Everyday Creativity in (Post)Socialism: Theoretical and Methodological Scoping
Local cooperation partner: Univ.-Prof. Dr. habil. Libora Oates-Indruchova, PhD, Institute of Sociology
Junior Fellow: tba
Duration: January 2022 to June 2023
Conference: Exploratory Workshop (2-3 June 2022)
Feminist criticism of the masculine bias of the discourse and research on creativity goes back to Virginia Wolf’s A Room of One’s Own (1994), in which she famously proposed that individuals needed certain social and economic conditions, in order to express their creativity, and that these conditions rarely tended to be available to women. Linda Nochlin continued the argument in the fine arts, considering the structural barriers to women’s creativity in her response to the question ‘Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?’ (1971). Angela McRobbie (1991) was the first to point out the masculine bias of the research on subcultures in the Birmingham school of cultural studies. She observed that both Willis and Dirk Hebdige ‘draw on the notion that control and creativity are exercised from within subordinate class positions’ (McRobbie 1991, p. 18), omitting gender as another possible position.
The new millennium has been marked by efforts to redefine creativity in terms of gender and by addressing existing dichotomies in its conceptualisation, such as professional/everyday and public/private. Scholars in gender studies in particular have revisited the gendered definitions of creativity which often lead to the exclusion of activities in which women are typically engaged (Eisler and Montuori 2007, p. 480, Platt 2017, p. 362). New reconceptualizations argue that creativity ‘is present in the most mundane domestic practices, in work procedures and leisure activities’ (Edensor and Millington 2019, p. 38). This approach includes also charting new geographies of making (and connecting): making self and social relations, the making of place and politics, and the making of environmental relations (Hawkins and Price 2018), all of which have been important for gender scholars working on creativity.
Although some research on state-socialist and postsocialist environments has already been accomplished (e.g. Reid 2002), the is still thin on the ground. The aim of this project is to initiate a more systematic inquiry into everyday creativities in state socialism and postsocialism.