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"The Uses of Blackness in Yugoslavia: Dimensions and Legacies of an Idea"

Niles Gallery
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s):
Sunnie Rucker- Chang

In this talk Dr. Rucker-Chang explores the uses and meanings of "Blackness" in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1945-1992) and its successor states of Serbia and Montenegro. To reflect on the mechanisms of cultural and social incorporation of “Blacks” in Yugoslavia, she highlights how, in defiance to Yugoslav narratives of ethnic and racial inclusion, post-Yugoslav identity has adopted a normative ethnic value of  "whiteness" as an inalienable, exclusive feature of belonging.



Sunnie Rucker-Chang is an Assistant Professor of Slavic and East European Studies and Director of European Studies at University of Cincinnati. Her primary interests lie in cultural and racial formation(s) in the Balkans. She is a co-editor of and contributor to the book Chinese Migrants in Russia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe (Routledge, 2011). Her work has appeared in the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Critical Romani Studies, Journal of Transatlantic Studies, and Interventions: The International Journal of Postcolonial Studies. Her co-authored book, Roma Rights and US Civil Rights: A Transatlantic Approach, is currently in press with Cambridge University Press, and her co-edited volume Balkan Migrants: to, from, and in the Balkans: Identity, Alterity, and Culture is under contract with Liverpool University Press. For the 2019-2020 academic year Sunnie will work on her monograph focusing on racial formations and Blackness in Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav space for which she has been awarded an American Association of University Women Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowship.



Sponsored by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Department of African American and Africana Studies, Department of History, International Studies, Department of Anthropology and the College of Arts and Sciences.