Thesis Defence: Mia Milanovic

Thursday, September 3, 2020 12:00 pm - 12:00 pm EDT

Destruction, Preservation and Memory the case in Kosovo and Metohija 

Mia Milanovic thesis image


According to the International Center for Transitional Justice, 145 known churches and monasteries in the province of Kosovo and Metohija* were partially or completely damaged after the Kumanovo Agreement (an accord that concluded the war in the region on June 9th, 1999) was signed.  As most of the sites still remain in ruins and a lack of proper documentation on them has been done or made public, how can the collective memory of their architectural, historical, and cultural importance be restored before it fades away? When researching on this topic the number “155” (some were attacked, restored and attacked again, thus resulting in a larger number than the above stated one) is repeated in news and in literary works, however, only 30 by name are available to the general public and even less when searched for in English. If Stones Could Speak would bring to light the missing and suppressed documentation. Through a curated exhibition of the suppressed documentation in the form of text, photographs, drawings, carefully designed digital models, and audio tour this thesis will attempt to restore the collective memory. By communicating with archeologists, architects, monastic figures, and locals of the region, the needed research for the exhibition has been obtained regarding the suppressed documentation as well as first hand perspectives in order to curate a proper exhibition. There are four churches/monasteries belonging to the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Metohija already under the protection of UNSECO, this thesis and exhibition would show that the ones fading from memories deserve the same respect and recognition. The hope is that this thesis can start a dialogue on what peace should really look like for this region.  

*also known as the Republic of Kosovo 

The examining committee is as follows:

Supervisor: Robert Jan van Pelt 
Committee Member: David Correa 
Internal Reader: Tracey Winton
External Reader: Goran Ciric

The defence examination will take place:  

September 3, 2020, 12:00pm, WebEx URL
Password available on Graduate Student Learn site or by request.

The committee has been approved as authorized by the Graduate Studies Committee. A copy of the thesis is available for perusal in ARC 2106A.