"I liked the possibility of being affiliated with the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies which, through my research on the modern Balkans, has allowed me to share my research, hear the research of other grad students, and to share in the intellectual life by attending lectures, talks, and the Seminar Series which brings in experts from all over the world. SFU really is a world class institution in a top-quality city!"

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Student Profile: Stevan Bozanich

September 28, 2021
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History doctoral student in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

I am a PhD Candidate in History and a Graduate Student Affiliate with the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies. My research looks at paramilitary units from Eastern Europe and the Balkans, specifically through the lenses of genocide studies and their collaboration with occupation authorities. When I'm not in the archives or drinking coffee along the Adriatic Coast, I can be found spending time with my wife and our two daughters, ages 6 and 3. We enjoy travelling, hiking, and spending evenings in watching movies.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

I chose SFU for several reasons. One major factor was its location. Looking out of the AQ's top floor windows reveals the North Shore mountains which, especially in the winter-time, reveal snow-capped peaks. I was also really taken by the History Department's faculty research. Being able to work alongside some great historians was a major draw! I also liked the possibility of being affiliated with the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies which, through my research on the modern Balkans, has allowed me to share my research, hear the research of other grad students, and to share in the intellectual life by attending lectures, talks, and the Seminar Series which brings in experts from all over the world. SFU really is a world class institution in a top-quality city!

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?

My research is motivated by wanting to understand how violent actors, in this case Yugoslav (Serbian) paramilitary units perpetrate mass violence and genocide against civilians. I also hope to extend this project to the wider Balkan, Eastern European, and Mediterranean regions to include other paramilitary and violent actors throughout history. I hope this would help us better understand the phenomenon of paramilitarism in various regions and at various time periods so that we can work towards preventing their perpetration.

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

The pandemic has really brought to the fore just how much I appreciate (and miss) being around intellectually engaged people. At any point, one could get into a conversation about diverse topics relating to people's work and interests. For instance, one time while standing in line at Renaissance Coffee, someone made a joke about Foucauldian analysis and the next thing I knew we had anthropologists, historians, and even biologists making wisecracks about bioethics, Marxism, and postmodernism. That only happens in intellectually engaged environments!

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.

I have been fortunate to have received several awards throughout my time at SFU. Each one of them has gone towards aiding my research, resulting in a 2019 visit to the Balkans where I researched in archives in Belgrade, Serbia; Zagreb, Croatia; and Podgorica, Montenegro. Some of the awards I have received include Edward & Emily McWhinney Hellenic Scholarship, Hellenic Canadian Congress of BC, Nick Kravariotis Memorial Scholarship, Presidents PhD Scholarship, Grad International Research Travel Award (GIRTA), and the GPS Graduate Fellowship.

 

Contact : stevan_bozanich@sfu.ca

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