Our Daily Byzantium: Medieval Heritage, Nation-building, and Politics in Serbia

  • Date: –19:00
  • Location: Zoom
  • Lecturer: Alexandra Vukovich (Oxford); Milan Vukašinović (Uppsala); Filip Ejdus (Belgrade); Milena Repajić (Belgrade); Marko Šuica (Belgrade); Aleksandar Ignjatović (Belgrade); Višnja Kisić (Belgrade); Miloš Jovanović (UCLA); Mirela Ivanova (Oxford); Emir O. Filipović (Sarajevo)
  • Organiser: Milan Vukašinović
  • Contact person: Milan Vukašinović
  • Workshop

Using the recent elevation of a colossal monument to Stefan Nemanja (a 12th century ruler of the medieval Serbian principality) in the centre of Belgrade as a discussion prompt, the panel will explore the 'national story' taking form in Serbia. It will cover the issues of heritage, memory culture and nation-building.
Registration: https://torch.ox.ac.uk/event/byzantinism-and-the-nation

The scheduled event 'Our Daily Byzantium: Medieval Heritage, Nation-building, and Politics in Serbia' brings together an international group of historians, art historians, and cultural theorists to discuss cultural heritage and nationalism in Serbia and the wider Balkans. Using the recent elevation of a colossal monument to Stefan Nemanja (a 12th century ruler of the medieval Serbian principality) in the centre of Belgrade as a discussion prompt, the panel will explore the 'national story' taking form in Serbia. By no means the exception in its use of medieval monuments and medieval characters to shape nationalist narratives, the current Serbian government has not only selectively invested in heritage conservation, but has also been actively constructing heritage monuments. There is a clear medievalism (or byzantinism) in the elevation of the church of St Sava or the new statue of Stefan Nemanja, one that seeks a direct link to an imagined medieval past to make new monuments appear ancient and remote. The panel will discuss these developments, as well as how medievalism and byzantinism developed historically and have been deployed as part of a modern political project, both in Serbia and the wider Balkans.
The event is hosted by TORCH (Oxford), and co-organized by Uppsala University.

INTRODUCTION

Dr Alexandra Vukovich (TORCH, University of Oxford), Heritage (Mis)management
Dr Milan Vukašinović (University of Uppsala), Ink, Bronze, and the Blood of the Nation

POSITION PAPERS

Prof. Filip Ejdus (Faculty of Political Sciences, Belgrade), Stefan Nemanja and the Cracked Byzantine Helmet
Dr Milena Repajić (Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade), The (not so) Subtle Messages of Monumental Stefan Nemanja: Medievalism and the Reshaping of Historical Memory in Post-Socialist Serbia
Prof. Marko Šuica (Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade), The Challenges of Teaching Medieval History in Serbia’s New History Curriculum
Prof. Aleksandar Ignjatović (Faculty of Architecture, Belgrade), Byzantium Perfected: Nation-building through Architectural Tropes in 19th- and 20th-century Serbia
Dr Višnja Kisić (Europa Nostra Serbia/UNESCO Chair MA in Cultural Policy and Management), Making Serbia Great Again: The (Un)Expected Embrace of Neoliberalism and Nationalism
Prof. Miloš Jovanović (UCLA), Historicism or the Cultural Logic of Postsocialist Capitalism in Belgrade

DISCUSSION

Discussants:
Dr Mirela Ivanova (University of Oxford)
Prof. Emir O. Filipović (University of Sarajevo)

Q&A

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More inforrmation and registration.