Course date

30 June - 11 July, 1997
15 February, 1997
Course Director(s): 

Mindy Roseman

Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Kim Scheppele

Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
Course Faculty: 

Jasmina Lukic

Gender Studies, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Juliette Mitchel

University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Irina Novikova

Culture and Literature, University of Latvia, Riga

Renata Salecl

Faculty of Law, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Anna Wesseley

Eotvos Lorand University , Budapest, Hungary

The Program on Gender and Culture offers a two week course consisting of two segments. In the first week we will offer an introductory course on cultural studies and theories. The course will meet in the mornings, and occasional afternoons and be obligatory for all students. A late afternoon series of public lectures and workshops in psychoanalysis will also be offered during the first week. In the second week, we will offer one course on "Literature in Transition: Reconstruction of Gender Roles" and another on "Visual Arts and Theories of Representation, both of which will be required for all participants. While the two courses will draw from several different fields (psychoanalysis, literature, visual arts, film) both will be centered around issues of interpretation. In light of the events in the region during the "transition", the differences and specificities concerning the issues comprising representation have proven to be extremely rewarding for gender studies. It is not too bold to venture that "representation" is THE most revealing arena in which to observe the complex processes by which whole sets of given and inherited values have been fundamentally altered. It is worth noting that artistic practices have had to face critical re-evaluation of their position within society, both pre and post transition. Within the power structures of totalitarian regimes, artistic practices had been marked out very specifically; either they were protected by the regime as a "supportive intellectual practices," or they were recognized as alternative spheres for rebellion. In both cases however "art" was recognized as a practice of non-marketable value. The artist was often presented as a mythical figure, transcending everyday interests and participating in eternity. Such a figure was encoded as male (often as the father of the nation or having a similar stature.) Despite rhetorical equality between sexes, women rarely were able to be so similarly situated. The changes brought by the transition have forced artists to reckon with the market, and to sell her or his products in the same manner as any other kind of goods. This new development has required artists to reflect anew on the public, on consumer culture and on their position as commodity producers. This new reality has caused artists themselves, through their work, to develop a new kind of gender awareness in coming to terms with these changes. The intention of this 1997 SUN seminar in Gender and Culture will be to illuminate some of the ways in which gender is represented within the new artistic practices in the region, to asses the degree to which changes in gender representation are a result of a more general re-evaluation of some basic cultural myths and vice versa. It will be examined through artistic texts, in literature (with particular attention to those texts which are sensitive towards both feminine and masculine gender roles, like short-story books from the Sarajevo war), as well as in visual arts and film productions. Course Description Week 1 (June 30-July 4): Cultural Theories/Cultural Studies Resource Persons: Kim Lane Scheppele, Anna Wesseley This will be a compulsory one week course, which will meet twice per day for 2 hours each session (4 hours/day), for all the course participants. The course will stress recent developments in cultural studies, particularly feminist cultural studies, with approaches such as psychoanalysis and post modernism. Special workshops will be organized for two afternoons. Week 1 (June 30-July 4): Psychoanalysis and Interpretations (Workshops/Public Lectures) Resource Persons: Juliet Mitchell and Renata Salecl These will be a series (4) of late afternoon workshops and public lectures organized around relevant themes in psychoanalytic interpretation and creativity. Week 2 (July 7-11): Literary Theory Resource Persons: Jasmina Lukic, Irina Novikova This course will meet from 9am to 12pm each day for this week. Its particular focus will be representations of war and gender in recent literary works from the region. There will also be poetry readings and other opportunities for individuals to present their own creative works. Week 2 (July 7-11): Visual Arts This course will meet from 1pm to 4pm each day this week. It will study the place of visual and performance arts in the post- transition region. Particular attention will be placed on gender theory and feminism in the arts. Films will be screened, as will other performance arts (plastic etc.).