Professor Dejan Djokić's research spans across, and brings together, three main strands: auto/collective biography/micro history of the Yugoslav war; global and cultural history of the Cold War; and history of Serbia and Yugoslavia in regional and transnational contexts.
Dejan is a recipient of some of the most prestigious national and international grants and fellowships. His main current project, a pioneering study of the last generation of Yugoslav army conscripts (1990/91), is funded by the British Academy and The Leverhulme Trust.
Prior to joining Goldsmiths in 2007, Dejan held lectureships at Birkbeck and Nottingham (a permanent post) and postdoctoral fellowships at Columbia University, New York and Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC. He was a visiting professor at School of International & Public Affairs, Columbia University (Autumn semester 2010) and has been, since Oct 2020, a guest professor at Chair for South-East European History, Humboldt University of Berlin.
- PhD in History, University College London 2004
- BA (Hons) in History, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London 1996
Teaching and Supervision
- When not on research leave, Dejan teaches a full portfolio of UG and PG modules.
- Currently co-supervises 2 PhD students, with Prof Jo Fox (IHR) & Prof Jessica Reinisch (Birkbeck).
Prof Djokić's principal current project is a British Academy/Leverhulme-funded pioneering ‘collective autobiography’ of the last generation of the Yugoslav Army conscripts. ‘Tito’s Last Soldiers’ traces transition from peace to war in Yugoslavia in 1990/91 from an original angle, combining autoethnography, oral testimonies & micro history. Key outputs will include a monograph, Dejan’s fifth, and a theatre play, his first.
Dejan’s fourth monograph -a thematic exploration of Yugoslavia through socio-political concepts as categories of historical analysis- is written jointly with D Jović and will be published by Oxford University Press (New York).
Djokić is the author of A Concise History of Serbia (forthcoming with Cambridge, 2022), the most complete single-volume history of Serbia in any language. It's a 'national history' which interrogates national framework; and it explores Serbia's/Southeast Europe's past from the early Middle Ages to the present day through key developments (migration, empire, revolution, state/nation building, war), while giving voice to participants. The original research for the book was funded by an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship, which Dejan held in 2015-16 at Humboldt University of Berlin.
His next book will build on a recent chapter ‘Reframing Nonalignment: Tito, Sukarno and the 1961 Belgrade Conference’ (forthcoming in N Shimazu & M Phillips (eds), Reading Diplomatic Images). This study utilises diplomatic image as a historical source and the ‘diplomacy as theatre’ concept (Shimazu) to revisit the origins of Nonalignment, a movement of mainly African and Asian post-colonial states and Yugoslavia, and challenge the 'East-West' Cold War binary.
Djokić’s previous output includes two monographs, Elusive Compromise (Columbia UP/Hurst, 2007) and Pašić & Trumbić (Chicago UP/Haus, 2010) – now standard works on interwar Yugoslavia – and four edited volumes on Yugoslav and European history.
Further profile content
Dejan regularly provides expertise to media on historical and current affairs and has written for the Guardian, Independent, New Statesman, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, THE and TLS (see below for key recent examples). He also frequently speaks at public events and engages with non academic audiences, including:
- Leipzig Book Fair, 30th anniversary of the break-up of the USSR and Yugoslavia panel, LiteraturHaus Leipzig/German Federal Civic Education Forum, 28/5/2021, co-panelists Prof S Pklokhy (Harvard), Prof G Sasse (Berlin/Oxford)
- Expert advisor/historical consultant, Museum of Yugoslavia (Belgrade), exhibition to mark the centenary of the creation of Yugoslavia, 2017-18
- 'Albanian-Serb relations today and in historical perspective', Press Centre Belgrade/Open Society/Forum ZFD 11/3/2016
- 'The Young Bosnia group: Terrorists or Freedom fighters?', public debate, with Bosnian writer Muharem Bazdulj, Conway Hall, London 14/6/2014
In 2016/17 Dejan initiated and facilitated the donation of c.600 books, including some rare items, on the Balkans from Professor Stevan K. Pavlowitch's private library to the Goldsmiths Library special collections.
Goldsmiths Research Centres/Groups
BBC News (Serbian) 'Milovan Djilas: "Crnogorac, Srbin i Jugosloven koji po značaju prevazilazi jugoslovenske okvire"'
Feature article about Milovan Djilas, Yugoslav communist revolutionary, writer and dissident. Re-published in major daily papers/portals in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia.
BBC Radio 4, ‘The History of the Treaty of Versailles – in Five Future Wars: Yugoslavia’
I feature as one of two historians (alongside Margaret MacMillan) in this programme produced by Bridget Kendall
Arte TV (France, Germany), 'Yugoslavia, the other side of the looking glass', 2-part documentary
I feature as one of several leading experts on Yugoslav history and politics in this Arte TV production which has been repeatedly broadcast on French and German TV
BBC Radio 3, 'Music in the Great War: Gavrilo Princip's Footprint'
Discussion with Maria Margaronis about the ideology of the Young Bosnians and the legacy of the 1914 Sarajevo assassination
'Serbischer Sonderweg in der Flüchtlingskrise', Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Op-ed on the 'Migrant crisis' and the Balkan route published in the Swiss newspaper of record, in Jan Plamper's German translation
Serbian State TV Channel 2 (RTS 2), 'Titova soba tajni: Milovan Djilas'
I feature as one of several historians/experts in this three-part documentary on Milovan Djilas, Yugoslav communist revolutionary, writer and dissident
'Among Serbian historians, the view that Germany is to blame for the war seems to be dominant'
BBC History Magazine, August 2014
BBC Radio 4, Last Word
Interview, the death of Jovanka Broz, President Tito's widow, first broadcast 25 Oct 2013
Conferences and talks
'Reading Images of Non-Aligned Diplomacy: Tito, Sukarno and the 1961 Belgrade Conference Reframed'
Paper at 'Diplomacy between Crisis and Cooperation: Fourth Conference of the New Diplomatic History Network', Aarhus University, Denmark
'Interwar Politics and the Destruction of Yugoslavia'
Paper prepared for 'Jasenovac Past and Present: History and Memory of Institutional Destruction' conference, Uppsala University, Sweden. Event postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘From Corfu to Paris, via Belgrade, Zagreb and Ljubljana: How Yugoslavia emerged, 1917-21’
Invited lecture, University of Kobe (Japan)
‘"This three-named people of ours, one and united": Revisiting the Yugoslav kingdom a hundred years later'
Invited lecture, Josai International University Tokyo
‘Yugoslavia, a century later: Why did Serbs, Croats and Slovenes form a union in 1918?’
Public endowed lecture, Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York
‘Vek Jugoslavije: Kako i zašto su se ujedinili Južni Sloveni?'
Keynote lecture presented at a conference to mark the centenary of the creation of Yugoslavia, Arhiv Srba u Hrvatskoj, Zagreb, Croatia
‘Authoritarianism in interwar Yugoslavia and modern Serbia: how similar are they?’
Paper presented at a conference on authoritarianism in 20C Europe, Center Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts & Imre Kertész Kolleg, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena
‘Driving around the Blocs: Tito, Sukarno and the 1961 Belgrade Conference’
Paper at ‘Reading Diplomatic Images’ workshop 2, Yale-National University of Singapore, Singapore
‘Brotherhood post-unity? Tito’s last soldiers and the dissolution of Yugoslavia’
Paper at the Past & Present-funded conference 'Global Yugoslavia', Goldsmiths
'Which way to the past? On problematics of constructing a history of Serbia'
Public lecture, Humboldt University of Berlin
'Imag(in)ing Yugoslav-South-East Asian diplomatic relations'
Paper at ‘Reading Diplomatic Images’ workshop 1, Yale-National University of Singapore, Singapore
‘Revisiting Europe’s Debatable Lands: Hubert Butler and Yugoslavia’
Talk at 'Hubert Butler and the Balkans’, convener and co-panellist with Roy Foster (Oxford) and Vesna Goldsworthy (Exeter/UEA)
'Could 1916 be seen as a turning point in the emergence of the Yugoslav state?'
Paper at 'Reforms in a time of War: On the centenary of 1916' conference, European University, St Petersburg
'Mitrinović, Young Bosnia and Yugoslav Agitation in the Era of the Great War'
Keynote lecture at 'The Eleventh Hour: Dimitrije Mitrinović and his Network' conference, University of Bradford
'On continuities between two Yugoslavias'
Talk at 'What does the name Yugoslavia mean today? Anti-Fascism, Self-Management and Non-Alignment' conference, Birkbeck, University of London
'Writing history of Serbia: Challenges and opportunities'
Paper at the South-East Europe colloquium, Humboldt University of Berlin
'Writing a history of Serbia today'
Paper at Modern European History seminar, Oxford University
'How Serbia went to war in 1914'
Paper at 'The Long Global Crisis c. 1912 -1922' conference, European University Institute, Florence
'Nations and parliaments in the Yugoslav lands, 1848-1948'
Paper at 'Parliaments and Minorities: Ethnicities, Nations and Religions in Europe, 1848-1948' conference, The British Academy
'How to Write a History of Serbia Today. Methodological and other (post-Yugoslav) Challenges'
Talk at Department of History and Civilization colloquium, European University Institute, Florence
'Yugoslavia 1990: The possible and the real’
Talk at panel discussion about the legacy of Ante Marković, the last Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, SSEES, UCL
'The Long Road through Balkan History'
Talk following the screening of a documentary film of the same title, London School of Economics
'Serbia: The History behind the Name'
Talk at a public discussion about Stevan K. Pavlowitch's book of the same title, Embassy of Serbia, London
‘Djilas as a Historian and as a Source’
Talk at ‘Conversations about Djilas’ half-day conference; other speakers: Prof S Bose (LSE), Dr J Dragović-Soso (Goldsmiths), Prof V Goldsworthy (Kingston), Prof SK Pavlowitch (Southampton)
'Milovan Djilas and the British Left'
Talk at a public event to mark the centenary of Djilas' birth, Dom omladine, Belgrade
‘Mapping the Nation in New Europe: The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919-1920’
Talk to mark the publication of my second monograph. Discussant Prof Alan Sharp (Ulster)
‘Were the Seeds of Future Discord Sown in Paris?’, public talk, Reform Club, London
Public talk about the legacy of the Paris Peace Conference (1919-1920), Reform Club, London
‘De-Stalinization of Yugoslavia: The Yugoslav Road to Socialism’
Guest lecture, Dept of European Studies, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
'Citizens under surveillance: Hungary and Eastern Europe in the era of state socialism'
Talk and Q&A with audience following the screening of 'Spy in a One Horse Town' (dir. Gabor Zsigmond Papp, Hungary, 2009), London International Documentary Festival, Cine Lumiere, London
‘The Paris Peace Conference of 1919-1920 and its Legacy: A Yugoslav Perspective’
The Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York
Grants and awards
2020: Leverhulme Research Fellowship
2019: British Academy Mid-Career Research Fellowship
2015: Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers (held at Humboldt University of Berlin)
2014: Visiting Research Fellowship, Department of History and Civilization, European University Institute, Florence
2010: Visiting Associate Professor, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, New York
2008: Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
2007: Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC
2007: AHRC-funded research leave (under matching leave scheme)
2004: Postdoctoral Fellowship, Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York
1998: Scouladi Doctoral Research Fellowship, Institute of Historical Research, University of London
2020: Visiting Research Professorship, Humboldt University of Berlin
Service to university, discipline and society
History Director of Research/Postgraduate&Research Committee Chair 2008-14; 2016-19
Deputy Head of Department 2008/09
Department Management Team 2008-12; 2016-19
History UCU rep 2018-19
Goldsmiths Research&Enterprise Committee 2011-14
Goldsmiths Impact Strategy Working Group 2011-14; 2016-18
Goldsmiths Directors of Research Network 2008-14; 2016-19
Goldsmiths Academic Development Committee 2010-13
International Advisory Board member, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts 2011–16
Council member, Institute of Historical Research 2009-13
Rethinking Modern Europe seminar, IHR, founding co-convener 2009-
PhD theses examiner: Birkbeck 2021, 2014; EUI, Florence 2016; UEA 2013; Ghent University, Belgium 2012; Nottingham 2007
External examiner, BA History, Birkbeck 2012-15
BA/MA programmes review, School of History, Classics&Archaeology, Birkbeck, external member March 2019
MA programmes review, School of History, University of East Anglia, ext. memb. June 2011
Peer reviewer: AHRC, ERC, ESRC, Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technology
Academic promotions assessor: University of Nottingham, 2017; University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia 2013; Stirling University 2012; University of Alberta 2011
Editorial board member: Slavonic&East European Review (2011- ); Reviews in History (2014- ), Journal of Balkan&Near Eastern Studies (2001- ; book reviews editor 2001-06); European History Quarterly (2003-21); Nationalities Papers (2009-19); editor: Contemporary European History (2013-14)
Fellow, Royal Historical Society 2008–
Membership, professional bodies: Alexander von Humboldt UK Association 2018- ; Association for the Study of Nationalities 2004- ; British Association of Slavonic&East European Studies 2000 – (Executive committee member 2012-14)
Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, The Netherlands, prize assessor 2013
openDemocracy, contributing editor 2001-03
Oxford Analytica, political analyst 1998-2000