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Prof. Einstein served graduate students as a model of prudence in remaining unfashionably true to the grand…
Departmental Colloquium Series
Michaela Appeltova, “Embodied Socialism? Gendered Bodies and Medical Expertise across the Iron Curtain”
Monday, October 16th, 2023 at 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Blumer Room - 402 Social Sciences Building & Via Zoom
Abstract: This talk focuses on the key role of medical experts in changing ideas about gender and the body in Czechoslovakia in the aftermath of the political upheaval of the 1960s. The fashioning of one’s body and its cultivation, criticized as a bourgeois holdover in the Stalinist 1950s, came to be demanded from below and promoted from above as part of socialist lifestyle in the 1970s. Embedded in a transnational circulation of discourses and practices – bodily health, fitness as well as aesthetics - medical experts in socialist Czechoslovakia helped facilitate the emergence of new conceptions of femininity and masculinity, and increasingly promoted the link between the body and individual self-realization. As the talk shows, processes generally associated with the post-1989 transformations emerged already in the late socialist period.