Today, 11 students, Joe Lyons, and Conrad Pitcher departed from Boston to begin their trip to Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia!
Born in nationalist dreams that sparked the First World War and saw its destruction in the civil wars of the 1990s, Yugoslavia embodied the hopes and horrors of the 20th century, and foreshadowed our current time. According to David Brooks, “[Yugoslavia’s] civil war in the 1990s was the most important event of that [decade]” because “[i]t prefigured what has come since: the return of ethnic separatism, the rise of authoritarian populism, the retreat of liberal democracy, the elevation of a warrior ethos that reduces politics to friend/enemy, zero-sum conflicts.” This trip will explore the origin and consequences of the forces Brooks highlights, forces made all the more complicated by the different narratives the region’s ethnic and religious groups possess of Yugoslavia’s complex past. Students will come to appreciate the forces that molded this past, and how that past shapes the identity and policies of those now living in the region.
We look forward to reading their upcoming reflections blog posts on Deerfield’s Notes from Abroad!