As we approach the 20th anniversaries of the break-up of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union respectively, this conference offers a timely opportunity to consider the causes and legacies of these historic events from the perspective of gender analysis and by examining women's lives in particular. The conference will enable us to consider critically the extent to which gender as an element of identity formation, social relations, politics, economic activity, culture, and warfare has become—or has still yet to become—an essential category of analysis. Potential questions of engagement might include (but are not limited to): To what extent has gender become an important means for understanding conflict (military, political, social, economic) in the region? Are 'women's issues' still just that, or has there been a scholarly shift in agenda and perspective in the last two decades to consider them more generally as 'human issues'?
In framing analyses of gender and conflict how can we nuance women's (and men's) experiences, so that they are seen as agents of transformation or even destruction, rather than "re-victimizing" them as mere objects? The conference will not focus solely on Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union/CIS; indeed, we encourage prospective participants to think more broadly and thematically about the origins and legacies of these breakups and the shared historical experience of communism and the transition for the whole Eurasian and Eastern European region.
AWSS is also pleased to announce at this time that the keynote speaker will be Prof. Yana Hashamova, Director of Center for Slavic and East European Studies and Associate Professor of Slavic at The Ohio State University.