Gender and power in communist and post-communist places

Cory Thorne (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
Mariya Lesiv (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
Mariya Lesiv
Cory Thorne
Gender and sexuality, media and the visual arts
Start time:
22 June, 2015 at 10:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Starting with the premise that the state can never control the body, we ask how gender functions in terms of control and/or resistance in communist/post-communist places. How does gender influence imagined utopias in relation and/or resistance to nation-building under Marxist philosophy?

Long abstract:

Starting with the premise that the state can never control the body, presenters will be asked to address the role of gender (and related concepts such as masculinity and power) in communist and post-communist places in the realization of imagined utopias. This will include not only the question of how have communist revolutions influenced the performance of gender in everyday life, but likewise how has gender been used to imagine and/or produce utopia while living within restrictive Marxist and/or post-Marxist systems (can gender promote revolution?). Recognizing the diversity of masculinities and femininities as represented in folklore and popular culture, as well as the role of folklorismus and/or invented heritage within many communist and socialist systems, we will ask: Might the oppression of certain forms of gender encourage imagination and movement toward new, counter-revolutionary utopias? How have subversive forms of gender influenced heritage and popular culture within these systems? Might gender act as a hidden transcript, an anti-hegemonic tool that forever resists Marxist politics? Can the body truly resist control by the state? We will seek a variety of approaches to gender, including material on masculinities, femininities, and trans identities, using studies from a diverse set of places across the communist/post-communist world.