Stijn Vervaet

Associate Professor - Sentral-Europa og Balkan-studier
Image of Stijn Vervaet
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47-22856710
Room 1115
Visiting address Niels Henrik Abels vei 36 Niels Treschows Hus
Postal address Postboks 1003 Blindern 0316 OSLO

Academic interests

My research interests lie in contemporary Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian literature and culture, cultural history of the Balkans (19th-21st centuries), comparative literature, and memory studies. 

I am the author of a book on the construction of national identities in Bosnia and Herzegovina under Austro-Hungarian rule (Sarajevo and Zagreb: Synopsis 2013). In addition to publications related to the cultural and literary history of Habsburg Bosnia, I have published book chapters and journal articles on the representation of the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s and of the Holocaust in (post-)Yugoslav fiction. Together with Vlad Beronja, I edited the volume Post-Yugoslav Constellations: Archive, Memory, and Trauma in Contemporary Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian Literature and Culture (De Gruyter 2016).

My monograph Holocaust, War, and Transnational Memory: Testimony from Yugoslav and Post-Yugoslav Literature is under contract with Routledge (forthcoming 2017). Building upon recent developments in memory studies, the book investigates hitherto marginalized as well as well-known (post-)Yugoslav Holocaust texts and explores the imaginative links they form with other (hi)stories of extreme violence. 


My current research project, provisionally titled “Post-Imperial Fictions: Literature Between Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism in the Balkans,” investigates the links between nation building, literature, and cultural memory in the post-Habsburg and post-Ottoman Balkans. Specifically, I explore literary discourses of cosmopolitanism in two disparate yet (with regard to their post-imperial character) surprisingly similar historical periods: in the decades following the demise of the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires and in the period after the dissolution of socialist Yugoslavia. Generally speaking, intellectual and cultural life in both periods were characterized by a tension between nostalgia for the lost supranational and multilingual legacy of the former empire(s) on the one hand, and the rise of state-supported nationalism against the backdrop of international economic and socio-political crisis on the other. A comparative analysis of how writers took part in these discussions will not only shed light on the ambiguities and contradictions of cosmopolitan patterns of identification on the periphery of Europe but also inform contemporary debates about the possibilities and limits of a transnational, cosmopolitan (European) identity today.


I hold a PhD in East European Languages and Cultures from Ghent University (2007). Before joining the University of Oslo and ILOS, I worked for one year as a Marie Curie (IEF) postdoctoral research fellow at Utrecht University and for six years as a postdoctoral fellow of the Flemish Research Council (FWO-Vlaanderen) at Ghent University.

Courses taught


Tags: Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Balkans, Central Europe, Memory Studies, Comparative literature, Cultural history


View all works in Cristin

View all works in Cristin

Published Feb. 29, 2016 10:52 AM - Last modified June 23, 2017 5:28 PM