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J. (Josip) Kesic MA

Modern European History
Faculty of Humanities
Capaciteitsgroep Europese studies
Photographer: Marina

Visiting address
  • Kloveniersburgwal 48
Postal address
  • Kloveniersburgwal 48
    1012 CX Amsterdam
Contact details
  • PhD Research Project

    My main research interests are nationalism and imagology (national stereotypes and cross-cultural perceptions)  in Spain, the Balkans and the Netherlands from the nineteenth century till the present. Currently I am working on my PhD research with the working title:


    'European Peripheries: stereotyping and (self)characterization in Spanish and South-East European cultural representations’


    This project analyses the cultural responses from two European border regions - Spain and Balkans - to the resilient stereotypical images often portraying them as exotically not fully 'European', be it in negative terms in politics or economic affairs, or in positive terms when it comes to ethnic music (for example, flamenco and Gypsy music). Though the peripheries have been an object of cultural representation and stereotyping, the primary sources and the perspectives from the regions themselves are rarely investigated. These cultural voices need to be taken into account for processes of representation and identity formation are not a one way process.           

    Supervised by Joep Leerssen and Guido Snel, this research works within the framework of imagology as it analyses canonical and influential literary texts and cinema, in order to understand the effects of dominant stereotypical images onto cultural 'bordering' and identity formation of both these 'peripheries' as well as European identity. To put it differently, this research investigates the complex, multidirectional relationship between social stereotypes, cultural production and identity formation of these border identities in the second half of the 20th century.






    The corpus of the cultural objects (novels, films, essays, plays) I analyse in my research includes, among others:

    Carmen (1983), a 'postmodern' adaption of Prosper Mérimée's novella from 1845, directed by Carlos Saura.
    Paz Vega as Carmen in Carmen (2003), directed by Vicente Aranda.
    La confesión de Carmen, a textual adaption of Mérimée's novella, by Román Gubern (2012)
    Underground (1995) directed by Emir Kusturica, one of the most influential cultural objects representing former Yugoslavia in Europe in the 1990s.
    Euralien (1998), a play written by Goran Stefanovski.
    Europe in Sepia / Europa u sepiji (2014), a collection of essays by Dubravka Ugresic.
  • Related Links
  • Teaching

    The majority of my teaching activities largely overlap with my research interests (nationalism and cross-cultural stereotyping / imagology). I also teach more general courses focusing on academic research, methodology and philosophy of the humanities. More specifically, the courses I teach  - both in English and Dutch - are: 

    National Thought in Europe (Nationaal denken in Europa)  (6 EC)

    Articulating Europe: Cultural Histories of a Political Idea (Het articuleren van Europa: Cultuurgeschiedenis van een politiek idee) (12 EC)

    European Literary History (Europese Literatuurgeschiedenis) (6 EC)

    Philosophy of the Humanities 1 (6 EC)

    Philosophy of the Humanities 2: European Studies (6 EC)

    Thema Workshop Europese Studies 2 (6 EC)

    For course descriptions, see

  • Publications


    • Kesic, J., & Duyvendak, J. W. (Accepted/In press). Secularist Nativism: National Identity and the Religious Other in the Netherlands. In M. Balkenhol, E. van den Hemel, & I. Stengs (Eds.), The Secular Sacred : Emotions of Belonging and the Perils of Nation and Religion Palgrave Macmillan.



    • Kešić, J., & Duyvendak, J. W. (2016). Anti-nationalist nationalism: The paradox of Dutch national identity. Nations and Nationalism, 22(3), 581-597. [details]
    • Kešić, J., & Duyvendak, J. W. (2016). Nationalism Without Nationalism? Dutch Self-Images Among the Progressive Left. In J. W. Duyvendak, P. Geschiere, & E. Tonkens (Eds.), The Culturalization of Citizenship: Belonging and Polarization in a Globalizing World (pp. 49-71). London: Palgrave Macmillan. [details]


    • Wekker, F., Voss, R., Holla, S., Pach, J., Kesic, J., & de Olde, C. (2013). Verleider & verlichter: colums voor Bart van Heerikhuizen. Diemen: AMB. [details]



    • Kesic, J. (2013). Eerbetoon en ongemak. In F. Wekker, R. Voss, S. Holla, J. Pach, J. Kesic, & C. de Olde (Eds.), Verleider & verlichter: columns voor Bart van Heerikhuizen (pp. 58-59). Diemen: AMB. [details]


    • Kesic, J. (2012). Authenticiteit: gemaakt of gemaakt? Sociologisch Mokum, 2011-2012(4), 18-20. [details]
    • Kesic, J. (2012). Potentiele Passie. In C. Bouw, C. Brinkgreve, C. Bröer, & A. de Regt (Eds.), De hinderende werking van het verleden: vriendenboekje voor Rineke van Daalen (pp. 66-67). Amsterdam: UvA Sociologie en Antropologie.

    Media appearance

    Talk / presentation

    • Kesic, J. (speaker) (19-9-2018). Folklore, fascism and foreigners: Neo-españoladas in post-Franco Spain, Cultural mobilization: Cultural consciousness-raising and national movements in Europe and the world, Amsterdam.
    • Kesic, J. (speaker) (4-4-2018). Transnational Imagology of National Stereotypes: The European Centre-Periphery Logic in Spain and the Balkans, New Perspectives on Imagology, Vienna.
    • Kesic, J. (speaker) (29-3-2014). The Unexpected Persistence of Stereotypes: On the East-West Distinction in the Work of Dubravka Ugrešić (presentation at the conference Re-inventing Eastern Europe'. March 28-29, 2014, Berlin..
    • Kesic, J. (speaker) (13-12-2012). "Civilized" nationalism: constructions of Dutchness and the Dutch Historical Canon, International Conference: Culturalization of Citizenship On Racism, Populism and Authenticity, Compagnietheater Amsterdam.
    • Kesic, J. (speaker) (24-9-2012). Georges Bataille en seculiere modi van het sacrale in de populaire cultuur, Guest lecture in: Migratie & jeugdcultuur (BA 3, by F. Guadeloupe), University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam.
    • Kesic, J. (speaker) (26-4-2012). Imagined Communities op de Balkan, De Andere Blik: over conflict, University of Amsterdam.
    • Kesic, J. (speaker) (17-4-2012). Eroticism: love, pornography and taboos in Georges Bataille, Guest lecture in: Dance me to the end of love. Romantic Love Narratives and Sex, Gender (by Margriet van Heesch), UvA.
    • Kesic, J. (speaker) & Brouwers, A. A. (speaker) (10-3-2012). Religion in secular countries: the role of Christianity in constructions of Dutchness and Danishness, Citizenship, Democracy and Diversity: Comparisons, Bogazici University, Istanbul.
    • Kesic, J. (speaker) (25-11-2011). De historische canon en ‘beschaafd Nederlanderschap': tussen politieke instrumentalisering en wetenschappelijke ontkenning, Workshop ‘Nationale herinnering’, Centrum voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, Leiden.
    • Kesic, J. (speaker) & Duyvendak, J. W. (speaker) (20-8-2011). "Decent Dutchness." The Dutch Historical Canon and the Instrumentalization of the Past, American Sociological Association, Annual Meeting 2011, Las Vegas, USA (Ceasar's Palace).
    • Kesic, J. (speaker) (2-5-2011). Georges Bataille en seculiere hertovering, Guest lecture in: Sociologische Theorieen 1B (by Bart van Heerikhuizen), Amsterdam.
    • Kesic, J. (speaker) (3-11-2010). Not History but Our Story. Dutch Identity and the Instrumentalization fo the Past, The Culturalization of Citizenship - Comparative Perspectives, Rabat, Morocco.
    • Kesic, J. (speaker) (30-9-2010). Het paradoxale verlangen naar authenticiteit in een tijd van commercie en consumptie, Second Sight Trend Event 2011... and Beyond, Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam.


    • Kesic, J. (participant) (13-12-2017). 'Oost west, thuis best' (de politisering van thuisgevoel in stad en natie), Amsterdam. A debate on urban and national identity, beloning and 'feeling at home' in Pakhuis de Zwijger Amsterdam) (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Kesic, J. (organiser) (21-1-2015 - 23-1-2015). Ravenstein Seminar, Amsterdam. Reading and Readerships: Evolutions of the Literary Experience (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Kesic, J. (organiser) (12-12-2012 - 14-12-2012). Culturalization of Citizenship. On Racism, Populism and Authenticity, Compagnie Theatre Amsterdam (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Kesic, J. (organiser) (25-11-2011). Workshop Nationale herinnering, Centrum voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, Leiden (Netherlands) (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    No known ancillary activities