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241 KAŠIKOVIĆ, Stoja (c.1865–?) Bosnian Serb editor, teacher, writer and women’s cultural activist. Very little is known of Stoja Kašiković’s early childhood. She was born Stoja Zdjelarević in 1865 in Bosanski Novi, Bosnia, though the precise day and month of her birth are unknown. It is likely that she was orphaned at an early age because she did not know either of her birth parents’ names, only that she had been born to Bosnian Serbs and that her father had been a merchant. She had one brother named Simo, who eventually moved to Kovač in Slavonia to work as a blacksmith. Stoja Zdjelarević began her education in 1879, one year after Bosnia-Herzegovina became an occupied territory of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (ending five centuries of Ottoman rule). She enrolled in the country’s only school for girls, established in Sarajevo in 1869 by the English Protestant humanitarian Miss Adeline Paulina Irby (1833–1911). (This school was not, however, the first of its kind; the first girls’ school was established by Staka Skenderova in Sarajevo in 1858, but closed due to financial difficulties in 1875.) Stoja Zdjelarević was thus one of very few Bosnian women to learn to read and write at a time when just three percent of the population was literate . By 1886, she had finished four years of elementary education and received her teacher training at Miss Irby’s school. She went on to work as a tutor for a time and taught at Miss Irby’s school for the last few years of Irby’s life. In 1886, the same year that she graduated from Miss Irby’s school, Stoja Zdjelarevi ć married a Bosnian Serb teacher named Nikola T. Kašiković (1861–1927). Nikola Kašiković taught at Miss Irby’s for two years, and it is very likely that the two met one another there. Among Zdjelarević’s attractions were her brown eyes and hair and her cheerful countenance [Srpkinja (The Serbian woman) (1913): 38]. Together, the couple had three sons (Predrag, Relje and Sreten) and a daughter (Tankosava). All four children went on to become well educated. The two eldest, Predrag and Relje, became physicians. Sreten graduated from an Orthodox seminary in Belgrade, received teacher training and later became an officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army. Like her mother, Tankosava graduated from Miss Irby’s school and went on to further her education in Montenegro. Stoja Kašiković’s husband became one of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s most important cultural figures. In 1885, he and three other teachers—Božidar Nikašinović (b. 1863), Nikola Šumonja (1865–1927) and Stevo Kaluđerčić (1864–1948)—founded the first Bosnian Serb literary-cultural journal, Bosanska vila (The Bosnian nymph) (1885– 1914). It rapidly became the most popular journal in the country, as well as a leading cultural journal among South Slavs outside the country. Bosanska vila published folklore , poetry, short stories, translations and reported on (mainly Serb) cultural events from across the Balkans. In 1887, Nikola Kašiković became the journal’s editor-inchief and retained this position until the outbreak of World War I, when the journal 242 ceased publication. (In 1996, the journal was revived in a new series of the same name in Sarajevo.) Like many other married Bosnian women, Stoja Kašiković’s main priority was to support her husband’s work. In 1891, when Nikola became ill and bed-ridden, she became Bosanska vila’s acting editor-in-chief, moving the journal’s administrative headquarters from the Serb elementary schoolhouse to the Kašiković family home. She also received assistance from a more experienced administrator, Stevo Kaluđerčić. But like other women of her time, her work went mainly unrecognized and it was Kaluđerčić’s name that appeared on the 1891 issues as the journal’s editor-in-chief. After her husband’s recovery the following year, Stoja Kašiković continued to act as his trusted co-editor and collaborator, occasionally contributing to the journal. Over the years, her work for Bosanska vila brought her into contact with leading Serb intellectuals in Bosnia-Herzegovina (such as Dimitrije Mitrinović (1887–1953) and Jelica Belović-Bernadzikowska). Because a large number of Bosanska vila’s subscribers lived in Belgrade, she was also well known among the thriving literary-cultural circles of that city. Among her contacts were Belgrade intellectuals Dr. Milorad Pavlović (b. 1865) and Isidora Sekulić. Stoja Kašiković eventually did receive public recognition for...


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