Over the course of 2019, the work of the project Knjiženstvo has been presented on a number of occasions, in Serbia and abroad. We began this year by visiting the town of Požarevac in February, at the invitation of the Associations of Citizens “NIKA” and “Sunce”, where we presented the eighth number of the journal Knjiženstvo and our project as a whole. That is part and parcel of the project’s strategy – to devote special attention to creating an audience outside of Belgrade. Our visit was also covered by the local press.
Our visits outside of Belgrade continued in early April when a Polish member of our project, Professor Magdalena Koch, participated in the presentation of Knjiženstvo and a Book of Proceedings on Milica Janković at the library “Vuk Karadžić” in Veliko Gradište, the event being organized by Milena Dimitrijević, director of the library, who also spoke at the promotion. The following day, the project Knjiženstvo and the eponymous journal were presented at the library “Ilija M. Petrović” in Požarevac, with video and moderation from MA Branka Pražić.
As part of the presentation of Knjiženstvo, on October 23, 2019, at 64th Belgrade Book Fair, at Russia’s stand, Teodora Todorić Milićević spoke about walking tours known as Knjiženstveni Beograd; then the host Sergey Borisov made a brief introduction of Ženske rute [Women’s Routes], and the role of the Moscow Library in that project, while the final speech was delivered by the author Evgenia Nekrasova, who spoke about women’s writing in Russia.
In late November, the National Library of Serbia hosted the presentation of the Book of Proceedings Amerikanke Jelene J. Dimitrijević [Jelena J. Dimitrijevic’s American Women], a co-edition of the National Library of Serbia and the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade and a result of our project research. Apart from Biljana Dojčinović, editor of the Book of Proceedings, speeches were also given by Goran Petrović, project researcher, and Sofija Simović, scholarship beneficiary.
Outside of Serbia, our project was also presented in November 2019, at the VIII Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum as part of Ženske rute [Women’s Routes], a large project of the Forum of Slavic Cultures, with the support by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia.
Visiting Lectures by Foreign Guest Speakers
Over the course of 2019, the project Knjiženstvo has organized three visiting lectures. In April, as part of the seminar Balkansko Knjiženstvo [Balkan Women’s Writing], Professor Magdalena Koch spoke about Serbian women’s essay-writing in a lecture entitled „Dve, tri reči našim Srpkinjama“: Evolucije srpskog feminističkog eseja od 19. do 21. veka [“A Few Words to our Serbian Women”: Evolutions of Serbian Women’s Essay- Writing from the 19th to 21st Century]. Within the same seminar, Miglena Dikova-Milanova from the University of Ghent gave a lecture entitled ‘The case Theodora Dimova/ Dimitar Dimov’: how to end your father’s novel, in which she spoke about a Bulgarian author’s unfinished novel that was completed by his daughter.
In June, within the program Talk about Knjiženstvo, Professor Pradipta Sengupta from the M. U. C. Women’s College, University of Burdwan, delivered a speech on women’s studies in India in a postcolonial context entitled Women’s Studies in India in Postcolonial Scenario.
All of these lectures were well-visited, and they raised many questions and opened new possibilities of cooperation with the guest speakers.
Throughout December there is an ongoing cycle of lectures dedicated to Jelena J. Dimitrijević at the Kolarac Foundation. This year Jelena J. Dimitrijević earned a place in the reading list for seventh-grade students – that is to say, the first part of her travelogue Sedam mora i tri okeana: Putem oko sveta [Seven Seas and Three Oceans: Traveling around the World] was accepted into the compulsory reading list for seventh-grade students in elementary schools, owing to the efforts invested by the Fund for the Improvement of Education, but also to much work being done ever since the mid-1980s by many researchers, including the ones from our project. The most recent update of knowledge about this woman author is the republication of her travelogue Novi svet ili U Americi godinu dana [The New World or A Year in America] presented, among others, by Ivana Dejanović, a scholarship beneficiary employed at the project.
The lectures at the Kolarac Foundation deal with the life and work of Jelena J. Dimitrijević, her opus, and the reception of her work. Of special prominence is the influence of French culture on her works, the American scope of topics and her travelogue Sedam mora i tri okeana (I, II) [Seven Seas and Three Oceans, Parts I and II], and research done on the project Knjiženstvo, including work on her manuscripts kept in the National Library of Serbia. This cycle of lectures is also realized as part of the project Ženske rute [Women’s Routes] organized by the Forum of Slavic Cultures.