Student Spotlight: Erma Nezirevic

Erma was born in Bosnia, raised in Croatia, and moved to Idaho as a refugee at the age of 14. She graduated with a double BA in Spanish and Social Science from Boise State University. She earned her MA in Spanish from the University of Oregon, and in 2012, she began her PhD in Spanish at the University of Minnesota. Erma is interested in issues of mass violence, collective memory and nationalism in contemporary Spain. She has been involved with the Holocaust, Genocide, and Mass Violence interdisciplinary graduate group since its inception and has served as the group coordinator and Research Assistant for the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

Erma’s current research examines Spanish cultural representations of the wars in the former Yugoslavia that took place in the 1990s. Her work is comparative, and based on the observed parallel experiences the two countries have gone through during the twentieth century including dictatorships, civil wars, and struggles over memory and transitions to democracy. As a literary and cultural scholar, Erma studies the way Spanish authors, journalists and photographers approach the Balkan atrocity as a symbolic reliving and reflection on old Spanish traumas such as the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and Franco’s fascist regime. She will be defending her dissertation this semester.

Minneapolis Film Society Screens Pretty Village

On Saturday, October 17th, 2015, the Minneapolis Film Society screened Pretty Village at St. Anthony Main theater, a documentary depicting the experience of Kemal Pevranic and his village during the war in Bosnia (1992-95). Pevranic, the main subject of the film, is also the producer and a human rights activist who works to raise awareness and to rebuild his community in Bosnia by working on reconciliation efforts, particularly with young people of all three ethnicities in Bosnia. The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies co-sponsored the film screening event, in which I participated as the moderator of the post-screening discussion. Continue reading “Minneapolis Film Society Screens Pretty Village”

Srebrenica: What Remains 20 Years Later

Recently I laid over at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, at which the Delta Airlines security agent checked my U.S. passport prior to boarding the plane to Minneapolis. Upon seeing my name and place of birth (Bosnia and Herzegovina), he asked in Serbian if I spoke “our language.” I responded with a “yes, of course,” and he completed the rest of the security procedure in ‘our language,’ revealing that he is a Serb who escaped to the Netherlands in 1991 because he did not want to have to fight the Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) or the Croats, as they are all “my people, our people.” Continue reading “Srebrenica: What Remains 20 Years Later”