Open lecture

2 April 2019 | Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Gołębia Street 9

Igor Vujčić "Myth and History in the Construction of National Identity in Contemporary Serbia"

Stories about a country’s past are indispensable cultural and cognitive tools for the conceptualisation and construction of national identity, but also for establishing and communicating a system of values and meanings that can profoundly shape an individual’s worldview. In contemporary Serbia, just like in the whole of post-Yugoslav space, where the memories of 1990s ethnic conflicts are still fresh, the importance of these stories in political mobilisation and conceptualisation of difference between ‘us’ and ‘them’ is even more pronounced. By tracing the semantic and affective associations inscribed in these stories which blur the line between myth and history, we can identify a set of cultural and cognitive models that are utilised in drawing a complex cognitive map of the social world populated by friends and foes, allies and enemies.

Igor Vujčić is a PhD candidate at the department of Ethnology and Anthropology at the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy. Currently working on a PhD thesis dealing with cultural aspects of recreational drug use in contemporary Serbia, his research is related to the topics of small group culture creation, the relationship between cognition and culture, as well as cultural symbolism. During his participation in the research project titled “Hybrid Warfare: Experiences and Perspectives”, organised by Ministry of Defense of Republic of Serbia, he had the opportunity to conduct research in the fields of political anthropology and anthropology of the media with the focus on cultural communication and political identities.

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