My research interests include the dynamics of local nationalism, the politics of mass violence and historical memory, and applying social science methodologies to historical research of intercommunal peace and discord. I strive to work, as much as possible, in the margins that exist between the discipline of history, on one hand, and those of political science, sociology, and anthropology, on the other. At the same time, I have a deep commitment to “story telling,” and thus I seek to engage in rigorous question-driven research, but to always present my findings within a vivid narrative structure.
I am interested in how small units of analysis, such as villages, can open up new vistas for reconsidering big questions about the past. Although I have conducted extensive archival research in all the major central archives in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia, my primary focus is the local archive, which remains a highly under-utilized research site in this part of the world. Since 2005, I have spent considerable time searching for new sources in towns such as Karlovac, Šibenik, Zadar, Bihać, Foča, Novi Pazar, Čačak, Gornji Milanovac, and Kraljevo. When written documents have been unavailable, I have devoted significant time to interviewing people in villages in the Glina region of Croatia; the Čačak region of Serbia; and the Kulen Vakuf region of Bosnia-Herzegovina. My work focuses largely on rural communities, a research site where most people in this part of the world have lived historically, but one that scholars have paid the least attention to, especially through fieldwork in the countryside and research in local archives.
My research and writing, therefore, are interdisciplinary. My research methodology employs mixed approaches. The scale and perspective of my analysis is often local and small, with sustained attention to life in the countryside. But all of these elements allow me to provide more precise answers to big, often perplexing questions about the dynamics of violence, nationalism, and historical memory. My objective is to explain these phenomena in the Balkan communities that I study in ways that have broader portability to multiple temporal and geographical contexts throughout the world.
The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation
The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)
The International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX)
Le Fonds de recherché du Québec-Société et culture (FRQ-SC)
The Fulbright International Institute for Education (IIE)
The American Councils for International Education