Investigating the genesis of the prosecuted 'crimes' and implied sins of the female performing group Pussy Riot, the most famous Russian feminist collective to date, the essays in Transgressive Women in Modern Russian and East European Cultures: From the Bad to Blasphemous examine wha... t constitutes bad social and political behavior for women in Russia, Poland, and the Balkans, and how and to what effect female performers, activists, and fictional characters have indulged in such behavior. The chapters in this edited collection argue against the popular perceptions of Slavic cultures as overwhelmingly patriarchal and Slavic women as complicit in their own repression, contextualizing proto-feminist and feminist transgressive acts in these cultures. Each essay offers a close reading of the transgressive texts that women authored or in which they figured, showing how they navigated, targeted, and, in some cases, co-opted these obstacles in their bid for agency and power. Topics include studies of how female performers in Poland and Russia were licensed to be bad (for effective comedy and popular/box office appeal), analyses of how women in film and fiction dare sacrilegious behavior in their prescribed roles as daughters and mothers, and examples of feminist political subversion through social activism and performance art.
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