Bosnian Refugees in Chicago: Gender, Performance, and Post-War Economies studies refugee migration through the experiences of survivors of the 1990s wars in former Yugoslavia as they rebuild home, family, and social lives in the wake of their displacement. Ana Croegaert explores post-1970s Yugoslav-era socialism, American neoliberal capitalism, and anti-Muslim geopolitics to examine women’s varied perspectives on their postwar lives in the United States. Based on more than a decade of fieldwork, Croegaert takes readers into staged performances, coffee rituals, protests, memorials, homes, and non-governmental organizations to shine a light on the pressures women contend with in their efforts to make a living and to narrate their wartime injuries. Ultimately, Croegaert argues that refugee women insist on understanding their wartime losses as simultaneously social and material, a form of personhood she labels “injured life.” At a time of mass displacement and heated political debates concerning refugees, Croegaert provides an engaging portrait of a lively and diverse group of women whose opinions on citizenship and belonging are needed now more than ever.
Ana Croegaert is a research affiliate at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago