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(1) Where did you receive your degree(s), when, and what were the subjects?

I received my BA in English Language and Literature from the University of


Banja Luka, Philology Department back in 2012. That same year, University
of Alberta offered me a scholarship to get a Masters degree at their English
Department so I had spent two years in Edmonton working with Canada
Research Chair (CRC) in Cultural Studies, Professor Imre Szeman.
(2) Similarly, what did you focus on within that field?
Though both my BA and MA were from English Departments, my interests
were always less about literary text than discursive realities and social
practices. Initially, I was interested in working with postcolonial theory in
attempt to find new, productive ways in which po-co could be discussed in
the context of the Balkans. The result was a paper co-written with Danijela
Majstorovic for Journal of Language and Politics and titled Rethinking Bosnia
and Herzegovinas Post-coloniality. My interests somehow shifted to
currently ongoing struggles in Bosnia, like the issues of memory politics that
includes both facing the consequence of war and re-narrating the Yugoslav
experience. The other issue is again concerning the so-called transition from
socialism to capitalism, i.e. consolidation of the class system that pushes the
majority of population to the periphery where they are forced to establish
their communities anew. In other words, I am interested in alternative forms
of organizing the social, be that co-ops, communes, collectives that
experiment with horizontal decision-making and social enterprises that seek
non-exploratory ways to organize production. Along these lines, my research
interests are also in part intrigued by the Yugoslav experiment with selfmanagement and its potential for the future.
(3) Where is your hometown?
Banja Luka is Bosnias second largest city located in the North-West part of
the country, with a population around 200k. It used to be an industrial city,
but after the war it abruptly transformed into an administrative center for the
smaller of two entities Bosnia is divided into.
(4) Did you receive any grants, scholarships, fellowships, etc. during your
undergraduate or graduate studies?

Though my MA at the U of Alberta was supported through various


scholarships and grants, it was mostly funded through research
assistantships that helped me get by during two years I spent in Edmonton. I
also received one-off financial boost by the Milan Jelic fund for postgraduate
studies that actually helped me finish the paperwork and come to Canada.
(5) Do you have any publications?
-M. Mandi, Z. Vukovac (2011): ''Populistini diskurz v Bosni i Hercegovini:
Obravnava dveh primerov'', asopis za kritiko znanosti. tudentska zaloba,
Ljubljana.
Z.Vukovac (2013): ''Koliko vrijedi zemlja s kostima? '' Kontrapress. Available
at: http://www.kontrapress.com/clanak.php?rub=Dru%C5%A1tvo&url=Kolikovrijedi-zemlja-s-kostima
-E. Eminagi, Z. Vukovac (2015): ''Of struggles, protests and plenums in
Bosnia and Herzegovina'', Cross-border Committee. Available at:
http://zasedan.ie.mk/?p=1110.
-Majstorovic, D., Vuckovac Z. and Pepic A.. From Dayton to Brussels via
Tuzla: Post-2014 Economic Restructuring as Europeanization
Discourse/Practice in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Journal of Southeast
European and Black Sea Studies. 2.
-Majstorovi, D. and Vukovac, Z. (2016). Rethinking Bosnian Postcoloniality:
Challenges of the Europeanization Discourse. Journal of Language and
Politics 15 (2).
(6) What influenced you to pursue your current academic and professional
paths? Is there a specific incident, or are there many factors?
During my undergraduate years, I was a part of several art-theory
collectives, reading and activist groups. Among those are Four Faces of
Omarska, art-theory collective that worked on an open archive, a form of
social sculpture around a former mining complex that was turned into a
camp for non-Serbs during the 92-95 war in Bosnia. The other was a reading
group titled Language, Power and Ideology that went on several years and
gave rise to several activist groups and helped expand a critical scene in
Banja Luka through various initiatives and collaborations. All of these shaped
my interest and gave me the necessary analytical tools to work on Bosnias
postwar, post-socialist issues.

(7) What did you do as a McCloskey Fellow here at IU? Did you work closely
with any faculty, did you participate in any courses, and did you give any
lectures? Etc.
As a McCloskey Fellow, I worked on a proposed research concerning nonhierarchical forms of organizing that started mushrooming in the past eight
to ten years in the region, most notably the former Yugoslav countries. In
that respect, Marina Antic of the Slavic Department at IU was incredibly
supportive and very resourceful interlocutor for my research with her
insightful comments and excellent knowledge of the conditions in BiH. Apart
from Marina, I met and discussed my project with several faculty members
including Maria Bucur, Professor of HistoryI, Elizabeth Dunn, Associate
Professor of Geography, Joseph Varga, Assistant Professor of Labor Studies,
Lynn Dugan, Associate Professor of Labor Studies, to mention but a few. As
my project has both academic and practical dimension, I volunteered at the
Shalom Center in order to understand the organizational and financial
structures behind such a successful service Bloomington is lucky to have for
its disenfranchised population. Our project in Bosnia, BASOC or Banja Luka
Social Center focuses more on participation and education than just
providing services, but the logistics of it are often overlapping. During my
stay, I visited several cooperatives in Bloomington, volunteered for the
Bernie Sanders campaign in registering voters and worked with John Lacny,
union organizer preparing a campaign for a 15$ minimum wage in Indiana
state. I also gave two talks during my stay in the US, one at the IU titled
Articulating Direct Democracy on the European Periphery: Politics of Taking
Back Public Space and the other at Florida University in Gainesville. Also
participated in a couple of reading groups, one of which was the Bloomington
Marxist Reading Group meeting weekly in Boxcar Books and the other one
ran by John Lacny on labor organizing.
(8) Did you do any travel within Indiana or the US or Canada while a
McCloskey Fellow?
Yes, apart from a couple of field trips with my partner Danijela and our three
year old Vuk just outside Bloomington, like the Buddhist temple and Nashville
(IN), we also visited Indianapolis and Nashville (TN) as tourists and went to
Gainesville to give talks at FU (both Danijela and I).
(9) What are your future plans?

Right now I am active in establishing the aforementioned BASOC while


attempting to apply for PhD programs. My research and activist goals are
pretty much on a set course, attempting to bring theoretical musings closer
to practical conditions on the ground and allow practice define my research
goals and methods.
(10) Is there anything else you would like to add (info about Danijela or Vuk)?
Danijela is an associate professor of Cultural Studies and Linguistics at the
English Department of the Banja Luka University. She also gave talks both on
IU and FU during our two-months stay. Vuk is our 3-year-old boy that
managed to absorb lots of English phrases mostly concerning sweets and
toys, especially dinosaurs. All in all, these were very productive couple of
months and I do hope to come back to IU at some point.
(11) Is there a photo you would like us to use? If so, please send it to me (in
any format) via email.
I think I emailed a couple of photos to someone already.