Special Presentation






The GENDER and TRANSFORMATION In EUROPE Workshop — a joint project from New York University and the Network of East-West Women – invites speakers to submit proposals for Friday afternoon talks for Spring 2014 at the NYU Center for European and Mediterranean Studies.

Almost 25 years after the end of state socialism, and much writing on gender and women’s movements before and after state socialism, it was inevitable that researchers and activists would turn their attention to gender and women’s organizations during state socialism, including official state socialist women’s organizations. The continuing destructive impact of neoliberalism has even led some young women activists to adopt Marxist approaches to gender questions today. These new directions appear in activities in the region and in research about the region. The research raises many questions of methodology, interpretations of new research, conceptions of feminism, and women’s studies’ approaches to gender research. The activist appropriations of Marxism lead to questions of what kind(s) of Marxism are being adopted.

As is our usual practice, we are looking for speakers to discuss gender, gender and class, sexuality, or women in Europe or Eurasia, For Spring 2014 we are particularly (but not only) interested in speakers addressing such issues, doing research on official state socialist women’s organizations, and examinations of this research on gender and state socialism in east, south and central Europe and the former Soviet Union, and of recent adoptions of Marxist approaches to gender issues.  We are also interested in activists’ reflective accounts and/or analyses of these new Marxist directions. We are interested in papers both supporting and engaging in debate about these recent developments.

Our focus is on the postcommunist countries of East and Central Europe and the former Soviet Union, including the Baltic countries and Central Asia, and in Europe and the European Union more widely.

The workshop is an informal and friendly group of about 20 feminist scholars, activists, and journalists who have been meeting for more than 15 years and are knowledgeable about the region. This is the perfect space to present recent theoretical and/or critical work; empirical research, and critical and scholarly reflections on your activism.

We offer a small honorarium; however, we regret that we cannot cover transportation expenses to New York City.

For more information – and details about how to propose a talk – see


Special Presentation

Friday, November 15: Talk on Western Balkans

Please join us Friday, November 15 for our next workshop:

“The Victims of Post-Socialist Economic Transition in the Western Balkans: A Socio-Cultural Panorama” 

Tatjana Aleksic, Associate Professor of South Slavic and Comparative Literature, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

This presentation will discuss the relations of violence against broadly defined “otherness” in post-socialist transitional societies, but also as a cult of masculine aggressiveness that is cultivated through tradition and cultural production. Most post-Socialist European societies have been suffering from a pattern of violence that is gendered at the same time as it is turned against ethno-religious minorities. This discussion will focus on the oversaturation with violence of societies in the Western Balkans, and will be illustrated by examples from political life but also cultural production. Aleksic is specifically interested in the perpetuation of violence, physical, psychological, verbal, collective or individual, directed against perceived gender, sexual, social, or ethno-religious “minorities,” and the responses and reactions given to it by state and political authorities. The alarming rate of violence towards the Roma, immigrant, gay communities, and women, both in forms of domestic or organized violence, suggests that the traditional social/masculine structures, subverted by growing economic and political problems, increasingly choose to turn against fragile social elements forced to absorb accumulated aggression and frustration.

Location: NYU Center for European and Mediterranean Studies, 285 Mercer St., 7th Floor, 4:30 to 6:00 pm.