A man in a white sweater and a hat with ear flaps standing on a street in St. Petersburg, Russia.

REEES Kruzhok, May 10, 2024: “GOYDA and OYDA: Putin’s propaganda narratives through the lens of pro-war and anti-war songs” with Elena Vasyanina

This paper by scholar Elena Vasyanina delves into the influence of Russian propaganda narratives on public perception. Vasyanina presents findings from a content analysis of 70 Russian anti-war songs and 70 pro-war songs (Z-songs), all penned in 2022 and 2023, reflecting on or reacting to Kremlin propaganda narratives related to the war against Ukraine. The assumption is made that songwriters, whether they create “from the heart” or “on commission,” tend to embody in their lyrics what they consider to be important and what emotionally engages them more deeply.

Sign up here (Zoom) to join us for this final CUNY REEES Kruzhok of the semester, May 10, 2024 at 12:30 PM

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REEES Kruzhok, April 19, 2024: “Mass Atrocities and the Police: A New History of Ethnic Cleansing in Bosnia and Herzegovina” with Christian Axboe Nielsen

Join the CUNY REEES Kruzhok at 12:30 PM on April 19, 2024 (on Zoom) with historian Christian Axboe Nielsen, who will speak about his new book, Mass Atrocities and the Police: A New History of Ethnic Cleansing in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Between April 1992 and December 1995, more than 100,000 people were killed in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The terrible atrocities committed in this period have been much discussed and studied and many prosecuted as acts of genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity. But so far, the academic scholarship has focused on the role of the military in these events. This has come at the expense of considering the police’s role, which Nielsen here demonstrates as crucial. Nielsen traces the origins of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina to the police and associated paramilitary groups. Nielsen makes this ground-breaking case by drawing on a host of confidential archival sources, academic research and practical experience as a widely cited expert witness in the most notorious of the war crimes tribunals. His innovative new history sheds light on wider issues regarding the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the Balkan wars and the region today.

Christian Axboe Nielsen is an Associate Professor of History and Human Security at Aarhus University in Denmark. He received his Ph.D. in Eastern European history with distinction from Columbia University in 2002, and also holds a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He has worked as an analyst at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and at the International Criminal Court, and has appeared as an expert witness in international and domestic criminal and civil cases, including the trials of Momčilo Krajišnik, Mićo Stanišić, Stojan Župljanin, Goran Hadžić and Radovan Karadžić. He has also worked as a consultant for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and for the Ministry of Justice in Canada and for the Federal Prosecutor in Germany. His books include Making Yugoslavs: Identity in King Aleksandar’s Yugoslavia (University of Toronto Press, 2014) and Yugoslavia and Political Assassinations: The History and Legacy of Tito’s Campaign Against the Émigrés (Bloomsbury/I.B. Tauris, 2020) and Mass Atrocities and the Police: A New History of Ethnic Cleansing in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bloomsbury/I.B. Tauris, 2022). He has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals on Yugoslav history, football hooliganism, mass violence and genocide. 

Sign up here (Zoom) to RSVP.

Papers for the workshops will be circulated one week prior to the event date and a reminder email will be sent at that time. We will meet once per month throughout the semester. We look forward to seeing you!

The CUNY REEES Kruzhok is a space for scholars in the social sciences and humanities to share research in progress for feedback, with a wider aim of connecting specialists focused on this region within CUNY, New York, and further afield. It is co-sponsored by the European Union Studies Center and the History PhD Program at the Graduate Center, CUNY. It is coordinated by Mark Lewis (College of Staten Island/Graduate Center, CUNY), Merrill Sovner (EU Studies Center, Graduate Center, CUNY) and Lukasz Chielminski (Baruch College/CUNY Baccalaureate). It meets on selected Fridays at 12:30 pm ET during the semester. Email cunyreeeskruzhok@gmail.com to join the mailing list or express interest in presenting.