Special issue :Visual Representations of Femininities and Masculinities – The Balkans and South Caucasus in the Digital Age

The Balkans and South Caucasia (Eurasia Minor) consists of countries and regions that are considered by representative investigations on the country level as some of the last strongholds of patriarchy compared to the rest of Europe, Russia not included. Astonishingly enough, comparative studies of gender relations in Eurasia Minor are rare. My study attempts to shed some fresh light on the stagnant debate on the remarkable regression in gender equality in the region in the first two decades of post-socialism and in post-Kemalism. In doing so, I believe that discussing gender relations, femininities, and masculinities in the digital era is no longer feasible without including the wide and thriving field of digital visuality. My overall conclusion is that the period of re-traditionalization in the “wild 1990s” and not so wild 2000s was a temporal one and has started to fade out in the 2010s at the latest. The conflicting antagonism of porno-chic and veiling-chic is also in a phase of fading out; this is caused by, among other things, the powerful dynamics digital visuality offers to both camps.

Karl Kaser

Karl Kaser

Karl Kaser is a full professor of Southeastern European history and anthropology at the University of Graz, Austria, since 1996. His research focuses on historical-anthropological issues and encompasses topics such as the history of family, kinship, and clientelism, gender relations and historical visual cultures of the Balkans. His most recent monograph is: “Hollywood auf dem Balkan. Die visuelle Moderne an der europäischen Peripherie (1900–1970)” (2018). Currently he is working on the monographic book project “Conflicting Femininities and Masculinities in the Digital Age: Realia and Utopia in the Balkans and South Caucasus”. He has conducted numerous research projects. Currently, he is coordinator of the research and exchange project “Knowledge Exchange and Academic Cultures in the Humanities: Europe and the Black Sea Region, late 18th – 21st Centuries”, funded by the European Commission. The author is doctor h. c. of the Universities of Batumi (Georgia) and Blagoevgrad (Bulgaria), honorary professor of University of Shkodra (Albania), and honorary member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences (ZRC SAZU).


Southeastern Europe