Keynote Lecture: From Srebrenica to St. Louis: War Trauma 20 Years Later

Thursday, May 14, 2015
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Annenberg Auditorium
435 Lasuen Mall, Stanford University

  • Renata Salecl

What does 20 years mean when we are dealing with traumas of war? How do people symbolize the war, what kind of imaginary do they create when they try to make sense of what happened to them and their country, and how do they come to terms with their losses?

In the last years, I have visited both Srebrenica and St. Louis in Missouri, home of the largest community of Bosnian refugees in the US. The way these two communities deal with trauma is radically different. However, they strangely find similar dilemmas when they search for the remains of their loved ones with the help of forensic analysis.

Trauma, however, has not surpassed also the observers - the Dutch soldiers who witnessed the genocide and did nothing to prevent it. But did the other observers - the international community - learn anything from Srebrenica? Did not the lack of reflection on failure of intervention in Srebrenica, paradoxically, allow other future failures to multiply?

Renata Salecl is a philosopher and sociologist. She is Senior Researcher at the Institute of  Criminology at the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana, Slovenia, professor at the School of Law, Birkbeck College, University of London and Recurring Visiting Professor at Cardozo School of Law in New York. Salecl is the author of The Spoils of Freedom (Routledge 1994), (Per)versions of Love and Hate (Verso, 1998), On Anxiety (Routledge 2004), Tyranny of Choice (Profile Books 2010).  Her books have been translated into more than 10 languages.  She also writes commentaries for the leading daily newspaper Delo in Ljubljana, Slovenia. In the last years, she has been named Slovenian Woman Scientist of the Year as well as Woman of the Year.

Co-sponsored by Stanford Global Studies, The Europe Center, The Mediterranean Studies Forum, The Sohaib and Sara Abbasi Program in Ilamic Studies, the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Film and Media Studies Program in the Department of Art & Art History, Stanford Humanities Center, with funding from the US Department of Education Title VI National Resource Centers program.

For more information on the conference, please visit here: Yugoslav Space Twenty Years After Srebrenica