The Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (CREES) at the University of Michigan is pleased to announce the Second Annual Borka Tomljenović Lecture on Tuesday, November 28. Maša Kolanović, associate professor of Croatian studies at the University of Zagreb and a multi-genre writer, will give a talk entitled, “Alternative Narratives: Social Knowledge of Literature in the Post-Yugoslav Cultural Field.” The lecture will be presented on November 28 from 5:30-7:00 PM in 1010 Weiser Hall, 500 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.  The event is free and open to the public.

In the lecture, Maša Kolanović will address contemporary Yugoslav literature and culture after the collapse of socialism. Unlike so-called ‘’peaceful revolutions’’ in the rest of Eastern Europe, the collapse of socialism and the disintegration of Yugoslavia in a tragic war influenced the course of a specific local transition where change of the social system went hand in hand with a thorough and rapid metamorphosis of a new collective identity. A particular ideological treatment of Yugoslavia and socialism in institutional memory and mainstream political discourse continues to hold a prominent place in the process of building a new identity. Kolanović will provide insight into various figures and modes of literary and cultural articulations of the specific politics of remembrance, producing affective tones of nostalgia, melancholy, humor, trauma, as well as irony and parody.

Maša Kolanović is the author of a number of published works including the poetry collection Pijavice za usamljene (Leeches for the Lonely), the novel Sloboština Barbie (Underground Barbie), and the prose poem Jamerika. Her short story collection, Poštovani kukci i druge jezive price (Dear Pests and Other Chilling Stories), received the 2020 European Prize for Literature, the Pula Book Fair Audience Award, and the Vladimir Nazor Prize for Literature. She published the monograph, Udarnik! Buntovnik? Potrošač…Hrvatski roman i popularna kultura od socijalizma do tranzicije (Strike! Rebel? Consumer…The Croatian Novel from Socialism to Transition), to complete her PhD in Croatian Language and Comparative Literature. She also publishes articles on literature and popular culture and has edited several academic volumes.

CREES Director Elizabeth King writes, “We are excited to host the award-winning author Maša Kolanović. We look forward to hearing her insights on the influences of socialism on contemporary literature in the former Yugoslavia, as well as learning more about her own works of prose and poetry.” The Annual Borka Tomljenović Lecture is supported by the Borka Tomljenović Southeast European Peace, Cooperation, and Conflict Fund. The fund aims to promote knowledge about Yugoslavia and other Southeast European countries, including what made possible the peaceful cohabitation of many diverse groups in the region.

Mary Elizabeth Malinkin | | 734.764.0351

The University of Michigan Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (CREES) is dedicated to advancing and disseminating interdisciplinary knowledge about the peoples, nations, and cultures of Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Eurasia, past and present. Through its own academic programs and its support of area-focused training and scholarship across U-M’s schools and colleges, CREES helps meet the nation’s ongoing need for experts with deep contextual knowledge who are proficient in the region’s languages. CREES is an affiliate of the Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia and constituent unit of the International Institute. For more information, visit