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Student Spotlight: Jason Seter (MARS-REERS ’24)
March 14, 2024

Jason Seter is a recipient of the Summer Language Fellowship and a Harriman-sponsored internship grant.

What region/topics are you focusing on at the Harriman Institute?

I focus on Southeastern Europe, particularly those nations that made up the former Yugoslavia. I am especially interested in the effects of corruption and disinformation on the region.

What is your thesis about?

My thesis is on stand-up comedy, primarily in Croatia, but also in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Serbia. I want to understand how the comedy scene has grown since the early 2000s, and how the art form reflects (or can even help resolve) some social issues, including strained interethnic relationships.

What are some of your favorite things about studying here?

I enjoy the intimacy of the Harriman Institute. I feel that I’ve developed some familiarity with the majority of faculty and staff here, not to mention friendships with other students. I don’t feel like just another face in the crowd (which is a strange thing to say in New York City.)

What’s your most memorable experience here so far?

I saw a Serbian actor, Nikola Ðuričko, perform stand-up at the Cutting Room, a beautiful venue downtown. I went with some other students learning BCS (Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian) and my professor of BCS, Aleksandar Bošković. It was a fun night and a very special experience that I would not have had unless I was at Harriman.

 Where in the region have you traveled?

I spent last summer studying Serbian in Belgrade thanks to Harriman’s Summer Language Fellowship and then in Sofia, interning at the Center for the Study of Democracy thanks to a Harriman-sponsored internship grant. Prior to moving to New York, I lived in Croatia for roughly a year. I also spent a summer in Sarajevo, but while living in these places I traveled as much as I could to other nearby countries, including North Macedonia, Slovenia, and Hungary.

Fun fact about yourself:

I recently started performing stand-up again, and this is where I would provide a link to clips of my performances, if I had any good ones. But please support all comics and artists, wherever you encounter them!

Photo Caption: Jason at the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (Српска академија наука и уметности) in Belgrade. He enjoyed visiting cultural sites throughout the country while doing a Serbian language intensive last summer.