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Title:Within the Walls: War, Trauma, and Recovery in Dubrovnik
Author(s):Pintar, Judith Ann
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Lie, John
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Anthropology, Cultural
Abstract:The siege of the Croatian city of Dubrovnik that began on October 1st, 1991 was among the earliest military aggressions of the Yugoslav army in response to the breakup of the republics of the former Yugoslavia. The thriving tourist economy of the 1400 year old city collapsed the moment the first shell hit the city walls. In this ethnography of war and recovery I argue that the citizens of Dubrovnik suffered as individuals, but that they were also damaged because the city was damaged in countless material ways. Although theorists of space/place have amply explored the symbolic value that places hold, the materiality of the physical world has been considered secondarily to its capacity to anchor meaning. Similarly, although theorists of collective memory recognize that there are sites of memory, commemorations are most often seen as human constructions written in the present upon a past that has no memory or voice of its own. Barry Schwartz, in contrast, has argued that even if the past is reinterpreted in the present, it also shapes the present; likewise, Edward Soja addressing the sociology of place believes that the social and the spatial mutually construct and transform one another. Still, Schwartz and Soja hesitate on the brink of acknowledging that the material world might have agency. Post-humanism, as it has arisen from the work of Bruno Latour and Andrew Pickering however, braves the gap between realism and constructivism by illuminating the emergent relationship between human and material agencies. The city of Dubrovnik can be productively understood as a geographical and historical entity, both human and non-human, a collective existing in space and time. The story of Dubrovnik reflects more than the trauma experienced by its people; it tells a tale of their resiliency, not their ability to bounce back to what was before, but rather their talent in bouncing forward into new social and material arrangements, extemporaneously created. Just as we shape and are shaped by the spaces we inhabit in time of peace and relative stability, we no less reshape and are reshaped by the world during time of war.
Issue Date:2001
Description:234 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3023172
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2001

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