New Partnership with University of Sarajevo
By Kristen Cole
Almost a decade after a peace
agreement brought a halt to interethnic civil strife in Bosnia
and Herzegovina, Smith College is partnering with that country’s
largest university to develop a degree program that will further understanding
of international relations.
Smith recently received a three-year $200,000
grant from the U.S. Department of State to facilitate the
development of an American Studies Program at the University
of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina -- the
first such program offered at the undergraduate level in
The new program will engage undergraduates
in examining America’s experience
building a democratic multicultural society; Bosnia and Herzegovina established
a democratic form of government in November 1995.
Developing an American studies degree program
at the University of Sarajevo is a timely challenge that
will further the understanding of international relations,
says James Hicks, one of the Smith project leaders who will
help develop the program. Photo by Jim Gipe.
“In Europe, we often
talk of transatlantic integrations as a way of achieving a better future
and stable and sustainable development in our part of the world,” says
Srebren Dizdar, a faculty member at the University of Sarajevo.
our students to a diversity of theories, experiences and examples from different
areas of American life, both in the past and in the present, we hope to broaden
their horizons, teach them to develop critical thinking and pass their knowledge
and skills to a wider community in their respective countries.”
partnership between Smith and the University of Sarajevo includes visits
to the partner institutions for planning, lectures and research. Along
with Dizdar, other project leaders include Zvonimir Radeljkovic
of the University of Sarajevo and, from Smith, James Hicks, director
of the American studies diploma program, and Alan Bloomgarden, director
of faculty grants.
“Creating an academic program with
interdisciplinary focus, real-world relevance and cutting-edge scholarship
is a timely challenge,” according
to Hicks. “Such engagement in this time of mutual incomprehension
between the world’s Muslims and America will clearly benefit both
The new American Studies Program at the
University of Sarajevo will complement the European Studies Program there,
which was organized with the University of Bologna. The University of
Sarajevo enrolls 47,000 students.