Saturday, 19 August, 2017.

Over the past twenty years, the central activity of the Center for Women’s Studies has been its teaching program. The first, experimental course was held in the summer of 1992, in the basement of a building in Rige od Fere Street. Some of the issues raised and problematized in that course, such as the relation between the feminist movement and feminist (political) theory, ontological dualisms (sex/gender, nature/ culture, woman/man) or the key notions of feminist methodology and epistemology, have remained the basis of the teaching program to this day. In the course of two decades which followed, the teaching program was continually developing and evolving, but it has kept its main features: it has remained alternative, provocative, innovative and open to different opinions and viewpoints. More than 140 female and around 30 male lecturers held individual lectures or took part in over 130 courses, while over 40 lecturers from the region, and the broader international academic community participated in our Open Program.

Chronologically, but also thematically and structurally, the teaching program can be divided into two stages. In the first, during the 1990s, the program aimed to present to a wide audience the key terms of feminist theory, as well as the history of the local and global feminist movement, for the first time here. Through courses which dealt with gynocritical questioning of the literary canon, anthropology and sociology of sex/gender, or the status of women in family and in the labor market, attendants had the chance to familiarize with the notions of "other" and "difference". During that period, the program was markedly ideological, representing a space of resistance against the repressive regime and the ongoing wars.

During the second stage, which followed after the political changes in Serbia, the Center focused primarily on its main goal - to institutionalize Gender Studies and introduce it to the academia - which also reflected on the teaching program. The Core Course kept its basic structure consisting of four segments: Key ideas/key terms, Introduction to feminist epistemology and methodology, History of ideas and Contemporary theoretical problems in Gender Studies. The number of elective courses decreased, but many of them survived in a different form, mainly as electives within the university curriculum of Serbia’s reformed system of higher education. Many former attendants and Women’s Studies lecturers introduced a gendered approach to traditional subjects and university courses at the levels of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral studies.

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