Round Table: Dissidence and Feminism: with Magdalena Grabowska, Sasha Talaver, Zsófia Lóránd, and Natalia Kolyagina, 15.07.2021, virtual space

The research initiative „(East) European Epistemologies“: Friedrich Cain, Dietlind Hüchtker, Bernhard Kleeberg, Karin Reichenbach, and Jan Surman (Web)
Time: 15.07.2021, 18.00-20.00 CET
Venue: virtual space, via Leipzig and Vienna
Registration: here
Thinking about dissidents, one is inclined to think about Sakharov, Solzhenitsyn, Havel or Walesa. Although there are many symbolic and famous female figures, such as Elena Bonner, Lyudmila Alexeeva or Natalia Gorbanevskaya in the Russian dissidence or Anna Walentynowicz and Joanna Duda-Gwiazda in the Polish one, none of them enjoyed international recognition. In the recent years, historians have, however, contested this image of male dissidents, turning away the attention from the most popular emblematic figures to include those who escaped so far the media attention. This brought forward also the discussion on intersectionality of the dissident movement, and of different claims brought forward by it.
In this roundtable the participants will look at the history of the women question within the dissidents movement, both including the question of participation of women in the movement itself, and the feminist claims raised as one of the postulates. Four historians specialising in Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Polish People’s Republic will join the round table to discuss specific case studies, but also draw comparisons and even show a few entanglements between so far separately viewed movements.

  • Magdalena Grabowska (Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw)
  • Sasha Talaver (Central European Univ., Vienna)
  • Zsófia Lóránd (Univ. of Cambridge)
  • Natalia Kolyagina (International Memorial, Moscow)

The event is a part of the conference „Dissidents as Figures of Truth (since the 1970s)“ (Web), organised by the research initiative „(East) European Epistemologies“ in cooperation with the Faculty Centre for Transdisciplinary Historical and Cultural Studies, University of Vienna; Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO), Leipzig; Research Group „Praxeologies of Truth“, University of Erfurt; Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Science; in cooperation with International Memorial.
Magdalena Grabowska is an Associate Professor at Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences. She is an alumna of the Women and Gender Studies Department at Rutgers University. Between 2010-2014 she was a European Commission, Marie Curie International Re-Integration Fellow at Warsaw University. She is the author of the book Broken Genealogy. Women’s social and political activism post 1945 and contemporary women’s movement in Poland (in Polish, Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar, 2018). She is also an author of: „Beyond the ‚Development‘ Paradigm: State Socialist Women’s Activism, Transnationalism and the ‚Long Sixties‘ in: Women’s Activism and „Second Wave“ Feminism, Transnational Histories, B. Molony, J. Nelson (eds.) Bloomsbry Academic, London, 147-172 (2017).
Zsófia Lóránd is an intellectual historian of feminism in post-WWII state-socialist Eastern Europe. Currently she is a Marie Curie Fellow at the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge. Her book, The Feminist Challenge to the Socialist State in Yugoslavia was published in the Palgrave Macmillan series „Genders and Sexualities in History“ in 2018. She got her PhD at the Central European University in Budapest and has held positions at the European University Institute in Florence and the Lichtenberg-Kolleg in Göttingen.
Natalya Kolyagina earned her doctorate at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Cultural Studies. From 2008 to 2009, she completed a research internship at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen. Since 2009 she is Project Coordinator at the International Memorial in Moscow, and currently is a coordinator of the program on history of dissidents.
Sasha Talaver is PhD student at the Department of Gender Studies, CEU Budapest. Her project focuses on the activity of the main state-supported women’s organization in the Soviet Union —the Soviet Women’s Anti-Fascist Committee, established in 1941 (the Soviet Women’s Committee since 1956). Most recently she co-edited (with Oksana Vasyakina, Dmitrij Kozlov et al.) [Feminist samizdat: 40 years after], Moscow: commonplace, 2020.