Glocol Seminar 106 @ Suita, Osaka University
Time: Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 16:30-18:30
Place: Alumnus Union Building (Icho Kaikan) of Osaka University, Medical School
ABSTRACT: Today, more than two decades after the onset of the 1990s wars in former Yugoslavia, many people in Serbia feel no happier with local, European and world politics. After a short-lived period of economic growth and political stability, the country has returned to a state of dissatisfaction and uncertainty. Many want to demystify and confront wartime nationalism, which is increasingly felt as a historical and political burden. Yet they often resist the manner in which they feel that some projects of reconciliation and of European integration are being forced upon them. Their suspicion is that such projects hide hidden agendas. Tensions arise between these two simultaneous needs, for self-reflection on and criticism of the country’s history on the one hand, and for a freedom to contest the perceived public denigration of Serbia, on the other. In such a context, certain past events as well as predictions of the future are interpreted through various conspiratorial narratives. Paranoid claims seems to serve as an organising device through which certain social conditions and predicaments are evaluated. The paper proposes to analyse what might be termed ‘auto poetic and strategic paranoid observations’ through coming to terms with the manner, or the rhetorical style, in which they are uttered. The manner is one of exaggeration. Importantly, paranoid worldviews, that exaggerate in order to attest specific historical events and their logic, at least on the subjective level, have a political purchase in contemporary Serbia denied to more rational forms of discourse.