Scheda insegnamento

  • Docente Ana Devic

  • Crediti formativi 4

  • SSD M-STO/03

  • Modalità didattica Convenzionale - Lezioni in presenza

  • Lingua di insegnamento Inglese

  • Orario delle lezioni dal 30/05/2018 al 13/06/2018

Anno Accademico 2017/2018

Conoscenze e abilità da conseguire

The student is expected to achieve a solid knowledge of culture and politics of diversity, exclusion (linked to state rules on citizenship and other), migration, human rights violation, and various nationalisms in relation to the Yugoslav demise. In particular, given the weakness of social science methods in contesting nationalist explanations of the victory of ethnonationalism in the Balkans, the student will learn from new sources as films - both documentary and fiction , how to use them, simultaneously, as a document/ text and a visual ethnographic tool. As a result, the student will improve his/her own cultural studies approach and the anthropological methodology.


Students are expected to achieve a solid knowledge of the cultural aspects of political conflict in socialist Yugoslavia and its successor states, as opposed to the interpretations of Yugoslavia's demise as ‘ethnic' war, which began dominating the media and a bulk of academic press since the 1990s.

Numerous accounts of the Communist-era struggle for democracy and against the one-party state come to a sticky end when offering answers to the following questions: How did the one-time undivided focus of Eastern European pro-democracy activists – on human rights and pluralism of political views – disintegrate so quickly in the aftermath of 1989? Why did it give way, so easily, it seems, to the dominance of exclusivist, mainly ethnonationalist political programs in many postsocialist states, amid the still fresh memories of the Communist era sacrifices for plurality of opinions and solidarity with the powerless? How did the notion of civic camaraderie as the basis of political action (against an oppressive state) get replaced by the celebration of consumerist and nationalist values in defining one's lifestyle and human worth?

Filmography in the former Yugoslavia since the 1960s offers a particularly rich insight into the trajectory of political and social crises that prepared the collapse of socialism and the subsequent violent state disintegration. We will watch and discuss films made by the authors who had been critical toward, both, the League of Communists' and the post-1990 nationalist interpretations of the problems of socialism and the ways out. Along the way, we would explore the questions of artistic autonomy (and the lack of it) and censorship, and the role of film industry and film market in socialism and post-socialist states.

Moving forward to the cinema in post-Yugoslav states, we shall discuss the works of the new, yet already critically acclaimed authors, especially those in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, who explore the uneasy processes of coming to terms with the war violence, war crimes and genocide, and the failures of both local and Western elites to move away from nationalist politics and pressures to identify citizens along ethnonationalist markers. We would seek to find continuities (and reason behind them) between the post-1995 antinationalist stance of young filmmakers and their predecessors in the Yugoslav new film (‘Black Wave') cinema. Finally, we would discuss the emergence of a pan-post-Yugoslav film (and cultural) sphere and trans-border audiences.


Popular and Academic Imagining of the Conflicts and War in Yugoslavia:

Orientalism and Balkanism

Views from the Outside

1. Robert Kaplan, Balkan Ghosts. 1994. New York: Vintage Books. Prologue: Saints, Terrorists, Blood and Holy Water, pp. xliii and Yugoslavia: Historical Overtures, pp. 3-77).

2. Maria Todorova, “The Balkans: From Discovery to Invention,“ Slavic Review 53(2): 453-482, 1997.

Milica Bakic-Hayden, “Nesting Orientalisms: The Case of Former Yugoslavia,” Slavic Review 54: 1995, 917-931.

4. Recommended: Katherine Verdery, What was Socialism, and Why Did It Fall (Chapter 1 in What was Socialism and What Comes Next? N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1996).

Views from the Inside

1. Olivera Milosavljevic, “Yugoslavia as a Mistake” (pp. 50-80) and “The Abuse of the Authority of Science” (pp.274-302), in Popov Nebojsa and Drinka Gojkovic, eds. 2000. The Road to War in Serbia: Trauma and Catharsis in Historical Memory. Budapest: Central European University Press.

2. Ana Devic. 1998. 'Ethnonationalism, Politics, and the Intellectuals: The Case of Yugoslavia'. International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, Vol. 11, No. 3.

4. Ivan Colovic. 2002. The Politics of Symbol in Serbia: Essays in Political Anthropology. London: Hurst & Company. Forrester. (Excerpts: make your own selection).

On Cinema

Goulding, Daniel. 2003 (1985). Liberated Cinema: The Yugoslav Experience, 1945-2001 Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Levi, Pavle. 2007. Disintegration in Frames: Aesthetics and Ideology in the Yugoslav and Post-Yugoslav Cinema. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

1. Nebojsa Jovanovic, “Breaking the wave: A commentary on ‘Black Wave polemics: Rhetoric as aesthetic' by Greg DeCuir, Jr,” Studies in Eastern European Cinema, vol. 2, no. 2 (October 2011).

2. Pavle Levi, Chapter Aesthetics of Nationalist Pleasure.

3. Nebojsa Jovanovic, “Futur antérieur of Yugoslav cinema, or, Why Emir Kusturica's legacy is worth fighting for,” in Daniel Šuber and Slobodan Karamanić (eds), Retracing Images: Visual Culture after Yugoslavia. Brill, 2012.

Ana Devic, “Fringe Antinationalisms: Hegemony and Counter-Hegemony in Cinema, in Paul Stubbs and Christophe Solioz, eds. Towards Open Regionalism in South East Europe (Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2012, pp. 191-209).

Nebojsa Jovanovic, Bosnian Cinema in the Socialist Yugoslavia and the Anti-Yugoslav Backlash, KinoKultura, Special Issue 14: Bosnian Cinema, edited by Nataša Milas, Cynthia Simmons, and Trevor L. Jockims, August 2012.


Nebojsa Jovanovic “Nebesa iznad Bosne,” (Heavens over Bosnia) Zarez, No. 68, 2002.


KinoEye: New Perspectives on European Film (selected readings from “Post-Yugo Film in


http://www.kinoeye.org/03/10/celluloidtinderbox.php (Also see review at:


Yugoslavia's Stability and Disintegration: Political and Social Lines of Conflict

1. Schierup, C.-U., "Memorandum for Modernity? Socialist Modernisers, Re-Traditionalisation, and the Rise of Ethnic Nationalism" in Schierup, C.-U., (ed.) Scramble for the Balkans: Nationalism, Globalism, and the Political Economy of Reconstruction, Macmillan, London, 1997, pp. 47-80. Alternatively, C-U. Schierup, “Quasi-proletarians and a Patriarchal. Bureaucracy: Aspects of Yugoslavia's. Re-peripheralisation,” Soviet Studies 44, no. 1 (1992): 79-99.

2. Valere Chip Gagnon, The Myth Of Ethnic War: Serbia And Croatia in the 1990s (Cornell University Press, 2004): Introduction, chapters 2, 3, & 4.

3. Eric Gordy, The Culture of Power in Serbia: Nationalism and the Destruction of Alternatives. (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999): Introduction; Destruction of Political Alternatives, Destruction of Sociability).

Collective Memory and Amnesia: Fiction and Anti-Fiction Literature/ Role of Literature in the Critique of Nationalist Reading of the Past

Dubravka Ugresic, The Culture of Lies: Antipolitical Essays (Phoenix House, 1998).

Aleksandar Hemon: TBA

Miljenko Jergovic: TBA

New generation of women’s writers In post-Yugoslavia: TBA

Films (including recommended):

· Zaseda (The Ambush), Zivojin Pavlovic, Yugoslavia, 1969.

· Rani radovi (Early Works), Zelimir Zilnik, Yugoslavia, 1969.

· Skupljaci perja (I Even Met Happy Gypsies), Aleksandar Petrovic, Yugoslavia, 1967.

· Misterija organizma (WR: Mysteries of the Organism), Dusan Makavejev, Yugoslavia, 1971.

· Okupacija u 26 slika (Occupation in 26 Tableaux), Lordan Zafranovic, Yugoslavia, 1978.

· Stefica Cvek u raljama zivota (Stefica Cvek in the Jaws of Life), Rajko Grlic, Yugoslavia, 1984.

· Tako se kalio celik (How Steel Was Tempered), Zelimir Zilnik, Yugoslavia, 1988.

· Kuduz, Ademir Kenovic, Yugoslavia, 1986.

· Tito po drugi put medju Srbima (Tito's Second Time among the Serbs), Zelimir Zilnik, FR Yugoslavia (Serbia-Montenegro), 1994.

· Savrseni krug (The Perfect Circle), Ademir Kenovic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1996.

· Marsal (Marshall Tito's Spirit), Vinko Bresan, Croatia, 1999.

· Outsider. Andrej Kosak, Slovenia, 1997.

· Underground, Emir Kusturica, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, France, Germany, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, 1995.

Bogorodica (Madonna), Neven Hitrec, Croatia, 1999.

· Cetverored (Four by Four), Jakov Sedlar, Croatia, 1999.

· Noz (Knife), Miroslav Lekic, Serbia-Montenegro, 1999.

· Nicija zemlja (No Man's Land), Danis Tanovic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Slovenia, Italy, UK, Belgium, 2001.

· Ljeto u zlatnoj dolini (Summer in the Golden Valley), Srdjan Vuletic, Bosnia-Herzegovina/ France/ UK/Slovenia, 2003.

· Svjedoci (Witnesses), Vinko Bresan, Croatia,2003.

· Gori Vatra (Fuse), Pjer Zalica,. Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2003.

· Remake, Dino Mustafic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2003.

· Grbavica (Esma's Secret), Jasmila Zbanic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Austria, Germany, 2005.

· Vukovar, posljednji rez (Vukovar, the Final Cut), Janko Baljak and Drago Hedl, Serbia-Montenegro, Croatia, 2005.

· Awakening from the Dead (Budjenje iz mrtvih), Milos Misa Radivojevic, Serbia, 2005.

· Karaula (The Border Post), Rajko Grlic, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Austria, UK, 2006.

· The Tour (Turneja), Goran Markovic, Serbia, 2008.

Kenedi se vraca kuci (Kenedi Goes Back Home), Zelimir Zilnik, Serbia-Montenegro, 2002.

· Zene u crnom (Women in Black), Zoran Zolomun & Helge Reidmeister, Germany, 1998.

· Crnci (The Blacks), Goran Devic and Zvonimir Juric, Croatia, 2009.

· Na putu (On the Path), Jasmila Zbanic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Austria, Germany, Croatia, 2011.

· Circles (Krugovi), Srdjan Golubovic, Serbia, Germany, France, Slovenia, Croatia, 2013.

Metodi didattici

Given the weaknesses of social science methods in contesting the hegemonic nationalist explanations of the violent and enduring ethnonationalism in the Balkans, the students will learn about the conflicts from visual sources - Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav films - both documentary and fiction – starting from the late 1960s. The aim is to understand films as, simultaneously, a document/ text corresponding with other texts, a visual and ethnographic study, and a potential instrument of political agendas. As a result, the students shall improve their knowledge of the methods of cultural studies, sociology, gender studies, and anthropology.

Methods: Seminars and lectures, students’ group presentations, discussions of films and literature, essay writing.



Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

Students should attend all classes and film screenings. According to the MIREES rules, attendance will be taken at every class meeting, and you may not be able to finish the course if you are absent more than what is permitted.

The lecturer will open each class with a presentation of the main questions for each set of topics, likely in addition to summarizing the previous session, which will lead to the discussion moderated by students.

Students must fulfill the following requirements:

1) Group presentations lasting approx. 20 minutes. Presentations must establish critical links between reading materials and a selection of films. Presentations’ summaries must be distributed one day in advance.

2) Short Outline of the Final Essay (1-2 pages)

3) Final Essay (12-15 pages, double-spaced, 3000-4000 words) incorporating material from course readings and a comparative analysis of several films.

The outcome of the module will be averaged to that of the other module composing the integrated course in order to determine the final grade.

Strumenti a supporto della didattica

Books, articles, films (documentary and fiction), black(white)board.

Orario di ricevimento

Consulta il sito web di Ana Devic