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Workshop: “A Detour to Islam: Popular Health Therapies in Postsocialist Bosnia,” Larisa Jasarevic, Anthropology of Europe Workshop, April 1

The Anthropology of Europe Workshop and The Middle Eastern History and Theory Workshop (MEHAT) proudly present:

“Three Lights on Queen’s Face:  Ethnography of mêlée” 

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

Noha Forester, Lecturer of Arabic, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago

Friday, April 1st, 4:00-5:30pm
Pick Hall 218
5828 S. University Ave.

Refreshments will be provided

Abstract: This text is about therapeutic encounters at Nerka’s, singularly powerful and popular healer in contemporary Bosnia, which has seen an explosion of magical and medical market since the 1990s war and peace. While sorcery and Koranic healing appeal to people in Bosnia irrespective of their religious backgrounds, Nerka’s inventive, irreverent, and inconsistent rituals simultaneously enact and displace the ethno-national and religious differences and passions that are conventionally wedded to the three dominant Bosnian peoples: Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Eastern Orthodox Serbs, and Bosnian Catholic Croats. This essay begins with Jean-Luc Nancy’s reserved handling of identity and ethnicity in his “Eulogy for Mêlée,” written in 1993 for Sarajevo, Bosnia’s capital, under siege but shifts attention to the ritual spaces where the practice and idea of mixing is far more frenzied but perhaps no less critical or effective. Nerka, whom patients’ have lovingly titled the Queen of Health, offers no easy model of multicultural citizenship but the uncertainty that reigns in her office, gathers followers around the impossibility of belonging.

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

Posted in: University of Chicago Events
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Call for Papers: The Middle East History and Theory Workshop at UChicago

A message from Middle East History and Theory Workshop:

The Middle East History and Theory (MEHAT) Workshop is calling for papers for its 2010-2011 calendar year.  We have an almost-full schedule for the fall, but there is still space open for students to present in the winter and spring quarters.  Submissions from graduate students with dissertation chapters or proposals are especially encouraged.

The MEHAT workshop serves as a multidisciplinary platform where students in the humanities and social sciences can discuss a wide array of academic questions related to the history, culture, societies and politics of the Middle East.

As an area studies workshop, we accept papers dealing with this broad range of subjects throughout the geography of the Middle East and its borderlands, including South and Central Asia, the Mediterranean, and Africa, and over a time span extending from the advent of Islam to the present.  Participants come from a wide range of fields including history, art history, literature and film, translation studies, ethnomusicology, law, anthropology, political science, sociology, and religious studies.  By tying into these various fields, we hope to increase our interdisciplinary fluency and and bridge the existing gap between factual and theoretical approaches to studies of the Middle East.

Presentations usually include dissertation chapters or proposals, works in progress, and discussions of research conducted abroad.  The participant will usually take 30-40 minutes to introduce his or her work, allowing another 45 minutes for comments from the moderator and general discussion.  Papers are pre-circulated a week prior to the workshop on the MEHAT listhost, to encourage attendance and informed academic discussion.
The workshop will typically convene every other Thursday at 12:00 in 218 Pick Hall, 5828 S. University.  We also have an alternative time on Friday at 4:00 reserved, so we can hopefully accommodate your schedule.

If you would like to apply, please let us know roughly what month you would like to be scheduled for and we will find a time for you.  If you’re worried that your paper is not quite “good enough,” remember that the workshop is not a lecture series, nor is it a conference.  It is okay to submit work that is still rough around the edges—that’s the whole point of having a workshop, so don’t be shy!

Those who would like to present, or have further inquiries, should contact

We look forward to hearing from you!

–the MEHAT coordinators

Posted in: Calls for Papers and Upcoming Conferences