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Abstract Suzana Coha

(In)compatible with patriarchal borders of nation: status of female readers and authors in the Croatian National Revival

The inquiry summarized in this proposed paper deals with the constructions of the female identities in the first Croatian literary magazine Danica (1835-49) which was the most important public media in the Croatian National Revival. In the focus of this investigation are the not widely known but interpretatively very interesting articles which were addressed to women readers and written by women authors. The main goal of the investigation is to explore how the patriotic and patriarchal discourses of Danica used female readings and writings for their own purposes and how female readings and writings were involved in the building of the Croatian national identity.

Special attention will be dedicated to the poetry of Dragojla Jarnevi?, the most famous female Croatian writer of the first half of the 19th century. It will be shown that although she started with typical patriotic texts, she found a way to challenge the strong mechanisms of patriarchal control over the female reading and writing practices. Her subtle but significant denying of exclusively patriotic topics, which were necessarily determined by the masculine and patriarchal world view, can be read as expressing some kind of gender declaration (i.e. women’s emancipation).

AsK, October 2012

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