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Sabrina Perić

Position: 

Annual Fellow 2017-18

Biography: 

Sabrina Perić is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology. Her research focuses on the anthropology and history of resource extraction, science and its relationship to governance. In particular, her research examines how the context of extractive economic activity shapes political agitation and radicalization. She is a historical anthropologist and uses archival methods to illuminate and reorient her contemporary ethnographic work. 

Research Activities: 

Ilegala: Reading, Radicalism and Paramiltarism in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1932-1942

While radicalization today is spoken of as a new phenomenon, the integration of youth and disenfranchised citizens into larger political projects deemed ‘radical’ or ‘extreme’ has long sustained paramilitary activity around the world. In order to understand this phenomenon, I am studying a historical case of radicalization: the rise of Communist Party youth in the 1930s Kingdom of Yugoslavia and their subsequent transformation, in the early 1940s, into Yugoslav Partisan paramilitary units, and eventually the National Liberation Army of Yugoslavia (NOV). This project will ask: how did ordinary civilians ally themselves with Communist politics and become members of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ) in the 1930s? And, furthermore, how did these Communist Party members organize themselves from local KPJ committees into paramilitary units during World War II? This project, in particular, plays close attention to the role of engineers, scientists and miners from Bosnia and Herzegovina's resource extraction industry in the rise of Communist politics. Dr. Perić is especially interested in the cultural tactics used by these industrial elites in promoting new ideas, such as literacy campaigns, reading circles and informal libraries. Her research is intended to provoke a broader discussion of the usage of cultural forms and cultural objects in non-state violence and paramilitary organizations.

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