Podcast: Cultural Memory in Balkan Literature

Associate Professor Stijn Vervaet talks about the role of literature in relation to cultural memory in the fourth episode of the Literature, Cognition and Emotions Podcast.

A woman and a man sitting at their desks, talking to each other into microphones.

We all carry an archive of personal memories with us. However, memories can also be shared by groups and communities – both within and beyond national boundaries, Stijn Vervaet states. Photo: Vera Syrovatskaya.

How is collective remembering different from personal memory? Can we have memories of events we did not experience ourselves? And what, exactly, does it have to do with literature?

Stijn Vervaet is Associate Professor in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian and Balkan Studies at the University of Oslo. In this episode of the LCE podcast, he joins Karin Kukkonen in a conversation about constructions of cultural memory and visions of the past in the Balkan literary tradition. They cover topics such as witnessing, counter-memory, testimony and survival accounts, and discuss how authors make use of the imaginative and symbolic dimensions of literature in order to reconstruct alternative narratives of the past.

Listen to “Cultural Memory in Balkan Literature”:

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The reading recommendation from Stijn Vervaet: 

  • Danilo Kiš, A Tomb for Boris Davidovich (Norwegian translation: Et gravmæle for Boris Davidovitsj)
  • Daša Drndić, Trieste (Norwegian translation: Trieste - dokumentarisk roman)
  • Stijn Vervaet’s book Holocaust, War and Transnational Memory (Routledge 2018) examines Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav Holocaust fiction in its intersections with other memories of extreme violence, such as the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. 
Published Feb. 18, 2021 9:19 AM - Last modified Mar. 1, 2021 2:03 PM