Dubravka ĐURIĆ
Faculty for Media and Communications
Singidunum University

The Writing Subject and the Constructed Subject in the Poetry of Serbian Women Writers Published after 1970

This paper points to the ways in which female writing subject and female lyrical I are constructed in poetry. The field of poetry was initially constructed as a field of masculine self-expression. The question is how the female subject enters this field and constructs the lyrical I, and how this construction undergoes changes in history. The paper claims that women poets almost always appear within the male dominated poetry formations. Bearing this in mind, the paper points to the way in which women poets enter the field of Serbian poetry in the 1970s, and construct or deconstruct their lyrical I within the stylistic formations of veristic/critical poetry and Vojvodina’s experimental poetry. In addition, the paper explores the formation of the first female poems during the 1990s, as well as contemporary hybrid poems.


female poetry, feminism, lyrical I, writing subject

Faculty of Philology

University of Belgrade

Metaphysical Background of Desanka Maksimović's Collection of Poems I Seek Clemency

Searching for the human being's grounding, Desanka Maksimović has connected religious, historical, lyrical and metahysical concepts in her collection of poems I Seek Clemency. As an artist, she has testified that men, sinful or sinless, have to be merciful, since mercy represents the very base of their human identity.


Desanka Maksimović, I Seek Clemency, Dušan's Code, ethics, mercy

Faculty of Philology
University of Belgrade

Cultural Models of Male-Female Interactions in Folk Love Poetry

The aim of the paper is to define cultural models of male-female interactions and the ideal male and female behaviours in folk lyric poetry. Taking a sociolinguistic perspective, the paper offers a possible interpretation of folk literature as well as the implications for future research in that direction. Anthology of Folk Lyric Poems, published by Matica srpska in 1969, serves as primary literature. As an already edited selection of motifs that have characterised folk art since the 15th century, the Anthology is considerad to be thier representative sample. The theorethical frame is provided by the theory of cultural models and its directive force on shaping the society. In the concluding remarks, the paper presents two causal lines or, more preciely, two models of male-female interactions in folk love poetry.


folk lyric poems, love poetry, male-female interactions, cultural models, ideal behaviour

Wroclaw University

Postmodern Body as a Source of Suffering in the Works of the Youngest Croatian Female Playwrights

Embodiment and body metaphors occupy a central place in contemporary female Croatian drama. The youngest authors (born in the early 1980s) such as Lana Šarić (Meat), Diana Meheik (Rose of Jericho), Marija Škrlec (The Last Interview with a Vampire) and Dijana Protić (Transitional After Party), (re)constructed female traumatic experiences in which a special role was played by a sick, disobedient, and suffering body. The female authors attempt to verbalize and highlight physical taboos that are absent or unspoken in public discourse (literature, media, politics). The analysed plays display images of radical and violent disposition of one’s own or other’s body, descriptions of female body which does not fit in the ideal picture – sick, blocked, weak, raped, hurt, tortured, completely different from those dominating the media. As an object of social coercion, legislative measures, sexual and economic exchange, the body condemns a woman to be reduced to a bulk hanging level and devoid of personality. The youngest authors describe the female body as a site of social, political, cultural and geographical inscription, production or constitution. Croatian female playwrights devoted their dramas to the problems of the identity crisis, dehumanization, the cult of beauty and youth, (s)exploitation and other topics that escape the display due to their discord with the dominant ideological matrix.


body, contemporary drama in Croatia, disease, female identity, violence

Vera Kopicl
High School “Svetozar Miletić“
Novi Sad

Metalanguage of a Dislocated Genre: Milena Marković's Postdramatic Text Summary

Contemporary Serbian drama is marked by female authors’ sensibility, which is demonstrated not only by the presence of women writers such as Biljana Srbljanović, Milena Marković, Maja Pelević, Milena Bogavac etc., but also by the change in discourse and form of dramatic text. These changes are most visible in Milena Marković’s plays: fragmentariness, lyricism, performance exhibitionism, and cabaret-like scenes of historical drama. Feminist theory, criticism and philosophy, especially the utopian idealism and the radical language of cyber feminists (Donna Haraway), as well as the post-feminists’ self-questioning (Judith Butler), are used as a platform for interpreting Milena Marković’s texts.


dramatic text, genre decoding, meta-text, post-feminism, performance


Representations of Female Identity in Jasmile Zbanić's and Aide Begić's Films

This article explores figures of women as portrayed in four films by female directors Jasmila Žbanić and Aida Begić. These figures are examined in terms of identity formation against the backdrop of complex processes of social change that have occurred in Bosna and Hercegovina in the course of the last two decades. The films show women who mainly find themselves not only in the midst of severe social circumstances, but also under the sign of significant cultural change such as the rising of religious sources of influence. These films discuss different models of gender relationships through a female psychology within the context of gender roles in the former Yugoslavia as well as within more recent globalization contexts. The article explores the aforementioned topics within their given historical and religious frameworks as well as in terms of generational, social and gender relationships. While a few of the figures – including severely traumatized women and pubescent girls – are oriented towards the past, the majority of them look at the future, search for new roles and test new models of female identity. The films encourage strong and authentic women and do not facilitate models of self-victimization.


gender relationship, female identity, post-Yugoslav films, female film directors

Independent scholar

Women in the Service of Nation and Army (1875–1918)

The beginnings of women's organizing in Serbia take place during the 1870s, in times of the Herzegovina Uprising. Just a decade earlier, the United Serb Youth discussed if women could be full members and what they could do to contribute to national unification. Women were proclaimed guardians of tradition and educators of youth. In the wartimes, they were expected to establish hospitals and take care of the wounded. This article is focused on women‘s organizations and their role in wars involving Serbia in the second half of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century. The article attempts to analyse how they evaluated their own engagement and contribution to the national cause during the wars.


nation, gender, national engagement, war, women‘s organizations

Persida Lazarević Di Giacomo
Università degli Studi “G. d’Annunzio”

“There were banquets and parties every day”: the importance of British female circles for the Serbian Enlightenment

This paper deals with the important influence of the British female circles on the main figure of the Serbian Enlightenment – Dositej Obradović. When Obradović arrived in England in 1784, he had the opportunity to frequent the Scottish community in London and to get acquainted with Mrs. Livie and her sister Mrs. Taylor who participated actively in the British cultural life of the day. It was those women who advised him about the titles of the recently published books, about the authors, and about the current topics of interest. They also suggested that he should translate the stories of Elizabeth Carter and Anna Laetitia Barbauld, two very popular figures of the British Enlightenment.


Dositej Obradović, British female circles, British Enlightenment, Scottish Enlightenment

Faculty of Philology
University of Belgrade

Dora Marsden and The Freewoman: Editing Policy and Ideological Pluralism

Dora Marsden and Mary Gawthorpe, two famous suffragettes, left the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1911. In the same year they established their journal The Freewoman – A Weekly Feminist Review. Central to this journal was the possibility of a dialogue and debate. In less than a year, this journal stirred up an intense debate on the numerous feminist-related questions and problems: who is the Freewoman, what are the accepted models of morality and sexuality and how one can challenge those, why women’s financial independence matters etc. The journal lasted only one year. This essay discusses the complex relationship between Dora Marsden’s personal life and her intellectual work, and aims to describe and analyse Marsden’s politics of editing.


The Freewoman (1911-1912), Dora Marsden, editing policy, discussion as strategy, free woman identity

Alenka Jensterle-Doležal
Katedra jihoslovanských a balkanistických studií
FF UK, Prague

The Genealogy of the 20th Century South Slavonic Novel: Zofka Kveder and Julka Chlapec-Djordjević

The paper investigates different narrative strategies of two epistolary novels: Hanka (1915, 1917) by the Slovene-Croatian writer Zofka Kveder, (1878-1926), who lived before the First World War in Prague, and Jedno dopisivanje. Fragmenti romana (A Correspondence. Fragments of the Novel, 1932) by Julka Chlapec-Djordjević, (1882-1969), the Serbian author and feminist and ex-“monarchical” author, who was also in Prague after the First World War. Both women were feminists and writers who belonged to the Central European literary society. In addition, both of them were mediators between different cultures. Influenced by Zofka Kveder, Chlapec-Djordjević wrote her novel in a dialog with Kveder´s Hanka.


Zofka Kveder, Julka Chlapec-Djordjević, Slavonic women writers in Prague, literature in Prague

Vladimir ĐURIĆ
Faculty of Philosophy
University of Niš

Autobiographical Aspects of Milica Janković’s Fiction

This paper analyses Milica Janković’s fiction in the light of postmodern theoretical considerations of autobiography or any other kind of écriture de soi. It refers to the concepts of ‘autobiographical pact’ (introduced by Philippe Lejeune), and ‘autofiction’ (Serge Doubrovsky’s controversial invention, which was created in response to Lejeune’s theory). Milica Janković’s modernist fictional works are approached from this specific postmodern perspective, which enables comprehension and interpretation of their autofictional aspects.


autobiography, autofiction, fiction, reality, Milica Janković

Faculty of Philology and Arts
University of Kragujevac

Metamorphosis as a Constitutive Principle of Female Identities in the Works of Boba Blagojević

This paper analyzes the construction of the female identity as the Other in the collection of stories Sve zveri što su sa tobom (1975). It is focused on the phenomena of transformation, borders and the abject as a constitutive principle in the construction of female characters, as well as on the ontology of absence, tardiness and the permanent inability of representing the female being through the language of the Father. The theoretical platform is provided by the theories of hysteria, melancholy and language by Jacques Lacan and post-Lacanian feminist theorists (Julia Kristeva, Luce Irigaray). The notions of the corporal, the body and bodily transformations are interpreted from the viewpoint of Judith Butler’s and Elizabeth Grosz’s feminist theories of the body.


border, abjection, animal, melancholy, metamorphosis

Faculty of Philology,
University of Belgrade

Genre and Narratological Analysis of Jasminka Petrović’s Novel The Summer When I Learned How to Fly

This paper analyses both the form and the content of the novel Leto kada sam naučila da letim (The Summer When I Learned How to Fly) written by Serbian author Jasminka Petrović. Since it deals with literature that is depicting a phase in the development of female identity, it uses the viewpoint of one particular literary genre, female Bildungsroman, and takes into account several of its variants. Rather than firmly placing the analysed novel into strictly or narrowly defined constraints of one particular literary genre, this paper aims to illustrate the novel’s latent potential to be the „interlocutor“ of both the European and the national literary tradition that is related to the exploration of female identity. The essay also attempts to derive conclusions about the current evolutionary stage of the female Bildungsroman, and furthermore, to infer about the genre capacities and limits, given the fact that it has been changing continuously since its emergence, due to its inherent inclusivity.


female Bildungsroman, 'djevojački roman', self-discovery novel, point of view