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Unit information: Gender in Post-Socialist Central and Eastern Europe in 2015/16

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Unit name Gender in Post-Socialist Central and Eastern Europe
Unit code MODL20011
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Ms. Nahodilova
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Modern Languages
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

Men and women in Central and Eastern Europe experienced the new possibilities that appeared after the collapse of communism differently. This unit will explore this difference and the relationship between gender relations and ideas about gender and the changes taking place in the region. The underlying thought will be the thesis of Susan Gal and Gail Kligman that gender is a crucial feature of post-socialist transformations. We will consider how different groups, across national and ethnic and other intersections experience and participate in these changes. The main areas we will cover will be communist policies and realities, political participation and representation, family policies and practices, and domestic and public spheres. Recognising the thought that personal is political we will explore the voices of women throughout the region as they appear in grass root anthologies including the collection Ana’s Land. The main countries to be covered are: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and (East) Germany.

The main aims of the unit are:

for students to gain the knowledge of the key concepts of gender identity in the region in contemporary social and historical context and to engage with key critical debates surrounding gender relations within these societiesby analysingand researching secondary as well as (translated)primary sources.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Successful students will:

  1. Have acquired a thorough understanding of the main aspects of gender identity in Central and Eastern Europe with the main focus on the period since the fall of communism,
  2. Be able to analyse and reflect on the primary material from the region with reference to key critical debates both within general gender as well as regional studies.

Teaching Information

1 x 1 hour weekly lecture

1 x 1 hour weekly seminar

Assessment Information

2 x 2000 word essays testing ILO's 1&2

Reading and References


  1. Gal, S and Kligman G.: The Politics of Gender after Socialism, 2000.
  2. Renne, T (ed.): Ana’s Land: Sisterhood in Eastern Europe, 1997
  3. Saxonberg, S.: Gendering Family Policies in Post-Communist Countries, 2014.
  4. Pascall, G and Kwak A.: Gender Regimes in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe, 2009.
  5. Andreescu, F.C. and Shapiro, M. J.: Genre and the (Post) Communist Woman: Analyzing transformation of Central and Eastern European Female Ideal, 2014.
  6. Penn, S. and Massino, J.: Gender Politics and Everyday Life in State Socialist Eastern and Central Europe, 2010.
  7. Corrin, C.: Gender and Identity in Central and Eastern Europe, 2013.
  8. Funk, N. & Mueller, M. (ed.): Gender Politics and Post-communism, Reflection from Eastern Europe and former Soviet Union, Routledge: London, 1993
  9. Yuval-Davis, N.: Gender and Nations, Sage Publications: London, 1997