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
This book should prove accessible and engaging to broader audiences—perhaps especially for 1.5- and second-generation Bosnian Americans and those who have become intertwined in our families—as well as specialists in diaspora studies, U.S. refugee resettlement, human rights, and whiteness studies.
This book is a welcome and valuable contribution to the literature on Bosnian and other Balkan diasporas and to broader diaspora studies. It will appeal to social and cultural anthropologists, economic anthropologists, scholars of migration and diaspora, and scholars specializing in the region as well as to members of the Bosnian diaspora in the United States.
Bosnian Refugees in Chicago demonstrates an exceptional and well-written ethnographic analysis that moves, like Bosnian refugees themselves, between different countries, spheres, and political contexts.