CEU and Sabanci University Hold Joint Conference on Gendered Memories of War and Political Violence
On May 22 and 23, CEU Gender Studies Professor Andrea Peto and her Sabanci University colleague Professor Ayse Gul Altinay hosted a conference called “Gendered Memories of War and Political Violence” that featured over 40 leading voices in the field of women's and gender studies and human rights. The workshop, the culmination of a course taught at both universities as part of a joint academic initiative, took place at Sabanci University in Istanbul.
Forty-six papers were presented during nine panels over the two-day event including topics such as “Women's Narratives of War and Soldiering,” “Gendering Memories of Resistance,” “Visualizing Memories of War,” and “Gender, Sexual Violence and International Law.” A panel titled “Gendering the Armenian Genocide” that featured experts from UCLA, the Armenian Genocide Museum Institute, Concordia University, and Sabanci drew the attention of local media and prompted them to report, for the first time ever, the gendered perspective of the Armenian Genocide in the Turkish press.
Often, in traditional narratives of history, women's roles in war and conflict are underreported or altogether eliminated. Peto's research focuses on some of World War II's little-known female perpetrators. These were wives of prominent men and so-called paid functionaries – typists, accountants and the like, explained Peto. “I did not find much visual representation in my research,” Peto said. “I got most of my images from extreme right-wing sources that are using these mostly private collection images to legitimize current right-wing groups – a sort of 'digging out of their foremothers.'” A full 10 percent of Hungarians who were convicted for war crimes after World War II were women associated with the Arrow Cross party. However, since the regime didn't consider women important to the war effort, they aren't featured in many pictures and it's likely that the rare photos that did exist were destroyed to try to protect their subjects from prosecution.
“We are saying that the costs of war are more than anyone is willing to admit,” said professor Cynthia Enloe of Clark University in Massachusetts. “Conventional commemorations of war list men who die in uniform but a feminist reckoning of the costs of war is much greater.”
Four CEU Gender Studies and three CEU History students who were chosen on the basis of their strong and complementary research accompanied Peto to the conference. In December, CEU will host a companion conference that will feature graduate-student research on the same topic. “Originally we planned the May conference as a small expert workshop but we received 119 applications and nearly all of them were very promising,” said Peto. “The application deadline for the junior researcher conference is August 10 and our mailbox is already overflowing which shows that we really put our finger on a cutting-edge topic. We find it especially important to create a niche for young researchers to discuss their research topics in a comparative perspective.”
The May conference was sponsored by the Gender and Women's Studies Forum and the Heinrich Boll Stiftung Foundation. For more information, including instructions for applying for the December conference, visit http://myweb.sabanciuniv.edu/genderconf/.
Click a term to initiate a search.
- Public Policy (128)
- Environmental and Energy Studies (126)
- International Relations and European Studies (125)
- History and Medieval Studies (84)
- Economics (77)
- Business and Management Studies (66)
- Political Science (60)
- Media and Communications (45)
- Nationalism and Religious Studies (36)
- Gender Studies (35)
- Cognitive Science (35)
- Constitutions, Law and Regulation (31)
- Human Rights Studies (31)
- Mathematics (25)
- Sociology and Social Anthropology (24)
- Philosophy (19)
- Arts and Culture (18)
- Development Studies (15)