Conference “Post-socialism, neo-liberalism – old and new gendered societies and policies”

IGU Commission on gender and geography Conference
“Post-socialism, neo-liberalism – old and new gendered societies and policies”
*22^nd –24^th May 2009*

This conference will be held in the year marking the 20th anniversary of the East Central European political changes of 1989. In the past two decades the region has hosted international conferences on the post-socialist transition that were organised by and for feminist scholars of different disciplines. Reflecting the marginal position of gender studies within human geography in the post-socialist countries, Eastern and Central European feminist geographers had very low visibility in these discussions. For them (us) the most helpful supporters are feminist sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists etc. and feminist geographers living outside of post-socialist Europe. The former groups of social scientists are dealing already with the question whether post-socialism is still a relevant category for research, partly because of the strengthening process of neo-liberalisation that is also attracting the interest of geographers. Thus, it is time to put on the agenda comparing the similarities and differences in the systems of post-socialism and neo-liberalism through the prism of ‘gender’.

The primary *_aim_* of this interdisciplinary conference is

i) to provide a platform for critical evaluation of post-socialism and neo-liberalism from feminist perspectives;
ii) understanding women’s and men’s everyday experiences;
iii) revealing the particular geographies of the gender dimensions of these ‘models’.

Papers are invited on the following basic *_themes_*:
· The impact of political economic trends (e.g. economic restructuring, privatisation, ‘roll-back’ / ‘roll-out’ of state, the changing access to resources, decreasing income and employment security) on women’s / men’s lives in public and private spaces and different places;
· The effects of (post)socialist / neo-liberal ideologies, cultural as well as identity politics, and cultural conceptions of femininity and masculinity on gender identities, women’s / men’s symbolic and material spaces and their everyday lives;
· Spaces of participation and resistance under neo-liberalism / post-socialism (e.g. struggles to guarantee social reproduction, women’s social networks, movements, and alternatives to neo-liberalism).

A *_discussion with gender activists_* at APoWeR will be organized in Timisoara.

The Association for the Promotion of Women in Romania (APoWeR) elaborated together with a team of 5 lawyers, prosecutors and judges a proposal for a law on domestic violence that, after being presented to the Romanian Parliament, was enacted in 2003. The meeting will focus on gender issues that are part of the Romanian post-socialist society and the experience of this NGO in coping with those issues.


The conference will be held in Szeged (the opening plenary, and the sessions on May 22-23) and Timisoara (closing plenary and the discussion with gender activists on May 24). The conference fee (containing morning and afternoon teas, one lunch, one dinner and the bus transport between the two cities, all costs around 100–150 EUR) will be published in September with all of the further details of the conference on the following website:

*_Contact with the organisers:_*

Judit Timár (Hungary) timarj [at] rkk [dot] hu
Sorina Voiculescu (Romania) vsorina [at] cbg [dot] uvt [dot] ro

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