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Anna Korhonen
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Eeva Korteniemi
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Location & Connections

 

Visiting Fellows 2011-2012

 

Institute

Andrew Graan, Wake Forest University, United States

“Watching the World Watch: Political Communication and the Everyday Politics of International Oversight in Post-Conflict Macedonia”
Fellowship period: December 15, 2011 – January 15, 2012 and May 1 – June 30, 2012

Biography:
Andrew Graan received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago in 2010.  He is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Wake Forest University.  His current book project, Watching the World Watch: Political Communication and the Everyday Politics of International Oversight in Post-Conflict Macedonia, examines international intervention and European integration in post-conflict Macedonia. By attending to the differences between foreign officials’ and Macedonians’ approaches to mass public communication following 2001, his work shows how the gap between foreigner and Macedonian “regimes of publicity” animated Macedonian public speech and performance, as political actors negotiated these two sources of political authority in pursuit of both international recognition and domestic authority.  Ethnographically, the project examines this dynamic by exploring the key social arenas in which the active presence of foreign officials affected Macedonian political life: the Macedonian news media public sphere, political performance, popular protest movements, and everyday talk and self-presentation. His article On the Politics of Imidž: European Integration and the Trials of Recognition in Post-Conflict Macedonia appeared in the Winter 2010 issue of Slavic Review.

Abstract of current research:
Titled Watching the World Watch: Political Communication and the Everyday Politics of International Oversight in Post-Conflict Macedonia, this book project is an ethnography of international intervention and its effects on social and political life in Macedonia. Following the country’s 2001 conflict, diplomats and officials from the European Union and United States saturated the Macedonian public sphere with value-laden evaluations of the country’s political maturity and prescriptive expectations for its future. I show how the public speech of foreign officials in Macedonia depended on and enacted a different set of communicative norms, language ideologies, and metadiscursive regimentations when compared to the standards that mediated and shaped participation in Macedonia’s national public. I then demonstrate how the gap between these foreigner and Macedonian “regimes of publicity” animated new political and social engagements in Macedonia as political actors and ordinary citizens would refigure the discursive forms locally associated with “Europe” in pursuit of recognition and authority before contrasting international and domestic audiences. The dissertation details this recognition politics through ethnographic descriptions of: news media production, a grassroots protest movement, politicians’ performances, and everyday genres of sociality and self-presentation.

Ultimately, the project contends that international actors’ achievement of an “oversight public” in Macedonia, and Macedonian practices that presupposed international oversight, constituted a central dimension to the remaking of Macedonia’s post-conflict and post-socialist social order.  My attention to foreigner and Macedonian modes of publicity, and the tensions between them, provides a novel analytic and theoretical window on political communication and its relation to political structure, governmentality and political subjectivity. The project adds a critical, ethnographic perspective to the study of global governance and European integration by a focus on communicative aspects of the cultural politics intrinsic to any transnational political exercise.

While at the Aleksanteri Institute, I plan to complete the book manuscript's introduction as well as a comparative chapter on “regimes of publicity.” In addition, I will begin writing a related comparative, historical article on diplomatic language and the art of “talking for a state.”

Email:  andygraan [at] gmail.com

Academic hosts at the Aleksanteri Institute: Freek van der Vet and Anna Korhonen