Province without Borders: Konstantinović in the World

Friday, May 25, 2018

12:00 pm

Encina Hall West, Room 219 Map

Sponsored by:
Stanford Department of Theater & Performance Studies , CREEES Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies

Radomir Konstantinović (1928-2011) was a towering figure in post-WWII Yugoslav and Serbian literature. Most well-known for his The Philosophy of Province (Filosofija palanke, 1969), he published a series of experimental novels in the 1950s (Exitus was published in English translation in 1966), and turned to essays and philosophical prose in the 1960s. He followed his scathing critique of Serbian nationalism in The Philosophy of Province, which very poignantly anticipated the violence of the 1990s, with an eight-volume work of literary criticism Being and Language in the Experience of Poets in Serbian 20th Century Culture. During the wars of the 1990s, he was an outspoken critic of Slobodan Milošević's regime. Radivoj Cvetićanin, the author of Konstantinović: A Chronicle will speak about this author's life; Branislav Jakovljević, a co-translator and editor of The Philosophy of Province, will address the relevance of this work for present-day xenophobic and isolationist politics in Europe and the US; and Branka Arsić will comment on Konstantinović's late novel Descartes's Death and his final book, dedicated to his friendship with Samuel Beckett.

Branka Arsić is the Charles and Lynn Zhang Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.  Professor Arsić specializes in literatures of the 19th century Americas and their scientific, philosophical and religious contexts. She is the author, most recently, of Bird Relics: Grief and Vitalism in Thoreau (Harvard University Press, 2016), which was awarded the MLA James Russell Lowell prize for the outstanding book of 2016. 

Radivoj Cvetićanin is an author and journalist, who has written for several leading newspapers and magazines in Serbia (and the former Yugoslavia). He co-founded the independent daily, “Danas,” where he served as a columnist and director. Before and during the dissolution of Yugoslavia and civil war in 1990s, he was an active member of anti-war and anti-Milošević movements. In 2017, he published Konstantinović: Chronicle, a comprehensive biography of Serbian writer and philosopher Radomir Konstantinović, a controversial figure, who is considered to be the most important writer and thinker in modern Serbian literature. 

Branislav Jakovljević is Associate Professor and Department Chair of Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS) at Stanford University. He is the author of Alienation Effects: Performance and Self-Management in Yugoslavia 1945-1991 (University of Michigan Press 2016), winner of ATHE Outstanding Book Award, and, most recently, Frozen Donkey and Other Essays (Smrznuti magarac i drugi eseji, Links, Belgrade 2017). 

Friday, May 25, 2018
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Encina Hall West, Room 219 Map

Open to Stanford Affiliates.

RSVP Requested.


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