Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Talk "The Kosovo Girl (Kosovka Devojka) and some Sarajevan Girls’ 1989 Istanbul Reunion: The Serb/Yugoslav epic and Bosniak sentiments" by Halide Velioglu

Thu, April 21, 2011 | Parlin 1

2:30 PM


Halide Velioglu: Born in Macedonia, Yugoslavia. Daughter of a Bosnian family that migrated to Turkey in the second half of the last century. Studied Sociology (Bogazici University) in Istanbul. Was a member of the Bogazici Women Group and one of the founding editors of a bimonthly literature and culture periodical, Hayalet Gemi. Worked as a visiting scholar at the International University of Sarajevo during her fieldwork in Bosnia. Carried out an ethnographic research on the public sentiments .and daily lives of Bosniaks in Sarajevo. Doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin.

The role epic poetry and its mythicized history had been playing in the Serb national consciousness for ages and especially in the preceding decade of the recent war in the former Yugoslavia have been widely discussed. In my talk, I will draw on the underestimated and mundane life of Serb/Yugoslav epic poetry among some Slavic Muslims of Bosnia (Bosniak) that has escaped scholarly attention. The epic texts, whose daily circulation I track, are updated versions of traditional oral literature written down in the mid 19th century in the spirit of unifying the South Slavs under the Serbian idiom. This talk is a prelude to the intimate, mundane and underestimated life of Serbian epic poetry among some Slavic Muslims of Bosnia (Bosniaks)  in which I examine Bosniaks’ residual yet vibrant sensibilities related to their peculiar share of the Ottoman legacy and Yugoslavism.

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