Woman and Society Feminist Collection
The Woman and Society Feminist Collection at the Centre for Women's Studies in Zagreb consists of one register containing the manuscripts from the lecture cycle which was organized by the "Woman and Society" Section in 1982/83. The lectures dealt with the “woman question” in the historical context, as well as the “woman question” issues in socialist self-management and Marxist theory. The Collection testifies to the engagement of a smaller number of intellectuals who sought to put the “woman question” into public focus, thus affecting the improvement of the status of women in Yugoslavia, while the authorities argued that it was unnecessary because they thought that the ˝woman question˝ was resolved within Marxism.
Zagreb Dolac 8, Croatia 10000
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Name of collection
Women and Society Feminist Collection
Provenance and cultural activities
The Woman and Society Feminist Collection at the Centre for Women's Studies in Zagreb was created in 1983 as an archive of lectures from the "Philosophy and Studies about Women" course, which was organized by the “Woman and Society” Section as a part of the first women's studies seminar, “Women's Studies of Philosophy and Literature” in the 1982/83 academic year. The lectures were held in the premises of the Association of University Professors every Friday at 5 p.m. from 18 February to 20 May 1983. The course was organized by Professor Rada Iveković, who was also the main coordinator and the person who saved the manuscripts of the lectures. Iveković kept the lectures with the intent of publishing them in the form of a collection of papers. However, since no such publication occurred, Iveković gave the manuscripts, i.e., the materials of the Woman and Society Section to the Centre for Women's Studies in 2006. The e-mail that Iveković sent to Jasminka Pešut explicitly stated that the manuscript was not granted for publication, but for “safekeeping and future history " (E-mail to Pešut, Jasminka, 29 May 2006).
The materials from the Woman and Society Feminist Collection testify to a smaller segment of the "Woman and Society" Section's work, which was in this case focused on the philosophical views of the woman question, including the Marxist view of it and feminism. It is precisely the relationship between Marxism and the woman question that is crucial to resolving, or improving, the status of women in socialist Yugoslavia. The participants in the seminar, from which this collection was created, emphasized that Marxism can only be fully realized when the woman question is resolved. Blaženka Despot criticized the achievement of Marxism in Yugoslavia, stating that it is "the liberation of women which is a prerequisite for the liberation of labor," and that "Marxism has a dangerous tendency to reduce the whole gender issue to the class issue, or the whole woman question to the question of the working class, the proletariat (although Marxism responded this way to every particular issue: national, peasant or even women), always thinking that the liberation of labor is a prerequisite. Matters were set successively, allegedly the issue of liberating labor was the first be solved, and then all other issues. However, the history of the workers' movement has shown that it is not so." (Despot 1983, 6-7).
The Woman and Society Feminist Collection has never before been used in research or publicly introduced.
Description of content
The Collection consists of a single registrar (file) containing ten (10) sleeves, each of which deals with one of the courses organized by the "Woman and Society" Section as a part of the lecture cycle "Women's Studies of Philosophy and Literature" in the 1982/83. Each sleeve contains a typed preliminary presentation and a record of the discussion that followed the lecture.
The following lectures were held: 1. Rada Iveković: "Why Women's Criticism of Philosophy?"; 2. Rada Iveković: "Greek Philosophy I and II"; 3. Blaženka Despot: "Hegel I and II"; 4. Vjeran Katunarić: "Emancipation and Method – Contribution to the Criticism of Eros"; 5. Rada Iveković: "Women's Studies of Philosophy"; 6. Discussion about Journal Marxism in the World 8-9 / 81, on the Topic of "Studies about Woman and the Women's Movement"; 7. Ingrid Šafranek: "Women's Literature" and "Women's Letters"; 8. Blaženka Despot: "Marxist Feminism" and Katarina Vidović: "Marxism and Feminism"; 9. Nada Popović-Perišić: "Women's Literary Criticism" (an. L.B.: missing in the collection); 10. Bibliography.
- manuscripts (ego-documents, diaries, notes, letters, drafts, etc.): 10-99
Stakeholder(s) of the collection
- Pešut, Jasminka
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- visits by appointments
Despot, Blaženka. 1987. Žensko pitanje i socijalističko samoupravljanje (The Woman's Question and Self-Management). Zagreb: Cekade.
Katunarić, Vjeran. 1984. Ženski eros i civilizacija smrti (The Female eros and the civilization of death). Zagreb: Naprijed.
Part of network
Author(s) of this page
- Bencetić, Lidija
Pešut, Jasminka, interview by Bencetić, Lidija , April 24, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection