The article examines the emergence of new post–Cold War geopolitical imaginaries in the creative work of Croatian American writers Josip Novakovich and Neda Miranda Blažević-Krietzman. This work addresses memories of (post)socialism, develops transnationalized images of the wars in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, fictionalizes emigration from these geographies, and imagines new forms of transnationalism between the United States and Croatia. The work of Novakovich and Blažević-Krietzman was enabled by the end of the Cold War, which has shifted US cultural politics and reinscribed the significance of Eastern European geographies into the US imaginary. Novakovich’s and Blažević-Krietzman’s transnational positions have allowed them to create innovative form and content in ways that enhance the global appeal and reception of their work. Furthermore, their dual experience of socialism and capitalism has enabled the two writers to intervene in unique ways in contemporary debates about history and memory. In its choice of themes, protagonists, and locations, their writing strongly advocates for a new transnational literature, while also asking for the development of new critical models for the study of transnationalism in US literature and culture.
Geopolitical Imaginaries: Croatian Diasporic Writers in North America
Jelena Šesnić is associate professor in the Department of English at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. Author of From Shadow to Presence: Representations of Ethnicity in Contemporary American Literature (2007) and Mračn e žene. Prikazi ženstva u američkoj književnosti (1820–1860) (Dark Ladies: Figures of Femininity in American Literature [1820–1860]; 2010), she is editor of Siting America, Sighting Modernity: Essays in Honor of Sonja Bašić (2010) and coeditor of The Errant Labor of the Humanities: Festschrift Presented to Stipe Grgas (2017). Šesnić is president of the Croatian Association for American Studies, coorganizer of the annual Zagreb American Studies Workshops, and vice-president of the Association for American Studies in South-Eastern Europe.
Jelena Šesnić; Geopolitical Imaginaries: Croatian Diasporic Writers in North America. Twentieth-Century Literature 1 March 2019; 65 (1-2): 71–96. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0041462X-7378817
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