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2-2006 / Studie a eseje / Jitka Komendová

The Women of Medieval Rus

The Possibilities and Limits of Russian Gender History

Jitka Komendová

Jitka Komendová (*1976), působí na Katedře slavistiky a Katedře historie Filozofické fakulty Univerzity Palackého , jitka.komendova@seznam.cz       Other contributions by the same author

The article is concerned with one of the current directions in Russian historiography – gender history, and specifically gender history as applied to medieval Rus. The source base for research into gender aspects of society in Rus up to the 15th century has a specific character and is far less extensive and diverse than material from the Catholic part of Europe, which means that many problems that are engaging the interest of western historiography are essentially insoluble when it comes to Rus. Although there is intense discussion of gender history among Russian academics, as among their western counterparts, research has tended to be confined to the history of women (women's history, istorichesaya feminologiya). The excessive isolation of research on women's themes is manifest not only in relation to their male opposite pole, but in a certain separation from other research of the history of medieval Rus. Russian gender history is for the moment excessively orientated to the diachronnic aspect and studies individual isolated themes over very long time periods, sometimes even millennia. One of the main task of current gender-orientated medieval studies is therefore to pay greater attention to synchronic aspects, i.e. to the integration of gender themes into the image of a specific epoch with all its distinctive cultural and social features and mental climate.

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