Book launch Zsofia Lorand’s The Feminist Challenge to the Socialist State in Yugoslavia

The Feminist Challenge to the Socialist State in Yugoslavia is an intellectual historical account of the story of the feminist critique of Yugoslavia in the 1970s and 1980s. Its focus is on the tension between the promise of women’s emancipation by state socialism and the unfulfilled equality through the lens of feminist intellectuals. Critical ideas of this unfulfilled promise stemmed from the productive encounter of discourses in the field of the social sciences, humanities, art and literary theory, as well as in art and literary practices, journalism and activism. Creatively writing across Marxism, the language of Yugoslav self-managing socialism, Marxist revisionism and a broad range of feminist thought, the Yugoslav feminists managed not only to bring to life a complex feminist language specifically targeting the reality of women in state socialist East Central Europe but also organised feminist activist groups and set up the first SOS helplines for victims of domestic and gender based violence. Their work became the backbone of anti-war organising after 1991. Zsófia Lóránd is an intellectual historian of feminism in post-WWII state-socialist Eastern Europe. Her book, The Feminist Challenge to the Socialist State in Yugoslavia was published in the Palgrave Macmillan series “Genders and Sexualities in History” in 2018. She got her PhD at the Central European University in Budapest and has held positions at the European University Institute in Florence and the Lichtenberg-Kolleg in Göttingen. Her further publications include articles about the history of feminist political thought in Croatia and Serbia after 1991, the problems of a missing women’s perspective in the nationalist commemorations of Hungarian history, the concept of the sexual revolution in Yugoslavia, among others. For 8 years, she worked as an SOS helpline volunteer and trainer in the field of domestic violence.