Gender and War in Twentieth-Century Eastern Europe

Gender and War in Twentieth-Century Eastern Europe

Nancy M. Wingfield and Maria Bucur-Deckard
Distribution: World
Publication date: 05/09/2006
Format: Paperback 13 b&w photos, 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-21844-5
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This volume explores the role of gender on both the home and fighting fronts in eastern Europe during World Wars I and II. By using gender as a category of analysis, the authors seek to arrive at a more nuanced understanding of the subjective nature of wartime experience and its representations. While historians have long equated the fighting front with the masculine and the home front with the feminine, the contributors challenge these dichotomies, demonstrating that they are based on culturally embedded assumptions
about heroism and sacrifice. Major themes include the ways in which wartime experiences challenge traditional gender roles; postwar restoration of gender order; collaboration and resistance; the body; and memory and commemoration.

Author Bio

Nancy M. Wingfield is Associate Professor of History at Northern Illinois University. She is co-author of Return to Diversity: A Political History of East Central Europe since World War II and co-editor (with Maria Bucur) of Staging the Past: The Politics of Commemoration in Habsburg Central Europe, 1848 to the Present.

Maria Bucur is John W. Hill Associate Professor of History at Indiana University and author of Eugenics and Modernization in Interwar Romania.


“Although in disciplinary terms it is represented as a history project the collection also enters into sociology, anthropology, and literature, and is a significant contribution in the interdisciplinary field of gender studies. . . ”

“. . . an engaging read and a remarkable scholarly accomplishment. . . . The authors do a marvelous job of situating their findings within broader historical contexts and current historiographical debates. . . . [T]his is a pioneering study that should open a broader discussion of gender and war on the eastern front. . . . This book is essential reading for anyone interested in how war affects society. It is an excellent text for undergraduate and especially graduate classes. By reading this collection, scholars and students can discover multifaceted methodologies and diverse sources useful for approaching issues of gender and war in any historical context.”

“The anthology is an exceptionally rich collection of diverse texts since it brings together the knowledge of different cultural contexts, from the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the remnants of the Ottoman Empire; specific historical frameworks; sometimes opposing ideological backgrounds; and many local resources using different languages spoken in the countries whose painful experiences of the two world wars the book explores.”

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Table of Contents


1. Introduction: Gender and War in Twentieth-Century Eastern Europe Nancy M. Wingfield and Maria Bucur
Part I. Challenging Gender Roles/Restoring Order
2. "Female Generals" and "Siberian Angels": Aristocratic Nurses and the Austro-Hungarian POW Relief Alon Rachamimov
3. Civilizing the Soldier in Postwar Austria Maureen Healy
4. Between Red Army and White Guard: Women in Budapest, 1919 Eliza Ablovatski
Part II. Gendered Collaborating and Resisting
5. Dumplings and Domesticity: Women, Collaboration, and Resistance in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia Melissa Feinberg
6. Denouncers and Fraternizers: Gender, Collaboration, and Retribution in Bohemia and Moravia during World War II and After Benjamin Frommer
7. Family, Gender, and Ideology in World War II Latvia Mara Lazda
Part III. Remembering War: Gendered Bodies, Gendered Stories
8. Kosovo Maiden(s): Serbian Women Commemorate the Wars of National Liberation, 1912<N>1918 Melissa Bokovoy
9. Women's Stories as Sites of Memory: Gender and Remembering Romania's World Wars Maria Bucur
10. The Nation's Pain and Women's Shame: Polish Women and Wartime Violence Katherine R. Jolluck
11. "The Alienated Body": Gender Identity and the Memory of the Siege of Leningrad Lisa A. Kirschenbaum

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