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What does race have to do with the Yugoslav region?

expressions of ‘white innocence’ (Ross 1990 ) against which Wekker and Imre both write suggest that, in racial exceptionalism and attachment to whiteness, the two regions are not so far apart. They share, at least, a European family resemblance transcending the west/east divisions constructed before and during the Cold War; recognising race as a systemically global structure (Mills 2015 ) makes them not just in parallel but connected. Scholars of other eastern European countries and the USSR, not just the Yugoslav region, face

in Race and the Yugoslav region

expanding history of state socialism and race, the impact of the 1990s wars on memory and identity set the Yugoslav region apart; yet the geopolitics of Non-Alignment had already distinguished Yugoslavia during the Cold War. State socialism, postcoloniality and ‘connected histories’ of the USSR and eastern Europe Historians already acknowledge the Cold War politics of envisioning state socialist space as a moral identity opposed to imperialism and capitalism, versus a USA built on racialised oppression, as a geopolitics of race. US

in Race and the Yugoslav region

of a global consumer culture that commercialises racialised gazes and desires into exotica (Gilroy 2000 ) and of the complex global imagination of ‘America’: indeed, African-American music and musicians were important for US cultural diplomacy during the Cold War (Von Eschen 2006 ), towards Non-Aligned Yugoslavia (Vučetić 2012 ) as well as the USSR. Sounds, songs, stars and genres deeply embedded in US racial politics, from jazz to Michael Jackson through Motown, were also cultural artefacts that entered Yugoslavia as symbols of Americanness, coolness and

in Race and the Yugoslav region

since the 1990s Bosnia and Palestine have usually been treated as separate but comparable, Seferović views them and Li revisits them as part of a single history with ties lasting across time. The most sustained treatment of global raciality and migration from south-east Europe is, however, Miglena Todorova's study of the twentieth-century circulation of people, media and racial formations between Bulgaria, the USA and the USSR. Todorova challenges the assumption that Bulgarian immigrants only learned identification with whiteness through living in

in Race and the Yugoslav region

enlargement, to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland (invited in 1997, admitted in March 1999), simultaneously symbolised these states'/governments'/nations' search for ‘identification with, and recognition by, the West’ (Schimmelfennig 1998 : 199); NATO's belief that military co-operation would promote liberal values and thus stabilise peace in a region where, a decade earlier, it had still expected to fight the USSR in large-scale ground warfare; a guarantee these states would not fall into Russia's sphere of influence; and a hierarchical calculation that these states

in Race and the Yugoslav region