When you are publishing the tenth number of a journal that comes out annually, that is to say, when you are marking a decade of your journal’s existence, there is every reason to celebrate. At the very beginning of 2020, it looked as though the entire year would unfold in the atmosphere of celebration – in February, the project Knjiženstvo won a significant award, the “Anđelka Milić” prize, and there was a plan to organize in May a round-table discussion about Zofka Kveder and Julka Chlapec Đorđević, with an accompanying exhibition of posters from the project. But the pandemic interfered and shut us off into confined areas, suspending live meetings and imposing online communication as the only form of cooperation. Under such circumstances, the exchange of knowledge, attitudes, and information is different from what it is like in direct contact: it is less spontaneous, less fun, and, from several points of view, considerably slower.
However, the necessity of physical distancing and cautiousness of infection were not the only reasons why the atmosphere of celebration went missing in 2020. The real reason for this was the fact that many of those whom we loved passed away and left a painful emptiness behind them. The ones who left us are Nada Ler-Sofronić, Marina Blagojević Hughson, and Dragana Petrović. We were also abandoned unexpectedly and prematurely by other close people and associates.
That is why, in December 2020, I can only say that a difficult year is at an end and that I hope that 2021 will be more than a mere change of calendar – that, above all, it will bring better health.
The tenth number contains all the usual sections of the journal Knjiženstvo.
The section “Women’s Writing and Culture” consists of 12 texts – more than usual, for that is how we mark our jubilee – which can be divided into four parts. The first three texts examine the works of Serbian women authors in a broader context of world events, or in comparison with a contemporary woman author from a different culture. The first article deals with the works of Jelena J. Dimitrijević from her “American cycle” and with the possibilities of their application in teaching. The second text compares the works of Isidora Sekulić and Rebecca West from the perspective of the First World War as a topic. The next paper is dedicated to modernity in the life and work of the first Serbian woman architect, Jelisaveta Načić, and to reactions to her work and life decisions.
The second scope of topics, which is made up of four papers, deals with interculturality and exchange of ideas, primarily feminism and Yugoslavism, in the works of Zofka Kveder and Julka Chlapec Đorđević. What I am referring to are texts that were planned for the round-table discussion in May. The first two articles, written in English, speak of Zofka Kveder as a mediator of ideas and Julka Chlapec Đorđević’s engagement in social, political, and literary currents in Serbian and Czech culture. The next two texts are dedicated to these women authors within the woman-traveler topic, and within the genre of the female portrait in the journal Jugoslavenska žena (The Yugoslav Woman).
The third part consists of two women authors from Spain. This thematic block gives us an insight into the works of the woman philosopher María Zambrano and the woman lawyer Concepción Arenal, a feminist and reformer.
The fourth part is made up of papers on the genre determination of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and on the echoes of Elisaveta Bagryana and Rade Drainac’s encounters in their poetry. At the end of this part and the entire section is a text on the Museum of Women of Montenegro as an encounter between the digital humanities and cultural feminism.
The section “Bibliographies” is, of course, dedicated to the Knjiženstvo journal itself and its nine-year production. Up to and including the last year’s number, we have published 129 research papers, including bibliographies as well, 11 exclusive interviews, and 57 reviews of new books relating to the topics of women’s creativity, feminist theory, and the digital humanities.
In the “Interview” section, we present to you Tamara Butigan Vučaj, a digital librarian from the National Library of Serbia. The second interview that we publish is, at the same time, the first reprinted interview in this journal. This, in fact, is a memory of Marina Blagojević Hughson, and in her own words. Marina’s conversation with herself is extremely relevant today as well, several years after it was published for the first time.
In the section “Reviews”, we present four new editions, two of which are in English – namely, a Central European University edition on gender and transnational literature and an overview of women’s 20th-century literary tradition in Hungary, published by the Brill publishing house. In Serbian, we also present a bibliography of the journal Ženski pokret (The Women’s Movement), a book on Milica Stojadinović Srpkinja, and a monograph on the position of women in occupied Serbia during the Second World War.
The section “Events” provides information about the conference Časopis ženski pokret (The Women’s Movement Journal, 1920–1938), organized by the Institute for Literature and Arts, and about awarding the “Anđelka Milić” prize to the project Knjiženstvo. What follows next is a virtual exhibition of the collages that remind us of the events, editions, and meetings within the project Knjiženstvo, where our journal came into existence. At the very end is what was at the beginning – a story of the pattern that we chose for the project’s and journal’s emblem.
That would be all for this jubilee and this difficult year, 2020.
Biljana Dojčinović, Editor-in-chief
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