Gender Dimensions of Post-State Socialism

Faculty research and various MA and Ph.D. courses examine emerging identities, cultural forms and economic developments in post socialist era (since the early 1990s) and their relation to gender. This focus considers how gender intersects with other factors, such as national identity and new formations of social class. It also analyzes how transnational identities like “Western” or “modern” are shaping the imagination and self-expressions of people in post state socialist societies. Some courses and research directions examine the status and practice of feminist activism during state socialism, as well as how gender functions in current political discourses such as “demographic crises” or the backlash against “communist ideologies.” Further, faculty research examines the nature of gendered labor in the socialist era, as well as within new capitalist structures and some research the role of women in contemporary neo-conservative movements in this region. Still other research and courses problematize how people in post-state socialist societies are “raced” (that is, defined as white or non white) in various ways through regional nationalist discourse and through anti-immigration discourses in Western Europe. Finally, some analyze cultural productions in the region, such as how various issues like gender identities, memories of war, are negotiated through literature and popular culture.