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Ethnic Divides, Authoritarianism and Violence around the World since 1989 ♥ ★

Friday, Feb 21, 2020 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

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Dear UCI community,

Please join us Friday, February 21 for a wide-ranging discussion about the persistence of ethnic passions and its ability to spawn radicalism and violence in our world.


Ethnic Divides, Authoritarianism and Violence around the World since 1989

February 21, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Humanities Gateway 1010


This pop-up event marks the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Jasmina Tesanovic’s war diaries from her time in Belgrade, Diary of a Political Idiot. In light of this anniversary, this panel brings together Tesanovic, Darren Byler and Misha Glenny in a discussion moderated by James Robertson, assistant professor of history at UCI, reflecting on what has and has not changed regarding violence linked to ethnic divides in the Balkans and around the world. Authoritarianism, nationalism and ethnicity have seemingly become only more entangled and volatile after 1989. The notion that the post-1989 world would be a calm “End of History” has been shown to be wrong, due partly to issues associated with ethnic tensions and the persistence of nationalism.

After the panel, please join us the same day and on February 22 for our conference on artificial intelligence, “The Future of the Future: The Ethics and Implications of AI,” which also features Byler and Glenny.

We hope to see you there,

Amy Wilentz and Jeffrey Wasserstrom
UCI Forum for the Academy and Public



About the speakers


Darren Byler is a a lecturer on anthropology at the University of Washington. His research focuses on Uyghur dispossession, culture work and “terror capitalism” in the city of Ürümchi, the capital of Chinese Central Asia. He has provided expert testimony on Uyghur human rights issues before the Canadian House of Commons and writes a regular column on these issues for SupChina.


Misha Glenny was the BBC’s Central Europe Correspondent during the revolutions of Eastern Europe in 1989 and during the wars in the former Yugoslavia. He has written three books on those events, including The Balkans: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers, 1804-2012. More recently, his book McMafia: Journey through the Global Underworld has been turned into a TV Drama by the BBC and AMC. He is currently a fellow at the Berggruen Institute in Los Angeles.


Jasmina Tesanovic is an author, activist and multimedia artist. She does not have a mother language or a homeland: she writes in three languages and lives between Turin, Belgrade, Austin and Ibiza.

Contact us: forumacademypublic@uci.edu


Friday, Feb 21, 2020
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
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1010 Humanities Gateway