Saša Šmulja
Faculty of Philology
University of Banja Luka

Lyuben Karavelov’s Criticism of Suppression and Domestic Violence in the Short Story “Je li kriva sudbina?”

This paper singles out and analyzes the socio-critical aspect of the short story “Je li kriva sudbina?” (“Is Destiny to Blame?”) by the Bulgarian writer Lyuben Karavelov (1834–1879), published in Serbian. As far as Serbian literature is concerned, this represents one of the earliest critically intoned voices that draw attention to topical social transformations and, especially, emancipation of women in the mid-19th century Serbian society. Similarly, as for the subject matter, it features powerful criticism of the position and suppression of women, as well as the social model making their emancipation impossible, presenting explicitly domestic violence as a form of abuse and a mechanism of suppression. Given the fact that the author takes side with the marginalized social categories in terms of criticism, ethics and humanity, Karavelov is labeled as one of the first writers to advocate the modernization of Serbian society, in interliterary and intercultural context, and to rebel against brutality and tyranny in any social form. In addition, Karavelov can also be singled out as one of the first male writers to advocate the equality of women, condemning their suppression.


Lyuben Karavelov, “Je li kriva sudbina?”, suppression, domestic violence, violence against women

Zorica Hadžić
Faculty of Philosophy
University of Novi Sad

The Punishment Before the Crime, or on an Unknown Article by Danica Marković

Ana Vukmanović
Kolarac Foundation

THE MAIDEN AND WATER – On the Dynamics of the Relation between Women and Nature

The paper discusses ways of modelling the relation between the maiden and water in different motifs of oral lyric songs, how women who sing those songs see themselves in the world and how women in traditional culture are positioned in relation to the nature/culture opposition. The ambiguity of the aforementioned relation is demonstrated. The songs model water as a feminine space, but as a space where the maiden is endangered as well. In this sense, they confirm the position of a woman as a being between nature and culture. The maidens in oral lyric songs reign over the fruitful, creative and healing powers of water, they are the masters of the torrent and they move through aquatic landscape freely, but they are also endangered in contact with water and they drown in it. The same ambiguity is perceived when we observe the relation of lyric songs with motifs of the maiden and water to the patriarchal order – the said songs can confirm that order, or contest it.


oral lyric songs, woman, water, nature/culture, space

Zorana Simić
Faculty of Philology
University of Belgrade

Jelena Dimitrijević, the Circle of Serbian Sisters and the Almanac Vardar (1906–1914; 1921–1941)

This essay is a brief presentation of the cooperation of Jelena Dimitrijević (1862-1945), a recognized and influential Serbian writer, with the elite charitable organization The Circle of Serbian Sisters in the first half of the 20th century. The focus of the paper is the official periodical of this women’s association, the almanac Vardar, which was published in two stages (1906-1914 and 1921-1941). The essay offers a detailed list and analysis of the literary articles of Jelena Dimitrijević in Vardar, which, as it turns out, can be described as a feminophilic, only partially as a women’s magazine and not at all as a feminist one. The aim of the research, on the one hand, is a further consideration of the editorial policy of this almanac and the ideology of The Circle of Serbian Sisters on the whole. On the other hand, it also offers some new insights regarding the work of Jelena Dimitrijević.


Jelena Dimitrijević, The Circle of Serbian Sisters, Vardar, feminophilic periodicals, women’s authorship

Vladimir Đurić
Facutly of Philosophy
University of Niš

Seven Seas and Three Oceans (Second Book): on the Decryption of Jelena J. Dimitrijević’s Manuscript

The article offers an insight into the process of decryption and the content of the second, unpublished travelogue Seven Seas and Three Oceans by the Serbian writer Jelena J. Dimitrijević. The first part of the article is dedicated to the challenges and difficulties during the process of decrypting the manuscript of Jelena Dimitrijević. Six researchers from the project team Knjiženstvo have been working on this process. The second part consists of an overview analysis of the decrypted text with an accent on the key moments of the poetics and aesthetics of Jelena Dimitrijević’s writing. The main purpose of this article is to show the team results in the interpretation of a forgotten manuscript. Finally, the goal is to continue the affirmation of the rich opus of this Serbian writer and a world traveller, who in the last couple of years became the focus of many researchers, as well as the general public.


decrypting, manuscript, reading, India, Jelena Dimitrijević

Marija Bulatović
Faculty of Philology
University of Belgrade

Nikola Bulatović
Faculty of Philosophy
University of Belgrade

Lujza St. Jakšić: The Aporia of а Genealogical Research

In the paper, the authors present and explain their conducted research on the origin of Lujza St. Jakšić, a teacher at the Higher School for Girls in Belgrade and the author of the first English grammar book in Serbian. The genealogical research was sparked by one particular detail from literature – Letters from Salonika by Jelena Dimitrijević, to be exact. The research was carried out in several gradually described phases, pointing to numerous incongruences of the biographical data within the corpus of sources and documents that were searched. Even though the presented research is not placed within the horizon of final answers and solutions, the authors explain the epistemic value of the personal document, the significance of digital content and the scientific relevance of similar research in the context of humanities.


Lujza St. Jakšić, Letters from Salonika, genealogy, personal document, digital humanities

Jovana Mitrović
Faculty of Fine Arts
University of Belgrade

Anđelija Lazarević as an Artist: The Representation of Women in Painting during the First Half of 20th Century

This article explores three connected topics: the representation of women in fine arts and, more precisely, specific spaces which they occupied on canvases at the beginning of the 20th century; the status of the first generation of women painters that came out of the art school led by Rista and Beta Vukanović; and the personal and intellectual biography of the painter Anđelija Lazarević, her education and artistic opus. The article identifies paintings whose titles and compositions in particular provide us with more knowledge about women’s position in society in those times, and indicate that the patriarchal ideology from that epoch generated certain patterns in the visual representations. The examples of concrete art criticism are used to enable better understanding of the unequal position of women painters and men painters. Painter and writer Anđelija Lazarević lived and worked in such a social environment. Unfortunately, her legacy consists of only few artifacts, paintings and aquarelles.


Anđelija Lazarević, Beta Vukanović, painting, women spaces

Lela Vujošević
University of Kragujevac

Katarina Bogdanović – The Life Path of an Avant-Garde Intellectual

Katarina Bogdanović (1885-1969) was a philosopher, educator, writer, literary critic, literary historian, and the first woman in Serbia who, along with Paulina Lebl-Albala, wrote a high school textbook. She is one of the most important women in the history of Kragujevac, as well as one of the most prominent intellectuals at a time when few women found the courage and strength for intellectual growth and social activism through public action and involvement in the movements that represented resistance to violence and discrimination against women. This paper is written from the perspective of women’s historiography, using primary and secondary historiographical methods. It analyzes Katarina Bogdanović’s life path, from a social outsider (from the perspective of gender and her belonging to the lower social class) to someone at the top of the professional pyramid (she was one of the two first women principals of secondary schools in Serbia). Katarina Bogdanović emphasized freedom of choice as the main parameter of success.


Katarina Bogdanović, woman historiography, feminism

Radojka Jevtić
Faculty of Philology
University of Belgrade

The Society of Equals in the Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy

Encouraged by the ideas of second-wave feminism, Piercy writes Woman on the Edge of Time, in which she attempts to apply the theoretical findings of her predecessors and contemporary authors. Her work echoes the theories of Simone de Beauvoir and Shulamith Firestone, which she applies in order to create Mattapoisett, a utopia in which the entire society tries to achieve progress together. In this paper, we will analyze the way Piercy twists certain categories of today – class, gender and race – and renders them meaningless so as to create her utopia. In the first part, we will pay attention to Connie’s present, to her position as a Mexican-American woman from the lower class, that is, her position as a person on the margins of society. We will also analyze the representations of motherhood in her circumstances. In the second part, we will focus on the ways Piercy creates a more just society which is reflected in gender-neutral language and gender-neutral people, a society in which there is no hierarchy which fetters Connie in her present. We will also pay special attention to the concept of abolishing the biological family, which is presented as a significant basis of such a society. By abolishing the traditional categories of the present, Piercy demonstrates the possibility of not a better future, but a future of equality that invites the reader to re-examine set values and create new ones.


utopia, gender, motherhood, biological family