Special Presentation

Call for Papers Gender – Power – Eastern Europe in Berlin

Subject: Conference Berlin

 CFP: Gender-Power-Eastern Europe – Berlin  10.20.2016, Berlin
 Osteuropa-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin 

Deadline to submit Proposal : 10.20.2016

Call for papers for an international interdisciplinary conference, June 20-23, 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 , from Poland to Hungary and Russia, has dramatically affected discourses about and concepts of gender. The “turn to the right”  has also ushered substantial shifts in policies concerning women’s rights as well as gender studies as an academic and educational project.   Arguably, in some cases right wing political victory was facilitated by usage of anti-gender equality rhetoric (anti-genderism;anti-gender mobilization).  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 anti-authoritarian protests are renegotiating gender roles and concepts in multiple ways , 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. In2009 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.  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.  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 the following email address until 20th of 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 ofEastern European Studies

Dr. hab. Agnieszka Graff, American Studies Centre, University of Warsaw  ————————————————————————Agnieszka Wierzcholska Osteuropa-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin, Garystr. 55, 14195 Berlin +4930-83853181 

URL zur Zitation dieses Beitrages<> ————————————————————————H-

Special Presentation

October 7: “Manhood and Authoritarian Financialization in Macedonia”

Fabio Mattiolli, Faculty Fellow at Center for European & Mediterranean Studies, New York University

Fabio Mattioli is captivated by the paradoxes of social life, especially those generated by financial flows and urban politics in Southern and Eastern Europe. Throughout his nomadic academic career, Fabio has developed an acute personal and theoretical sensibility for economic inequality and peripheralization. Currently, Fabio is developing a book project that explores the connection between finance and authoritarianism at the fringe of Europe. Analyzing the construction industry in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, the book illustrates how non-democratic regimes can hijack urban financialization to produce illiquidity and penetrate the intimate life of their citizens. Prior to joining NYU, Fabio obtained a PhD in Anthropology from the CUNY Graduate Center, a MA in Anthropology from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris, France), and a BA in Political Philosophy from the University of Florence (Italy). An enthusiastic photographer and capoerista, his secret dream is to learn how to prepare burek.


Center for European and Mediterranean Studies

285 Mercer, 7th Floor New York, NY 10003

All are welcome!



Special Presentation

First Fall Meeting! Friday, September 16: “Shattering the Glass Ceiling in Eastern Europe”

Friday, September 16:

“Shattering the Glass Ceiling in Eastern Europe: The Rise of Female Presidents (Lithuania, Latvia, Kosovo, Croatia)”

Aušra Park ausra

Assistant Professor, Political Science, Siena College

Despite a large number of publications in gender and leadership studies on political executives, scholarship on women presidents remains an understudied field. With few exceptions, research on female political executives is primarily focused on Latin American region, where a number of females have recently achieved the highest political positions, and, especially, on single-case studies in different parts of the world (i.e., German Chancellor Merkel, Finnish President Halonen, South Korean President Park, etc.). Meanwhile, comparative research on women executives is nearly non-existent. My project focuses on a neglected geographic region—post-communist Eastern Europe—where women presidents have become a “new political normal.” Starting with Latvia’s Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, and followed by Lithuania’s Dalia Grybauskaite, Kosovo’s Atifete Jahjaga, and recently Croatia’s Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, this project will compare and offer a more focused and in-depth examination of political circumstances, contextual paths and powers, as well as leadership traits of the four women presidents. My study will seek answers the following key questions: What are the circumstances that allow women in Eastern Europe to reach the highest national positions? Are there any auspicious conditions that females benefit from, which could account for their political successes? As political actors and “glass ceiling breakers” how do they influence the established power hierarchy? What kind of leadership impact do they have, and is it different from their male counterparts? How much of a feminist agenda do these female presidents advance? In answering these questions, this project will fill in existing gaps in gender, political leadership, and area studies’ literatures.

All meetings are held at the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies, New York University

285 Mercer St., 7th Floor. 4:30 to 6:00pm