Dr. Elizabeth Jones Hemenway

Women's Studies & Gender Studies Program, Loyola University Chicago

Title and Précis:

Gender, Faith, and Film: Viewing Post-Socialist Societies with a Catholic Lens

     This project will use Eastern European film as a medium through which to view the fundamental social and political changes in the post-1989 era. The project will explore how film depicts the sacred in everyday life, the manifestation of the divine in human action, and the need for community as a means to salvation. Attention will be paid to questions of faith and organized religion in order to understand how these may contribute to the building of new national communities. The research will be organized by the following thematic categories: the crisis of identity in post-communist nations, the reorganization of everyday life, and the construction of an ethic of democracy. A comparative analysis will be done while studying the films in order to understand the complex moral, ethical, and ultimately political dilemmas which are represented.


     Betsy Jones Hemenway is Senior Lecturer in History and Director of the Women's Studies/Gender Studies program at Loyola University Chicago.  Before arriving at Loyola in 2007, she was Assistant Professor of History at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans.  Dr. Hemenway completed her Doctoral degree at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill with a specialty in Russian and Soviet History and a minor field in Women's History.  Her research interests are in the representations of gender in culture and politics, with a particular emphasis on narrative and texts of early twentieth-century Russia.