Before you is the eighth issue of Knjiženstvo, journal for studies in literature, gender and culture, established as part of the research project Knjiženstvo, theory and history of women’s writing in Serbian until 1915, financed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia. The partially different appearance of this issue is the result of updated software and the fact that the issue is posted on a new digital platform which, among other things, enables easier reading of the text on the screen, as well as the automatic shift from the Cyrillic to the Latin script. The sections and the profile of the journal remain the same, which can be seen from the content.
The first two texts in the journal, in the section Women’s Writing and Culture, speak about the problem of domestic violence: the first one is a study of a short story by Ljuben Karavelov, while the other is a previously unknown article written by Danica Marković about a real event and a comment on the article itself. The third text focuses on a folklore topic, i.e. the dynamics of the relation between woman and nature. In this issue, too, there is somewhat of a thematic section dedicated to the work of Jelena J. Dimitrijević. First, we learn about her work in the Circle of Serbian Sisters and texts in the calendar Vardar. We also present one short photo-story which shows us the place this author occupied in culture prior to World War Two: it involves her picture on the wall of the reading room of the Belgrade City Library. The second paper in this thematic section tells us about the process of transcribing the manuscript of the travelogue Seven Seas and Three Oceans, which has been conducted for almost two years on the Knjiženstvo project in cooperation with the National Library of Serbia. The text takes us on a thrilling journey through the landscapes Jelena Dimitrijević herself visited almost a century ago. It also guides us through the equally riveting discovery of her graphemes, abbreviations and other secrets of the manuscript. In the following paper, we also try to solve a riddle about the origin of Lujza Jakšić, Jelena Dimitrijević’s friend. Besides discovering many new facts, both papers that follow demonstrate research methodology and pose new questions.
Three papers on various subjects conclude the section Women’s Writing and Culture. The first one deals with Anđelija Lazarević as a painter and the ways that women were presented in the first half of the 20th century. The second paper is dedicated to Katarina Bogdanović, literary historian and pedagogue, whose life path is a reflection of the struggle to win intellectual freedom. The section ends with an analysis of a dystopian novel by Marge Piercy, Woman on the Edge of Time.
In the section Bibliographies, we present the annotated bibliography of books on the topic of gender, published in Serbia between 1991 and 2003. The bibliography is in English and it represents a cross section of the intense work on the formation of feminist theory during the Yugoslav wars and at the start of the so-called transition.
In this issue, we publish two interviews. The first one is with Jasmina Lukić, literature professor and long-time Head of the Department of Gender Studies at the Central European University in Budapest. The other interview is with Chantal Wright, Professor at the University of Warwick and coordinator of an interesting translation award.
In the section Reviews, we present the multimedia concert of Ivana Stefanović, and then the monographs on the forming of the female canon in Serbian prose, Jovanka Broz, feminist criticism in socialist Yugoslavia during the 70s and the 80s, Maga Magazinović, Savka Subotić, and the way that British authors perceived women on the Balkans, as well as the relation between feminist theory and the notion of gender on the Balkans. We also present the proceedings on the economic imperatives of female authorship in the early modern period in Europe. We conclude the section with a text on four new books that actually represent women’s history in the literature for children and the young.
In section Events, we report on the conference of the John Updike Society held in June and the workshop held in December, Jelena Dimitrijević’s Manuscripts, as well as on other events within the Knjiženstvo project held at the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade in 2018.