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Peripheral Selves: Affect, Decoloniality and the Politics of Location

Monday, February 28, 2022, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

There are multiple peripheries and peripheries within peripheries, inhabited by peripheral selves, as bodies emerging from such spaces. There is a gendered, class and racial revalorization of peripheral bodies feeding to the capitalist expansion those who have already left, are preparing to leave, or have been stranded on their route in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Peripheral selves are conditioned by multiple oppressions including wars and policing, privatization, denial of justice.

The lecture looks at the making and breaking of peripheral selves in and from postsocialist BiH in an empirically rich, self-reflexive account of documented politico-economic and ideological developments based on her Humboldt-funded research "To Occupy or Immigrate: Dealing with (Un)frozen Conflict in BiH through Social Movements and Economic Migrations". Through world systems, postcolonial theory and the decolonial option and, historical and new materialist optics, discursive and affective analytical registers, and various qualitative methodological choices, peripheral subjectivities and the author's herself are analyzed in connection to global proletarianization but also past and present resistance via personal and social movement(s): the assemblages with the Banja Luka Social Center (BASOC), feminist festival BLASFEM and Justice for David movement.

The author analyzing lives of new third-wave BiH migrants to Germany post-2015, which she temporarily became part of, in juxtaposition with non-European migrants in temporary reception centers in BiH pushed back when trying to cross the EU exposing labor and race, border struggles, and market as new variables for studying selves in this particular context. Drawing on Haraway's “situated knowledge” (1988) and Rich's “politics of location” (1984), she underlies the strong affective ties within researcher-researched assemblages urging for deeper coalitions and solidarity among various peripheral, power-differentiated communities.


Danijela Majstorović is a Professor of English Linguistics and Cultural Studies at the University of Banja Luka’s English department. Her research interests involve critical discourse analysis, critical theory, feminist theory, post- and decolonial theory, and post-Dayton Bosnia. Her most recent book Discourse and Affect in Post-socialist Bosnia and Herzegovina: Peripheral Selves came out for Palgrave in 2021.

The lecture is mandatory for the 1st year MA and PhD students in Gender Studies. CEU Community is invited to attend on-site. The general public and students and faculty not able to attend in person are invited to attend online via the Zoom link that will be sent following registration.