Workshop: “Salvaging the Space of ‘Normality’: Afterlives of Socialist-era Symbols and Struggles for National Futures in postwar Bosnia,” Larisa Kurtovic, Anthropology of Europe Workshop, April 19

The Anthropology of Europe Workshop proudly presents:

“Salvaging the Space of Normality: Afterlives of Socialist-era Symbols and Struggles for National Futures in Postwar Bosnia”

by Larisa Kurtovic
Doctoral Candidate, Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley

Larisa Jasarevic, Senior Lecturer, International Studies Program, University of Chicago

Tuesday, 4:30-6:00pm
Haskell Hall 101
April 19, 2011

Refreshments will be provided

Abstract: Drawing on the 2008 ethnographic research in postwar Bosnia, this paper chronicles the attempted “banishment” of socialist Santa from Sarajevan public kindergartens and the many acts of political protest this “attack” engendered.  The passionate defenses of this magical children’s figure helped bring into focus anxieties about the crisis of social reproduction caused by infusion of nationalist agendas into postwar pedagogies. Meanwhile, the kindergarten affair also exploded a wave of complaints about the perceived onslaught on ‘normal life,’ an elusive category whose political and conceptual work I trace in this paper across multiple terrains and sites.  Ultimately, his paper argues that in the independent Bosnia, revalorization of certain Yugoslav era values, in particular that of socialist multinationalism, often becomes seen as crucial for keeping alive not only the dream of an inhabitable future, but also of a unified Bosnian state.

To obtain a copy of the paper, please send an email request to either Shirley Yeung( or Natalja Czarnecki ( Those seeking further information or persons with disabilities who may need assistance should please also email either Natalja Czarnecki or Shirley Yeung.

For more information about the Anthropology of Europe Workshop, please visit our blog, at

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