Millennial Girlhood and Social Class in Serbia’s Transitional Cinema

Friday, December 9, 2016
6:30pm - 8:00pm
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building)

Please join the Njegos Endowment for Serbian Language and Culture at Columbia University’s East Central European Center and the Harriman Institute for a lecture by Dr. Dijana Jelača, Fordham University.

In recent Serbian cinema, coming-of-age narratives are frequently offered as frameworks for a critique of social, cultural and economic circumstances of precarity rooted in the country’s ongoing post-socialist transition. This focus on troubled youth in films such as Barbarians (Ivan Ikić, 2014), Skinning (Stevan Filipović, 2010) and Tilva Rosh (Nikola Ležaić, 2010) often highlights male subcultures and allows for an inspection of the links between nationalism, youth rebellion, post-conflict trauma and social class. These cinematic depictions of youth-in-crisis, which Jelača refers to as transitional films, offer insights into the locally produced ethno-national identities as challenged by the proliferating transnational networks of connectivity. In this talk, she will put particular focus a provocative example of transitional Serbian film about girls – Maja Miloš’s Clip (2012). Jelača will examine the controversy that arose around the film's depiction of underage female promiscuity and graphic scenes of sex and show how the film's approach to representing millennial girlhood stages provocative commentary on the performative aspects of social class in transitional Serbia. Cultural forms such as these, as well as the controversies that arise around them, suggest that new understandings of feminist projects need to be forged out of the shifting social conditions the frame the experiences of millennial girls in contemporary Serbia and the region.

Dijana Jelača is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University. She holds a PhD in Communication and Film Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her areas of inquiry include feminist film theory, critical ethnic studies, trauma and memory studies, and South Slavic film cultures. Jelača’s recent book, Dislocated Screen Memory: Narrating Trauma in Post-Yugoslav Cinema (Palgrave 2016), focuses on trauma as cultural memory in cinema after Yugoslavia. Jelača's numerous scholarly articles have appeared in Camera Obscura, Feminist Media Studies, Studies in Eastern European Cinema, Jump Cut and elsewhere. She is also a co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Cinema and Gender (Routledge, 2017).