Research Profile

Chiara Bonfiglioli

Biography

I am a Lecturer in Gender & Women’s Studies at University College Cork, where I also coordinate the one-year interdisciplinary Masters in Women’s Studies.

I hold a BA in Political Sciences from the University of Bologna, and an MA and PhD from the Graduate Gender Programme at the University of Utrecht. Between 2012 and 2014, I was a research fellow at the University of Edinburgh, within the framework of the CITSEE project (‘The Europeanisation of Citizenship in the Successor States of the Former Yugoslavia’). Between 2015 and 2017, I worked as a NEWFELPRO post-doctoral fellow within the Centre for Cultural and Historical Research of Socialism (CKPIS), University of Pula, Croatia. In 2016/2017, I was awarded an EURIAS Junior Fellowship at the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), Vienna.


In the course of my research I have been focusing on transnational women’s, gender and feminist history, adopting an intersectional approach in all my projects and combining archival research with qualitative methods. I also make use of photography and visual material in my research and teaching. 

Research Interests

My research focuses on women's, gender and feminist history from a transnational and intersectional perspective. Through in-depth archival research and oral history interviewing, I am attending to the specific historical, political and social relations that made women’s and feminist movements possible in a determinate place and time. In my work I have been intervening, notably, in recent discussion on women’s agency and subjectivity in state socialist or post-socialist settings. 

Transnational women's activism in the Cold War era 
My doctoral dissertation, titled Revolutionary Networks. Women's Political and Social Activism in Cold War Italy and Yugoslavia (1945-1957), aimed to counter the widespread assumption that early Cold War times were characterised by gender conservatism, and challenged the idea that socialist and communist activists were manipulated by their respective party leaders. Despite their lack of political autonomy, internationalist female leaders in Cold War Italy and Yugoslavia had a crucial role in the establishment of women’s new political, economic and social rights after 1945. The dissertation studied notably the Union of Italian Women (UDI), federating communist and socialist women, and the communist-led Antifascist Women’s Front of Yugoslavia (AFŽ), and their activities in relation to wider Cold War disputes such as the Italo-Yugoslav border settlement and the Soviet-Yugoslav split. Transnational connections established between East, West and the ‘Third World’ during the Cold War era remain a prominent research interest. Specifically, I have been exploring such connections through the personal archive of Vida Tomšić, a former partisan and socialist politician who had an important role in the framing of gender and development policies during the UN Decade for Women, in cooperation with women’s organizations in recently decolonised countries. I aim to write a monograph on this theme,  highlighting the role of women’s organisations and female leaders within the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Gender, labour and (de-) industrialisation in the Balkans
In parallel with my research on Cold War women’s and feminist activism, in the past five years I have been researching gender and labour history in socialist Yugoslavia and in post-socialist, post-Yugoslav states with a specific focus on women’s work in the garment industry. My forthcoming monograph, under contract with I.B. Tauris, is titled Women and Industry in the Balkans: The Rise and Fall of the Yugoslav Textile Sector. The book builds upon over 60 oral history interviews that I have been collecting in Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia with former and current workers in the garment industry, as well as on archive material, including photography. In socialist Yugoslavia, the textile and garment sector thrived, covering approximately 12% of total manufacturing. Textile factories functioned as socialist microcosms, providing workers with welfare services, leisure and housing. Working women received a variety of welfare services as part of the “working mother” gender contract. After the break-up of Yugoslavia and after the transition from market socialism to capitalism, however, privatisation and deindustrialisation deeply affected the textile sector, leading to multiple factory closures, precarious work and widespread unemployment across the region. My main thesis is that workers’ industrial structure of feeling developed during socialism – which was also profoundly gendered - lingers on in the post-socialist present and across the post-Yugoslav region, giving rise to demands for social justice and better welfare and labour conditions. 



Publications

Books

 YearPublication
(2019)Women and Industry in the Balkans: The Rise and Fall of the Yugoslav Textile Sector.
Chiara Bonfiglioli (2019) Women and Industry in the Balkans: The Rise and Fall of the Yugoslav Textile Sector. London: I.B. Tauris. [Details]

Book Chapters

 YearPublication
(2016)'AFŽ Activists’ Biographies: an Intersectional Reading of Women’s Agency'
Chiara Bonfiglioli (2016) 'AFŽ Activists’ Biographies: an Intersectional Reading of Women’s Agency' In: Andreja Duganđić and Tijana Okić (eds). The Lost Revolution: the Antifascist Women’s Front of Yugoslavia Between Myth and Oblivion [Izgubljena revolucija: AFŽ između mita i zaborava]. Sarajevo: Rosa Luxemburg Foundation/CRVENA. [Details]
(2016)'Cold War Gendered Imaginaries of Citizenship and Transnational Women’s Activism: The Case of the Movie Die Windrose (1957)'
Chiara Bonfiglioli (2016) 'Cold War Gendered Imaginaries of Citizenship and Transnational Women’s Activism: The Case of the Movie Die Windrose (1957)' In: Anne Epstein and Rachel G. Fuchs (eds). Gender and Citizenship in Historical and Transnational Perspective. London: Palgrave Macmillan. [Details]
(2016)'Nomadic Theory as an Epistemology for Transnational Feminist History'
Chiara Bonfiglioli (2016) 'Nomadic Theory as an Epistemology for Transnational Feminist History' In: Bolette Blagaard and Iris van der Tuin (eds). The Subject of Rosi Braidotti. London: Bloomsbury. [Details]
(2013)'Cold War Internationalisms, Nationalisms and the Yugoslav – Soviet Split: the Union of Italian Women and the Antifascist Women’s Front of Yugoslavia Before and After 1948'
Chiara Bonfiglioli (2013) 'Cold War Internationalisms, Nationalisms and the Yugoslav – Soviet Split: the Union of Italian Women and the Antifascist Women’s Front of Yugoslavia Before and After 1948' In: Francisca de Haan, Margaret Allen, June Purvis and Krassimira Daskalova (eds). Women’s Activism: Global Perspectives from the 1890s to the present. London: Routledge. [Details]

Edited Books

 YearPublication
(2017)Socialism: Construction and Deconstruction [Socijalizam: Izgradnja i razgradnja]
Chiara Bonfiglioli and Boris Koroman (Ed.). (2017) Socialism: Construction and Deconstruction [Socijalizam: Izgradnja i razgradnja] Zagreb/Pula: Srednja Europa/University of Pula. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

 YearPublication
(2018)'Feminist translations in a socialist context: the case of Yugoslavia'
Chiara Bonfiglioli (2018) 'Feminist translations in a socialist context: the case of Yugoslavia'. Gender & History, [Details]
(2016)'The first UN world conference on women (1975) as a cold war encounter: Recovering anti-imperialist, non-aligned and socialist genealogies'
Chiara Bonfiglioli (2016) 'The first UN world conference on women (1975) as a cold war encounter: Recovering anti-imperialist, non-aligned and socialist genealogies'. Filozofija i Društvo, 27 (3):521-541 [Details]
(2015)'Gendered citizenship in the global European periphery: Textile workers in post-Yugoslav states'
Chiara Bonfiglioli (2015) 'Gendered citizenship in the global European periphery: Textile workers in post-Yugoslav states'. Women's Studies International Forum (WSIF), 49 (March April):57-65 [Details]
(2014)'Red Girls’ Revolutionary Tales. Antifascist Women’s Autobiographies in Italy'
Chiara Bonfiglioli (2014) 'Red Girls’ Revolutionary Tales. Antifascist Women’s Autobiographies in Italy'. Feminist Review, 106 :60-77 [Details]
(2014)'Gender, labour and precarity in the South East European periphery: the case of textile workers in Štip'
Chiara Bonfiglioli (2014) 'Gender, labour and precarity in the South East European periphery: the case of textile workers in Štip'. Contemporary Southeastern Europe (CSE), 1 (2):7-23 [Details]
(2014)'Women’s Political and Social Activism in the Early Cold War Era: The Case of Yugoslavia'
Chiara Bonfiglioli (2014) 'Women’s Political and Social Activism in the Early Cold War Era: The Case of Yugoslavia'. Aspasia, 8 :1-25 [Details]

Electronic Article

 YearPublication
(2017)A Working Day that has no End: The Double Burden in Socialist Yugoslavia.
Chiara Bonfiglioli (2017) A Working Day that has no End: The Double Burden in Socialist Yugoslavia. Electronic Article   [Details]
(2016)Partizanke. Their dangerous legacy in the post-Yugoslav space.
Chiara Bonfiglioli (2016) Partizanke. Their dangerous legacy in the post-Yugoslav space. Electronic Article   [Details]
(2012)“An Age Fated to Vanish”: Vera Stein Erlich's anthropological records of interwar Yugoslavia.
Chiara Bonfiglioli (2012) “An Age Fated to Vanish”: Vera Stein Erlich's anthropological records of interwar Yugoslavia. Electronic Article   [Details]

Professional Activities

Education

 YearInstitutionQualificationSubject
2012University of Utrecht, Research Institute for History and Culture, Graduate Gender Programme PhDRevolutionary Networks. Women's Political and Social Activism in Cold War Italy and Yugoslavia (1945-1953)
2008University of Utrecht, Research Institute for History and Culture, Graduate Gender Programme Research MasterGender and Ethnicity
2005University of Bologna, Faculty of Political Sciences Bachelor degreeCultures and Human Rights

Employment

 EmployerPositionFrom / To
University College Cork Lecturer09-OCT-17 /
University of Pula Post-doctoral fellow01-FEB-15 / 30-OCT-17
University of Edinburgh Research fellow01-SEP-12 / 30-NOV-14
University of Utrecht AIO (Assistent in Opleiding)01-SEP-08 / 30-AUG-12

Honours and Awards

 YearTitleAwarding Body
2016EURIAS Junior Fellowship European Commission
2015Newfelpro post-doctoral grant Marie Curie FP7-PEOPLE-2011-COFUND
2013Rubicon post-doctoral fellowship Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
2012AWSS Graduate Essay Prize Association for Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS)
2012Premio Franca Pieroni Bortolotti Regional Council of Tuscany and Society of Italian Women Historians

Languages

 LanguageReadingWritingSpeaking
Italian FluentFluentFluent
Croatian FluentFluentFluent
French FluentFluentFluent
English FluentFluentFluent

Consultancy

 ClientDescription
Manchester University Press
Reader for book proposal in Balkan Studies

Outreach Activities

 Description

International conference Communists and Communist Parties: Policies, Actions and Debates, CKPIS, University of Pula, 28-30.9.2017 (co-organiser)

Workshop Researching Labour History in Post-socialist Contexts, IWM Vienna, 21.6.2017 (co-organiser)

International conference Socialism: Construction and Deconstruction, CKPIS, University of Pula, 1-3.10.2015 (co-organiser).

Journal Activities

 JournalRoleTo / From
East European Politics And Societies Referee-
Aspasia Referee-

Teaching Activities

Teaching Interests

At University College Cork, I am teaching several classes within the interdisciplinary MA in Women’s Studies, from research skills sessions to sessions covering various theoretical and methodological issues in women’s and gender studies. As the Coordinator of the programme, I am also in charge of designing and reviewing the Masters’ curricula in cooperation with the members of the Board of Women’s Studies and the Teaching Team.

Before joining UCC, I taught several guest-lectures on issues of gender history in the post-Yugoslav region at the University of Pula, the University of Rijeka, the Centre for Women’s Studies in Zagreb (Croatia), the University of Urbino (Italy), the University of Graz and the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (Austria) between 2015 and 2017. I was also a guest-lecturer within the Summer school on Language Gender and Sexuality - The Balkan Experience organized by the University of the Aegean (Greece) in 2013. In the course of my doctoral studies at Utrecht University, I also taught a course on Women, Welfare and Globalisation at Utrecht University (2011), as well as several guest-lectures on post-colonial and post-socialist feminism. 

I cover the following areas in my teaching:
  1. Research skills (academic writing, presentation skills, etc.)
  2. Methodologies in gender, women’s and feminist history  
  3. Qualitative methods and oral history
  4. Intersectionality as theory and methodology
  5. Transnational women’s activism
  6. Post-colonial and post-socialist feminisms
  7. Gender, labour and globalization
I would be interested in supervising MA or PhD dissertations in these areas of research, as well as in the field of gender history, labour history and Italian and (post-) Yugoslav history more generally.

Modules Taught

 Term (ID))TitleLinkSubject
2020Research Skills Part 1: Feminist Methodologies WS6007Research Skills Part 1: Feminist Methodologies
2020Directed Study in Women's Studies WS6006Directed Study in Women's Studies
2020Research Skills Part II: The Literature Review WS6008Research Skills Part II: The Literature Review
2020Dissertation in Women's Studies WS6004Dissertation in Women's Studies
2020Feminist Theory WS6002Feminist Theory
2020Gender and Society I: Contexts WS6003Gender and Society I: Contexts

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