Eastern Michigan University
direct edit

Nataša Kovačević

Professor

Natasa 612M Pray Harrold

734.487.0976

nkovacev@emich.edu

Education

PhD in English, University of Florida
MA in English and TESOL, University of Kentucky
BA in English, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Languages: Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (native), English, Russian, Spanish

Personal website
: http://emich.academia.edu/NatasaKovacevic

Interests and Expertise

I teach a variety of classes in postcolonial and global literature. My research interests are pretty diverse: they include postcolonial literature and film; (post)communist literature and culture (especially Russian and Yugoslav); Marxist theory; deconstruction; gender studies; the avant-garde; narratives of migration to the European Union; narratives of urban space; contemporary drama; and multicultural British literature. My first book Narrating Post/Communism: Colonial Discourse and Europe’s Borderline Civilization (Routledge, 2008) focused on (post)communist Eastern Europe as a proto-colonial terrain to show how contemporary discursive underpinnings of global capitalism and liberal democracy have been shaped by a combined Orientalist stigmatization of communist regimes and Eastern European cultures. In this book I analyze literary texts by anti-communist dissidents and exiles, who fashion themselves as both "Eastern" and "Western" European (or "American"), and show how they internalize this discourse of inferiority as well as locate moments of its recognition and critique.

My new book, Uncommon Alliances: Cultural Narratives of Migration in the New Europe (Edinburgh University Press, 2018) builds on the earlier book by looking at the contemporary uses and meanings of the idea of Europe, especially in the post 9/11 context of the “war on terror” and growing fears of immigration in the European Union. Although the European Union portrays itself as an agent of world peace, tolerance, and welfare, I argue that it should be theorized through the lens of neocolonialism due to its continued material benefits from unequal power relations with former colonies, virtual pockets of internally colonized minorities, and discriminatory criteria for accession. These reflect established colonial assumptions about civilization, rule of law, and development. I look to narratives of migration – literature, film, and performance art – that hold up a mirror to Europe’s confrontation with that part of itself perceived as unclean, dysfunctional, or in some other way "other" because it thwarts desired economic and democratic progress.

Courses

LITR 202 World Literature: Current Events
LITR 422 Novel in Global Perspective
LITR 480 Studies in Literature and Culture
LITR 443 Women in Literature
LITR 578 Postcolonial Perspectives in Literature
LITR 580 Recent Trends in Contemporary Literature

Recent Publications and Presentations

Books:

Uncommon Alliances: Cultural Narratives of Migration in the New Europe  (Edinburgh University Press, 2018)

Narrating Post/Communism: Colonial Discourse and Europe’s Borderline Civilization
 (Routledge, 2008)

Journal issues:

"Consensual Empires," Special issue of Journal of Narrative Theory , 44.3 (2014)

Selected essays:

“Re-Worlding the Balkans: Films of Voyage to the European Union,” special issue “Myths of Europe: East of Venice,” European Journal of English Studies,  2013

“Storming the EU Fortress: Communities of Disagreement in Dubravka Ugrešić,” Cultural Critique,  2013

“Europe as Host/Hostage: On Strange Encounters and Multicultural Love in Contemporary European Cinema,” Interventions: A Journal of Postcolonial Studies,  2012