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Renowned Balkan experts discuss the region’s current dilemmas

April 07, 2008

As the central Balkans seem poised to boil over into another round of ethnic violence, McDaniel College explores the region with two nights of distinguished panelists and lectures. Events on both nights are free and open to the public. For more information, call 410-857-2294.

  • “Balkan Instabilities: Why the former Yugoslavia is still breaking up,” a discussion with distinguished panelists, will be held at 7:30 p.m. April 14 in McDaniel Lounge.
  • “The Bogomil Debate That Won't Go Away:  The Bosnian Medieval Church and Modern Political Controversies,” will be held at 6 p.m. April 15 in McDaniel Lounge. The speaker is visiting Fulbright Lecturer Dubravko Lovrenovic, professor at the University of Sarajevo.

More than a decade after the disintegration of Yugoslavia, Serbia has resisted the recent declaration of independence by its southern province of Kosovo as obstinately as it has resisted arresting genocidal criminals from the Bosnian war. The recent burning of the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade and the subsequent fall of the Serbian government are signs
that the country may be slipping irrevocably out of Europe’s sphere. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, constitutionally divided into separate Serb and Muslim-Croat “entities” since the war, ethnic politics still reign supreme. Political gridlock and economic corruption are its tragic consequences.

The Balkan instabilities panel will explore the current situation in the former Yugoslavia, particularly Bosnia-Herzegovina. The panel is comprised of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the U.S., Dr. Bisera Turkovic; Associate Professor of History at the University of Sarajevo, Dr. Dubravko Lovrenovic; Chairman and Founder of the Media in Democracy Institute, Mr. Kemal Kurspahic; and Director of the Center for Interreligious Dialogue and Conflict Prevention at Sofia University in Bulgaria, Dr. Ina Merdjanova.  McDaniel College Associate Professor of History Paul Miller will moderate.

The following evening, Fulbright Lecturer Dubravko Lovrenovic will discuss the Bosnian Medieval Church. A specialist in southeastern Europe during the medieval period, Lovrenovic is the author of numerous reviews and journal articles on Bosnian medieval history. His dissertation, Hungary and Bosnia, 1387–1463, was published in Sarajevo in 2006. His book about Bosnian medieval tombstones (STECCI), scheduled to appear this June in Sarajevo, will be the first of its kind in English. More recently, he has completed a book manuscript on Bosnian myths entitled “Povijest Est Magistra Vitae” (History is the Master of Life). Lovrenovic was a visiting professor at Yale University in summer 2002, and he is currently a Fulbright scholar at the University of Chicago. In addition to Lovrenovic’s academic record, he has served as Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport in the government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina; and on the Bosnian State Commission for the Protection of Monuments and Cultural Property.

Associate Professor of History Paul Miller organized the events. Miller, also a research scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, won a Fulbright Occasional Lecturer travel award to bring Lovrenovic to McDaniel College. Miller first headed to Sarajevo as a Fulbright Scholar in fall 2004. He taught a course on 20th-century genocide at the University of Sarajevo, as well as courses at the International University of Sarajevo. He is currently working on a book on the memory of the Sarajevo assassination that sparked World War I.

The lecture and discussions are sponsored by the departments of History, Political Science/International Studies, Religious Studies/Philosophy, and the offices of the President and Academic Affairs.