Feminist and women’s studies collectives are generally the only ones who systematically care about women’s historical, cultural and artistic achievements; they are thoughtful carriers of the ‘treasure’ of women’s social and political activities. Processes of globalization and geopolitical transformation that have intensified urban change, migrations, and inequality but also provoked digital revolutions and new global networks, movements and collaborations, have shed a new light on women’s legacy of emancipatory struggles and on compliancy with dominant patriarchy. The idea of this course is to use a feminist angle and manifold critical ‘eye’ in order to explore ways of documenting, reflecting and (re)visioning women’s lives, histories and modes of self-expression inspired by the “untitled” women’s heritage that opposes patriarchy, discrimination, deprivation and historicisation. Such coordinated activities will contribute to the social capital and wealth of women that positively impact on their lives.
Feminist scholars and activists are in many ways accountable to their foremothers and contemporaries when engaging in theoretical re-conceptualization or archivist re-construction of women’s history and memory. On one level, they have to discuss the traps of UNESCO (and some other transnational institutional) measures for protecting intangible heritage along the lines of patriarchal oppression and conservation of stereotyped gender roles. On another level, we are looking for local possibilities for safeguarding, reassessing and nurturing feminine spiritual practices, gestures and agencies that support women’s empowerment and emancipatory remembrance. We are also searching for women’s experiences of being in-between historical time/space in order to decode the meanings of both historical ruptures and silenced limbo where women walk through and across matter.
In transitional societies it is particularly the artefacts and values of women’s (pre)socialist heritage that remain scattered, mostly patronized or censored, undated and unauthorized, on the margins and out of sight of national research projects, museums and academic institution. Looking from this corner of the world, we believe that the feminist politics of memory and archiving lies in combining research and advocacy, in finding a new way of imagining women’s villages and cities full of creative, proud, disobedient and rebellious women. The aim of this course is to deal with some theoretical approaches and methodological dilemmas arising from the concepts such as women’s/lesbian/queer intangible heritage, travelling heritage, digital archive, and counter-archive. The main points of discussion will be as follows:
a) claiming feminist intellectual heritage: archaeology of Dubrovnik feminist congresses in the 1980s
b) exploring new forms of feminist politics of memory and archival inquiry
c) translating women’s/lesbian/queer memory into narratives, cultural expressions, visual literacy
c) mapping women’s/lesbian/queer circles, itineraries and desires
d) creating a feminist critique of the concept of intangible heritage
f) feminist/women’s heritage and digital technology
e) claiming the future in response to feminist heritage
IUC courses are conducted at the postgraduate level. All interested postgraduate students may apply to participate, although the course targets young scholars and postgraduate students with a defined interest in women’s studies, transnational studies, postcolonialism, or anthropology. The course will be limited to 25 participants (15 students) in order to provide sufficient space for discussion, seminar work and student presentations. Participants must seek funding from their own institutions for the costs of travel, lodging and meals. Limited financial support is available for participants from Central and Eastern Europe. The IUC requires a payment of 40 EUR for the course fee. The working language of the course is English.
Please submit a proposal consisting of a short narrative describing your interest in the topic and your C.V. Place all current contact information at the top of your C.V. Send submissions by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Use the subject: IUC Dubrovnik 2012. The proposal deadline is February 5th, 2012.