Place, Proximity, and the Transmission of Civil War through Time: Reflections on the Course of Two Balkan Wars, 1946–1949 and 1992–1995

Laurie Kain Hart, Stinnes Professor of Global Studies and Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, Haverford College, and NEH Resident Scholar, SAR

Colloquium, SAR Boardroom

Wednesday, October 30, 2013, 12:00–1:00 pm, Free

The aftermath of civil conflict is complex and often deeply socially unresolved. The impact of political violence on afflicted individuals and communities may diminish, even fade, with the passage of time as one generation succeeds the other and as society reconstitutes itself (or perhaps moves towards new defining historical crises). However, more often the impact is transmuted and reproduced in unanticipated social, psychic, material, and embodied registers. Provoked by contemporary local, national, and transnational events, past and present may be re-experienced and conflated. This presentation explores the sequelae of the Greek Civil War of 1946-1949 in the volatile border-zone of northwest Greek Macedonia for those who returned to home territory after extended forced exile. Using the case of Stolač, Bosnia after the war of 1992-1995 as a comparative foil, Hart examines the unfolding of a “post-war” time for perpetrators and victims living in close proximity in former war territory. Hart asks what the passage of time means and does (or fails to do) to the embodiment of violence in the material and social fabric of life in estranged and damaged territory.

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