A chapter of the dissertation of Chiara Bonfiglioli (doctoral degree cum laude on September 14 at Utrecht University, NOG PhD student)  won the graduate essay prize given by the Association of Women in Slavic Studies.

The selection committee praised her work as original and well developed in terms of research and engagement with scholarship. The essay brings new insights to questions having to do with women’s political involvement in the establishment of the communist regimes in post-war Europe, as well as their role in international networks for women and for communist regimes and parties across the world.

The dissertation is explicitly comparative and transnational and brings new light to understanding how post-war communist movements developed in Europe and in particular what roles women played in that process. Conversely, the work offers a more nuanced understanding of women’s activism in the twentieth century, with sisterhood understood more explicitly as a complex set of issues, and the development of the women’s international activism as both empowering and limiting.

By choosing to focus on the time of the Tito-Stalin split, Bonfiglioli gives greater clarity to the implications of that event for women¹s organizations, as well as revealing the great strain this polarization brought to women’s efforts to find their own voice in the postwar communist organizations.

The award winner will be celebrated at the AWSS annual meeting and reception at the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies convention in Washington, DC, on Friday, November 16, 2012.