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This article is available open access under a CC BY 4.0 license thanks to the generous support from a global network of libraries as part of the Knowledge Unlatched Select initiative. special forum The Little Entente of Women Transnational Feminist Networks and National Politics in Interwar Europe Maria Bucur, Katerina Dalakoura, Krassimira Daskalova, and Gabriela Dudeková Kovác ˇová ABSTRACT This Forum introduces an innovative topic: the short but rich story of the local network of Eastern European feminists, the Little Entente of Women (LEW), which so far has attracted little attention among historians working on the region. The four authors present their analysis through the prism of entangled history. The introduction contex- tualizes the creation and activities of the LEW by providing background information about the post-World War I period, the tensions and struggles between the revisionist and antirevisionist states, and the entanglements between feminist and national goals and between nationalism and internationalism among women’s movements and fem- inisms at the time. KEYWORDS: Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, feminism, Greece, Little Entente of Women, Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia The decade following World War I was transformative for Europe in many ways. Some empires (Russian, Habsburg, Ottoman) collapsed. Others (Great Britain, France) saw their stars rise again as “protectors” of non-European territories, in eff ect giving rise to a new stage of colonialism and rival hegemonies in the reconstructed map of the world. And new states came into being, with movements that challenged the es- tablished political order in those countries. Among the newly emerged or enlarged postimperial states in Europe, the political leaders of Czechoslovakia, the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (after 1929 termed Yugoslavia), and Romania came together in an antirevisionist alliance, the Little Entente (LE), under the auspices of France. Initially they focused on Hungary as a possible threat to the post-Versailles order, since after 1918, that country lost territories that it had historically claimed to Czechoslovakia (Slovakia), Romania (Transylvania and the Banat), and Yugoslavia (Slovenia and Croatia). Over the interwar period, the LE grew into a more complex aspasia Volume 16, 2022: 1–12 doi:10.3167/asp.2022.160102 2 MARIA BUCUR, KATERINA DALAKOURA, KRASSIMIRA DASKALOVA, AND GABRIELA DUDEKOVÁ KOVÁC ˇOVÁ system of cooperation among the signatories, with formal diplomatic and economic councils overseeing their activities. The work undertaken by the chief diplomats of these countries has been examined up to now as a boys’ club, understood as such without any analytical gender analysis of actions and conversations beyond the closed doors of formal diplomatic negotiation and collaboration. The LE has been described as a development of some signiﬁ cance in interwar diplomacy and evidence of these states’ desire to play a more forceful role in international aff airs and the League of Nations. Yet a parallel and more expansive transnational network formed by feminists from these and several other postimperial European countries, the Little Entente of Women (LEW), has garnered little attention among historians. The name of this network was articulated as a connection with the diplomatic antirevisionist orientation of the LE. The LEW promoted the idea that du- rable peace and regional stability could be achieved only with the involvement of both men and women. Another important diff erence between the LE and the LEW was that while the male organization did not bring Poland and Greece into the pact, these countries were part of the LEW from its very beginning. Some of the ﬁ rst documents of the LEW emphasized the combination of paciﬁ sm and feminist goals as unique, something atypical for Western women’s organizations at the time. The LEW represents an initiative with its own logic, aspirations, and format, relevant on its own terms as a contribution to diplomacy and feminism in interwar Europe. Research published in the Biographical Dictionary of Women’s Movements and Feminisms ﬁ rst brought to the attention of a transnational audience fragments of dis- covery about the women involved in the LEW and some of their actions on behalf of that network in the context of their mini-biographies. Some of the research on the LEW has remained in the form of unpublished or somewhat inaccessible work, such Illustration 1. Group photo from the ﬁ rst LEW conference in Bucharest (1923). Seated in front, L–R: C. Botez, A. Theodoropoulou, E. Purkyňová, J. Budzińska-Tylicka, A. Cantacuzino, L. Pet- ković, F. Plamínková, C. Cerkez. INTRODUCTION 3 as Roxana Cheșchebec’s excellent PhD thesis, “Feminist Ideologies and Activism in Romania (Approx. 1890s–1940s): Nationalism and Internationalism in Romanian Proj- ects for Women’s Emancipation.” This author brings into conversation the tensions that developed during this period among various feminist groups in Romania and connects these internal developments with the aspirations of some among their lead- ers for transnational networking and international recognition as leverage for internal demands. There are also authors writing in the languages of the region, such as Jas- mina Milanović, with the ability to reach a more limited audience. In addition, we have authored and shepherded into publication several essays that engage with the work of individuals and groups affi liated with the LEW. Isidora Grubački’s and Aslı Davaz’s recent publications are especially relevant for this introduction. Grubački’s theoretically well-informed research emphasizes the interconnected- ness of national and regional feminist actions in Eastern Europe, suggesting that the ambiguous character of the LEW is related to the “ideological divergences shared among LEW” liberal feminists who had “profoundly diff erent views regarding the social relations within the nation states.” These diff erences among the feminists par- ticipating in the LEW not only “transgressed” but also challenged their respective na- tion states from a feminist perspective. Davaz’s empirical ﬁ ndings, on the other hand, shed light on little-known activities among Southeastern European women within the framework of the ﬁ rst and second Balkan Conferences, held in Athens (1930) and Is- tanbul (1931) respectively. Finally, Marijana Kardum’s 2020 overview provides a use- ful summary of institutional developments, diff erences among member countries, and an assessment of the relationship between the LEW and feminist movements in these respective countries. The author concludes that “[r]ather than creating a sustainable single identity to connect women in and around LEW, the organization paid more at- tention to maintaining the territorial decisions of the peace treaties.” Our individual contributions in this Forum extend the ﬁ ndings of these scholars by delving deeper into both the internal and transnational dynamics that animated and frustrated the work of the LEW. We examine this network as a community in which ideas were exchanged, grew, and sometimes bore fruit concerning women’s political, economic, and civic rights; what “women” as a category meant socially and culturally, and which women could represent this category; nationalism and women; and involvement in politics, diplomacy, and transnational cooperation. These activi- ties can only be understood as entangled with better-known aspects of diplomacy; na- tional politics; transnational feminist networks, like the International Woman Suff rage Alliance/International Alliance of Women for Suff rage and Equal Citizenship (IWSA/ IAWSEC), the International Council of Women (ICW), and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF); international peace organizations (such as the League of Nations); and nationalism during the interwar period. The innovative approach that we bring to our analysis is inspired by “entangled history,” “histoire 10 11 12 croisée,” or “Verﬂ echtungsgeschichte.” As some older and more recent studies dealing with international women’s organizations have shown, “international” wom- en’s organizations were not only international; and “national” women’s activities were not segregated from the goals and agenda of transnational women’s organizations. As one fellow feminist historian emphasized, the national and international identities of 4 MARIA BUCUR, KATERINA DALAKOURA, KRASSIMIRA DASKALOVA, AND GABRIELA DUDEKOVÁ KOVÁC ˇOVÁ activists representing women from various national settings were “two sides of the same coin—rather than contradictory.” Apart from documents that concern the var- ious actions of women’s organizations, the biographical method and biographies of women activists off er especially helpful instruments to enhance researchers’ under- standing of these “two sides of the same coin.” Our approach is innovative from an- other point of view: this parallel and common research contributes to historiographies across Europe and beyond, shifting the marginalized position of the study of women’s activities to the center of political history, with the express goal of enriching dominant narratives. We off er our combined insights to suggest that the histories of diplomacy and national politics, women’s transnational networks, and nationalism in Europe during the interwar period can be better understood in their full complexity through explor- ing the activities of the LEW. The successes and failures of feminist movements in the countries we analyze are connected with these transnational networks. Our individ- ual contributions that follow this general introduction focus on speciﬁ c aspects of the LEW as a transnational network linked to national developments in Bulgaria, Czecho- slovakia, Greece, Romania, and Yugoslavia. The formal history of the LEW is still being uncovered, in part due to uneven archival records, and in part due to the scattering of these records across the member (and aspiring member) countries and their respective languages. The changing mem- bership of the organization has also made it somewhat diffi cult to verify that new for- mations meant both continuity and change in the actions of the initiators of the LEW. The four authors of this Forum have been working on identifying the relevant sources and placing them in a shared space that will allow for more connections and compar- isons. What we present below is based on this ongoing research and invites eff orts to further dig, uncover, connect, and compare. Our ﬁ ndings are thus both somewhat speculative and evolving. The LEW came into being at the ninth IWSA congress in Rome, 12–20 May 1923. The women who came together to form the LEW had their own transnational and na- tional agendas. The documents of this ﬁ rst meeting emphasized that the LEW shared the goals of the IWSA and aimed at working for full social, economic, civil, and po- litical rights of “the woman” while trying to overcome discord and clashes among its members. According to these documents, members of the LEW were all organi- zations present at the founding of the network: from Bulgaria, the Bulgarian branch of the International League for Peace and Freedom, Traen mir (Durable Peace); from Czechoslovakia, Výbor pro volební právo žen (Committee for Women’s Suf- frage) and Ústřední spolek českých žen (Central Association of Czech Women); from Greece, Syndesmos Ellinodon yper ton Dikaiomaton tis Gynaikos, or Syndesmos gia ta Dikaiomata tis Gynaikas after 1927 (League of Greek Women for Woman’s Rights/ League for Woman’s Rights); from Poland, Klub Polityczny Kobiet Postępowych (Progressive Women’s Political Club); from Romania, Consiliul Național al Femeilor Române (The National Council of Romanian Women, NCRW); and from the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, Drustva za prosveħivanie žene i zastitu nenih prava/ Ženski pokret (Union for Women’s Rights). Any other organizations from the above countries were to be represented through these founding organizations. INTRODUCTION 5 These organizations saw themselves as somewhat marginal newcomers to this network and understood that standing together as a feminist bloc would enable them to claim several interconnected beneﬁ ts: 1. Paciﬁ sm in the service of antirevisionism: for Poland, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Romania, and Yugoslavia, accepting the post-Versailles borders and the League of Nations meant trying to secure a peaceful coexistence among the people who lived inside their borders, a worthy if somewhat colonial aim; the Minority Treaties both helped frame how such coexistence could generally proceed and signaled to these feminists the tools for engaging with ethnic minorities who may have espoused revisionist ideas; 2. A transnational network that could act as a common platform for developing further inroads in the respective countries on behalf of women’s rights through joint and coordinated activity, guidance by the most advanced members of the network, international press coverage, the support of Western feminist asso- ciations, and activities that would render visible the important enhancements these feminist leaders could bring to their respective countries, understood pri- marily as national unitary states; and 3. A position of leadership or hegemony in their respective internal feminist orga- nizations on the part of the association or the women who headed the delega- tions of LEW member states. In regard to the latter, this was especially the case with Alexandrina Cantacuzino, who became the ﬁ rst President of the LEW. While these goals each had their institutional, political, and sociocultural speci- ﬁ city, they were also interconnected. Thus, it is impossible to understand how they functioned without thinking of them as entangled—mutually reinforcing, moving in more than one direction, and imbricated with various internal and transnational power structures at the same time. The complexity of these entanglements is also an element of vulnerability: it appears that in some cases, proving their worth to external parties (such as the leadership of the IWSA) could land these feminist leaders in hot water with male politicians when the latter insisted on seeing the LEW as an unoffi - cial, and therefore illegitimate, competitor with the professional diplomatic circles of a particular state. Within this context and pursuing its complex and changing goals, the LEW en- gaged in recurrent public performances such as conferences, publications, speeches, and exhibitions. Conferences represented its annual central activity, lasting several days and including many activities to monitor progress on women’s issues in the member countries. The new organization held conferences in Bucharest (1–6 Novem- 18 19 20 ber 1923), Belgrade (29 October–4 November 1924), Athens (6–13 December 1925), 21 22 Prague (31 May–3 June 1927), and Warsaw (25–28 June 1929). The LEW was envisioned as a transnational network of partners, and as such, the presidency of the organization changed annually by design, with the country where the presidency resided tasked with hosting the next conference. Among the leaders of the LEW were several activists from the Balkan countries: the Romanian Alexan- 23 24 drina Cantacuzino (1923–1924), the Serbian Leposava Petković (1924–1925), and the 6 MARIA BUCUR, KATERINA DALAKOURA, KRASSIMIRA DASKALOVA, AND GABRIELA DUDEKOVÁ KOVÁC ˇOVÁ Greek Avra Theodoropoulou (1925–1927). Two women’s activists from East Central European countries—the Czech feminist Františka Plamínková (1927–1929) and the Polish activist Dr. Justyna Budzińska-Tylicka (1929)—also served as presidents of the LEW. This way, the burden of seeking appropriate support (meeting space, exhibition space, offi cial guests, and any additional events like receptions and meetings with the press) would fall predictably and equitably on each of the members. The network divided the work to be done in researching the current conditions of women in the respective countries. This labor was collaborative and cumulative in form, though the impact of the research and proposals depended a great deal on the audience that heard and read the reports about economic inequality, civic inequality, lack of access to ser- vices for working women, and political discrimination on the basis of gender. Our individual contributions explore the extent to which the national organiza- tions from member countries saw themselves as representatives of various feminist groups and categories of women in their states. In the case of Czechoslovakia, for instance, there were tensions between the leading ﬁ gures within the LEW network. Internal documents reveal an explicit anti-German stance with regard to the ethnic minorities in that country, speciﬁ cally their role in the representation of women from Czechoslovakia on the international level. In Romania, leftist feminist groups and personalities, like Soﬁ a Nădejde, were not invited to participate in discussions about changes in policies with regard to working-class women. Meanwhile, Greek and Bul- garian feminist organizations, despite their diff ering political associations, collabo- rated to a certain extent, sharing a largely common agenda. As our research proceeds, we hope to further test the extent to which diverse ideological and ethnic interests present in each country also became articulated through the positions presented by that country’s LEW representatives. The activities of the LEW stretched from its initial moment of formation in 1923 into the 1930s. As early as 1923 there was a conﬂ ict over the idea of retaining Bulgarian member organizations as a means to encourage paciﬁ sm across the revisionist versus antirevisionist diplomatic camps in Europe. By 1930, the network’s activities became less regular; the annual large conferences that had started in 1923 and continued un- til 1929 were discontinued. Tensions among members on the basis of the initial anti- revisionist stance and in view of actual diplomatic-political tensions in the Balkans and further north in Eastern Europe weakened transnational paciﬁ st activism, espe- cially where LEW members were still by and large second-class, non-voting citizens of their countries, as was the case for most women in Romania, Yugoslavia, and Greece. New attempts to maintain a network of interests among some LEW members yielded several results. In 1929, a Union of Slavic Women came into being on the initia- tive of Czech women. It included three LEW members (Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia), together with non-member Bulgaria and inclusive of Russian émigrés. Romanian and Greek LEW members, together with other Balkan feminist associations, embraced a male political initiative, pursuing a multilevel collaboration among Bal- kan states. This initiative resulted in the establishment of the Balkan Entente in 1934, which included Greece, Yugoslavia, Romania, and Turkey. After the 1933 restoration, LEW activities continued but membership was limited only to the countries form- INTRODUCTION 7 ing the political Little Entente. By the mid-1930s, with European peace increasingly unstable, the LEW found itself in the crosshairs of aggressive Nazi expansionism and changing defensive alliances of states, together with rising fascism and aggressive ex- clusionary nationalism. The network folded under the weight of these developments, which women, as non-voting citizens in most of these countries, simply could not undo. The four contributions that follow focus on various aspects of this complicated story. Krassimira Daskalova examines how Bulgaria’s membership of the LEW be- came a bone of contention among other members. The author presents both the varied perspectives of Bulgarian feminists and the divergent positions that Romanian and Serbian leaders took. Daskalova follows the attempts to revive the network in the 1930s through eff orts by Yugoslav and Bulgarian feminists to ﬁ nd common ground around a possible Balkan network. An important aspect of these eff orts was the continued in- sistence among some leaders that there was room for alliances between antirevisionist states (Romania, Greece, Yugoslavia) and revisionist states (especially Bulgaria). The LEW is shown to have been a network that generated a spirit of reconciliation and not just antirevisionist anxiety, as seen in the LE. Katerina Dalakoura’s article focuses more directly on the question of the politi- cal objectives of the LEW’s establishment and activities; and the ways in which LEW members understood themselves to be political subjects in terms of the ideas that con- nected the network, their speciﬁ c aspirations, and the type of activities they under- took. Focusing on both transnational aspects of the LEW and international diplomacy in the region, as well as speciﬁ cally on the ways in which Greek feminists understood and worked on their goals, the author shows how transnational conversations became entangled with proposals for speciﬁ c national policies. Dalakoura suggests that Greek feminists worked strategically across ideological and organizational diff erences with some success, while being in line with the Greek state’s foreign policy on the Balkans, and their shifts adapted to the international diplomacy of the time. The latter is re- ﬂ ected in Greek feminists’ increasing interest in the Balkan Conferences (1930–1934) and their declining activity within the LEW after 1928. The article raises the following question, calling for a comparative exploration of the issue: In the context of the ex- isting contacts and support of Greek governments and political ﬁ gures of the time for Greek feminists, to what extent were the political interventions of the Greek members of the LEW “independent”? In other words, did Greek feminist organizations and, by extension, other LEW members have their own political agenda, which was in line with the goals of Greek foreign policy, or did they just faithfully follow and serve these goals? Gabriela Dudeková Kováčová presents a case study focused on the internal ten- sions inside the Czechoslovak section and the impact of those conﬂ icts on the de- velopment of the network. In Dudeková Kováčová’s analysis, LEW antirevisionism brought about its undoing and its reorganization in 1930s. An important aspect of this case study is the outsized role that Františka Plamínková (seen as a “progressive liberal feminist”) played in the LEW and the ways in which she and Eliška Purkyňová (representing the more conservative and Pan-Slavic strand) fought for dominance in the network. As a country that presented as lived reality the goals that many other LEW members aspired to, especially in the area of voting rights, Czechoslovakia can 8 MARIA BUCUR, KATERINA DALAKOURA, KRASSIMIRA DASKALOVA, AND GABRIELA DUDEKOVÁ KOVÁC ˇOVÁ be seen as a role model in the network. The Czechoslovak member organizations were also a bridge with various transnational organizations, given the political experience of many among their leaders, as activists and organizers, from before World War I. The level of support among the male leadership of the country was unique among member countries. The support of these male politicians off ered a concrete example for other members of the LEW of how feminist ideas could ﬁ nd strong allies among the political class in their respective countries. Finally, Maria Bucur’s contribution focuses more closely on issues of discourse and the eff orts to develop a common vocabulary among representatives of the mem- ber countries. She examines closely speeches given at the ﬁ rst LEW conference, held in Bucharest in 1923, and the subsequent discussions in Belgrade in 1924 to identify common points of interest and illuminate the use of speciﬁ c terminologies as a means to signal similarities and alliances that paralleled the antirevisionist agenda of the LEW. The racialized language in these speeches stands out as a signal that paciﬁ cism and antirevisionism had a hard edge of exclusivism from the beginnings of this net- work. Bucur points toward the elision of references to minoritized women and the exclusion of minoritized women’s organizations from the network to show the pro- nounced ethno-exclusivist core of the work done in the LEW. Both positive expres- sions of “national culture”—as seen in an exhibit of women’s work as artisans—as well as negative expressions—as seen in what was not present in those exhibitions, such as minoritized women’s work and lower-class women’s actual socioeconomic conditions—point toward the speciﬁ c understanding that LEW members had about the work of representing women. In the end, Bucur ﬁ nds that the activities of the LEW were largely performative and not necessarily impactful on the lives of most women who lived in the member countries. These four contributions bring sometimes overlapping and sometimes diverging interpretations to the actions of the LEW. They provide varied perspectives on the de- velopment of feminist ideas, activism, conﬂ icts, and alliances that help us better tease out how politics changed in Europe after World War I. They show how these activities were imbricated with the development of the new international order inaugurated by the League of Nations, where women could for the ﬁ rst time articulate their spe- ciﬁ c interests as citizens of their states. They demonstrate the importance of feminist movements for the changes that not only women, but entire societies experienced in postimperial states in Europe. They call into question the lack of interest that histori- ans of nationalism and interwar politics have shown in the question of how women were both objects and agents of change in the development of nationalist discourse and political action during the interwar period. And they call out to other scholars for further research on these entanglements of feminist activism across Europe. Acknowledgments This Forum is the result of research conducted as part of the project “Feminisms and Politics in the Interwar Balkans (1923–1939)” (Project Number: 3050), supported by the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (HFRI) under the “2nd Call for HFRI Research Projects to support Faculty Members and Researchers.” p INTRODUCTION 9 Notes 1. In his new synthesis of Eastern Europe during the modern period, John Connelly de- scribes the LE as an anti-Hungarian eff ort by the three member countries but has nothing to say about the LEW. John Connelly, From Peoples into Nations: A History of Eastern Europe (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2020), 364. In fact, he has nothing to say about the contribution of feminists to nationalism, transnational networks, or advancing women’s rights. For Con- nelly, it is a topic of no interest and apparently no relevance for understanding this region. 2. Mentioned in Roxana Cheșchebec, “Feminist Ideologies and Activism in Romania (Approx. 1890s–1940s): Nationalism and Internationalism in Romanian Projects for Women’s Emancipation” (PhD thesis, History Department, Central European University, 2005), 521. 3. Francisca de Haan, Krassimira Daskalova, and Anna Loutﬁ , eds., A Biographical Dictio- th th nary of Women’s Movements and Feminisms: Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe, 19 –20 Centuries (Budapest: CEU Press, 2006), 80–84, 90–94, 436–440, 569–574. 4. Cheșchebec, “Feminist Ideologies.” Due to the embargo on dissertations from Central European University (CEU), the only way to access this work is from the author or by visiting the library at CEU. 5. Jasmina Milanović, “Regionalna ženska udruženja—Mala Antanta žena i jedinstvo slov- enskih žena” [Regional women’s associations—Little Entente of Women and the unity of Slavic women], in Jugoslavija i Poljska u XX veku: Međunarodni tematski zbornik radova sa konferencije Jugoslovensko- poljski odnosi u XX veku [Yugoslavia and Poland in the twentieth century: Proceedings of the international conference dedicated to Yugoslav–Polish relations during the twentieth century] (Belgrade: Institut za savremenu istoriju, Institut za istoriju i međunarodne odnose, Društvo istoričara Srbije “Stojan Novaković,” 2017), 19–40; Cristina Păiuşan-Nuică, “Mica Antantă a Femeilor” [The Little Entente of Women], Bucureştii Vechi şi Noi, 21 October 2011, http://www. bucurestiivechisinoi.ro/2011/10/mica-antanta-a-femeilor/; Ksenija Atanasijević and Ljiljana Vuletić, “Izveštaj sa Treće konferencije male Antante Žena, održane od sedmog do trinaestog decembra 1925, g. u Atini” [Report on the third conference of the Little Entente of Women, held from the seventh to the thirteenth of December 1925, in Athens], in Etika feminizma [Feminist ethics] (Belgrade: Helsinški odbor za ljudska prava u Srbiji, 2008), 64–70. 6. Krassimira Daskalova, “Women in the Balkans, 19th—20th C.,” in Oxford Encyclopaedia of Women’s and Gender History, vol. 1, ed. Bonnie Smith (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 185–195; Krassimira Daskalova, “Little Entente of Women/Malkata Zhenska Antanta i femi- nistkite dvizhenia na Balkanite prez 20-te i 30-te godini na XX vek” [Little Entente of Women and the feminist movements in the Balkans during the 1920s and 1930s], Sotsiologicheski prob- lemi [Sociological problems] 2 (2018), 675–695; Krassimira Daskalova and Susan Zimmermann, “Gender History,” in A Routledge History of East Central Europe, ed. Irina Livezeanu and Arpad von Klimo (London: Routledge, 2017), 278–322; Krassimira Daskalova, Zheni, pol i modernizatsia v Bulgaria, 1878–1944 [Women, gender and modernization in Bulgaria, 1878–1944] (Soﬁ a: Soﬁ a University Press, 2012). 7. Isidora Grubački, “The Emergence of the Yugoslav Interwar Liberal Feminist Movement and the Little Entente of Women: An Entangled History Approach,” Feminist Encounters: A Journal of Critical Studies in Culture and Politics 4, no. 2 (2020), 27, https://doi.org/10.20897/ femenc/8515. The entanglements of the Balkan women’s movements, the LEW, and women ac- tivists’ participation in the Balkan Conferences during the 1930s are the focus of Aslı Davaz, “An Annotated Archive of Entangled European Feminist History: The Union of Turkish Women, the Second Balkan Conference and Cécile Brunschvicg’s Visit to Balkan Feminists (1923–1935),” Feminist Encounters: A Journal of Critical Studies in Culture and Politics 4, no. 2 (2020), 28, https:// doi.org/10.20897/femenc/8516. p 10 MARIA BUCUR, KATERINA DALAKOURA, KRASSIMIRA DASKALOVA, AND GABRIELA DUDEKOVÁ KOVÁC ˇOVÁ 8. Grubački, “The Emergence,” 2, 3. 9. Marijana Kardum, “Interwar Women’s Movements from the Little Entente to National- ism,” in The Routledge Handbook of Balkan and Southeast European History, ed. John R. Lampe and Ulf Brunnbauer (London: Routledge, 2020), 223–230, 30. 10. There are already four volumes dedicated to the “entangled history” of the Balkans, published by Brill. Yet they do not engage in any gender analysis. Our contribution is in part methodological, to add this dimension to historians’ understanding of transnational phenom- ena in the interwar period. See Roumen Daskalov et al., eds., Entangled Histories of the Balkans, vols. 1–4 (Leiden: Brill, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017). 11. Leila Rupp, Worlds of Women. The Making of an International Women’s Movement (Prince- ton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997). 12. Susan Zimmermann, “The Challenge of Multinational Empire for the International Women’s Movement: The Habsburg Monarchy and the Development of the Feminist Inter/Na- tional Politics,” Journal of Women’s History 17 (2005), 87–117; and Glenda Sluga, Internationalism in the Age of Nationalism (Philadelphia, PA: De Gruyter, 2013). 13. Francisca de Haan, “Writing Inter/Transnational History: The Case of Women’s Move- ments and Feminisms,” in Internationale Geschichte in Theorie und Praxis? International History in Theory and Practice. Sonderdruck, ed. Barbara Haider-Wilson, William D. Godsey, and Wolfgang Mueller (Vienna: Verlag der Oesterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaftten, 2017), 501–536. 14. On the recent developments in the entangled history approach to women’s movements and feminisms (in Eastern Europe and the Balkans as well), see Krassimira Daskalova’s inter- view with Francisca de Haan, “Entangled Histories of Women’s Movements and Feminisms: An Interview with Francisca de Haan,” Feminist Encounters: A Journal of Critical Studies in Cul- ture and Politics, 4, no. 2 (2020), 30, https://doi.org/10.20897/femenc/8518. 15. D. I-va, Malka zhenska antanta [Little Entente of Women], Zhenski glas [Women’s voice] 20, nos. 19–20 (15 July 1923), 3–4; Bukureshtkiat congress na Malkata zhenska antanta [Bucha- rest congress of the Little Entente of Women], Zhenski glas 21, nos. 3–4 (15 November 1923), 8. 16. In 1919 the International Women’s Committee “Durable Peace” (IWCDP) was renamed the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). 17. D. I-va, “Malka zhenska antanta,” 3; Milanović, “Regionalna ženska udruženja,” 19–40. 18. Avra Theodoropoulou, “To A’ Synedrio tis Mikris Antant ton Gynaikon” [The ﬁ rst LEW conference], O Agonas tis Gynaikas [Woman’s struggle] 1, no. 5 (1923), 2; “Le Congrès de la Petite Entente Feministe” [The congress of the feminist Little Entente], O Agonas tis Gynaikas 1, no. 5 (1923), 2; “Bukureshtkiat kongres na Malkata Zhenska Antanta” [The Bucharest congress of the Little Entente of Women], Zhenski glas 21, nos. 3–4 (15 November 1923), 8. It should be noted here that conference dates sometimes diff er in the sources. The dates more likely to be accurate are those based either on conference programs or on ﬁ rsthand accounts of participants in the conferences. These dates are presented in the text. 19. “To B’ Synedrio tis Mikis Antant ton Gynaikon” [The second LEW conference], O Ag- onas tis Gynaikas 2, no. 14 (1924), 2; “To Erchomeno Synedrio tis Mikris Antant ton Gynaikon” [The forthcoming LEW conference], O Agonas tis Gynaikas 2, no. 13 (1924), 8. 20. “To G’ Synedrio tis Mikris Antant ton Gynaikon” [The third LEW conference], O Agonas tis Gynaikas 3, no 25 (1925), 14, and no. 26 (1925), 1; “To Programma tou G’ Synedrioy tis MAG” [The program of the third LEW conference], O Agonas tis Gynaikas 3, no. 26 (1925), 2; “To G’ Synedrio tis MAG, 6–13 Decemvriou 1925. Ergasies kai Apofaseis” [The third LEW conference, 6–13 December 1925. Work and conference decisions], O Agon tis Gynaikas 3, nos. 27–28 (1926), 2–3. 21. Maria Svolou, “To D’ Synedrio tis MAG” [The fourth LEW conference], O Agonas tis Gynaikas 4, nos. 46–47 (1927), 2; “Apo tis Ergasies tou Synedriou” [Report from the work of INTRODUCTION 11 the conference], O Agon tis Gynaikas 4, nos. 46–47 (1927), 12; Milena Atanatsković, “IV Konfer- encija Male Ženske Antante” [IV conference of the Little Entente of Women], Ženski pokret 10 (15 June 1927), 1–2; “Program rada Male Ženske Antante” [The programme of the Little Entente of Women], Ženski pokret 11 (15 July 1927), 1–2; Angela Vode, “Za vreme konferencije Male Ženske Antante u Pragu” [About the conference of the Little Entente of Women in Prague], Ženski pokret 11 (15 July 1927), 2; “Priznanie rada Male Ženske Antante” [A recognition of the Little Entente of Women], Ženski pokret 16 (15 September 1927), 1–2. 22. “To E’ Synedrion tis MAG sti Barsovia 25–28 Iouniou 1929” [The ﬁ fth LEW conference in Warsaw, 25–28 June 1929], O Agonas tis Gynaikas 5, no. 101 (1929), 3–5; Cheșchebec, “Feminist Ideologies,” 510. 23. Alexandrina Cantacuzino (1876–1944), one of the most inﬂ uential leaders of the Ro- manian women’s movement; President of Societatea Ortodoxă Naţională a Femeilor Române (National Orthodox Society of Romanian Women) (1918–1938); Vice President (from 1921) of NCRW and after 1930 its sole president; cofounder and ﬁ rst president (1923–1924) of the LEW; member of the offi cial delegation of Romania to the League of Nations (1929–1938); Vice Pres- ident of the ICW (1925–1936) and convener of the ICW Art Committee (from 1936); President of the Romanian feminist organizations Solidaritatea (Solidarity) (from 1925) and Gruparea Fe- meilor Române (Association of Romanian Women) (from 1929). Roxana Cheșchebec, “Princess Alexandrina Cantacuzino,” in De Haan et al., A Biographical Dictionary, 89–94. 24. Leposava Petković (1875–1952), Serbian activist and member of a number of national and international feminist organizations; one of the founders of Drustva za prosveħivanie žene i zastitu nenih prava (est. 1919)/Ženski pokret (after 1920) (Union for Women’s Rights); elected on 3 November 1924 a president of the LEW at its Belgrade congress (until 1925); leader (1926– 1941) of the Narodnog Ženskog Saveza Kralejevine SHS/Yugoslavenski ženski savez (National Women’s Union of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenians/Yugoslav Women’s Union); Vice President of ICW and principal organizer of its congress in Dubrovnik (1936); participant in many of the international meetings of the IWSA and ICW, in Rome (1923), Paris (1926), and Edinburgh (1938). Jasmina Milanović, “Leposava Petković,” in Biografski rečnik Matice srpske [Biographical dictionary of “Matica Srpska”] (Belgrade, forthcoming). “Matica Srpska” is the oldest Serbian literary, cultural, and scientiﬁ c society, founded in 1826. We would like to thank Ivana Pantelić for sharing Milanović’s research on Leposava Petković. 25. Avra Theodoropoulou (1880–1963), a leading ﬁ gure of the Greek feminist movement; founder (1920) and President (1921–1936 and 1944–1958) of the Syndesmos gia ta Dikaiomata tis Gynaikas (League for Woman’s Rights), affi liated with IWSA; board member (1923–1935) of the IWSA and of its successor, the International Alliance of Women for Suff rage and Equal Citizenship (IAWSEC); leading activist in the LEW and its president (1925–1927); President of the Panelladiki Omospondia Gynaikon (Panhellenic Women’s Federation) (1946–1947); musi- cologist and music critic; feminist writer; author of stage plays and short stories. See Aleka Boutzouvi, “Avra Theodoropoulou,” in De Haan et al., A Biographical Dictionary, 569–574. 26. Františka Plamínková (1875–1942), a Czech teacher and leading feminist, founder (1923) and Chairwoman of the Czechoslovak Ženská národní rada (National Council of Women) and member of the Senate of the Czechoslovak National Assembly; Vice President of the Interna- tional Alliance of Women for Suff rage and Equal Citizenship (IAWSEC) (1926–1939?) and ICW (1925–1939?). Plamínková was also actively involved in the International Federation of Busi- ness and Professional Women, the Open Door International (an organization aimed at “the eco- nomic emancipation of the woman worker”), and (as representative of the Výbor pro volební právo žen [Committee for Women’s Suff rage]) in the LEW (from 1908). Plamínková partici- pated in LEW meetings in Bucharest (1923), Belgrade (1924), and Prague (1927). She was also in- volved in the Czechoslovak branch of WILPF. See Soňa Hendrychová, “Františka Plamínková,” 12 MARIA BUCUR, KATERINA DALAKOURA, KRASSIMIRA DASKALOVA, AND GABRIELA DUDEKOVÁ KOVÁC ˇOVÁ in De Haan et al., A Biographical Dictionary, 436–440; see also the article by Gabriela Dudeková Kováčová in this Forum. 27. Justyna Budzińska-Tylicka (1867–1936), one of the founders of the Klub Polityczny Kobiet Postępowych (KPKP, Progressive Women’s Political Club) in 1919, aimed at training women in Poland to exercise their voting rights (women had been granted the vote in 1918). The KPKP extended its activity abroad, cooperating with IWSA. At the 1923 IWSA congress in Rome, as President of the KPKP, Justyna Budzińska-Tylicka, together with the Romanian Princess Alexandrina Cantacuzino, put forward a proposal to establish the LEW. At the fourth LEW congress (Prague, 1927), Budzińska-Tylicka became President of the LEW; the seat of its Central Bureau moved to Warsaw and its last congress was held there. Katarzyna Sierakowska, “Justyna Budzińska-Tylicka,” in De Haan et al., A Biographical Dictionary, 80–84. 28. One element absent from the network’s activities was mutual ﬁ nancial support or any budgetary elements of collective fundraising or support for any speciﬁ c costs associated with these activities. In this regard, the network was unlike most other contemporary transnational feminist organizations in Europe. 29. Grubački, “The Emergence.”
Aspasia – Berghahn Books
Published: Jun 1, 2022
Keywords: Bulgaria; Czechoslovakia; feminism; Greece; Little Entente of Women; Poland; Romania; Yugoslavia
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