The Second Ukrainian Summer School on Gender Studies "Gender Studies: Feminist Methodology in Social Sciences" will take place in Foros (Crimea, Ukraine) from 1 June till 21 June 1998. The School will be held within the summer universities program of the Higher Education Support Program of the Open Society Institute (HESP, OSI). The School will be organized by the Kharkov Center of Gender Studies. This Center held the First Ukrainian Summer School on Gender Studies in Foros in May, 1997.
The main task of the School is the development of regional university programs on gender/ feminist studies and the improvement of qualification for teachers of gender courses at universities in countries of the former USSR and Eastern Europe. Foremost among the School's aims helping young teachers and researchers to develop new educational courses and scientific projects in different lines of gender/ feminist studies. The base of the School's curriculum comprises lectures (50 hours) and seminars (30 hours) on feminist theory, comparative feminism, philosophy of feminism, feminist cultural studies and the history of feminism.
Based on the School's objectives and its scientific orientation, we propose to focus attention on problems of the modern policies of identity/difference and the development of feminism in countries of the former USSR and Eastern Europe. As for methodology, the School utilizes an interdisciplinary analysis of the current feminist problems in the context of post-modernism and East-West relations. We attach a special importance to new lines of feminist theory, studies of the current processes of global change and feminist cultural studies.
We propose to discuss in the course of lectures and seminars, in particular, the following subjects:
By tradition, a number of presentations of educational and research programs, new books and periodicals on feminist problems will be held at the School.
1. School's Concept
The School is aimed at the development of feminist theory and feminist methodology in social sciences of countries of the former USSR and Eastern Europe.
The main difference of the School from other gender programs in countries of the former USSR is an emphasis on feminist methodology in social sciences. As is known, the methodology of gender studies proceeds from the principle of the symmetric constitution of the male and female in culture. This principle introduces the need for gender symmetry into social sciences. Unlike gender studies, feminist studies proceed from the principle of gender asymmetry and masculine domination in culture. Therefore the principles of the feminist methodology in social sciences are as follows: 1) criticism of masculine domination in social sciences; 2) development of women's identity and subjectivity in contradiction to men's; 3) discursive transformations of the social knowledge in the whole from the point of view of the feminist prospect. Feminist methodology, emphasizing gender inequality and dominance, is particularly effective in the post-Soviet social sciences when analyzing new forms of political, social and economic inequality in the post-communist countries. And this cannot be explained in terms of gender symmetry.
The Kharkov Center of Gender Studies attributes priority to feminist studies in its research and educational activity. This determines its place among other gender research centers of the C.I.S.
2. Structure of School's Lectures
The basic lecture course will be given at the School by leading experts in North-American feminism - Zillah Eisenstein (Ithaca College, USA), Nancy Mandell (Director of Feminist Research Center of York University, Canada), Shirley Samuels (Director of Program of Women's Studies of Cornell University, USA), Patricia Zimmermann (Ithaca College, USA).
The School's lecture cycle consists of three interconnected academic courses, each of which is given during a week period:
1. Western Feminist Theory in Social Sciences.
3. School's Educational Objectives.
Selection of the School's teachers and participants will be based on an open competition of applications.
The selection of applications is to be performed by the Selection Committee consisting of co-directors of the Kharkov Center of Gender Studies, Laboratory of Gender Studies of the Kharkov University and Gender Bureau of UN Development Program in Ukraine.
The resolutions of the Selection Committee are to be approved by the School Academic Council.
In order to participate in the School's work it is necessary to send the following documents to the School's organizational committee before 1 May, 1998: 1) Curriculum Vitae (in Russian, Ukrainian or English) and 2) project of educational or research program on gender studies. All applicants will be notified about the decision of the Selection Committee prior to 15 May, 1998.
5. Selection of School's Teachers
The selection of North-American teachers for participation in the School's work started in October 1997. Information related to the competition was spread: 1) through inter-university electronic communications; 2) through periodicals of publication of the Kharkov Center of Gender Studies; 3) through the bulletin of the Association of American Women-Slavists; 4) according to the dissemination lists of women's studies programs of US and Canadian universities.
Approximately 80 persons from USA and Canada took part in the competition, and 9 teachers (6 permanent and 3 visiting) were selected by the Selection Committee and approved by the Academic Council in February 1998.
It is planned that about 40 researchers and teachers will participate in the School's work. The School's official languages will be Ukrainian, Russian, English. The School's participants will be able to obtain the information package and materials for preparation of educational courses, as well as new Russian and Ukrainian literature, devoted to the problems of women, feminism and feminist theory. The organizers will cover all expenses related to meals, accommodation and travel of participants to Foros.
We hope that the Second Ukrainian Summer School on gender studies will be a new important step in the development of gender/feminist studies in our countries, thanks to new ideas and joint creative contribution of participants from the Eastern and Western countries. We also hope that the Foros School will make an important contribution to the process of restoration of cultural, information and creative ties, broken after the dissolution of the USSR, not only between Ukrainian and Russian researchers, but also between researchers of gender problems in the C.I.S. countries.
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Last updated: April 30, 1998
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