Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Docente: Bojan Bilic
  • Credits: 4
  • SSD: SPS/08
  • Language: English
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Forli
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in East European and Eurasian Studies (cod. 5911)

Learning outcomes

This module aims at acquainting students with the interdisciplinary field of Gender Studies and with the most important gender-related concepts, arguments, debates in the Eurasian context. Students are also expected to grasp the most commonly used methods for studying gender, thus developing independent critical skills and deepening their understanding of feminist political and cultural analysis.

Course contents

This module provides students with a basic understanding of the relevance of gender in the socialist and post-socialist South East Europe. Dr Bilić draws upon his own research on the history and politics of (women) anti-war and LGBT organising in the region to examine the multiple ways in which national belonging, state building/dissolution and citizenship are gendered. The course pays particular attention to the concepts of patriarchy and intersectionality, encouraging students to reflect upon the strong patriarchal backlash that took place in the region towards the beginning of the 1990s as well as upon the consequences that this has had for the nature of activist engagement. Throughout our meetings we will examine how gender served as the organising principle of anti-war initiatives and explore why women have been at the forefront of various transitional justice, memory and reconciliation endeavours. We will also engage with the three decade long developmental trajectory of the regional LGBT activist organising, fostering critical thinking about the tension between “global” and “local” LGBT activism. We will focus on the problems that arise from the “asynchrony” between the “Western” and the regional activist strategies trying to see how neo-colonialist discourse sometimes pervades both social theorising and general perceptions of the region. The course also touches upon the most common qualitative methods for studying gender, thus helping students to develop critical reading, thinking, and writing skills and deepen their understanding of feminist political and cultural analysis.

Major topics:

Positionality & Reflexivity. Where are we speaking from?

Intersectionality and Black Feminism

Queerness - queer - to queer 

Transgender Activism

Socialist Feminism 


Indicative Bibliography

Bilić, B. (2020). Building Better Times: Trauma, violence and lesbian agency in Croatia and Serbia. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Crenshaw, K. W. (1989).Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum, 1, 8, 139-167.

England, V. L. K. (1994). Getting Personal: Reflexivity, positionality and feminist research. Professional Geographer, 46, 1, 80-89.

Paternotte, D., & Kuhar, R. (2018). Disentangling and locating the “Global Right”: Anti-gender campaigns in Europe. Politics & Governance, 6, 3, 6-19.

Pilcher, J. & Whelehan, I. (2004). 50 Key Concepts in Gender Studies. London: Sage.

Sears, A. (2005). Queer anti-capitalism: What’s left of lesbian and gay liberation. Science & Society, 69, 92-112.

Teaching methods

Introductory lectures, seminar (moderated group discussions with guest lecturers), workshop, selected documentary film footage.

Assessment methods

  1. Paper presentation & discussion: 30% – 3 points
  2. Critical summary of a feminist debate (written exam Part A): 60% – max 6 points
  3. Reflection upon the course (written exam Part B): 10% – 1 point

Office hours

See the website of Bojan Bilic