Lydia Sklevicky was born in Zagreb in 1952 and tragically died in Delnice in 1990. Sklevicky graduated with a degree in sociology and ethnology from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb in 1976 and earned her master's degree in the sociology of culture with the dissertation "Women and Power - the Historical Genesis of an Interest" in 1984. Her unfinished doctoral thesis "Emancipation and Organization: The Antifascist Women’s Front and Post-revolutionary Social Change. (People’s Republic of Croatia 1945–1953)" was published as part of the book Horses, Women, Wars prepared by Dunja Rihtman Auguštin. She began working at the Institute for the History of the Labour Movement (today's Croatian Institute of History) in 1976, then moved to the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research at the end of 1988, where he worked until her death.
Croatian scholar and intellectual Lydia Sklevicky, in the opinion of Anamarija Štambuk Starčević, belongs among those people who are considered ahead of their time by contemporaries. Lydia was also a person of exceptional vigour and intellectual strength, who covered more topics in one decade of professional activity than numerous colleagues do throughout their entire careers. At the same time, she had a greater impact on society (Starčević Štambuk, interview March 1, 2018). Her research work encompassed social history, women's studies, gender anthropology and political rituals, but she made her greatest contribution to the study of the social history of women. Sklevicky was an active member of the professional associations of the Croatian Sociological Association and especially its section "Women and Society," the Croatian Ethnological Society, and the Nada Klaić Women's History Research Section at the Historical Society of Zagreb.
What Lydia Sklevicky meant to feminism in Croatia, especially in its beginnings, is reflected in Rada Iveković's words – “in the first years of our generation’s feminism, when we were exposed to criticism by the whole public, all political structures, our parents' generation, the media, most of our male colleagues (with a perplexing attitude and doubts only by those who wanted to rectify our thought) and many of our life companions – we had crazy fun and Lydia was one of the centres of our small mixed society” (Iveković 1995, 26).
The motives underlying Lydia Sklevicky’s feminist activity is evident in the text by Dunja Rihtman-Auguštin, who said that for her it was not “a personal motive that inspired feminist thought about life and society, but the possibility that the anthropology of women offered to overturn our deteriorated knowledge of that same life and order in society (and not just in the former, socialist society)” (Rihtman Auguštin 1995, 21).
- Zagreb, Croatia
- Bencetić, Lidija
1.Kašić, Biljana. ˝Lydia Sklevicky 1952-1990˝, Časopis za suvremenu povijest (Zagreb), vol 22, br 1-2 (1990), 257-260.
2. Rihtman-Auguštin, Dunja. ˝Lydia Sklevicky (1952-1990). In memoriam˝, Oko (Zagreb), br 3 (1990), 26.
3. Iveković, Rada. ˝Lydiji začinjavki˝. Kruh i ruže (Zagreb), br 3 (1995), 26-27.
4. Kašić, Biljana. ˝Ženska povijesna priča˝. Kruh i ruže (Zagreb), br 3 (1995), 36-37.
5. Rihtman Auguštin, Dunja. ˝Lydia: Potraga za spoznajama koje će uznemiriti naše znanje˝. Kruh i ruže (Zagreb), br 3 (1995), 20-22.
Starčević Štambuk, Anamarija, interview by Bencetić, Lidija , March 01, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection