Keynote lectures

At the grand opening of the Conference (to be held on October 12 at the Illyrian Hall of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts) Jennifer Miskec (Longwood University, VA, USA) and Dubravka Zima (Centre for Croatian Studies, University of Zagreb) will deliver two keynote lectures:

Jennifer Miskec: “Croatian Children’s Culture Abroad: Croatian Tales of Long Ago in an American College Classroom”

In May 2014 I offered a course in Croatian Children’s Culture at Longwood University that culminated in a two-week study abroad in Croatia (Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik). The opening unit in our course was on Croatian Tales of Long Ago. The students—upper level college students and American citizens, few of whom had ever travelled abroad—read Croatian Tales alongside of fairy tale scholars such as Bruno Bettelheim, Maria Tatar, and Jack Zipes. We read and discussed the original translated version as well as the multimedia update; once in Croatia we spent an afternoon at Ivana’s House of Fairy Tales in Ogulin. In May 2016 I will again offer this course and study abroad and will repeat this unit. For the conference, I would like to discuss this particular unit, our discussions, and some of the fairy tale analysis and research done by the students. My goal is to show how the students’ prior knowledge of fairy tales—which, if the 2014 students’ experiences are any indication, is primarily Disney versions of Grimm fairy tales—informs their interpretation of Croatian Tales of Long Ago in order to offer a glimpse into how the tales are received by an American audience.

Keywords: American, college, study abroad, teaching


Jennifer Miskec is an Associate Professor of Children’s and Young Adult Literature at Longwood University in Farmville, VA.  Miskec’s most recent scholarship includes a co-edited (with Annette Wannamaker) collection of essays about Early Readers, _The Early Reader in Children’s Literature and Culture: Theorizing Books for Beginning Readers_, and articles on ballet and feet in children’s picture books. Prior to that her scholarship included articles on the Ivy and Bean Early Reader series and articles on adaptations of Western classics, images of technology, and cutting in young adult literature.  Miskec frequently takes students to Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia to study children’s culture and to South Africa to study writing and rhetoric. Her next projects involve witches and the Halloween edition of children’s series books–if she doesn’t flee to Dubrovnik and live by the sea instead.


Dubravka Zima: “Tales of Long Ago and Croatian modernism: On mythical secession, folklore ornaments, neoromanticism and antimodernism”

Tales of Long Ago were first published in 1916, a year which, according to general interpretations of literary periods, no longer belongs to the micro-periodical construct termed “Croatian modernism”. The said construct is bookended by the year 1914 and relatively extensively described in historiographic and literary-historical overviews, even though descriptive discourses show that the poetic and literary-historical context of “Croatian modernism” is in fact established independently from imaginary boundaries presented by historical dates and/or literary autorship. In that sense and in the literary-historical discourse, Tales of Long Ago can, at least provisionally, be inscribed within the poetical framework of “Croatian modernism”. This presentation will therefore explore the status and ways of reading Tales of Long Ago within the study of “Croatian modernism”: discourse, poetic descriptions, interpretations, ideologies and paradigms utilized to interpret the collection and its generic specificities, considering various strategies of periodization tools on the one hand, and the specificities of the relationship between children’s and non-children’s literature on the other.

Keywords: Croatian modernism, literary canon, neoromanticism, periodisation, secession


Dubravka Zima is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Croatian Studies (University of Zagreb). She defended her MA thesis on the topic of Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić in 1999 (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb) and her doctoral thesis (on Croatian children´s novels) in 2004 (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb). She is the author of a monograph on Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić (ZZOK, 2001) and a university textbook Kraći ljudi. Povijest dječjeg lika u hrvatskom dječjem romanu (Shorter people. The history of the child character in Croatian children´s novels; Školska knjiga, 2011), and co-author (with Marijana Hameršak) of Uvod u dječju književnost (Introduction to children´s literature; Leykam International, 2015). Her research and teaching interests include children´s and young adult literature and culture, Croatian non-children´s literature and similar topics.