Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Professor Miranda Jakiša

Fellow Miranda Jakiša

October 2013 - March 2014
Mail miranda.jakisa(at)

Miranda Jakiša was a fellow at the Imre Kertész Kolleg from October 2013 to March 2014. In 2009, she was appointed Professor of Southern and Eastern Slavic Literatures and Cultures at Humboldt University in Berlin. Prior to that, she was based at the Center for Literary and Cultural Research in Berlin, where she worked on the project "Enmity in Balkan Literatures". She also worked at the Universities of Tübingen and Constance as a research assistant and a research associate. Miranda Jakiša completed her PhD on Bosnian literature at the University of Tübingen. She studied Slavic studies, politics and English literature in Constance, Glasgow and Sarajevo.

Research project at the Kolleg

The Yugoslav Partisan Narrative - the Epochal Experience of Survival, Voluntary Metalepsis and Nationalized Deconstruction
The partisan narrative, which encompasses successive versions of the historical partisan war fought between 1941 and 1945, is the focus of Miranda Jakiša's project. While this narrative played a role throughout Eastern Europe in the twentieth century, in Yugoslavia it was also hugely popular and even bound up with cultural politics. The stylization of Yugoslav participation in the Narodnooslobodilačka Borba (fight to free the people) as a 'self-liberation' in the foundational myth of the second Yugoslavia was supported by literary and filmic representations of that fight. The project distinguishes between three main (and overlapping) phases of the partisan narrative (1943/44-1957, 1962-1978 and 1985-1990), which are inextricably linked to political and societal developments and also coincide with aesthetic paradigm shifts in European literary and film history (post-war literature, nouvelle vague, post-modernism). During my stay at the Kolleg, I plan to write a contextualizing overview of this narrative, analysing the motifs and narrative strategies of exemplary partisan texts (including films and songs) from five decades of Yugoslav history. This overview is based on the premise that in the period from 1941/42 to 1992, the partisan narrative always changed at points in Yugoslav history when it was used to legitimize a new reality. The literary processing of trauma by veteran-authors in the immediate post-war period, which gave rise to a narrative of the self-empowerment of the 'active victim' in the aftermath of wartime suffering (1), was followed by a phase of metaleptic commitment to the 'partisan spirit' by a new generation, which functioned by way of 'bridges to the present' and ultimately represented the usurpation of the revolutionary impetus by that generation (2). This second phase later gave way to a systematic yet always ambivalent deconstruction of the partisan narrative, which was characterized by ironizing and at times also by nationalizing tendencies (3). The project focuses especially on early partisan narratives from 1943/44 to 1957. These are understood as post-war literature and an expression of the epochal European experience of survival in the twentieth century. In the spirit of the writer and critical intellectual Imre Kertész, after whom the Kolleg is named, the project takes the war experiences described in partisan texts seriously. While these texts - most of which were autobiographically authenticated - have often been retrospectively downgraded as 'political novels', they fulfilled a therapeutic function and contributed to the process of coming to terms with wartime experiences. At the same time, they created a space for a utopian overcoming of reality, although or precisely because the act of bearing witness in them persistently marked the boundary between history and fiction.

Main areas of research

  • Contemporary Slavic literatures
  • Literary and cultural theories
  • Eastern European film (especially films made in Yugoslavia and ist successor states)
  • Post-dramatic theatre
  • Art and politics

Positions and Memberships

  • Member of the executive committee of the German Slavist Association (DSV)
  • Member of the Society for Southeeastern Europe (SOG)
  • Member of the German Society for Eastern European Studies (DGO)
  • Member of the Association for Slavic, East European and Euroasian Studies (ASEEES)


Bosnientexte. Ivo Andrić, Meša Selimović, Dževad Karahasan. In der Reihe: Slavische Literaturen. Texte und Abhandlungen. Herausgegeben von Wolf Schmid, Frankfurt a.M. 2009.

Edited Volumes

Partisans in Yugoslavia. Literature, Film and Visual Culture. Miranda Jakiša (Hg.). Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld 2013.

After The Wars. Narrations, Memories and Challenges of the Wars in Yugoslavia. (in Vorbereitung, gemeinsam mit Heike Karge)

Deutsche Beiträge zum 15. Internat. Slavistenkongress Minsk 2013. München, Berlin, Washington. Verlag Otto Sagner 2013. (gemeinsam mit Sebastian Kempgen/ Monika Wingender/ Norbert Franz)

Remembering War and Peace in Southeast Europe in the 20th Century. Split: Filozofska fakulteta 2013. (gemeinsam mit Aleksandar Jakir/Tanja Zimmermann)

Jugoslawien-Libanon. Verhandlungen von Zugehörigkeit in den Künsten fragmentierter Kulturen. Kadmos Berlin 2012. (gemeinsam mit Andreas Pflitsch)

Osteuropäische Lektüren II. Texte zum 8. Treffen des Jungen Forums Slavistische Literaturwissenschaft. Frankfurt a.M. 2009. (gemeinsam mit Thomas Skowronek)


Kroatische Literatur heute: Realitätsbesessenheit und Protestkultur. In: OST-WEST Europäische Perspektiven. Jg. 3/2013. Schwerpunkt: Kroatien, S. 206-215.

Großes Kino der Subversion und Affirmation. Vom Schlagabtausch im Film der jugoslawischen 1960er. In: Jugoslawien in den 1960er Jahren: Auf dem Weg zu einem (a-)normalen Staat? Hannes Grandits/Holm Sundhaussen (Hg.), Wiesbaden 2013, S. 185-213.

Die stolze Scham der Hasanaginica. Unübersetzbarkeit und Universalpoesie in Goethes Klaggesang Von der edlen Frauen des Asan Aga (mit Christoph Deupmann). In: Annäherung - Anverwandlung - Aneignung. Goethes Übersetzungen in poetologischer und interkultureller Perspektive. Markus May/Evi Zemanek (Hg.), Würzburg 2013, S. 43-66.

Die Evidenz Srebrenicas: Oliver Frljićs Theatergericht in Kukavičluk. In: Evidenz und Zeugenschaft. Poetische und mediale Strategien im Umgang mit dem Unzugänglichen. Susi Frank/Schamma Schahadat (Hg.). Wiener Slawistischer Almanach Bd. 69. 2012, S. 115-133.

Ivana Sajkos Theater der Disjunktion(en). Rose is a rose is a rose is rose und Prizori s jabukom. In: Jugoslawien-Libanon. Verhandlungen von Zugehörigkeit in den Künsten fragmentierter Kulturen. Miranda Jakiša/Andreas Pflitsch (Hg.), kadmos Berlin 2012, S. 275-295.

Memory of a Past to Come - Yugoslavia's Partisan Film and the Fashioning of Space and Time. In: Balkan memories. Media Constructions of National and Transnational History. Tanja Zimmermann (Hg.), Bielefeld 2012, S. 111-120.

Der 'tellurische Charakter' des Partisanengenres: Jugoslavische Topo-Graphie in Film und Literatur. In: Topographien pluraler Kulturen. Europa vom Osten gesehen. Esther Kilchmann/Andreas Pflitsch/Franziska Thun-Hohenstein (Hg). Berlin 2011, S. 207-223.


Daniel Šuber/Slobodan Karamanić (Hg.). Retracing Images. Visual Culture after Yugoslavia. 2012. In: Zeitschrift für Slavische Philologie 69,1. 2012/2013, S. 240-245.

Heike Karge. Steinerne Erinnerung - versteinerte Erinnerung? Kriegsgedenken in Jugoslawien (1947-1970). 2010. In: Südosteuropa-Mitteilungen. Jg. 51, 2/2011, S. 116.

Zoran Terzić. Kunst des Nationalismus. Kultur, Konflikt, (jugoslawischer) Zerfall. Berlin 2007. In: Rezensionsseite des Osteuropainstituts der FU Berlin.

Richard Swartz (Hg). Der andere nebenan. Anthologie aus dem Südosten Europas. Frankfurt a.M. 2007. In: novinki. Neuerscheinungen aus Ost-, Mittel- und Südosteuropa.
A full list of publications can be found on the website of the Department of Slavonic Studies at the Humboldt University.