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The Unifying Aspects of Cultures

SECTION:

Re-telling the Past, Mapping the Future: Feminist Interventions across Times and Cultures

Chair of the section/Suggestions, Abstracts, Contributions to:
Email: Ludmilla Kostova (Veliko Tarnovo)

> Speakers

ABSTRACT: As a critique of male supremacy and a diagnosis of women's varying positions within social structures dominated by patriarchal authority the feminist project was originally part of the story of modernity. How is this project stimulated today by the complexities of a postmodern world shaped, on the one hand, by the challenge of an increasing globalization and, on the other, by the re-emergence of diverse forms of "pre-modern" fundamentalism and traditionalism? While Europe's post-communist half may appear particularly vulnerable to the influence of the latter, globalization is likewise a major concern for the women living in it. It seems therefore pertinent to ask how women from Central and Eastern Europe are to define their positions vis-à-vis women's movements and traditions of feminist thought from the past. Furthermore, how are they to relate to present-day "Western" feminism? Can its constituent theories and political practices solve, or, at least, anticipate, some of the problems they are presently confronted with? Or should Eastern and Central European women resort to an alternative interpretative tradition provided by feminist writing produced in the post-colonial context(s)?

The proposed section will provide a forum for a focused discussion of the above issues. It will further engage with topics such as the following:

A. WOMEN ACTIVISTS IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

B. REPRESENTATIONS OF WOMEN AND FEMININITY IN/THROUGH LANGUAGE, LITERATURE AND THE MEDIA

THE UNIFYING ASPECTS OF CULTURES