Embracing arms: Cultural representation of Slavic and Balkan women in war

TitleEmbracing arms: Cultural representation of Slavic and Balkan women in war
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsGoscilo, Helena, and Yana Hashamova
PublisherElsevier B.V.

Goscilo and Hashamova contribute a pivotal discussion in the quest to embody Slavic and Balkan femininity. This collection takes up literary, graphic, televisual, and cinematic representations of women in WWII and recent European wars. Juxtaposing the disembodied, symbolic women and heroic male warriors of Wajda's and Zulawski's films, Elzbieta Ostrowska examines the films in terms of the Romantic traditions of Adam Mickiewicz's Forefathers' Eve and his poem about the female leader of Poland's uprising against Russian rule. Systematic decoupling of women's heroism and military acts points to gender bias in honoring war heroes, according to contributor Alexander Prokhorov. Tatiana Mikhailova and Mark Lipovetsky's analysis of the film Wings attributes bias to "a failed attempt to internalize two incompatible ideological scenarios: Soviet woman ... and a woman soldier." Culture-bound perceptions of females as mothers, inimical to killer/warriors, inform Yana Hashamova's analysis of the "black widows'" role in Chechen conflict, and societal rejection of female war rape victims in Slavenka Drakulic's A Novel about the Balkans compel her to redefine the concepts of motherhood, fatherhood, and nationhood. The many color plates and purposeful language enhance this unique collection, which is suitable for women's studies, Judaic and Slavic studies, and film studies. [ProQuest - D. Hutchins]

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