Nataša Kovačević

A photo of Nataša Kovačević

Professor

English Language and Literature

612M Pray-Harrold

734.487.0976

nkovacev@emich.edu

Education

  • Ph.D., English, University of Florida
  • MA, English and TESOL, University of Kentucky
  • BA, English, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Interests and Expertise

I teach postcolonial and global literature. My research interests 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
  • multicultural British literature

Check out my personal website for more information.

My first book, Narrating Post/Communism: Colonial Discourse and Europe's Borderline Civilization, focused on (post)communist Eastern Europe as a proto-colonial space, showing how discourses supporting transitions to global capitalism and liberal democracy hinged on an Orientalist stigmatization of communist regimes and Eastern European cultures. I analyze literary texts by anti-communist dissidents and exiles who present themselves as both "Eastern" and "Western" to their audiences, both internalizing and criticizing this Orientalist discourse of inferiority. My new book, Uncommon Alliances: Cultural Narratives of Migration in the New Europe, 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 a beacon 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 360W Recent Trends in British and American Literature
  • LITR 422W Novel in Global Perspective
  • LITR 443 Women in Literature
  • LITR 440: Studies in the Genre
  • LITR 480W Studies in Literature and Culture
  • LITR 578 Postcolonial Perspectives in Literature
  • LITR 580 Recent Trends in Contemporary Literature

Publications and Presentations

Books
Journal issues
Selected essays
  • "Alternative Hospitalities on the Margins of Europe," in Languages of Resistance, Transformation, and Futurity in Mediterranean Crisis-Scapes: From Crisis to Critique, Palgrave, forthcoming
  • "Failures of Community: Andrić in Andrićgrad," in Claiming the Dispossession: The Politics of Hi/Storytelling in Post-imperial Europe, Brill, 2017
  • “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

Additional Information

Languages
  • Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (native)
  • English
  • Russian
  • Spanish