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Bosnian Borders and Women’s Activism in Europe’s Periphery

Dates:
  • Tue 05 Feb 2019 15.00 - 17.00
  Add to Calendar 2019-02-05 15:00 2019-02-05 17:00 Europe/Paris Bosnian Borders and Women’s Activism in Europe’s Periphery

In the framework of the Research seminar on Gender, Social Action and Politics in European Borderlands, 1880s to the present.

This presentation will address issues of borders and social welfare through some of the aspects of my longstanding anthropological research on gender, nationalism, and activism in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH). I will focus on three areas and discuss how attention to borders and European belonging and to social welfare link them together. First is a focus on how symbolic geographies work to (re)produce notions of center and periphery. I will show how gendered and nesting binaries of geography, culture, religion, and civilization are mobilized in different forms to bolster various personal, political, and activist aims. The second area is that of women’s activism after the war in BiH, where symbolic geographies also informed strategies of representation but also areas of activity, including services for socially and economically vulnerable women. I will particularly address the politics of war victimhood and provisions for survivors of wartime sexual violence as they were lobbied for, passed into law, implemented, and represented. The final piece will summarize aspects of my current research into local responses to non-European migrants and refugees making their way through, and getting stuck in, BiH. Here I will raise questions about the engagement of the state and NGOs, independent activists, and transnational actors, as well as discuss the larger discursive and material frameworks that make this a zone of periphery.

Elissa Helms is a socio-cultural anthropologist and Associate Professor at the Department of Gender Studies at CEU. Her work focuses on nationalism, gender, activism, and most recently migration politics and changing articulations of European identity along the “Balkan Route” to the EU. In addition to numerous journal articles and book chapters, she is the author ofInnocence and Victimhood: Gender, Nationalism, and Women’s Activism in Postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina (U of Wisconsin Press, 2013) and co-editor, with Xavier Bougarel and Ger Duijzings, of The New Bosnian Mosaic: Memories, Identities, and Moral Claims in a Postwar Society (Ashgate, 2007).

Sala del Torrino , Villa Salviati DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala del Torrino , Villa Salviati

In the framework of the Research seminar on Gender, Social Action and Politics in European Borderlands, 1880s to the present.

This presentation will address issues of borders and social welfare through some of the aspects of my longstanding anthropological research on gender, nationalism, and activism in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH). I will focus on three areas and discuss how attention to borders and European belonging and to social welfare link them together. First is a focus on how symbolic geographies work to (re)produce notions of center and periphery. I will show how gendered and nesting binaries of geography, culture, religion, and civilization are mobilized in different forms to bolster various personal, political, and activist aims. The second area is that of women’s activism after the war in BiH, where symbolic geographies also informed strategies of representation but also areas of activity, including services for socially and economically vulnerable women. I will particularly address the politics of war victimhood and provisions for survivors of wartime sexual violence as they were lobbied for, passed into law, implemented, and represented. The final piece will summarize aspects of my current research into local responses to non-European migrants and refugees making their way through, and getting stuck in, BiH. Here I will raise questions about the engagement of the state and NGOs, independent activists, and transnational actors, as well as discuss the larger discursive and material frameworks that make this a zone of periphery.

Elissa Helms is a socio-cultural anthropologist and Associate Professor at the Department of Gender Studies at CEU. Her work focuses on nationalism, gender, activism, and most recently migration politics and changing articulations of European identity along the “Balkan Route” to the EU. In addition to numerous journal articles and book chapters, she is the author ofInnocence and Victimhood: Gender, Nationalism, and Women’s Activism in Postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina (U of Wisconsin Press, 2013) and co-editor, with Xavier Bougarel and Ger Duijzings, of The New Bosnian Mosaic: Memories, Identities, and Moral Claims in a Postwar Society (Ashgate, 2007).


Location:
Sala del Torrino , Villa Salviati

Affiliation:
Department of History and Civilization

Type:
Lecture

Organiser:
Laura Downs (EUI)

Speaker:
Elissa Helms (CEU)

Contact:
Francesca Parenti - Send a mail

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