CfP: Gender and Nation in East-Central Europe (ca. 1750-ca. 1950) (Publication); by: 15.06.2022

Marta Cieslak, University of Arkansas (Web) and Anna Muller, University of Michigan (Web)

Proposals by: 15.06.2022

The question of where East-Central Europe begins and where it ends has never received a conclusive answer, but it is hardly a stretch to claim that East-Central Europe exists and that it is somehow distinctive from Western Europe. Perhaps it was Western Europe that invented „Eastern Europe,“ as Larry Woolf argued nearly three decades ago, „as its complementary other half… in shadowed lands of backwardness, even barbarism.“ Regardless of how it came into being, this book begins with the assumption that East-Central Europe exists, although we are less interested in trying to delineate its definite geographical borders or prove its historical uniqueness. Instead, our goal is to explore how two critical categories of modernity – that of nation and that of gender – have shaped and been reflected in the process of forming East-Central European identities.

At the heart of our explorations rests a tension that may not be unique to East-Central Europe but that has certainly loomed large in its history. On the one hand, the history of the region is the history of remarkable cultural diversity. All the way into the 20th century, multiple vernaculars, religions, and daily ways of life represented within the borders of single cities, towns, villages, and even families made it impossible to delineate clear boundaries of what we today call national identities. On the other, by the 19th century, the region witnessed a gradual process of fashioning national identities and describing them in relatively simple, or at least taken for granted, terms.

Invitation to submit contribution proposals: In our examination of nation and gender in East-Central Europe, we are particularly interested in how the historical reality of complex identities that could not be defined in simplistic national terms clashed with the equally historical process of the emergence and eventual dominance of nationalism and what that process looked like if we investigate it through the lens of gender. The editors aim to explore how the invention of national identities along largely (although not exclusively) ethnic lines in East-Central Europe has historically undermined many existing gender identities and/or forced into existence new gender identities. Conversely, they also hope to investigate how various gender identities contributed to, clashed with, and rejected the various concepts of nation.

The goal is to present to the English-language readers the historical East-Central Europe of messy, fluid, and complex identities that existed at the same time as … read more (Web).