazism put together’: War on Gender in Poland,in: Anti-gender
Campaigns in Europe: Religious and Political Mobilizations against Equality, eds. David Paternotte and Roman Kuhar, Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, forthcoming in 2017.
v Olesya Khromeychuk, Introduction to the Special Issue, Journal of Soviet and Post‐Soviet Politics and Society 2 (2016) 1:1–8.
vi Nancy Fraser: Feminism, Capitalism, and the Cunning of History, in: New Left Review 56 (2009): 97-117.
vii Eszter Kovats (ed.), Solidarity in Struggle. Feminist Perspectives on Neoliberalism in East-Central Europe. Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Budapest, 2016.

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