Reviewed Works: The Politics of Gender Culture under State Socialism: An Expropriated Voice by Hana Havelková, Libora Oates-Indruchová; Queer Visibility in Post-socialist Cultures by Nárcisz Fejes, Andrea P. Balogh; The Traffic in Women’s Work: East European Migration and the Making of Europe by Anca Parvulescu

C. Laura Lovin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Downloads (Pure)


The volumes discussed in this review take up several inquiries into gender and sexuality coming from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), a region whose production of feminist scholarship is usually deemed marginal when situated against the background of the production and circulation of transnational feminism. Against recurring refutations of CEE’s status as a distinct region, particularly after the marketization of its economies after the fall of the state-communist regimes in 1989, these three new publications assert the value of the regional angle by creating an analytical arc that connects investigations of state-communist gender policies, discursive practices, and lived experiences to explorations of the change in visibility regimes around nonnormative sexualities that occurred after the fall of the Iron Curtain. The volumes also present critiques of the neoliberal moment through a theoretical engagement with newly articulated gender and sexuality regimes, an engagement that maps the exploitation of women’s work and the distribution of women’s precarity and vulnerability onto the former boundaries that separate the old Europeans from newer ones. Moreover, each volume challenges a view that presents the scholarship coming from the region as predominantly practice-oriented and abstracted from current feminist conceptual debates. In doing so, the authors trace multiple lines of connection and continuity between their interdisciplinary inquiries and the larger conceptual, topical, and empirical orientations of the field of women’s and gender studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-239
Number of pages9
JournalSigns: Journal of Women in Culture and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • gender
  • culture
  • socialism

Cite this