Women & Post-Socialist Transformation

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Anthropology

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
Women / Post-Socialist
Fall 2022
Taught By: Oksana Kis
Section: A

CRN: 14592

Credits: 4

For many decades women’s rights advocates all over the globe looked up to the Soviet Union and its satellite countries as model societies of gender equality. The collapse of the USSR in 1991 revealed a different picture, and the following decades brought about numerous radical changes and challenges for women. This course aims to critically review the (dis)advantages of state socialism for women, and the opportunities and challenges presented by a transition to democracy and market economy. Using gender, state socialism and the post-socialist transformations as core concepts – and embedding those concepts into the specific historical, cultural, social, economic and political contexts of Ukraine, Poland and Russia – this course will unfold as a series of deep immersions into the issues that are significant for understanding women’s lives in Soviet and post-Soviet societies. The discussions will focus on the major benefits and losses women experienced, including access to education, participation in the labour market, reproductive rights, state-patronized family roles, political (under)representation, women’s (de)activated citizenship, and reinvented feminist activism. We will pay close attention to the once-silenced and controversial topics of gender-based violence, ubiquitous sexism, shadow-market economy, illegal migration, (un)liberated sexualities and exploited women’s bodies. Students will be encouraged to apply some of this discussion to other geographic contexts or to their own lives. Students will explore a variety of textual and visual materials (arts, propaganda, schoolbooks, commercials, pop-music, legislation, personal testimonies, statistics, etc.) to reveal women as both targets and agents of historical changes. We’ll also watch and discuss several documentaries on related topics in class. Assignments will include a short mid-term essay (or a film review) and a final paper (or a creative project on a “digital ethnography").

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Anthropology (LANT)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: September 12, 2022 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: December 18, 2022 (Sunday)

Seats Available: No

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 11:14pm EST 2/7/2023

Meeting Info:
Days: Tuesday, Thursday
Times: 12:00pm - 1:40pm
Building: 6 East 16th Street
Room: 906
Date Range: 8/30/2022 - 12/15/2022