Gender in Twentieth-Century Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union

full name / name of organization: 
Catherine Baker
contact email: 
cbakertw1@googlemail.com

This call for papers seeks contributors to an edited volume (c. 80,000 words) on the gendered histories of eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union during the twentieth century, aimed primarily at an undergraduate/taught postgraduate readership. Drawing on current research into a broad range of societies and experiences within the scope of the volume, it aims to explore whether or how far the course of the twentieth century has made it possible to speak of a common history of gender in this part of the world. Since the early 1900s, the region has witnessed the collapse of multinational empires into nation-states; the human devastation and divided legacies left by the Second World War and the Holocaust; the transformation of society and the economy under Communist power, and the divided legacies that this too has left behind; the break-up of the Warsaw Pact bloc and the remaining federations into nation-states that were to be remade in the image of a democratic, free-market ideal. Yet these grand narratives of transformation and transition risk obscuring divergences and specificities that historians of gender may also need to take into account.

Contributions may focus on one country or may have a broader comparative scope, but all proposals should indicate how the material can contribute to an understanding of the region as a whole. The coverage of the volume will be balanced across the time frame of the twentieth century and the region under consideration. Proposals are welcome regarding any part of the east European region or the former USSR. A major UK publisher has expressed interest in publishing the volume as a paperback, subject to successful completion of their review process.

Aspects that might be discussed within essays include, but are not limited to:

* Borderlands and the question of ‘national indifference’
* Childhood and youth
* The Communist revolutions and takeovers
* Communist parties in power
* Consumption, the home and everyday life under state socialism
* Feminism and other activist movements
* Interactions between the region and the rest of the world, including the Global South
* Labour, postsocialism and neoliberalism
* Oral history and memory
* Popular culture and the media
* Refugees and humanitarian relief
* Reproductive and sexual politics
* Queer and trans* histories
* Security and surveillance
* Socialist approaches to gender in theory and practice
* War and the military, including female participation on the front line
* War memory and commemoration
* Intersections of gender with other power relationships

Please send an abstract of 300–500 words to Catherine Baker (University of Hull) at cbakertw1@googlemail.com by Sunday 13 October 2013. Proposals will be reviewed immediately and notification will be made by the end of October 2013. Draft papers are likely to be due in July 2014. As part of preparing the book I hope to organise related conference panels e.g. at ASEEES in November 2014, although being able to attend a conference is not a requirement for taking part.

cfp categories: 
gender_studies_and_sexuality
journals_and_collections_of_essays
twentieth_century_and_beyond