Colloquium | Dijana Jelaca

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 12:00pm


Dijana Jelača

The Socialist Minor Cinema of Soja Jovanović

In this presentation, I will discuss the "minor cinema" of a pioneering Yugoslav woman director, Sofija "Soja" Jovanović (1922-2002). Even though she directed the first Yugoslav feature film shot in color, and her 1950s and 1960s comedies were extremely popular with the domestic audiences, Jovanović has largely been ignored by Yugoslav film historians, or delegated to a position secondary to her male counterparts. I argue that this is due, in part, to her work being predominantly situated within the genre of comedy, and perceived as largely apolitical. I will urge a rethinking of Jovanović's ouevre through the lens of socialist minor cinema that possesses "low" cultural capital and at the same time frequently articulates what might be deemed a socialist woman's intimate public sphere. By doing so, I seek to reestablish Jovanović's rightful place in the history of Yugoslav socialist film, but also in the project of mapping new transnational constellations of women's cinema more broadly.

Dijana Jelača holds a PhD in Communication and Film Studies from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and currently teaches in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University. Her areas of inquiry include feminist film and media studies, trauma and memory studies, and South Slavic film cultures. She is the author of Dislocated Screen Memory: Narrating Trauma in Post-Yugoslav Cinema (Palgrave 2016), and co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Cinema and Gender (Routledge, 2017), and The Cultural Life of Capitalism in Yugoslavia (Palgrave, 2017). Her work has appeared in Camera Obscura, Feminist Media Studies, Jump Cut, Signs and elsewhere.

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