Accepted paper:

The rule of women in Croatian ethnology: Marijana Gušić between politics and profession

Author:

Sanja Potkonjak (University of Zagreb)

Paper short abstract:

In the wake of Croatian ethnology there were few women who obtained institutional power and immense influence on the transformation of this from a men-only into a women-dominated discipline. One of them was Marijana Gusic (1901-1987), whose work is inseparable from the coming-of-age of Croatian ethnology.

Paper long abstract:

In the wake of Croatian ethnology there were few women who obtained institutional power, had professional devotion to the discipline, and immense influence on the transformation of a men-only into a women-predominated discipline. One of them was Marija Gušić (1901-1987), whose work is inseparable from coming off age of Croatian ethnology, and who truly deserves to be considered as one of the "mothers of ethnology". After finishing university, and joining antifascist movement, she was the first woman who became the director of the Ethnographic Museum in Zagreb, and, later on, a head of the Department of Ethnology at the Croatian Academy of Sciences. Her career was speeded up by her political wisdom, by Masonry of her husband, professional coquetry with communism and, last but not least, high working standards. Marijana Gušić is widely thought to be the first ethnographer who introduced the story of transgender phenomenon of the Balkan, that of Virgine, into the Croatian ethnographic literature. In succeeding years, her work moved to the research of ethnic clothing and church textile, praising the "women who for centuries preserved their narration of self - by weaving it into the body of textile. " And finally, she should be thought of as a museum scientist. Her post-revolutionary political or professional excursion to the socialist everyday life, which led her into the episode of communicating socialist reality to average museum consumer, offers us a possibility to look at her in terms of communist context. By establishing the first open-air museum, which praised the president Tito's - birthplace, and by making a memorial building out of his birth house, Marijana Gušić merged together the preservation of rural environment and the invention of political places in socialist cultures. Marijana Gušić's professional path is both showing her disciplinary maturing, and reflects political and professional agendas which intersected Croatian ethnology during the twentieth century.

panel W083
Early European women anthropologists