Assist. Prof. Dr. Sanja Milutinović Bojanić

Center for Advanced Studies for Southeast Europe (CAS SEE), University of Rijeka

Curriculum Vitae

Sanja Bojanić studied Philosophy at the University of Belgrade and Women and Gender Studies as well as Hypermedia Studies at the University of Paris 8, where she subsequently received her PhD. Her studies led her to interdisciplinary research based on experimental artistic practices but also queer studies and particularities of the Affect Theory. She worked, inter alia, at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (Louvre, Paris), at the Nouvel Observateur (Paris) and at the Laboratory for Evaluation and Development of Digital Editing at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (Paris Nord, St. Denis). Starting from 2010, she mentored and supervised several field studies and projects on gender, education, family and poverty, patronized by the Swiss Agency for Higher Education and Regional Research Promotion Program, which is aimed at fostering and promoting social science research in the Western Balkans. In 2014, she and her team launched a project on building and strengthening Family-School Partnership in Serbia and Vojvodina financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Currently, Sanja Bojanić is Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Studies for Southeast Europe (CAS SEE) at the University of Rijeka. From , she was Fellow

Following a first research stay from April to July 2016 and August to November 2017 she was once again Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities “Law as Culture" from October to November 2019.

Research project(s)

"Affectivity at the Crossroads of Law and Culture: Emancipation and Misogyny – Possibly Two Sides of the Same Coin"

Politically and ideologically, last few years particularly in western democracies are not marked only with public voicing of the #metoo movement but also with the strong opposition to this form of empowering women in the society. After almost a century of tedious and consistent emancipation processes, culturally and in a certain way legally (especially in the USA and in certain parts of Europe), non-conservatives stakeholders are now facing open animosity and violent resistance to their politics and policies. Therefore, during my stay in Käte Hamburger Kolleg, I would like to begin my investigation with elements of rhetoric, but move quickly on to the voice. In order to approach the public voice of woman, the right to public voicing and expression of attitudes, thoughts, feelings, I would tackle a recurring premise of woman’s emancipation rhetoric. And not only to justify my title, my intention is to trace the negative phenomenon of misogyny, which is steadily present through history and especially in critical periods of value and argumentative epistemic cultural shifts. The question with which I broach the whole subject is whether it is possible to think emancipation and misogyny separately, and if so, under what conditions?

Affectivity and Marriage, 2nd Part: Affectivity at the crossroads of law and culture
I chapter: “Bourgeois marriage and its paradoxes”
II chapter: “Georg Simmel and Marianne Weber, dialogue on marriage”

The focal point of my project is to study firstly bourgeois modality of marriage and its paradoxes (specifically, the understanding of marriage and affectivity by Max Weber) followed by the conceptual but also affective framework of Marianne Weber’s and Georg Simmel’s attitudes towards the gender relations and more particularly the “marriage issue”.

Max and Marianne Weber defended bourgeois sexual morality from the standpoint of a Christian worldview that was anchored in the tradition of ascetic Protestantism. Sexual fidelity was for them a taken-for-granted ascetic ideal that binds the “beautiful moment” to the rule of the moral law, which determines the mutual responsibility of the partners “up to the pianissimo of old age,” as Marianne Weber noted almost at the end of her Ehefrau und Mutter in der Rechtsentwicklung (1907: 572). Max Weber, in contrast to Marianne, later changed his position in theory and practice toward a form of eroticism and sexual love that breaks the bonds of marriage and my intention would be to follow this development specifically applying the approach of affect theory. When it comes to gender differences they both argued that the “original” household was the very source of the patriarchal dominancy. Thus the expansion of the capitalist market provoked the decline of the traditional household and motivated progressive emancipation of women.

On the other side, there is nothing controversial or opaque in Simmel-Marianne Weber’s long-lasting friendship except one brief occasion on which Marianne Weber publicly commented Simmel’s essay “The relative and the absolute in the problem of the sexes” ([1911] 1984). Georg Simmel cordially thanked Weber for passing him her critical comments but also downplayed the contested points while stating that some questions seem to be different only because “two of them were observing the phenomena from distinct distances”. At least, this is what we can read in the Weber’s Lebensinnerungen published in 1948. Even though it is well known that Simmel analysed various “objectifications” of Western culture in gender terms delineating in paradigmatic fashion the vantage point from which it becomes meaningful to ask whether a genuine “female culture” is possible at all vis à vis a dominant “objective culture” that has been shaped by a “male principle”, something irresistibly mannish didn’t allow him to hear and read Marianne Weber’s other voice, or in the words of Simone de Beauvoir, voice of the “other”. By investigating many facets not only of their work but also of the context of the epoch and culture on a crucial question such as “marriage”, my aim is to juxtapose, compare and read in parallel settings their respective attitudes. Simmel’s purpose was to define the “culture” of women as distinct from men's, and to exalt its psychic unity, harmony, and transcendence over merely male categories and forms of existence. Thus, Weibliche Kultur meant not “female culture” so much as “woman's civilization”. Still, his effort to compare men's and women's Natur and Kultur represented a philosophical search for what men and women really are (their Natur) and how they create forms of social life that exist beyond individual being (Kultur). Therefore, according to him, woman's greatest cultural achievement ever was to create the household (1984: 92). Marianne Weber tried to challenge this view and probably politely ended her effort of objection him behind the closed doors of her salon.

Selected Publications

  • Documenting Sex and/or Gender, in: Rivista di Estetica, n. 57, 3/2014.
  • Gender and education (ed. with Tamara Trifunović and Gazela Pudar), Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, Center for Ethics, Law and Applied Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Belgrade 2014.
  • Mind the Gap(s): Family, Socialization and Gender (ed. with Tamara Petrović-Trifunović and Gazela Pudar Draško), Belgrade: IFDT 2014.
  • Corruption and Sex, the Case of Emma Bovary, in: Filozofija I Društvo 24 (1), 2013.
  • Montrer patte blanche and Experiencing the Margin(alization), in: Import – Export – Transport. Queer Theory, Queer Critique and Activism in Motion (ed. by Sushila Mesquita), Vienna: Zaglossus 2012.
  • Serbia at the Crossroads. Gender Inclusiveness in Higher Education: Real or just Wishful Thinking? (with Jelena Ćeriman and Gazela Pudar), in: From Gender Studies to Gender IN Studies. Case Studies on Gender-Inclusive Curriculum in Higher Education (ed. by Laura Grünberg), UNESCO-CEPES Studies in Higher Education, Bucharest: UNESCO Series 2011.