HST300.10 Peace and Conflict in the Balkans (Signature Seminar; Spring)


An immersive experience of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s social, political, cultural and natural environment. The global politics of peacebuilding, reconciliation and democratization are providing a blueprint for postconflict reconstruction projects around the world, including Rwanda, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the continued reconstruction of the former Yugoslav states. Among these, Bosnia and Herzegovina is particularly interesting due to the intensive involvement of the world’s most powerful states and leading international institutions in the region’s governance. This external project of postwar state-making and nation-building makes Bosnia and Herzegovina into an exceptionally rich site to investigate the nature of “western” geopolitical imaginings and the forms of humanitarian interventions in a post-Cold War context. At the same time, due to prolific ethnographic research conducted in the postwar era, the Balkans provide an excellent context to study how ordinary people negotiate their postwar realities, the effects of international military and humanitarian interventions, and conflicting expectations of the future.

This ten-day-traveling seminar offers an immersive student experience of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s social, political, cultural, and natural environment. This experience will allow participants to not only learn about Bosnia and Herzegovina in its complexity, but to reflect on and examine their own worldview, biases, and ways of life. Participants will be encouraged to consider both Bosnia and Herzegovina and their own “homelands” in a comparative light, allowing them to realize that their way of life is one among many, and that it is connected to all others.

Cross-listed with ANT300.10.

The three credits earned for this seminar will be included in the maximum 19 credits that you are permitted to take during your semester abroad. You must enroll in a minimum of 12 other credits for the semester, not including this seminar.

This Signature Seminar is optional and travel destinations are subject to change. Seminar takes place after the semester concludes.

Department: History

Location: Florence

Semester: Spring

Credits: 3