Lectur series: Gender and Sexuality in (Post)Socialist Europe and the Validity of „East/West Divides“, 01/2023, Frankfurt a.O. and virtual space

Chair of European Studies, the Viadrina Institute for European Studies (IFES), and WIDE+ (Web)

Time: Mondays, 4-6 // 6-8 p.m.
Venue: European University Viadrina and virtual space

Upcoming Lectures (PDF – with Abstracts)

  • 09.01.2023 (6-8 p.m.): Agnieszka Mrozik (Polish Acad. of Sciences): Polish Communist Women in the Long Sixties: What Is Left of Their Experience for Leftist Feminism in Today’s Poland?; Commentary: Natali Stegmann (Univ. Regensburg)
  • 16.01.2023 (4-6 p.m.): Angelika Richter (Kunsthochschule Weißensee): The Disturbing Factor. Women artists between emancipation and patriarchy in the GDR; Commentary: Jessica Bock (Digitales Deutsches Frauenarchiv)
  • 23.01.2023 (6-8 p.m.): Libora Oates-Indruchová (Univ. of Graz): Continuities and Discontinuities of Feminist Thought and the “East/West Divide”: The case of Czech Society and Culture  //  Věra Sokolová (Charles Univ.): Queer Encounters with Communist Power: Non-Heterosexual Lives and the State in Czechoslovakia, 1948-1989

The link to the Zoom-events will be announced at the IFES Website a 1-3 days head the event.

This interdisciplinary lecture series brings together historical and contemporary research perspectives and engages with the question how gender and sexuality are negotiated in the (former) state socialist countries of Europe. It is striking that gender and sexuality are repeatedly used to draw a line between a supposed „West“ or „East,“ with reference often being made to state socialism. Historians, sociologists, cultural scholars and activists will therefore address the question of what the specific contributions to gender equality or gender and sexual emancipation were in the communist countries of Europe (Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Ukrainian SSR, Polish People’s Republic and SFR Yugoslavia) and Central Asia, and what has lingering effects today. After all, communism had taken up the banner of equal rights for women. Today, by contrast, so-called „Eastern Europe“ tends to be associated with conservative, anti-LGBTQ* or anti-gender equality policies in light of legislative changes such as the restriction of abortion rights in Poland or the curtailment of freedoms and rights of non-heterosexual people in Russia; or it is claimed that there never was a sexual revolution or genuine grassroots feminism under state socialism in the first place and that gender equality is a „Western import“. And more recently shifts and reframing’s of East-West differences could be also observed in the context of the Russian invasion into Ukraine.

In the lecture series we will complicate homogenizing regional framings and explore how European East-West differences are created and justified. We also attempt to discuss whether it is at all valid to speak of „Eastern“ or „Western European“ ideas, problems and developments, or whether for example a translocal, transregional European, global perspective is necessary with regards to the many of the aforementioned topics.

Source: H-Net Notifications