Nada Petković

Nada Petković
Instructional Professor
Foster 415
Office Hours: By Appointment
773.702.0035
Teaching at UChicago since 2000
Research Interests: Languages and cultures of the Former Yugoslavia, Second language acquisition, Cultural Anthropology, Urban Studies

"Petković’s primary area of interests are the languages and literatures of the Former Yugoslavia, cultural anthropology of the region, and urban studies with a particular interest in recent state and city branding."

Biography

A native of Belgrade, Petković joined the University of Chicago as a Fulbright scholar in the late eighties and prefers to refer to herself as Yugoslav. Her background is in comparative literature and theory of literature at the University of Belgrade, and general and Slavic linguistics at the University of Chicago. Her teaching and research focus on languages and cultures of the Former Yugoslavia, second-language acquisition, cultural anthropology, and urban studies. She has taught and lectured on many topics concerning the rich history of the region and its diverse cultures and traditions, with a particular interest in recent state and city branding. Her projects include the book Balkan EpicSong, History, Modernity, co-authored with Philip V. Bohlman, a textbook/reader, Po naški through Fiction: A Structural Reader of Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian Prose, ‘Idemo dalje’: Intermediate B/C/S teaching materials, and other work on language pedagogy and grammar. Her background in comparative literature inspires her love for literary translation and her translation projects. She is the recipient of numerous grants and honors, including Fulbright and Mellon Foundations, Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning, and the University of Chicago.

  • Petkovic, Nada. “Phantom of the National Theater” translation of the short story by Aleksandar Gatalica in M. Ivanovic, ed. 2020 Belgrade Noir. Brooklyn, NY: Akashic Books.
  • Petkovic, N. “'Po naški' through Fiction: A Structured Reader of Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian Prose.” (manuscript under review for publication)
  • Online database “Aspectual Pairs of Croatian and Serbian Verbs.” 2008.

Previously Taught Courses

  • Spaces of Hope: The City and Its Immigrants (Chicago quarter 2019)
  • (Re)branding the Balkan City: Belgrade, Sarajevo, Zagreb (one-quarter course)
  • Special Topics in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (one-quarter course)
  • Advanced Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian: Language through Fiction (one-quarter course)
  • Advanced Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian: Language through Film (one-quarter course)
  • Advanced Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian: Language through Art and Architecture (one-quarter course)
  • Second-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (three-quarter sequence course)
  • First-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (three-quarter sequence course)

Current Courses

BCSN 10103 First-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian I

This three-quarter sequence course in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian languages introduces students to the basics of four basic skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing. It maintains a good balance of the three languages, their respective grammatical and lexical differences, and the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. Students are encouraged to concentrate on the language and culture of their interest and choice. The course objective is to build a solid foundation in the grammatical patterns of the spoken and written languages, while simultaneously working on basic interpretive, interpersonal, presentational and intercultural communication. This is achieved through a communicative situation-based approach, dialogues and texts and, reinforced by the students and instructor, screenings of short announcements, commercials, documentaries, interviews, and the like. Once a week, one-on-one 15-minute conversation sessions with the instructor offer students the opportunity to review and practice the materials presented in class. The course is supplemented with cultural events, guest speakers and selected media. Together with the conversation sessions, these supplements improve the students’ ability to interact effectively and appropriately with people from other linguistic and cultural backgrounds— essential for establishing successful, positive relationships across cultural boundaries.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Language

BCSN 10203 First-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian II

This three-quarter sequence course in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian languages introduces students to the basics of four basic skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing. It maintains a good balance of the three languages, their respective grammatical and lexical differences, and the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. Students are encouraged to concentrate on the language and culture of their interest and choice. The course objective is to build a solid foundation in the grammatical patterns of the spoken and written languages, while simultaneously working on basic interpretive, interpersonal, presentational and intercultural communication. This is achieved through a communicative situation-based approach, dialogues and texts and, reinforced by the students and instructor, screenings of short announcements, commercials, documentaries, interviews, and the like. Once a week, one-on-one 15-minute conversation sessions with the instructor offer students the opportunity to review and practice the materials presented in class. The course is supplemented with cultural events, guest speakers and selected media. Together with the conversation sessions, these supplements improve the students’ ability to interact effectively and appropriately with people from other linguistic and cultural backgrounds— essential for establishing successful, positive relationships across cultural boundaries.

2021-2022 Winter
Category
Language

BCSN 10303 First-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian III

This three-quarter sequence course in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian languages introduces students to the basics of four basic skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing. It maintains a good balance of the three languages, their respective grammatical and lexical differences, and the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. Students are encouraged to concentrate on the language and culture of their interest and choice. The course objective is to build a solid foundation in the grammatical patterns of the spoken and written languages, while simultaneously working on basic interpretive, interpersonal, presentational and intercultural communication. This is achieved through a communicative situation-based approach, dialogues and texts and, reinforced by the students and instructor, screenings of short announcements, commercials, documentaries, interviews, and the like. Once a week, one-on-one 15-minute conversation sessions with the instructor offer students the opportunity to review and practice the materials presented in class. The course is supplemented with cultural events, guest speakers and selected media. Together with the conversation sessions, these supplements improve the students’ ability to interact effectively and appropriately with people from other linguistic and cultural backgrounds— essential for establishing successful, positive relationships across cultural boundaries.

2021-2022 Spring
Category
Language

BCSN 20103 Second-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian I

The Second-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian languages and cultures course is designed for both students who have completed the first- year sequence and heritage learners. Its main objective is to develop further communicative skills—interpretive, interpersonal, presentational and intercultural—using authentic materials representing the contemporary spoken and written language in authentic cultural contexts. Students are presented with a series of texts, such as newspaper articles, interviews with writers, actors, athletes, short biographies, book and film reviews, university websites, travel blogs, etc. Audiovisual materials, representing both high and popular culture, constitute an integral part of every unit. Grammar and vocabulary are reinforced and developed throughout the quarter. Textual and audiovisual materials are selected to best exemplify the outlined themes while maintaining a good balance of the three languages and their respective grammatical and lexical differences in order to assess students’ progress in all four skills. Each of the 12 units is accompanied with a unit test, all of which, including the final exam at the end of the term, mirror the tasks in the practical proficiency assessment test that students can take at the end of the spring quarter. The course is complemented with cultural and historical media from the Balkans, guest speakers and cultural events. The prerequisite is BCSN 10303 or the equivalent.

BCSN 10303 or consent of instructor

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Language

BCSN 20203 Second-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian II

The Second-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian languages and cultures course is designed for both students who have completed the first- year sequence and heritage learners. Its main objective is to develop further communicative skills—interpretive, interpersonal, presentational and intercultural—using authentic materials representing the contemporary spoken and written language in authentic cultural contexts. Students are presented with a series of texts, such as newspaper articles, interviews with writers, actors, athletes, short biographies, book and film reviews, university websites, travel blogs, etc. Audiovisual materials, representing both high and popular culture, constitute an integral part of every unit. Grammar and vocabulary are reinforced and developed throughout the quarter. Textual and audiovisual materials are selected to best exemplify the outlined themes while maintaining a good balance of the three languages and their respective grammatical and lexical differences in order to assess students’ progress in all four skills. Each of the 12 units is accompanied with a unit test, all of which, including the final exam at the end of the term, mirror the tasks in the practical proficiency assessment test that students can take at the end of the spring quarter. The course is complemented with cultural and historical media from the Balkans, guest speakers and cultural events. The prerequisite is BCSN 10303 or the equivalent.

2021-2022 Winter
Category
Language

BCSN 20303 Second-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian III

The Second-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian languages and cultures course is designed for both students who have completed the first- year sequence and heritage learners. Its main objective is to develop further communicative skills—interpretive, interpersonal, presentational and intercultural—using authentic materials representing the contemporary spoken and written language in authentic cultural contexts. Students are presented with a series of texts, such as newspaper articles, interviews with writers, actors, athletes, short biographies, book and film reviews, university websites, travel blogs, etc. Audiovisual materials, representing both high and popular culture, constitute an integral part of every unit. Grammar and vocabulary are reinforced and developed throughout the quarter. Textual and audiovisual materials are selected to best exemplify the outlined themes while maintaining a good balance of the three languages and their respective grammatical and lexical differences in order to assess students’ progress in all four skills. Each of the 12 units is accompanied with a unit test, all of which, including the final exam at the end of the term, mirror the tasks in the practical proficiency assessment test that students can take at the end of the spring quarter. The course is complemented with cultural and historical media from the Balkans, guest speakers and cultural events. The prerequisite is BCSN 10303 or the equivalent.

2021-2022 Spring
Category
Language

BCSN 21101 /31104 Advanced Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian: Language through Fiction

(REES 21101 / REES 31104)

This one quarter course is designed to help students over one of the most difficult hurdles in language training—the transition from working through lessons in a textbook to reading unedited literary texts. The selected pieces of fiction and the exercises drawn from them engage the language’s structure on every page. Immersed in a complete language experience, students learn how to engage the natural, organic language of literary texts across a variety of styles and themes enabling them to work with ever more challenging material. The course objective is to hone students’ abilities to analyze increasingly complex unrevised texts, identify various styles and registers of the language, and handle linguistically unfamiliar situations in both spoken and written format. Attention is given to improving students’ abilities to paraphrase, narrate, describe, support opinions, hypothesize and discuss abstract topics. Building vocabulary is stressed as a key to making progress, while issues of language structure and grammar are reinforced throughout the course. Classes are conducted in the target language and may be taken for pass/fail. The prerequisite is two years of formal study of the target language or the equivalent.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Language

BCSN 21200 /31203 Advanced Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian: Language Through Film

(REES 21200 / REES 31203)

Advanced BCS courses encompass both the 3rd and 4th years of language study, with the focus changed from language structure and grammar to issues in interdisciplinary content. The courses are not in sequence. This course addresses the theme of Yugoslav and Post-Yugoslav identity through discussion and interpretation based on selected films, documentaries, images, and related texts—historical and literary, popular press, advertisements, screenplays, and literature e on film. Emphasis is on interpersonal communication as well as the interpretation and production of language in written and oral forms. The course engages in systematic grammar review, along with introduction of some new linguistic topics, with constant practice in writing and vocabulary enrichment. The syllabus includes the screening of six films, each from a different director, region, and period, starting with Cinema Komunisto (2012), a documentary by Mila Turajlic. This film will be crucial for understanding how Yugoslav cinema was born and how, in its origins, it belongs to what a later cinephile, Fredric Jameson, has called a “geopolitical aesthetic.” We shall investigate the complex relationship between aesthetics and ideology in the Yugoslav and Post-Yugoslav cinema, and pay close attention to aesthetic conceptions and concrete formal properties, and more importantly, to language, narrative logic, and style.

2021-2022 Winter
Category
Language

BCSN 21300 /31303 (Re)Branding the Balkan City:Contemp. Belgrade/Sarajevo/Zagreb

(ARCH 21300 / ARTH 21333 / ARTH 31333 / GLST 21301 / HIST 24008 / REES 21300 / REES 31303)

The course uses an urban studies lens to explore the complex history, infrastructure and transformations of cities, mainly the capitals of today’s Serbia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, and Croatia. There is a particular need to survey this region and feed the newfound interest in it, mainly because Yugoslav architecture embodied one of the great political experiments of the modern era. Drawing on anthropological theory and ethnography of the city, we consider processes of urban destruction and renewal, practices of branding spaces and identities, urban life as praxis, art and design movements, film, music, food, architectural histories and styles, metropolitan citizenship, and the broader politics of space. The course is complemented by cultural and historical media, guest speakers, and virtual tours. One of them is a tour through the 2018 show at MoMA “Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia 1948-1980” a project curated with the goal to find a place for Yugoslav Modernism in the architectural canon. Classes are held in English. No knowledge of South Slavic languages is required.

2021-2022 Spring
Category
Language

BCSN 21400 /31403 Advanced BCS: Language through Art and Architecture

(REES 21400 / REES 31403)

This course foregrounds different periods in Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav art and architecture. Situated between the capitalist West and the socialist East, Yugoslavia’s architects responded to contradictory demands and influences, developing a postwar architecture both in line with and distinct from the design approaches seen elsewhere in Europe and beyond. Drawing on the country’s own idiosyncrasies, diverse heritage and influences, the course surveys examples of architectural styles from classical to Baroque, through Art Nouveau and Modernism, all the way to full-blown Brutalism with its heft and material honesty. Given that Yugoslav architecture also expressed one of the great political experiments of the modern era, the course entertains many questions on related topics. While exploring major cities, their infrastructure, houses, buildings, monuments, churches and more, the course delves into advanced grammatical topics with the goal of increasing proficiency in both aural and reading comprehension, in addition to honing writing and speaking styles. Classes are conducted in the target language and may be taken for pass/fail. The prerequisite is two years of formal study of the target language or the equivalent.

The course prerequisite is two years of formal study of the target language(s) or the consent of the instructor.

2021-2022 Spring
Category
Language

BCSN 29911 /39911 Special Topics in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian II

(REES 29914 / REES 39914)

The course is designed to meet the specific needs of advanced learners of B/C/S, including heritage and native speakers, and to foster cross-cultural experiences through its interdisciplinary content. The curriculum covers a wide range of topics relative to the students’ field of study, research and personal interests. Although grounded in the field of philology, it expands students’ knowledge in other disciplines of social and behavioral sciences such as history, anthropology, global studies, economics, political science, sociology, and the like. Attention is given to the ability to paraphrase scholarly arguments, formulate research hypotheses, and present one’s research in the target language. The course delves into advanced grammatical topics with the goal of increasing proficiency in both aural and reading comprehension, in addition to honing writing and speaking styles. Classes are conducted in B/C/S; the prerequisite is three years of formal study of the target language or the equivalent.

2021-2022 Winter
Category
Language