November 13: Mariya Ivancheva, “The Spirit of the Law: Mobilizing and/or Professionalizing the Women’s Movement in Bulgaria”

Our next meeting is Friday, November 13, when our speaker will be:

Mariya Ivancheva, post-doctoral researcher, Equality Studies Center, University College, Dublin.

 Mariya P Ivancheva obtained a PhD in Sociology and Social Anthropology from CEU in 2013. After studying the rise and fall of Eastern European dissidents in the process of transformation in Eastern Europe, Ivancheva went on to explore another process in which intellectuals came to power to take part in processes of social change. Her doctoral dissertation explored the role of socialist intellectuals in the higher education reform in Bolivarian Venezuela.

During her PhD Ivancheva also worked on the project of Dr Andrea Krizsan and Dr Raluca Popa at CEU – “Mobilizing for Policy Change: Women’s Movements in Central and Eastern European Domestic Violence Policy Struggles”. In 2014 Ivancheva joined the School of Social Justice, University College Dublin, as a post-doctoral research assistant. There she works on the IRC funded project Equality of Opportunity in  Practice: Studies in Working, Learning, and Caring. The project explores new inequalities in the Irish higher education system: work-life ballance, gender divisions, and the new ethos of care(-lessness) in the new neoliberal academy. Ivancheva has published on topics as social movements, contentious politics, and intellectual dissent, history and legacy of socialism, gender, university reform and welfare policies in Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Further biographic and bibliographic details can be found here:


All meetings take place at CEMS, 285 Mercer St. from 4:30 to 6:00pm.

October 30: Dubravka Ugrešić, “Women, Gender Image Building and Failures of Feminist Movements in Post-Yugoslav States”

Join us at CEMS on Friday, October 30, from 4:30 to 6:00 as we welcome essayist Dubravka Ugrešić, speaking on:

“Women, Gender Image Building and Failures of Feminist Movements in Post-Yugoslav States”

The NYU Center for European and Mediterranean Studies is located at 285 Mercer St (Between Waverly and Washington)

Dubravka Ugrešić is a novelist and essayist based in Amsterdam. Ugrešić began her career as an academic and writer at the University of Zagreb’s Institute for Theory of Literature. She was a vocal critic of the war that broke out in the former Yugoslavia in 1991, and left Croatia in 1993. She has held numerous professorships and fellowships including at the Free University of Berlin, Harvard, UCLA, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. For October 2015, she is in residence at Columbia University in the Department of Slavic Languages. ugresic
Ugrešić has received many prizes and awards, including the Jean Améry Essay Prize (Austria/Germany, 2012), the James Tiptree Literary Award (USA, 2010), and the Austrian State Prize for European Literature (1998). She was a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize in 2009.
Ugrešić’s most recent publications in English include: Europe in Sepia (trans. David Williams) University of Rochester: Open Letter Books 2014; Karaoke Culture (trans. David Williams). University of Rochester: Open Letter Books 2011; and Baba Yaga Laid An Egg (trans. Ellen Elias-Bursac, Celia Hawkesworth, Mark Thompson). Edinburgh: Canongate 2009; New York: Grove Press 2010.  Karaoke Culture was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism.
Source: Dubravka Ugrešić, website:
Photo credit: Zeljko Koprolcec

A reception will follow the talk.

Upcoming related talk on sex, gender, and Russian politics

Janet Elise Johnson, Associate Professor, Brooklyn College, CUNY  

Boxing in Fast-Tracked Women:  Lessons from Russia about How Informal Politics Undermine Women’s Representation.

In the last two decades, authoritarian-leaning regimes have been recruiting women into politics; however, this influx has not led to real political advancement for these women or the broader representation of women’s interests. I examine this puzzle through the case of Putin’s Russia, bringing together new subfields of comparative politics, the study of Russia’s regime dynamics and feminist institutionalism.  I show how women are being informally fast-tracked into politics and then boxed in by informal rules, revealing dynamics probably at work in many types of regimes.

Date: October 22, 2015 – 4.15 – 6.15 pm

Place: The Political Science Lounge, Room: 5200,  CUNY Graduate Center

Manuela Dobos, February 16, 1936 – July 22, 2015

For those who knew Manuela Dobos, I am saddened to let you know that she died on July 22, 2015.

Manuela was a speaker at our Gender and Transformation workshop at NYU in the spring of 1998. She had been active in the 1990s in the Network of East-West Women, and was an expert on the region.  She had lived for some years in the former Yugoslavia and returned to the U.S. to get a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. Her research was in part financed by one of the two Fulbrights she received. She taught for decades at the College of Staten Island, specializing in Russian, East European, and women’s history. Manuela was an activist for the cause of social justice, equality, and human rights. She traveled often  to Bosnia in support of refugees . She was a founding member of Brooklyn Parents for Peace (now Brooklyn for Peace) and helped start Women for Women International, begun as a micro-credit program for groups of Bosnian women in postwar reconstruction. She was also passionately engaged with life on every level.

There will be a Memorial and Life Celebration for her
1:30 p.m.

Brooklyn Friends Meeting House
110 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Reception 4 p.m. at the home of Alan and Carolyne Eisenberg
Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

For train directions to the Brooklyn Friends Meeting House here.

All are welcome to come to help us remember and celebrate this wonderful woman at one or both of the gatherings in her name.

A fund is being established in Manuela’s name which will provide a grant for research and travel for selected Antioch College students. Friends can also make a donation payable to Brooklyn for Peace or to Women for Women International.

Please distribute and forward to whomever you think would like to come. All are welcome to help us remember and celebrate this wonderful woman at one or both of the gatherings in her name.

Please feel free to email with any questions, Obituary and memorial information can also be viewed at

Visit our community site: Manuela’s helping hands.

Please help out the Network of East-West Women

Dear Friends,

As most of you know, I’ve been working in East Central Europe—it’s been twenty three years now!—to foster discussion and mutual support among feminists through the NGO I co-founded, The Network of East-West Women.

You may also be aware that all the feminist activists and institutions we have worked with in East Central Europe are currently under serious threat as right-wing, openly misogynist governments and movements are attacking what they are calling “gender ideology.”

In these lean and right-turning times, the Network, and its extraordinary Book and Journal Project, can’t continue our work without our far-flung feminist community. Who will fund feminist activists now? It’s got to be us.

Please help!

You can contribute via PayPal or via check. For PayPal, log into your account, and enter and the amount you would like to donate.

To pay by check, make it out to the Network of East-West Women and send to:

Ann Snitow
The Network of East-West Women

For more info on NEWW

Friday September 11: Jane Freeland, “The Neighbours Can Hear: Engaging Citizens in Domestic Violence Intervention and Divided German State-Making”

Join us for our first workshop of the semester:

“The Neighbours can Hear: Engaging Citizens in Domestic Violence Intervention and Divided German State-Making”

 Jane Fjane-143x143reeland, Carleton University, Ottawa

Jane Freeland is a PhD candidate at Carleton University.  She is the winner of numerous awards, including from the Central European History Society and the Centre for Contemporary History in Potsdam.  Her publications include “Creating Good Socialist Women: Continuities, Desire and Degeneration in Slatan Dudow’s The Destinies of Women,” Journal of Women’s History (forthcoming); “Morals on Trial: State-Making and Domestic Violence in the East German Courtroom,” Perspectives on Europe, Vol. 44(1) (2014): 55-60, and “What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Domestic Violence? State-Making and Gender Violence in a Divided Berlin, 1969-1990” Perspectives on Europe, Vol. 43(1) (2013): 96-100.

In her current work, Freeland compares the history of domestic violence in East and West Germany to consider what makes approaches to domestic violence distinct, both temporally and with respect to political/ideological differences. In this paper, Freeland examines approaches to domestic abuse in East Germany following the 1971 leadership change to Erich Honecker.

Concert to support the Network East-West Women, Sept. 1, 7:30PM

Colleagues and Friends,

Henry Shapiro is playing some gorgeous classical, piano music at 167 Spring St., Bell #11, 7:30 tonight, September 1. He’s decided to donate the proceeds (admission $15) to the Network East-West Women.  Refreshments served.

Please come help us keep renewing the Network!
Ann Snitow

Fall 2015 Workshop Schedule

We have an exciting program planned for this fall! Come join us beginning September 11!

Fall Schedule

September 11: Jane Freeland, Ph.D. Candidate, Carleton University

“Engaging Citizens in Domestic Violence Intervention and German-German State-Making”

October 30: Dubravka Ugrešić, a freelance writer based in Amsterdam

“Women, Gender Image Building and Failures of Feminist Movements in Post-Yugoslav States”

November 13: Mariya P. Ivancheva, Post-Doctoral Researcher, Equality Studies Center, University College Dublin

“The Spirit of the Law: Mobilizing and/or Professionalizing the Women’s Movement in Bulgaria”

December 11: Emily Channell-Justice, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Anthropology, CUNY Graduate Center

“‘These aren’t your values’: Feminism, Nationalism, and Conceptualizations of Europe in Ukraine”

Workshop 2015-2016 Call for Papers


“Theorizing Gender, Class, Race, and Religion in Europe”


The GENDER and TRANSFORMATION: WOMEN in EUROPE Workshop—a joint project from New York University and the Network of East-West Women—invites speakers to submit proposals for Friday afternoon talks for the academic year 2015-2016 at the NYU Center for European and Mediterranean Studies.

As is our usual practice, we are looking for speakers to discuss gender, sexuality, or women in Europe or Eurasia. For the academic year 2015-2016 we are particularly (but not only) interested in speakers addressing theoretically and/or empirically the intersection of gender with class, race, and religion or with the reimagining of Europe.

The workshop’s focus is on the postcommunist countries of East and Central Europe and the former Soviet Union, including the Baltic countries and Central Asia, and in Europe and the European Union more widely. Recent workshop topics have included: post-1990 Albanian women’s migration strategies; Hungarian women’s Holocaust writing, Romani women and theater in the Soviet Union, Russian intersexuality, and rural women in Tajik film.

The workshop is an informal and friendly group of about 20 feminist scholars, activists, and journalists who have been meeting for more than 20 years and are knowledgeable about the region. This is the perfect space to present recent theoretical and/or critical work, empirical research, and critical and scholarly reflections on your activism.

We offer a small honorarium. We regret that we cannot cover transportation expenses to New York City or offer assistance for visas or accommodations.

To propose a talk for 2015-6, please email the following to Janet Elise Johnson ( and Mara Lazda (
1. a title for your talk
2. an abstract of less than 200 words describing your proposed talk
3. a one-page curriculum vitae or resume.
4. your schedule clarifying which weeks or months you plan to be in or near New York City and would like to present (proposals for the Spring semester will be passed onto Nanette Funk and Sonia Jaffe Robbins)
All proposals are welcome, by women and men, from the region and experts from the U.S. or elsewhere, activists or scholars. We will get back to you as soon as possible. For more information, see the recent speakers and call for papers tabs.

Friday, May 8: Ermira Danaj on women in post-1990 Albanian migration

Ermira Danaj,
Ph.D. candidate,
Center for the Understanding of Social Processes,
University of Neuchatel, Switzerland,
and women’s rights activist

“Exploring Practices and Strategies of Women
in the Post-1990 Albanian Migration”

Ermira Danaj , currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Center for the Understanding of Social Processes at the University of Neuchatel, writes on gender and migration in Albania. Since 2002 she has worked on projects concerning gender, poverty, and migration in Albania with international and national organizations. From 2009 to 2012 she was a lecturer on feminist theory at the European University of Tirana, Albania. She has participated widely in the Albanian print and TV media to promote women’s rights and denounce gender inequalities, and is the coauthor of reports and publications about gender issues in Albania. She was a Fulbright visiting scholar at the Transregional Center for Demoracy Studies and Department of Gender Studies at the New School, New York (February-May 2013), and a visiting researcher at the CIES, ISCTE-IUL (Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology at the University Institute of Lisbon), in Portugal (2013-2014).

4:30 – 6 p.m.
at the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies
New York University
285 Mercer Street, 7th floor
(between Waverly and Washington Place)
for more information, contact the center at 212-998-3838 or


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