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Ilegala: Reading, Radicalism & Paramilitarism, Bosnia & Herzegovina 1932-42

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Energy. Environment. Experiential Learning. Room 161.

750 Campus Drive Northwest

University of Calgary

Calgary, AB T2N 4H9

Canada

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How do individuals become politically ‘radicalized’? How do radicalized individuals become incorporated into larger (para)military projects? To answer these questions, Dr. Sabrina Perić proposes a study of a historical case of radicalization: the rise of Communist Party Youth in the 1930s Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and their transformation into a Yugoslav Partisan paramilitary during World War II. Using memoirs of Partisans in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Perić will argue that texts and practices of literacy were critical to the process of radicalization. BiH youth were drawn to Communist ideas primarily through reading circles – the sharing of books, pamphlets and letters. The social setting of the reading circle engaged youth disenchanted with their political system. By 1941, reading circles were easily mobilized towards military ends. Partisans do not distinguish between political, literary and military work – dubbing it all ilegala, or 'that which is illegal.' Understanding the multifacted nature of ilegala is critical for understanding how literacy, as well as cultural forms more broadly, can be a force for radicalization and militarization.

Sabrina Perić is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology. Her research focuses on the anthropology and history of resource extraction, science and its relationship to governance. In particular, her research examines how the context of extractive economic activity shapes political agitation and radicalization. She is a historical anthropologist and uses archival methods to illuminate and reorient her contemporary ethnographic work.

This lecture, hosted by the Calgary Institute for the Humanities, is free and open to the public.

7 p.m.
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
EEEL 161
Energy Environment Experiential Learning Building (750 Campus Dr NW)
University of Calgary


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Energy. Environment. Experiential Learning. Room 161.

750 Campus Drive Northwest

University of Calgary

Calgary, AB T2N 4H9

Canada

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