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Slavenka Drakulić - Annotated Bibliography

From Women in European History

Corrin, Chris. "Rethinking Citizenship: Analyses and Activism in Central and Eastern Europe." Gender and Identity in Central and Eastern Europe. Ed. Chris Corrin. London: Frank Cass, 1999. 64-82. Print.

In this particular chapter of a book which addresses issues of gender identity in Central/Eastern Europe, Chris Corrin discusses various forms of activism that arose both as a cause and an effect of the political events which occurred in this region in the late 20th century. Specifically, Corrin discusses the turbulent emergence of feminist efforts amid the struggle between many different movements to gain notoriety and support from the citizens at this time. Corrin is concerned with women's struggles to unite--both in their ideas and in their actions--in order to make their voices heard. I found this article very helpful for my discussion of the relationship between Drakulić's communist and feminist identities, because the discussions of both authors touch upon the numerous obstacles that women faced in choosing to dedicate themselves to this movement and subsequently enlisting the help of others.

Crnković, Gordana P. "Women Writers in Croatian and Serbian Literature." Ed. Sabrina P. Ramet. Gender Politics in the Western Balkans: Women and Society in Yugoslavia and the Yugoslav Successor States. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State UP, 1999. 221-241. Print.

Through this essay, Gordana P. Crnković reflects on the work of several of the most prominent female writers in Croatian and Serbian Literature in the 70s and 80s. Despite criticisms that these authors do not do enough to fight specifically for women's rights in the political sphere, Crnković argues that the significance of their works is found in their efforts to establish society's understanding the individuality of women's experiences--an idea which she believes must necessarily precede any notions of extending women's rightS. In addition, this article devotes several pages to a specific discussion of both the fiction and non-fiction works of Drakulić. I found this article very helpful to provide me with further information about Drakulić and women writers like her, as well as to see one women's perspective on the consequence of their writings as both shaping and being shaped by the society in which they lived.

Iveković, Rada. "The New Democracy--With Women or Without Them?" Beyond Yugoslavia: Politics, Economics, and Culture in a Shattered Community. Ed. Sabrina P. Ramet and Ljubiša S. Adamović. Boulder: Westview, 1995. 395-411. Print.

In this article, Rada Iveković argues that a principle of the exclusion of women from the public sphere has always formed the basis of political system. Using this platform, she discusses the role that women were permitted to play in the nationalist parties that developed in former-Yugoslavi republics. For Iveković, the process of democratizing political life in these regions actually served to lower the status of women by prioritizing many other issues over that of women's rights and threatening to take away some of their most basic rights to contraception and abortion. The article provided me with a greater sense of another woman's perspective on many of the same issues that Drakulić discussed about the role of women in society engaged in the transition from socialism to a republic.

Jancar-Webster, Barbara. "Women in the Yugoslav National Liberation Movement." Ed. Sabrina P. Ramet. Gender Politics in the Western Balkans: Women and Society in Yugoslavia and the Yugoslav Successor States. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State UP, 1999. 67-87. Print.

This article provides the reader with Barbara Jancar-Webster's account of the role of women in the Yugoslav National Liberation Movement in the wake of World War II. For Jancar-Webster, the war was beneficial to the role of women in society at this time because it helped win them some of the rights for which they had been fighting before the war, such the right to vote and to take on the same jobs as men. However, Jancar-Webster argues that the underlying principles of dogmatism and a divisive view of the world ensured that the wartime progress in women's rights could not extend past these achievements or continue in the post-war society. Reading this article helped me to learn more about the state of the Yugoslav women's movement in the time immediately prior to the time of Drakulić's experiences, and better understand the world that she had inherited.

Kesić, Obrad. "Women and Gender Imagery in Bosnia: Amazons, Sluts, Victims, Witches, and Wombs." Ed. Sabrina P. Ramet. Gender Politics in the Western Balkans: Women and Society in Yugoslavia and the Yugoslav Successor States. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State UP, 1999. 187-202. Print.

Obrad Kesić uses the text of this essay to highlight the prevailing images of women that were produced by nationalist politics in the Yugoslav successor states. For Kesić, the political demonization of women as sluts, witches, wombs, etc served to affirm the presence of sexual stereotypes within patriarchal systems as well as reinforce and strengthen the power of the culture of male dominance as a whole. Kesić points towards feminists such as Drakulić (who is briefly discussed in her infamy as one of the "five witches" of Croatia) as presenting a potential fight against these stereotypes, yet she argues that the nationalist principles to which they adhere undermines their struggle to be empowered by forcing them to choose whether to prioritize their national identity over that of their gender. In reading this article, I gained a better sense of the kind of adversity with which Drakulić's homeland responded to her political and public prominence, as well as getting this author's perspective on the prevalent views towards all feminists in former Yugoslavia.

Pavlović, Tatjana. "Women in Croatia: Feminists, Nationalists, and Homosexuals." Ed. Sabrina P. Ramet. Gender Politics in the Western Balkans: Women and Society in Yugoslavia and the Yugoslav Successor States. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State UP, 1999. 131-152. Print.

In this article, Tatjana Pavlović presents an account of attitudes towards women and the women's liberation movement in post-Communist Croatia. For Pavlović, the central issue in Croatian media and politics in the wake of the war was the notion of the relationship between the family and ideas of national identity. In particular, she identifies the hegemonic gender-normative views on motherhood and the confinement of women to the domestic realm as the effects of a return to conservative family values in the new republic. In discussing the ways in which the sexual "Others" of society (such as feminists and homosexuals) subvert these principles, Pavlović demonstrates the weakness of this system in providing for the political needs of all of its citizens. This article helped me to understand the challenges that feminists like Drakulić (once again identified as one of the "five witches" of Croatia) faced in trying to make their voices heard amid much opposition from the male-dominant society.

Slavenka Drakulić - Other Sources

Slavenka Drakulić

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