Field: Modern Europe; Advisor: Mazower; Year: 2011
Harun Buljina is a doctoral candidate in Modern European history with a focus on the late- and post-Ottoman Balkans. His work broadly deals with the region’s transition from a world of multiethnic dynastic empires to one of increasingly exclusionary nation states, and in particular its consequences for Slavic-speaking Muslim communities in what became Yugoslavia. Harun’s dissertation correspondingly examines the response of Bosnian Muslim intellectuals and communal activists to the break-up of the Ottoman Empire in the first half of the 20th century. Focusing in particular on the transnational intellectual exchange that this process engendered, his research highlights how various supra-national ideological frameworks (e.g. notions of European civilization, Pan-Islamism and the wider Muslim World, and lingering imperial allegiances) shaped local political visions and understandings of community in this transformative time. Further stressing the mutually constitutive nature of this exchange, Harun ultimately argues for conceiving early 20th century Bosnia as an important site in contemporary global discussions on the relationship between Europe and Islam.
Harun’s broader academic interests touch on a number of thematic fields and methodological approaches. These include: comparative empires, global history, intellectual history, migration, nationalism, state formation, and the modern history and politics of Turkey and the former Yugoslavia. In addition to Columbia’s Richard Hofstadter Fellowship, his research and studies have been supported by the American Research Institute in Turkey, the Association for Slavic, East European, & Eurasian Studies, the Council for European Studies, the Institute of Turkish Studies, and the US Departments of State and Education.
Prior to Columbia, Harun received his BA in history with highest honors from the University of Michigan in 2010 and spent the 2010-11 academic year teaching English in northwest Turkey as part of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. In addition to researching and writing his dissertation, he is currently working as a research assistant for the War Childhood Museum in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, which seeks to commemorate the experience of young adults who grew up during the city’s brutal siege in the early 1990s. Outside of his scholarly work, Harun enjoys dabbling in computer programming, following European football, and spending time in his twin hometowns of Sarajevo and Ann Arbor, MI, as well as exploring the culinary and historical landscapes of his two adopted metropolises, Istanbul and New York.