Woman's Studies Center
Centar za enske studije/Centre for Women's Studies
Berislaviæeva 12, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Tel/fax: +385 1 4872 406
Programme Coordinators:Aida Bagiæ, Biljana KaŻiæ, eljka Jelaviæ
Centre for Women‚s Studies - Zagreb: General Information
The Centre for Women‚s Studies is the first and only independent educational centre in Croatia offering a place for academic discussion on issues concerning women today; it is also an acknowledged centre for civil education in the South-Eastern Europe. The Centre, founded in February 1995 by feminists and scholars who had attained an expertise in the training and dealing with feminist and women's issues, provides its students with an understanding and critical reflection of issues that are relevant and important to women and to society as a whole. The main activities of the Centre are: Women‚s Studies, public education (for women leaders, politicians, and activists), research and publishing.
The Centre‚s main aim is to provide education and consciousness raising of women in Croatia by covering cross-cultural issues from a women-centred perspective. The Centre provides basic insights into feminist epistemology, women within cultural theories, theories of identities, and women‚s awareness of the self by providing new models of education that fulfil and complement the formal education obtained in the university sphere.
It also strives to strengthen the possibilities that affect political change by addressing questions concerning topics of interest to women: creating individual change and empowerment; linking women's movements with a more global vision; raising the awareness of women's human rights and their rights to equal education, and addressing the issues of violence against women and sexism within society.
As the only such Centre in Croatia, it seeks to support women in their endeavours to become more active in the community by creating a public awareness of women‚s issues that are relevant to society and politics; by teaching women from political parties, NGOs and leaders from within local communities pertinent skills in order for them to be able to publicly represent and advocate gender equality, anti-sexism and anti-chauvinism, women‚s human rights, and women‚s education. The Centre seeks to promote the importance of women‚s roles in society and in democratisation and to support women in their pursuit for leadership in various capacities. The value of our program lies precisely in the very fact that no such education exists in Croatia and that the courses, seminars, training programs, public events, research and publishing offered by the Centre serve to fill this gap in the education of women.
Women‚s Studies Program
The main activity of the Centre is its Women‚s Studies program. Women‚s Studies is an important and respected discipline within the academic sphere throughout the world, but the opportunity for such education is lacking in the regular academic sphere in Croatia. The Women‚s Studies program complements other university/academic programs by providing women with a new model of education as an alternative to the mainstream model which mostly avoids pertinent issues related to women. The program is interdisciplinary, bringing together women‚s contributions from a wide range of disciplines including the social sciences and humanities. Through its run of 13 regular courses, 15 seminars, various workshops, public lectures and cultural events, Women‚s Studies aims to provide a sound educational foundation for womenųto provide them with contemporary feminist theories and controversies, to support them in their research, to promote new ways of knowing, to encourage them in their activism and pursuit of political involvement. The program offers a fresh perspective to the traditional educational system by creating and communicating knowledge.
During these last five years, more than 150 students have attended the Women‚s Studies program and more than 700 women from different women‚s groups, organizations and civil initiatives along with women from political parties and other individuals have participated in various ways in the additional activities that the Centre has held and organized (including: seminars, conferences, workshops, and public cultural events).
The program itself is ongoing, running over two semesters of every academic year. As the program is not yet affiliated with a university, the Centre offer certificates of participation, as well as recommendations for further enrolment in similar programs in Europe and abroad. The Centre expects, however, that this program will become a permanent fixture in Croatian society and that it be formally accepted in academic circles and officially recognised within the university itself. The Centre for Women's Studies also offers additional training seminars and workshops for women's groups in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, and Slovenia in feminist education; women's power and leadership; decision-making procedures; and women's role in reconciliation programs in southern and central Europe and countries in transition. The Women‚s Studies program takes place in Zagreb and it operates on the financial and moral support of various foundations, women‚s organisations and private donors who are sympathetic to the promotion of Women‚s Studies and women‚s research in the world.
Women‚s Studies: New Approaches to Learning
The Centre strives to create a new model of learning through a combination of academic styles of teaching and alternative approaches, affirmation of experiential approaches, use of creative dialogues, use of video and slide presentations, stimulating active participation on the part of students by initiating creative experiments as part of its program (i.e. dance workshop as exploring one‚s own body through movement and expression and performative acts). Various methods are used in the achieving of knowledge (such as transdisciplinary approaches in courses, the use of exercises for self-awareness and political presentations, relaxation techniques are used for empowering women etc.) The educational program consists of lectures, seminars and workshops, and there exist the possibilities for students to create their own sessions or to initiate their own research projects according to their needs and interests. The Centre includes mentorship as an integral part of the learning and educational process. The Centre for Women‚s Studies offers additional hours of mentorship for students attending the Women‚s Studies program. This time is also made available to students attending any of the Faculties of the University of Zagreb who are not enrolled in the Women‚s Studies program and who require assistance in the choosing of seminar topics, undergraduate diploma essays or masters dissertations which are related to women‚s issues. Mentorship takes the form of various types of support, supervision, and tutoring.
WOMEN‚S STUDIES PROGRAM 1999/2000:
in Literature and Theatreū Lada Èale Feldman
Excerpts of student evaluations (1998/1999 generation):
Responses to the question: „The three things that I learned were∑š
Note: The majority of the students emphasized that women‚s studies is different from the „officialš academic studies in its approach to work; the ways of learning; new knowledge and efforts by the lecturers to develop different relations with their students.
Excerpts of student evaluations (1999/2000 generation):
WOMEN WITHIN CIVIL INITIATIVES
The research project „Women Within Civil Initiativesš is a project that was initiated by the Centre for Women‚s Studies in 1997. Five associates from the Centre (all former students of the Women‚s Studies program) and one coordinator are involved in the conceptualization and realization of this project.
The main objective of this project is the evaluation of the role and power of women within civil initiatives in Croatia through the promotion and affirmation of alternative political values including: women‚s, ecological, peace, spiritual and other. The research was conducted through the multisite-multimethod approach and 45 women were interviewed through a combination of interviews and analysis, interdisciplinary approach and qualitative methodology along with theoretical insights into contemporary feminist literature and the theory of civil society. Within the framework of the project an international conference „Women Within Civil Initiativesš was held in June 1998 in Zagreb. The project is now in its final phase and the final outcome will be the publication of 2 editions (Croatian and English) of the results of the conducted interviews accompanied with a theoretical overview.
After finishing the conducting of 45 interviews (which is comprised of over 1000 pages of material), the members of this research project concentrated on qualitative analysis of the content of the interviews as the basis for inclusion in the 5 key paradigms (identity, self-changes, power, women‚s politics, and cultural values). Intensive work within the work teams concerning each of the paradigms took place throughout the latter half of the year and by the end of the year, all the paradigms were brought closest to the final version. At the same time, the research team carried out preparatory work for the methodological and theoretical conceptualization of the content to be included in a book (the concrete results of this project will be published as a book in two language editions: Croatian and English, and each will feature approx. 350 pages. Editor: Vesna Barilar).
Project leaders: NataŻa Laliæ and Vesna Barilar
Researchers: Vesna Barilar, NataŻa Laliæ, Jasminka PeŻut, Sanja Kajiniæ, Andreja Zeljak
Project mentor: Biljana KaŻiæ
WOMEN‚S MEMORIES/FRAUEN GEDACHTNIS/ORAL HISTORIES - WOMEN‚S MEMORIES: SEARCHING FOR IDENTITY WITHIN SOCIALISM
This project is part of a larger international research project of the same name and involves women‚s groups and centres from Prague (Gender Studies Center); Berlin (OWEN); Krakow (eFKa); Belgrade/Novi Sad (Center for Women‚s Studies) and Croatia (Centre for Women‚s Studies - Zagreb).
The goal of the project is the search for women‚s identity during the time of socialism on the basis of authentic testimonies from women of various generations through in-depth open interviews. The first phase of the project concentrated on interviewing women born in the 1920s to the 1940s. Through the recording of women‚s stories, we learn of our own history and of women‚s roots, and in turn receive valuable material for researching the sense and dynamics of the development of socialism as a social system.
This research/search for identity/identities of women during socialism is conducted through combined methods of cultural anthropology and ethnology („life storyš and „oral historyš) and a feminist approach to the knowing women‚s identity. To date, there have been 28 interviews conducted with women of various status, political roles, class and ethnic belonging.
The project aims to continue with the cooperation between researchers from other countries included in the project as well as the exchange of information and comparative analysis of the similarities and differences of lives, roles and political activism of women during socialism. In addition to an international working seminar which was held in June 1999 (see details further in report) the researchers have held regular sessions on different topics concerning women‚s histories and methodology as well as evaluations of the research completed to date.
Project leader: Dijana Dijaniæ
Researchers: Danijela Merunka, Tamara PliŻko, Iva Niemèiæ, Dijana Staniæ, Dijana Dijaniæ, Mirka Merunka-Golubiæ
Project mentor: Biljana KaŻiæ
WOMEN IN THE MEDIA
This research project had its start in 1996 and it was initially conceptualized as a serious analysis of the images of women throughout the media in Croatia during the period of war (1991-1996) of which the potential outcomes are expected to be published in a future edition of the Centre‚s publications. This ongoing project has developed through various phases and with various dynamics concerning the interests and motivation of the students and associates of the Centre. The project has since developed into four directions:
WOMEN WITHIN THE UNIVERSITY
The research project „Women Within the Universityš was begun in 1998 with the aim of revealing the actual status of women at the various faculties of the University of Zagreb through analyzing the status of women professors, assistants and scholars within the institutions of higher learning in Croatia (how women perceive their role within the hierarchical structure of the university; whether they perceive gender as an important factor in career development; issues related to sexual harassment, etc.). The project started with the presumption that it is much more difficult for women get far in scientific fields or to higher positions within the university. Through using qualitative methodology the project was envisioned as an open interview with women assistants, professors and scholars at the faculties of the University of Zagreb. The interviews themselves contain 60 questions which are related to the 5 paradigms important for the research, namely: discrimination/sexual harassment; feminist pedagogy; family; model of successful scholar; awareness of femaleness/awareness of oneself.
Direct results of this research project were the holding of 2 seminars at the Centre: „Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Women‚s Human Rightsš and „Sexual Harassment at the Universityš. The seminars opened up the questions of discrimination, sexual harassment, the status of women within the university system, and the question of women‚s human rights. The focus was on defining the problem, contradictions of theory and practice, presence in the media and discussion of the results of the research project itself and of concrete projects. The students who attended these seminars showed a great interest in the project itself and their suggestions and experiences will be used in the future development of the project itself.
The pilot phase of the project, which saw the interviewing of 8 professors, has been completed. The experiences obtained through this mini-research will serve as a basis for further future work on this theme. The second phase of this project (to be conducted in the Spring of 2000) will be look at expanding the research team itself and to encompass the various faculties by including the conducting of interviews with not only female professors but male professors and students (both female and male) as well.
Project leaders: Petra Neuner and Andreja Zeljak
Researchers: Andreja Maretiæ, Kristina Zaborski-Èunoviæ, Andreja Zeljak and Petra Neuner
Project mentor: eljka Jelaviæ
TREÆA - Women‚s Studies Journal, vol. 2
This issue is dedicated to feminist theology and features the texts of both Croatian authors and translations of international authors on this theme. Key texts include: „The Inspiration of Feminist Theology and Promotion of a Culture of Nonviolenceš (Ana Raffai); „Veneration of the Virgin Mary as a Divine Beingš (Anna Maria Grü nfelder); „The Veil as an Expression of Subservienceš (Ksenija Magda); „Popular Literary Forms on the Perception of Women in Christianity under the Weight of Collective Guilt and Punishment of őEthnic Cleansing‚ from Eden, Women‚s Discourse on the Fate of the Virgin Mary,The Agony of the Woman Sufferer on the Way to Sainthood, or, Crime Reports and Mysteryš (Divna Zeèeviæ); „On What Points Does the Song of Mary Magdalene Remain Silent?š (Aili Nenola); Protective Mechanisms Against (Night)Mares as Female-Nictomorphic Demonsš Suzana Marjaniæ; „The New Witch of the West: Feminists Reclaim the Croneš (Kathryn Rountree); and „The Uses of Myth, Image, and the Female Body in Re-visioning Knowledgeš (Donna Wilshire).
A special section features contributions on contemporary danceand visual art by two feminist artists Ų Sanja Ivekoviæ (Croatia) and Faith Wilding (US) as well as photographs of their works.
Publisher: Centre for Women‚s Studies - Zagreb / December 1999
Editors: eljka Jelaviæ and Tea …kokiæ
Number of Pages: 162 pp.
Language: Texts in Croatian/Abstracts in English
FEMINISTIÈKA LIKOVNA KRITIKA I TEORIJA LIKOVNIH UMJETNOSTI Ų IZABRANI TEKSTOVI (Feminist Art Criticism and Visual Art Theory: Selected Readings)
This anthology of relevant feminist art criticism texts concentrates on imposing a feminist standpoint to visual arts and women's art at the end of the 20th century and covers a time period spanning over several decades while attempting to show all the important and various approaches to questions, issues and problems in feminist theory of art from its very beginnings to today.
The idea for this anthology originated within the regular course of the Women‚s Studies program: „Women's Contribution to Visual Culture-Theory and Interpretation.š While this book is primarily intended for the students of the Women‚s Studies program, it will also be a handy reference for artists, art historians as well as the cultural public interested in learning more about visual arts and the issues surrounding women‚s artistic practice.
Key feminist art criticism texts are translated from the following authors: Judith Barry & Sandy Flitterman-Lewis; Christine Battersby; Whitney Chadwick; Joanna Frueh; Mary Kelly; Kate Linker; Laura Mulvey; Linda Nochlin; Griselda Pollock; and Lise Vogel.
Publisher: Centre for Women‚s Studies - Zagreb/December 1999
Editor: Ljiljana KoleŻnik
Translated into Croatian by: Jasenka Zajec
Number of Pages: 292 pp.
CYBERFEMINIZAM - VER. 1.0 (Cyberfeminism - Ver. 1.0)
This anthology of selected works looks at cyberfeminism as the theory of resistance, desire, freedom, and experience... and artists, theoreticians and activists from Australia, Russia, Germany, Canada, the US write about all this. The texts represent the most important texts published in the last few years regarding the relation of women and (new/old) technologies.
Publisher: Centre for Women‚s Studies - Zagreb/June 1999
Editor: Igor Markoviæ
Number of Pages: 220 pp.
Brief Profile of Course Leaders
There are 21 permanent leaders and more than 30 other women who contribute at the Centre for Women‚s Studies holding various seminars and workshops.
Bagiæ, Aida- M.A. in Political Sciences, B.A. in Linguistics and Philosophy, feminist activist in various organizations, trainer in conflict resolution for women‚s groups.
Boriæ, Rada - M.A. in Literature, visiting lecturer, editor, trainer for non-violent communication and conflict resolution, trainer for advancement of women in politics and political life, works as a lecturer of Croatian language in Finland.
Èaèinoviè, Nadeda - Ph.D. in Philosophy, professor of Philosophy and chair of the Department for Aesthetics at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Philosophy, has published several books including: Subjekt kritike teorije (1980, Zagreb), Estetika njemaèke romantike (1987, Zagreb), Ogled o pismenosti (1994, Zagreb).
Feldman, Lada Èale- Ph.D. in Philology (Themes in Theatrology), literary and drama critic, translator of drama texts, works at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research in Zagreb (specialises in literary theory, anthropology and theatrology), has published several books related to theatre in Croatia.
Gattin, Iva Nerina - Dip.H.E. in Contemporary Dance, works as a free-lance dancer/performer, teacher, choreographer, initiator of dance group LLINKT!
Ivekoviæ, Rada- Ph.D. in Philosophy, currently works as a professor of Philosophy and Indology at the Department of Philosophy at the College International de Philosophie in Paris, writer, has published several books including: Druga Indija (1982, Zagreb), Sporost - oporost (1988, Zagreb), Le Sexe de la Philosophie: Essai sur Jean-Franć ois Lyotard et le fé minin (1997, Paris).
Ivekoviæ, Sanja- B.A. in Fine Arts, installation, video and performance artist, exhibits her work at international exhibitions, founder of ELECTRA-Women‚s Art Centre.
Jelaviæ, eljka- M.A. in Gender Studies, B.A. in Ethnology and Sociology, one of the program coordinators at the Centre for Women's Studies, works as a curator at the Ethnographic Museum in Zagreb.
KaŻiæ, Biljana - Ph.D. in Political Sciences, feminist theorist and activist, program coordinator of the Centre for Women's Studies, researcher, has published various articles and studies, co-author of book Women‚s Rights (1994), editor of the book: Women and the Politics of Peace (1997, Zagreb).
Kokanoviæ, Marina -B.Sc. in Economy. Has worked in the field of economics for the last 15 years. Currently employed as an economic advisor in the Association of Independent Trade Unions of Croatia. Activist in several women‚s organizations. Has published articles in trade publications for economy and trade unions.
KoleŻnik, Ljiljana - Ph.D. and M.A. in art history, works as a scholar at the Institute of Art History, Zagreb, editor of the book: Feminist Art Criticism and Visual Art Theory: Selected Readings, has published various articles and reviews on the history of art.
Laliæ, NataŻa- B.A. in Psychology, works as a psychologist at a primary school, feminist activist and researcher within Centre‚s project „Women Within Civil Initiativesš, trainer for the advancement of women in the public sphere.
Lapèeviæ, Ana- MD, general practitioner, trainer in women‚s health, associate with Autonomous Women‚s Shelter - Zagreb, and Women‚s Group - CESI -Zagreb.
Lukiæ, Jasmina- M.A. in Comparative Literature, Ph.D. candidate, author of various articles on feminist literary criticism and editor of Journal of Women‚s Studies, Belgrade, lecturer at CEU - Budapest, Gender Studies program.
Pamukoviæ, Nela- feminist activist and co-founder of various women‚s groups, works at the Centre for Women War Victims and member of Autonomous Women‚s House, Zagreb.
Ratkoviæ, Karmen- B.A. in Art History, art therapist, teaches art history in high school, board member of NGO Small Step-Centre for Culture of Peace and Nonviolence, trainer in non-violent communication.
Sarnavka, Sanja - B.A. in Comparative Literature and Yugoslav Languages and Literature. Member of B.a.B.e. - Women‚s Human Rights Group and of the project „Women in the Mediaš. Program coordinator of the CELS at the Croatian-American Society Centre.
…kokiæ, Tea- M.A. in Ethnology, B.A. in Comparative Literature and Ethnology, works at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, Zagreb.
TerŻeliè, Vesna- feminist peace leader and leadership trainer, awarded the Alternative Nobel Prize for Peace in 1998, lecturer at Peace Studies.
Uzelac, Maja - B.A. in Philosophy, freelance social sciences and humanities editor, co-author of several social science textbooks including: Lexicon of Basic Political Terms (1990, Zagreb), Sociology (1992, Zagreb), coordinator of NGO Small Step-Centre for Culture of Peace and Nonviolence, training of trainers in conflict resolution.
Zafiroviæ, Lidija- independent publisher and editor of themes related to spirituality, new science, alternative paradigms of thought and science, published books include: translation of Fritjof Capra‚s The Web of Life, and translation of Robert Pirsig‚s Lila.
COPYRIGHT 1999 KRISTIN SWITALA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.