A great man is one who collects knowledge the way a bee collects honey and uses it to help people overcome the difficulties they endure - hunger, ignorance and disease!
- Nikola Tesla

Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
- Franklin Roosevelt

While their territory has been devastated and their homes despoiled, the spirit of the Serbian people has not been broken.
- Woodrow Wilson

Тhe Njegoš Fund for Serbian Studies at Columbia University

The Njegoš Fund for Serbian Studies at Columbia University was established in 1997 to promote language instruction and cultural studies at the University. The Serbian language program at Columbia, one of the oldest in North America, dates back to before World War I, when Mihajlo “Michael” Pupin was a famous professor at Columbia. We at the University have tried to uphold this tradition by improving and expanding the program of instruction in Serbian studies and events for the community.

Instruction: During the last calendar year, 63 students enrolled in a score of International Affairs, Language and Comparative Literature, and Political Science courses that were offered in the South Slavic area. The figure includes language classes, taught now by Dr. Aleksandar Bošković, who was hired to replace Dr. Radmila Gorup; he also taught a course on Serbian culture. Using Njegoš funds, Dr. Gorup was brought back this fall to teach her signature course, “Within and Beyond Empires: Literatures of South Slavs.”

In addition, for the first time the Njegoš Fund has announced a postdoctoral research fellowship in Serbian studies for the academic year 2016–17. We hope that the fellow will help us expand teaching to include history and/or political science.

Cultural Program: In addition to supporting instruction, the Fund has been used this year, as in previous years, to support a rich and active program of extracurricular lectures, conferences and special events. The program in 2015 included:

January 23, 2015: “The Serbian Medieval Cultural Legacy”: Exhibit and Celebration. Remarks by Vesna Petković, author of Serbian Medieval Cultural Heritage (2015).

March 6, 2015: Conversation with Vladimir Pištalo, author of Tesla: A Portrait with Masks (2015).

March 4, 2015: Lecture by Dr. Vladislav Beronja, University of Michigan on “Can We Critically Redeem Turbo-Folk and Should We Even Try?”

May 1, 2015: Professor Svetlana Rakić, Franklin College (Franklin, Indiana), delivered a lecture on “Art and Reality: Serbian Perspectives.”

September 25, 2015: Screening of the film Evaporating Borders and conversation with the director Iva Radivojević.

October 22–23, 2015: Two-day conference “Through the Transnational Lenses of Dubravka Ugrešić” organized by Prof. Aleksandar Bošković. Participants: Zoran Milutinović, University College London, Eva Karpinski, York University, Tatjana Aleksić, University.of Michigan, Nataša Kovačević, Eastern Michigan University, Aleksandar Mijatović, University of Rijeka, Vladislav Beronja, University of Michigan, Radmila Gorup and Alan Timberlake, Columbia University.

November 17, 2015: Lecture by Prof. Svetlana Tomić, Alpha University (Belgrade), on “Using Neglected Literary Texts to Understand the Evolution of Serbian Society.”

November 18, 2015: A lecture by Prof. Aleksandar Pavlović, University of Graz, on “Figuring out the Enemy: Re-imagining Serbian-Albanian Relations.”

November 24, 2015: “Theorizing Culture of Transition in (Post)-Yugoslav Space”  — lectures by Prof. Tatjana Rosić, Singidunum University (Belgrade) and Prof. Marija Grujić, Freie University (Berlin).

Several events are planned for 2016. These include a conversation with Dr. Krinka Vidaković-Petrov, former Ambassador of Yugoslavia to Israel and author of Serbs in America (2015); the conversation is scheduled for February 5, 2016.


People Directory

Maja Herman - Sekulić

Maya Herman (Maja Herman - Sekulic) is a well-known Yugoslav writer and internationally published author, translator, editor and journalist.

In 2000, she finished her first novel Kralj svile , (published in Serbian by Narodna knjiga, Mega hit ed., Belgrade), which immediately became a bestseller. It was nominated in 2001 for an award as the best novel of the year (“Zensko pero”, Bazar, Belgrade), and in 2002 it appeared in the 2nd print with a new cover. In Search of The Silk King is the new, expanded English version of the story.

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Publishing

The Meaning of Reality

Essays on Existence and Communion, Eros and History

by Christos Yannaras

The collection of articles traces the thought of Christos Yanaras through his long journey in discovering the meaning of existence, communion, eros, and history. It is a cause of immense joy that no fewer than twenty articles of passionate significance and substance have at present been gathered together in this volume under the title The Meaning of Reality.

Yannaras is undoubtedly one of the most significant thinkers of our time. Kallistos Ware once described him as "the most creative and prophetic religious thinker at work in Greece today," while Rowan Williams characterizes him as "one of the most significant Christian philosophers in Europe." His very wide and no less deep education helps him to develop an inimitable blend of philosophy, theology, and social criticism, and to speak in an original way about the traditional and contemporary issues of human existence, as well as the latest challenges of modern empirical science and political engagement. A detailed knowledge of the writings of the Holy Fathers has always been his foundation amidst the labyrinth of modern thought - which is inimately bound up with psychoanalysis, environmental issues, human rights, postmodernism, and pluralism , to mention just a few. Insistence on the primacy, uniqueness, and eternal value of human personality prevails in almost all his works and inspires his own vigorous theological and ecumenical engagement, based on the Orthodox eucharistic and ascetic tradition.