As in the previous issue, most of the articles in the section “Women’s Writing and Culture” are based on presentations from the What is Knjiženstvo? conference which took place in mid-October 2015 at the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade. The central section of our journal in this issue begins with discussions of poetry - from changes in Serbian women’s poetry after 1970, and a study of Desanka Maksimović’s collection I Am Seeking a Pardon, to a new reading of folk lyric, that is, female poetry in search of models of male-female interaction. The next two papers are on drama - one analyses Croatian drama writers and their relationship towards corporeality, while the other explores the works of Milena Marković as examples of the “wacky“ genre. The segment on drama concludes with a paper on female identities in the films of Jasmila Žbanić and Aida Begić. It is followed by a historical section, dealing with women serving the nation and army between 1875 and 1918, and the influence of British women and their social circles on Dositej Obradović and the Enlightenment in Serbia. The paper on Dora Marsden and her editorial politics links historical with literary investigation, as does the contribution examining the links between Zofka Kveder and Julka Hlapec Đorđević. These papers are followed by a study of Milica Janković and the autobiographical aspects of her prose, and an essay on the prose of Boba Blagojević and the motive of metamorphosis. The final paper of this section returns us to the present moment, as it discusses the contemporary and highly praised novel by Jasminka Petrović about a young girl’s coming of age.
For this issue we have interviewed Slobodanka Peković, retired scientific advisor at the Institute for Literature and Art in Belgrade, author and editor of numerous publications on women’s literature and magazines. The issue’s front page is based on a fragment from a research proposal for a project on women’s contribution to Serbian literature, which she submitted to the Institute’s Committee in the seventies. Feel free to make your own judgment as to how well this proposal fits with the substantive aspect of the Knjiženstvo project – the full text can be read as an illustration to the interview in Serbian.
The “Reviews” section introduces eight books, seven of which are new editions, though one of these is actually a reinterpretation of previously done research. The first text reviews an anthology of folk poems by blind female singers, while the second one presents the emergence of the women’s emancipation and feminist movement in the Kingdom of Serbia. Reviews of the memoirs of Delfa Ivanić, who founded the Circle of Serbian Sisters, and Jelena Skerlić Ćorović show the autonomy and significance of women’s voices from our more immediate history. The review of Slobodanka Peković’s latest book, on research into women’s magazines in Serbia, brings together all the sections in this issue. It is followed by a review of Stanislava Barać’s book on the female portrait genre in Serbian magazines. The final two essays in this section speak, each in its own way, to a past that is still viable. Namely, Marina Blagojević’s book represents a reactualization of the author’s research on the social position of successful professional women in Yugoslavia, conducted in the eighties, while the final review introduces a book by Zorica Jevremović Munitić, originally published in 2006. This review marks the beginning of, hopefully, a future series of essays about works that did not receive sufficient attention upon their publication. Presenting them within this section, which consists of analytic and succint reviews, is not a symbolic or nostalgic gesture, but rather an act of activist and theoretical necessity.
In the „Events“ section we present, besides a discussion of the aforementioned book by M. Blagojević, two round tables which took place in 2016 - in April, on Jelena Dimitrijević and in November on Jelica Belović Bernadžikovska. Both events were organized by the Knjiženstvo project and the Faculty of Philology of the University of Belgrade.
Hoping that this year’s issue is both comprehensive and dynamic enough to stay with you in the next 12 months, we send you our kind regards.
Editorial board of the Knjiženstvo journal