The 49th issue of journal "Letonica" (English edition) is published
The latest thematic issue of the English-language humanities journal "Letonica" is dedicated to women's contribution to Latvian culture and society, looking at it from the perspective of history, art history and literary studies. The issue is part of the Latvian Council of Science's fundamental research project "Women Agency in Latvian Culture and Society (1870-1940)" (No. Lzp-2020/1-0215), which aims to reflect on women's contributions through the prism of biographical research, thus achieving a deeper and more nuanced understanding of history.
The introduction and the nine scholarly articles in the issue focus on agency. Women are not only active, rational subjects who want autonomy and self-realisation, fighting against dominant norms and institutions that oppress them and systematically limit their possibilities, but they also accept these norms. This reveals the multifaceted, complex and contradictory features of women's agency, which cannot be imagined outside the established gender hierarchies and institutional and structural contexts since historically specific relations also condition the ability or inability to act.
Four articles examine women's involvement in education, public work, politics and diplomacy in the inter-war period. Zane Rozīte provides a perspective on women's academics as a new phenomenon in the Latvian academic environment, analysing aspects related to the process of study and recruitment of academically educated women at the University of Latvia. For example, the cases of Alīse Karlsone, Anna Ābele, Anna Bormane and others describe the attitudes of male colleagues and women's struggle for equality. Anastasija Smirnova focuses on aspects of social care work and the women who run social care institutions in Riga - Emīlija Tīdemane, Emma Gērķe and Eiženija Ārente. Eva Eglāja-Kristsone, on the other hand, looks at the Latvian Foreign Service through the lens of a typist, secretary, translator and ambassador's wife, using an autobiographical approach and the autobiographical material of three women from the Grosvald's family (Marija, Līna and Margarēta). Ineta Lipša highlights women politicians, especially Berta Pīpiņa and Milda Salnā, and the electoral tactics they used to gain popularity and get elected to the Saeima.
Five articles in the issue focus on women in writing, art and publishing. Baiba Vanaga looks at the contributions of Latvian Germans Rosalie Schoenflies, Bertha Noelting, Elly von Loudon and Susie Walter to the history of art and its promotion in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Rasa Pārpuce-Blauma provides an insight into the biography and works of the Riga-born publicist and writer Laura Marholm, examining the influence of Marholm's positions on the discourse of women's emancipation in the German-language press in Latvia. Māra Grudule's empirically rich research delves into the biographies and translations of translators Hanny Brentano, Elisabeth Goercke, Elfriede Eckardt-Skalberg and Marta von Dehn-Grubbe, examining the reasons that motivated each of the four translators to focus on the transfer of Latvian texts into the German-speaking environment, as well as analyses the translations and focuses on the reception of the translated texts. Providing an insight into the broader picture of Latvian women's travel accounts, Zita Kārkla analyses the travel accounts of Minna Freimane and Angelika Gailīte, asking how women constructed narratives of themselves as embodied travelling subjects. The history of women's publishing is represented by Signe Raudive's study, which analyses the different publishing strategies used by women publishers in the inter-war period in Latvia by looking at the work of Ilga Zvanītāja, Anna Grobiņa and Emīlija Benjamiņa.
Guest editors Eva Eglāja-Kristsone and Zita Kārkla. Editor-in-chief Jānis Oga. Editorial assistant Ivars Šteinbergs. Design by Tatjana Raičiņeca. Translator Terēze Svilane. Literary editors Terēze Svilane and Laine Kristberga. The issue of the journal is published with the financial support of the Fundamental Research of the Latvian Council of Science "Women Agency in Latvian Culture and Society (1870-1940)" (No Lzp-2020/1-0215) and the University of Latvia.
The printed version of the journal will soon be available in major Latvian bookstores, at the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art at the University of Latvia and the launch event on 20 June at 15.00 in the AsiaRes Reading Room on M floor of the National Library of Latvia, moderated by Ivars Šteinbergs and attended by the authors and contributors of the issue. The electronic version of the journal will be available on the ILFA website.
"Letonica" is an interdisciplinary scientific journal published since 1998. It is issued by the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia. The journal publishes articles in the humanities and social sciences that are original, previously unpublished research and based on scientific research. All articles published in the journal are anonymously peer-reviewed. The journal is indexed in Scopus, ERIH PLUS and EBSCO databases.
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