Feminist Essay in the Serbian Literature and Break-up of Yugoslavia Cover Image

Feministički esej u srpskoj književnosti i raspad Jugoslavije
Feminist Essay in the Serbian Literature and Break-up of Yugoslavia

Author(s): Tatjana Rosić
Subject(s): Gender Studies
Published by: Институт за књижевност и уметност
Keywords: essay; feminism; post-Yugoslav cultural space; the culture of fear; corporeality

Summary/Abstract: It seems that during the last three decades global culture of fear (explored by authors such as Henry Giroux, Zygmunt Bauman, and Naomi Klein) obtained in the post-Yugoslav context a specific historical and ideological concretization. The paper researchs (post)Yugoslav identity as gendered legacy burdened by postwar trauma; as legacy which has to be analyzed, rethought, redefined and integrated in post-conflict processes of reconciliation in the region. The paper discusses essayistic works by the authoresses (Judita Šalgo, Svetlana Slapšak, Ljiljana Djurdjević) who in their essays deconstruct the culture of fear in the Serbian culture. Their strongly feminist, gender based post-structuralistic, post-colonial, neo-Marxist and postmodernistic essayistic discourse enables precise vivisection of political and social practices through which culture of fear has been socially (re)constructed in post-Yugoslav context. Post-Yugoslav feminist essay is constituted as a diagnostic genre, based in the definition of cultural and social practices as physical experience (considering the fear itself as part of these practices). Comprehending the fear as a constitutive aspect both of the individual and social body these essays diagnose pathology of the culture of fear and its symptoms, revealing it as the culture of lie and willingly accepted (auto)censorship. New understanding of corporeality is also caused by the specific status of female authorship in the post-Yugoslav cultural context which strongly opposes the dominant nationalistic and hegemonic, strongly masculinized, patterns of the Balkan patriarchy. Revaluation of the former Yugoslav legacy and (re)imagination of post-Yugoslav space is key objectives of this literary-essayistic mobilization. Post-Yugoslav feminist essay is renewed during the last decade of the twentieth century, citing, on the one hand, the achievements of the Yugoslav Left oriented bourgeois feminist tradition, and, on the other, the experience of women’s life and rights in the former SFRJ. Post-Yugoslav feminist essay therefore reconstructs history of the Yugoslav idea as a complex political project in which different class, national and religious interests met, reconciled and opposed; it proclaims the restoration of Yugoslavia idea as strategically necessary project which should contribute to its post-conflict future.

  • Issue Year: 47/2015
  • Issue No: 157
  • Page Range: 233-254
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Serbian