Gegenwärtige Dissertationsprojekte (Betreuerin Miranda jakiša)
Transformation at the Margins. (Anti-)Militarism and Sexuality in late Yugoslavia (Aleksandar Ranković, Betreuung gemeinsam mit Claudia Kraft-laufend)
Liberation afoot: Movement(s) in Partisan Film (Olja Alvir 2022-laufend)

From the beginning, artistic production was a key component of the Yugoslav resistance struggle during WWII, encouraged by the partisan liberation front and circulated in their publications. Partisan art and its mythologization of partisan struggle would become foundational for the newly erected socialist project. What is striking about all of these artworks is the narrative and aesthetic focus on constant ground contact as well as perpetual collective movement – strictly by foot. Quasi-idyllic marching scenes are, therefore, a must in any partisan narrative; entire units and villages hide in the thickets of the Bosnian forests or become one with the Dalmatia’s limestone formations, literally as well as figuratively.

The Yugoslav Partisan Art’s staging of resistant nature(s), ground adhesion and collective mobility is an effort of (re-)creating the place of Yugoslavia and the Yugoslavs as citizens of the new state and therefore an effort in topography (Jakiša, 2011) and ethno-demographic consolidation. The single-file march which emerges out of the thicket and retreats back into it serves to literally stitch together the country in its new borders while translating the many different regional groups and ethnicities into one populace. Re-reading Yugoslav Partisan Art – poetry, prose and cinema – while focusing on its depictions of fortified nature, its spatial properties and mobility structures reveals how it serves to connect spaces (Iordanova, 2006) and peoples. It also prompts an analysis on a general „telluric“ (Schmitt, 1963) or spilt aesthetic of the landscape of European partisan arts. Furthermore, it reveals how Yugoslav self-fashioning is based on „revolutionary temporality“ (Kirn, 2020), localizing this socialist project as neither here nor there, but rather always on the move.

Textual and Visual in Serbian Avant-garde Literature (Tijana Koprivica 2021-Laufend)

The title of Tijana Koprivica’s doctoral research in the narrow scientific field of Serbian Literature is Textual and Visual in Serbian Avant-garde Literature. The main issue that will be addressed in this research is the status of the visual elements in the works of Serbian avant-garde literature, due to Avant-garde’s distinctive intermedia and multimedia character. By identifying and typologyzing works that, in addition to the text, contain visual elements as media of communication with the audience, a representative corpus will be singled out as a source for examining this problem. In the course of the research, the intention is to find, describe, analyze and interpret all those works that contain components of the visual and which, along with the traditional reading experience, at the same time require observational approach. Finally, the aim of this research will be to present the consequences of including visual elements in the work and also to show the effects of excluding these elements from some of the works in their different editions, as well as to present the impact of such practices on the reception of the avant-garde works in the tradition of interpretation. Taking into consideration the above, the doctoral thesis intend to show what the key features of the intermedia achievements of the Serbian literary Avant-garde are, what their mutual relations and influences are like, and to put them in the comparative context of the intermedia works of the European Avant-garde.

Perspectives of Naturalism in Yugoslav Cinema (Adrian Pelc 2020-Laufend)

The doctoral project with the working title Perspectives of Naturalism in Yugoslav Cinema sets as its objective the interpretation of “archaic” motifs that appear persistently within films appertaining to the “golden age” of Yugoslav cinema, namely the 60s modernist decade. Throughout the films of authors such as A. Babaja, A. Petrović, V. Mimica, K. Papić, Ž. Pavlović and others, one can trace human figures that have not entirely emancipated themselves from the animal state, milieus untouched by modernization, ritualistic violence, remnants of tribal rituals. These elements can be seen as a focal point within which competing discursive forces intensively interact: balkanism sets in as one interpretative matrix, the grand narrative of progress and its’ pitfalls as another, resistance to modernity as spectacle and regime of images as a third. The intricate problem of the archaic, while taking specific forms within the 60s cinema, also communicates with other artistic and cultural tendencies: the Barbarogenius complex of the interwar period, Miroslav Krleža’s concept of Yugoslavia as a “virgin” land after the split with Stalni, naïve painting becoming one of the country’s main artistic export products, Americanization setting in during the 60s. The study of archaic, naturalist motives therefore presents a privileged point of entry into the complex mechanisms of Yugoslav culture.

The Motif of the Cosmic Journey in Serbian Poetry (Uroš Ristanović 2020-Laufend)

As suggested by the title, the dissertation “The Motif of the Cosmic Journey in Serbian Poetry” will focus on the motif of the journey to/through the cosmos in Serbian poetry. This motif, I argue, represents the most radical and thus central current of the cosmic tradition of Serbian poetry; its exploration, therefore, opens up the possibility of gaining deeper insights into this tradition without falling into the trap of examining each and every poem with cosmic motifs. Consequently, the key question that will guide the research is the following: What are the peculiarities of the motif of the cosmic journey on the structural and semantic level and what functions does this motif assume in particular renderings in Serbian poetry? To answer this question, it is necessary to tackle several others, such as: Where this motif comes from, how it fits into the broader cosmic tradition of world literature and Serbian literature, what influences can be seen in the works of poetry with the motif of the cosmic journey, what concepts are inscribed in the poetic visions of the cosmos, etc. These questions are answered by a close reading of the selected corpus, which consists of poetic works of Serbian literature written from the beginning of the 19th century onwards. The authors whose work will be the focus of the interpretation are Sima Milutinović Sarajlija (1791–1847), Petar Petrović Njegoš (1813–1851), Branko Radičević (1824–1853), Laza Kostić (1841–1910), Stanislav Vinaver (1891–1955), Vasko Popa (1922–1991), Miroljub Todorović (b. 1940) and Goran Korunović (b. 1978).