Gender in East Central Europe

Czech Feminisms: Perspectives on Gender in East Central Europe (co-edited by Iveta Jusova and Jirina Siklova and published by Indiana University Press in 2016) foregrounds past- and present-day experiences of women and sexual and ethnic minorities in Czechoslovakia/ the Czech Republic. It will be of interest to readers curious about gender, sexuality and ethnicity issues and feminist/queer theory as they pertain to the East Central European, and specifically Czech, context.

The book begins with an exploration of the place of East Central European cultures like the Czech in the Western imaginary. It goes on to examine the impact of the Habsburg domination on the lives of nineteenth-century Czech women and on early Czech women’s movement, the history of Czech feminism in the interwar period, the enduring effects of the history of socialism (and of its post-1989 demise), as well as the gendered dimensions of more recent transformations in the Czech, and more broadly East Central European, context.

Topics explored include reproductive rights, the history of state socialist welfare provisions, Czech women’s NGOs, anarchofeminism, Romany and Vietnamese women’s issues, trafficking, LGBT politics, issues of masculinity, problems faced by elderly/retired Czech women, gender aspects of the Czech language, Czech and Slovak feminist art, and others. These topics are framed through post-colonial theories, feminist & queer theories, as well as theories of nation/sexuality/gender.

The book examines East-Central and Czech dimensions and approaches to key gender and sexuality topics, and it raises questions about the transfer of feminist concepts across cultures and languages. As the economic orthodoxy of the European Union runs up against, and threatens to occlude, the respective relevant stories of the diverse national communities comprising the Eurozone, this book hopes to be a partial corrective against too quickly presuming unproblematized homogeneity of Europe. It aims at contributing to the understanding of the heteroglot origins from which something like a European community arises.

See Table of Contents here.