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Annual Borka Tomljenović Lecture. Alternative Narratives: Social Knowledge of Literature in the Post-Yugoslav Cultural Field

Maša Kolanović, associate professor of Croatian studies, University of Zagreb
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
5:30-7:00 PM
1010 Weiser Hall Map
This year’s Annual Borka Tomljenović Lecture will address Yugoslav socialism in contemporary literature and culture after the collapse of socialism in the broader cultural, political and economic context of Eastern Europe. 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. Parallel to this process, a large number of literary and cultural texts articulated specific narratives about the recent socialist past. In this talk, Maša 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, which are characteristic of the works of Dubravka Ugrešić, Miljenko Jergović, Ratko Cvetnić, Lana Bastašić and others.

Maša Kolanović is an associate professor in the Department of Croatian Studies at the University of Zagreb and a multi-genre writer. Her works include the poetry collection Pijavice za usamljene (Leeches for the Lonely), the novel Sloboština Barbie (Underground Barbie), the prose poem Jamerika, and the short story collection Poštovani kukci i druge jezive price (Dear Pests and Other Chilling Stories). Following her monograph Udarnik! Buntovnik? Potrošač…Hrvatski roman i popularna kultura od socijalizma do tranzicije (Strike! Rebel? Consumer…The Croatian Novel from Socialism to Transition), which she completed in 2011 for her PhD in Croatian language and comparative literature, she published articles on literature and popular culture. She co-edited the volumes: Komparativni postsocijalizam: slavenska iskustva (Comparative Post-socialism: Slavic Experiences); The Cultural Life of Capitalism in Yugoslavia with D. Jelača and D. Lugarić; Povijest, tekst, kontekst (History, Text, Context) with L. Molvarec; and Ekonomija i književnost (Economy and Literature) with L. Molvarec and M. Hameršak. Her short story collection 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. Maša Kolanović is a member of Croatian Academy of Science and Art.

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us at Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: European, International, Literature, Writing
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, International Institute, Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia

International Institute Programming

The International Institute’s centers sponsor numerous conferences, lectures, exhibits, and cultural performances throughout the year. These events are designed to educate the university community and the public about global issues and inspire discussion and dialogue. 

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