The Gender and Transformation Workshop is unique in the New York City area in providing a venue for the continuing discussion of gender and postcommunism. It started in 1993 and its members have been women activists, academics, journalists, lawyers, and educators concerned about gender inequality in the newly non-Communist countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Members of the Network of East-West Women were some of the earliest participants and speakers. The goal is to provide a venue for those from the region and working in and about it, to be able to provide their most recent work, including on western Europe and Eurasia.

The workshop’s purview is gender and transformation in Europe, with a focus on the postcommunist countries of Europe. From the beginning, topics have ranged from the academic to the political, often linking the two. Our first speaker, Anastasia Posadskaya of the Moscow Center for Gender Studies, spoke about her research on factory workers but also about how her interest in the 1980s in women workers was often disparaged. Sessions on nationalism were held during the wars between the successor states of Yugoslavia, often with visitors from those countries as participants. Sometimes speakers have celebrated recent books with their presentations  while other speakers have presented papers that developed into books or articles seminal in debates about the region. Some presenters have become regular members of the workshop, while others have been scholars or visitors from the region. Each March, we try to present a panel of women attending the U.N.’s Commission on the Status of  Women meetings.

Three decades  after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we continue to provide an avenue for scholars, including young scholars, to present their research to an informed and interested group, as issues of gender still form an important lens through which to view the ongoing changes and transformations.

The workshop is currently moderated  by Nanette Funk (Brooklyn College, CUNY),  Janet Elise Johnson (Brooklyn College, CUNY), Mara Lazda (Bronx Community College, CUNY), and Sonia Robbins (NEWW)

For a complete list of previous workshop speakers, click here.

The workshop meets on designated Fridays, 4:30-6 p.m., at the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies at New York University.


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