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From Gender To Nation

edited by: Rada Ivecović and Julie Mostov
published by: A. Longo editore
pp: 220
ISBN: 88-8063-314-4
price: € 20.00

Book's frontpage

The essays in this volume consider the significance of nation and gender in the context of post 1989 transitions in the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia and in the context of post partition India. The texts critique the ways in which narratives of nationhood and womanhood naturalize and essentialize difference and hierarchy.
The authors explore uses of sexual-ized/gendered imagery in defining the space of the nation (e.g. feminized landscapes and battlefields) and sexualized/gendered metaphors of state fatherhood and motherhood in defining the distribution of power within that space. The particular histories of nationalism and partition are different in the countries involved, but commonalities in the narrative structures, state and nation-building strategies, patriarchal patterns of control, and mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion are striking.
This is particularly so with respect to the ways in which exclusive national identities are constituted through gendered representations of the nation and its members. Feminist critiques of the nation offer a particularly critical and far-reaching analysis of the relationships of power involved in the state and nation-building projects.
The critique is, at the same time, a dismantling of these power relations. When the nation can no longer rely upon the hierarchy of gender, its identity principle and claim for continuity is shattered and with it a powerful form of domination. The two processes of transformation, however, are not identical and move at different rates of speed. This is one reason why they are not transparent to each other and why they may clash with one another.
The events following 1989 and those at the end of the colonial era exemplify these conflicts. The authors of this volume confront these clashes and see the entanglement of these processes not as deadlock, but rather as a challenge for theory and practice.


Table of Contents

Rada Iveković and Julie Mostov, Introduction. From Gender to Nation

Part One
Elisabeth List, Selfhood, Nation and Gender: The Psychic Roots Of Sexism, Racism and Nationalism
Ritu Menon, Do Women Have a Country?
Vesna Kesić, Gender and Ethnic Identities in Transition
Elena Gapova, Reinventing Men and Women Within the Belarusian Nationalist Project

Part Two
Urvashi Butalia, Gender and Nation: Some Reflections from India
DaŠa Duhaček,Gender Perspectives On Political Identities In Yugoslavia
Tatjana Pavlovic, Remembering/Dismembering The Nation: The Archeology Of Lost Knowledge

Part Three
Kumkum Sangari, New Patriotisms: Beauty And The Bomb
Irina Novikova, Gender, Ethnicity And Identity Politics In Latvia
Biljana Kašič, The Dynamic Of Identification: From Archetypes To Promising Female Roles
Tea Škokič, Must We Know Who We Are?


List of Contributors



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