This is the ninth consecutive December that sees the publication of a new number of Knjiženstvo, a journal for studies of literature, gender, and culture, launched within Knjiženstvo – theory and history of women’s writing in Serbian until 1915, a research project financed by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia. Nine years is quite enough to acquire a habit of expecting a new number at the beginning of each winter. As for us, members of the journal’s editorial staff, December brings excitement because we again present texts that either elaborate upon the already-begun topics or open new ones pertaining to women’s writing and the status of women in arts and culture. With each year, the number of our associates keeps rising. Of special importance is the fact that, among them, there have been more and more youths: MA students and PhD candidates, junior researchers, and young authors, who find inspiring challenges in the scholarly areas covered by Knjiženstvo, and gain space for the publication of their papers in our journal. Some of these texts deal with completely new topics, whereas others reevaluate the propriety of traditional interpretations. It is precisely owing to our young associates that each new number of our journal is a step forward in terms of achieving the necessary social and cultural emancipation of our environment.
In this, ninth number we have nine texts in the section Women’s Writing and Culture. The first one is a continuation of the text on Katarina Bogdanović from our previous number, which makes us familiar with the diaries and archives of this rebellious intellectual woman. The second text pertains to Jelena J. Dimitrijević’s travelogueNovi svet ili U Americi godinu dana [The New World or A Year in America]: it is part of a sui generis tradition for our journal Knjiženstvo to publish at least one article about this woman author in its every number. The occasion for this text is this year's publication of the second edition of her American travelogue, precisely one century since the author's departure for the New World. The paper deals with the anti-suffrage movements and The Woman Patriot journal that Jelena J. Dimitrijević refers to in her travelogue. The next text is dedicated to the life and work of Jelica Belović-Bernadzikowska and tells about the phases she had gone through in establishing the identity of a woman ethnographer and educator. The fourth text relates to Gimnazijski trenutak [High-school Moment], a collection of poems by Gordana Todorović, whose life was short and painful, and her poetic oeuvre, though not large, exceptional in terms of quality. Then follows a paper on the criticism of slavery in poems by Sarah Wentworth Morton (“The African Chief”) and Lydia Huntley Sigourney (“To the First Slave Ship”). Then we become acquainted with the chief segments of Alexandra Kollontai’s body of work, her theoretical and fictional texts, with her theory of “the new woman” and free love being at the center of focus. The seventh paper is on the Chinese woman writer Ling Shuhua, who built her literary career as a feminist author in an environment and at a time when this was far from easy. The last two papers in this section pertain to books about exceptional women, written in the field of children’s literature, and to relations between feminism and popular culture through the analysis of key ideas from three new books.
In the section Bibliography we provide a bibliography of Materinski list: an illustrated monthly magazine for home care and nurturing of children, examination of childhood and work in kindergarten, which was published once a month from 1901 until the end of 1903.
Our interview from this number was conducted with Nada Ler-Sofronić, a woman scholar who was the first in Socialist Yugoslavia to defend a doctoral dissertation on a feminist topic, and ever since then, as a theoretician and researcher, has dealt with the position of women. The same section also contains a denial of particular information from the interview published in Number 7, which bears witness to the lively interaction that our journal encourages.
The section Reviews contains four texts about very different works. The first one deals with Proceedings from the conference Someone said feminism? Feminist theory in Serbia today, which gave an overview of the current feminist and feminist-inspired research in Serbia. The second article in this section also deals with Proceedings, but in this case we are referring to an edition that maps women’s and gender studies within English studies in Europe. The third review presents the book Bolnica Stobart [Stobart Hospital] as translated from English by Marija Nikolić, and the accompanying exhibition and catalogue “Bolnica Stobart – Kragujevac 1915” [“Stobart Hospital – Kragujevac 1915”]. The final text presents the complete works of Gordana Todorović in three volumes edited by Milica Milenković, which again emphasizes the importance of Gordana Todorović, long ago dubbed “the enigma of our poetry”.
Our section Events informs you about presentations of the Knjiženstvo project and the eponymous journal in Serbia and abroad, about visiting lectures of foreign guest speakers, and about public lectures and performances of our project members. This section could certainly have been much longer, for it only shows a minor part of our activities in 2019.
Kind regards until the tenth, jubilee December, when we will provide a more detailed retrospection of our work and accomplished results.