12thPost-graduate Course Feminisms in a Transnational Perspective: “Fear, Resistance, Imagination”, May 2018.

The twelfth post-graduate course Feminisms in a Transnational Perspective, co-organized by the Centre for Women’s Studies and their partners, took place in the Inter-University Centre in Dubrovnik, Croatia, from 21th to 25th May 2018. This year’s topic was “Fear, Resistance, Imagination”. Co-directed by scholars from Italy, Croatia, Hungary and Pakistan, the course gathered 23 participants, scholars and graduate students, from nine countries.

The selection of this year course’s topic was a result of the escalation of the global culture of fear mongering, “horrorism”, hate and militarism, connected with the stagnation of the liberal project and destructive consequences of late capitalism in the neo-colonial global context. Participants were ready to accept the proposal that fear was not a universal, ahistorical and non-cultural affect, but, as all emotions, deeply contextualized cultural practice. Thus they offered readings and analyses of the phenomenon of fear and resistance in various historical situations and cultural products and spaces. They discussed fear, state, biopolitics and violence in contemporary political constellations in Italy, Albania, Russia, Croatia and other Balkan states, contested memory of women revolutionaries in Slovenia and Croatia, as well as the politics of racialization and vulnerability in academia, and the role of fear in male homosociality. Participants also based their analyses on literary texts (by Doris Lessing, Alasdair Gray, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie), films and opera, and discussed pertinent contribution of theorists such as Sylvia Winter and Denise Ferreira Da Silva. The key note lecture on the state persecution of homosexuals in post-revolutionary socialist Yugoslavia was given by Franko Dota, currently lecturer at the University of Rijeka.

Seminar participants were scholars and graduate students from Albania, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Montenegro, Portugal, Russia, UK, and the USA. Among 23 participants, twelve were junior and senior scholars, and eleven were graduate students. As a part of the cultural program, the participants attended a theatrical performance by the Student Theater Lero.

Co-directors of the course were Silvana Carotenuto (University of Napoli), Lada Čale Feldman (University of Zagreb), Francesca Maria Gabrielli (University of Zagreb), Elissa Helms (Central European University, Budapest), Renata Jambrešić Kirin (Institute for Ethnology and Folklore Research, Zagreb), Sandra Prlenda (Centre for Women’s Studies, Zagreb) and Durre S. Ahmed (Centre for the Study of Gender and Culture, Lahore).