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58998-01 - Seminar: Kiš, Kovač, David, Zafranović — Violence, Memory and Resistance in Literature and Film from the Former Yugoslavia 3 KP

Semester Herbstsemester 2020
Angebotsmuster einmalig
Dozierende Anna Hodel Laszlo (anna.hodel@unibas.ch)
Natasa Miskovic (natasa.miskovic@unibas.ch, BeurteilerIn)
Inhalt Fascist rule and Nazi occupation were the fate of many European countries, but beyond ritualized commemoration services at certain dates, most of them tried to forget, neglecting the long-term implications for their society. This block course will look at one of these countries, Yugoslavia. A lot has been written on the cruel wars which tore it apart in the 1990s, but rarely have these wars been contextualized with the violence of World War II and the politics of ideologized forgetting imposed by the Tito regime.

This block course will focus on the work of a group of intellectuals and artists who in the 1970s and 1980s used their art in order to provoke a process of renegotiating the past. Partially of Jewish descent, they had lived through World War II as children. Belgrade writers Danilo Kiš (1935–1989), Mirko Kovač (1938–2013) and Filip David (*1940) produced powerful novels which were attacked by the censorboard as being too dark, even degenerated, and presenting the country in a bad light. Determined, they found an even stronger tool to promote their message: film. Together with Dalmatian director Lordan Zafranović (*1944), they wrote screenplays based on memories and historical documents about what had really happened to their society. These films were a huge success among the public in Yugoslavia and abroad, but they could not prevent the outbreak of a new war. The friends were marginalized and attacked, Zafranović and Kovač had to flee, whereas David became one of the key organizers of anti-Milošević resistance.

Under the guidance of the two supervisors, a literary scholar and a historian, in presence of David and Zafranović (if the COVID situation allows), and in collaboration with the Literaturhaus Basel and the Stadtkino Basel, we will read selected texts and watch these films, discussing them in the context of negotiating memory and a violent past. How can art and knowledge serve to prevent new aggression? How to deal with state repression and ideologized national history? How to confront a society with a hurtful past which may divide it into friends and foes, perpetrators and victims? And finally, how to tackle literary and audiovisual sources?

Lernziele reading, watching and debating the work of Kiš, Kovač, Zafranović, David
understanding the historical context in which they worked
reflecting the transformation of literature into film, memory into literature and memory into film
discussing lived experience and artistic expression with the authors - surviving witnesses
Literatur A reader will be prepared by the end of September.

Goldstein, Slavko: 1941. The Year that Keeps Returning. New York 2013 (in German: 1941: Das Jahr, das nicht vergeht. Die Saat des Hasses auf dem Balkan. Frankfurt/M. 2018. Translation of: 1941. Godina koja se vraća. Zagreb 2007).
Goulding, Daniel J.: Liberated Cinema. The Yugoslav Experience 1945–2001. Bloomington 2002.
Iordanova, Dina: Cinema of Flames. Balkan Film, Culture and the Media. London 2001.
Mišković, Nataša: „Krik protiv zla“: Titos Geschichtspolitik und der Zerfall Jugoslawiens, oder Wie eine Künstlergruppe Jugoslawien retten wollte, in: Collmer, Peter / Emeliantseva Koller, Ekaterina / Perović, Jeronim (Hg.): Zerfall und Neuordnung in Osteuropa. Das Phänomen der Wende von 1989/91, Köln: Böhlau, 2019, 121–142.
Thompson, Mark: Birth Certificate. The Story of Danilo Kiš. Ithaca 2013 (German translation: Geburtsurkunde. Die Geschichte von Danilo Kiš. München 2015).


Kiš, Danilo: Familienzirkus. Die grossen Romane und Erzählungen. Munich 2014.
– Grobnica za Borisa Davidovića. Belgrade/Zagreb 1976 (english translation: A Tomb for Boris Davidovich. New York 1978).
– Enciklopedija mrtvih. Zagreb 1983 (english translation: Encyclopedia of the Dead. New York 1989).
Kovač, Mirko: Vrata od utrobe. Zagreb 1978.
Bemerkungen The Stadtkino Basel will present a retrospective in honour to Lordan Zafranovic during November, in cooperation with the University of Basel.

The Literaturhaus Basel will present a discussion with Filip David (via Zoom) and Lordan Zafranović on 12 November 2020, in cooperation with the University of Basel.

The organization of the block course, public discussion and cinema retrospective is kindly sponsored by the FAG, Fonds zur Förderung der Lehre und Forschung.


➜ motivation e-mail to natasa.miskovic@unibas.ch

Block times (exact hours subject to (minor) change):
Friday, 30.10.2020: 10am to 3pm (block course)
Wednesday, 11.11.2020, Stadtkino Basel: 6:30pm (talk show); 9pm (film screening)
Thursday, 12.11.2020: 10am to 3pm (block course); 7pm (discussion at Literaturhaus)
Friday, 13.11.2020: 9am to 2pm (block course); 9pm (film screening at Stadtkino Basel)
Saturday, 14.11.2020: 10am to 1pm (block course); 2:30 to 7pm film screening at Stadtkino Basel
Anmeldung zur Lehrveranstaltung via platform
AND motivation e-mail to natasa.miskovic@unibas.ch
Unterrichtssprache Englisch
Einsatz digitaler Medien Online-Angebot obligatorisch


Intervall Block
Datum 30.10.2020 – 14.11.2020
Zeit Siehe Detailangaben
Datum Zeit Raum
Freitag 30.10.2020 10.15-15.00 Uhr Pharmaziemuseum, Grosser Hörsaal
Donnerstag 12.11.2020 10.15-15.00 Uhr Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 117
Freitag 13.11.2020 09.30-14.00 Uhr Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 117
Samstag 14.11.2020 10.15-15.00 Uhr Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 117
Module Modul: Conflicts and Peacebuilding (Master Studiengang Changing Societies: Migration – Conflicts – Resources )
Modul: Geschichte Südosteuropas (Master Studienfach Osteuropäische Geschichte)
Modul: Gesellschaft in Osteuropa (Bachelor Studiengang Osteuropa-Studien)
Modul: Gesellschaft in Osteuropa (Bachelor Studienfach Osteuropäische Kulturen)
Modul: Literatur im Zusammenspiel der Künste und Medien (Master Studiengang Literaturwissenschaft)
Modul: Methoden und Felder der Kulturanthropologie (Bachelor Studienfach Kulturanthropologie)
Modul: Research Lab Kulturanthropologie (Master Studienfach Kulturanthropologie)
Modul: Slavische Kulturwissenschaft (Master Studienfach Slavistik)
Modul: Themen der Near & Middle Eastern Studies (Master Studienfach Near & Middle Eastern Studies)
Leistungsüberprüfung Lehrveranst.-begleitend
Hinweise zur Leistungsüberprüfung compulsory attendance during block times
compulsory reading
compulsory watching of selected films in Stadtkino
writing exercise
An-/Abmeldung zur Leistungsüberprüfung Anmelden: Belegen; Abmelden: nicht erforderlich
Wiederholungsprüfung keine Wiederholungsprüfung
Skala 1-6 0,5
Wiederholtes Belegen nicht wiederholbar
Zuständige Fakultät Philosophisch-Historische Fakultät, studadmin-philhist@unibas.ch
Anbietende Organisationseinheit Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften