I completed my doctorate in Modern European History in 2009 at Columbia University, where I wrote my dissertation, ‘Yugoslav Communism and the Power of Popular Music’, under the supervision of Prof. Mark Mazower.
In examining the reception, surveillance and appropriation of Western popular music in Yugoslavia between 1945 and 1961, my dissertation argues that the mass consumption of it compelled the Yugoslav Communist Party to alter its strategies in cultural politics and foreign policy in order to appease popular desires and forge pan-Yugoslav bonds at home, as well as to fashion a liberal and modern image of itself abroad.
At the European University Institute I am working with Prof. Stephen Smith on transforming my dissertation into a book.
I received my B.A. in European Studies from the Australian National University in 2000 and was awarded its University Medal for my thesis on Croatian-Israeli relations, which I also worked on at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
As a Fulbright scholar I pursued an M.A. in East European Studies at Yale University, which I completed in 2002 with my thesis on the gay and lesbian history of Croatia.
My research interests focus on the cultural history of international relations and the culture, history and politics of Yugoslavia and its successor states, and I have published several book chapters and journal articles on my topics of research. I am currently beginning a research project that examines the relationship between European politics and popular music through the Eurovision Song Contest.
My teaching expertise is in modern European history, especially East Central European history in the twentieth century. I have taught survey courses on these, as well as more specialised ones on topics such as culture and the Cold War, at Columbia University, the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, the European University Institute and James Madison University.