Beyond Insiders and Outsiders: Rethinking Nationalism and the Politics of “Othering” in the Modern Balkans

Lecture | March 2 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 270 Stephens Hall

 Edin Hajdarpasic, Associate Professor of History, Loyola University

 Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ISEEES)

During the nineteenth century, Serbian and Croatian national movements defined themselves against the specter of “the Turk.” Yet even as they explicitly named “the Turks” as sworn enemies, many Serbian-Croatian nationalists simultaneously described Bosnian Turks or Muslims as their “brothers,” pointing to their shared language, traditions, and ancestry. As one leading South Slavic nationalist summed it up in 1850: Bosnian Muslims are “the greatest enemies of their own people and their own same-blooded brothers.” This talk explores struggles around Muslims’ status as potential and precarious co-nationals. Hajdarpasic aims to outline an exemplary figure of nation-making: a figure that is neither enemy nor ally, neither “ours” nor “theirs,” neither “brother” nor “Other” - an undecidable figure that he has called (br)other. The co-national, in this understanding, is the (br)other: signifying at the same time the potential of being both “brother” and “Other,” containing the fantasy of both complete assimilation and ominous, insurmountable difference.