Embracing Arms: Cultural Representation of Slavic and Balkan Women in War

Embracing Arms: Cultural Representation of Slavic and Balkan Women in War

Embracing Arms: Cultural Representation of Slavic and Balkan Women in War

Embracing Arms: Cultural Representation of Slavic and Balkan Women in War

Synopsis

Discursive practices during war polarize and politicize gender. They normally require men to fulfill a single, overriding task, to destroy the enemy-but impose a series of often contradictory expectations on women. Centering on cultural representations, the essays establish links between political ideology, history, psychology, cultural studies, cinema, literature, and gender studies furthermore address questions such as-what is the role of women in war or military conflicts beyond the well-studied victimization? Can the often contradictory expectations of women and their traditional roles be [re]thought and [re]constructed? How do cultural representations of women during war times reveal conflicting desires and poke holes in the ideological apparatus of the state and society? Book jacket.

Excerpt

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.”

Plato

“Women should not die this way. War is a man’s affair.”
Razman, member of Russian OMON troops in Chechnya

“I say with Euripides that I would rather go through three
wars than through a single childbirth.”
Søren Kierkegaard, The Diary of a Seducer

War as Litmus Test of Masculinity

Regardless of stirring legends about the military prowess of Boadicea, Penthesilea, and other Amazons, historically, war has been a quintessentially male preserve. For millennia, men’s capacity and readiness to kill or

I could not find this axiom, attributed to Plato on a wall of the Imperial War Museum in London, as well as by George Santayana and General Douglas MacArthur, in any of Plato’s dialogues.

Quoted in Ferreira-Marques (2003).

Søren Kierkegaard, The Diary of a Seducer (Ithaca, NY: The Dragon Press, 1932), 157.

Notable dissenting voices that detect nothing redemptive in war have included Aristophanes, Voltaire, Tolstoi, and Remarque in literature, and Stanley Kubrick, among an increasing number of directors, in film. Joseph

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