Yana Hashamova

Professor and Department Chair
Core Faculty

Yana Hashamova is Professor and Chair of the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures and an Associate Faculty member of the Departments of Comparative Studies, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Interdisciplinary Program of Film Studies, and the Mershon Center for International Security Studies. Dr. Hashamova is also Associate Researcher at the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (Institute of Culture and Memory Studies). In her work, Dr. Hashamova strives to establish links between political ideology, national and gender constructs and culture, while analyzing post-Soviet conditions. She has authored and edited several books as well as published over 25 articles and book chapters in the areas of Russian and Balkan film, media, and literature, all examining national, ethnic, and gender representations. Her forthcoming book explores film and media products depicting trafficking in women.


Screening Trafficing

Screening Trafficking: Prudent and Perilous? by Yana Hashamova (Central European University Press, 2018)

This book examines film and media representations of the social, political, and economic issue of human trafficking, one of the most dramatic challenges of todays globalized world. Hashamova productively combines fieldwork in NGOs in southeastern Europe, social science data, and the analysis of Western and East European anti-trafficking films and media and their reception in the United States and the Balkans. Her book identifies a disconnect between the global flow of trafficking images and their local comprehension. The critical analysis of documentaries, feature films, video clips, and NGOs media materials and the responses they elicit from spectators reveals the flaws of these products and the ideological structures present both in them and in their audiences. Acknowledging the uneven quality and impact of all films and media products, the book, guided by trauma theory, concludes with an examination of their relative ineffectiveness and inability to shock the viewer and create a citizen ready to take action against trafficking. The author seeks to explain why, despite substantial attention to the problem, communities continue to react with indifference and denial, and turn a blind eye to the problem. Screening Trafficking: Prudent or Perilous offers fresh insights to readers interested in human trafficking and its representations as well as to policymakers who need to make in well-informed decisions.


Beyond Mosque, Church, and State: Alternative Narratives of the Nation in the Balkans

Beyond Mosque, Church, and State: Alternative Narratives of the Nation in the Balkans, edited by Theodora Dragostinova and Yana Hashamova (Central European University Press, 2017)

Journalists and policy-makers in the West have often assumed that the religious and ethno-national heterogeneity of the Balkans is the underlying reason for the numerous problems the area has faced throughout the twentieth century. The multiple and turbulent political transitions in the area, the dynamics of the interaction between Christianity and Islam, the contradictory and constantly shifting nationality policies, and the fluctuating identities of the diverse populations continue to be seen as major challenges to the stability of the region. By exploring the development of intricate religious, linguistic, and national dynamics in a variety of case studies throughout the Balkans, this volume demonstrates the existence of alternatives and challenges to nationalism in the area. The authors analyze a variety of national, non-national, and anti-national(ist) encounters in four areas—Bosnia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Albania—traditionally seen as “hot-beds” of nationalist agitation and tension resulting from their populations' religious or ethno-national diversity. In their entirety, the contributions in this volume chart a more complex picture of the national dynamics. The authors recognize the existence of national tensions both in historical perspective and in contemporary times, but also suggest the possibility of different paths to the nation that did not involve violence but allowed for national accommodation and reconciliation.


Transgressive Women in Modern Russian and East European Cultures: From the Bad to the Blasphemous

Transgressive Women in Modern Russian and East European Cultures: From the Bad to the Blasphemous, edited by Yana Hashamova, Beth Holmgran, and Mark Lipovetsky (Routledge, 2016)

Investigating the genesis of the prosecuted "crimes" and implied sins of the female performing group Pussy Riot, the most famous Russian feminist collective to date, the essays in Transgressive Women in Modern Russian and East European Cultures: From the Bad to Blasphemous examine what constitutes bad social and political behavior for women in Russia, Poland, and the Balkans, and how and to what effect female performers, activists, and fictional characters have indulged in such behavior. The chapters in this edited collection argue against the popular perceptions of Slavic cultures as overwhelmingly patriarchal and Slavic women as complicit in their own repression, contextualizing proto-feminist and feminist transgressive acts in these cultures. Each essay offers a close reading of the transgressive texts that women authored or in which they figured, showing how they navigated, targeted, and, in some cases, co-opted these obstacles in their bid for agency and power. Topics include studies of how female performers in Poland and Russia were licensed to be bad (for effective comedy and popular/box office appeal), analyses of how women in film and fiction dare sacrilegious behavior in their prescribed roles as daughters and mothers, and examples of feminist political subversion through social activism and performance art.


Embracing Arms book coverEmbracing Arms: Cultural Representation of Slavic and Balkan Women in War, edited by Helena Goscilo and Yana Hashamova (Central European University Press, 2012).

Discursive practices during war polarize and politicize gender: they normally require men to fulfill a single, overriding task—destroy the enemy—but impose a series of often contradictory expectations on women. The essays in the book establish links between political ideology, history, psychology, cultural studies, cinema, literature, and gender studies and addresses questions such as— what is the role of women in war or military conflicts beyond the well-studied victimization? Can the often contradictory expectations of women and their traditional roles be (re)thought and (re)constructed? How do cultural representations of women during war times reveal conflicting desires and poke holes in the ideological apparatus of the state and society?


CinepaternityCinepaternity: Fathers and Sons in Soviet and Post-Soviet Film, edited by Helena Goscilo and Yana Hashamova (Indiana University Press, 2010)

This wide-ranging collection investigates the father/son dynamic in post-Stalinist Soviet cinema and its Russian successor. Contributors analyze complex patterns of identification, disavowal, and displacement in films by such diverse directors as Khutsiev, Motyl', Tarkovsky, Balabanov, Sokurov, Todorovskii, Mashkov, and Bekmambetov. Several chapters focus on the difficulties of fulfilling the paternal function, while others show how vertical and horizontal male bonds are repeatedly strained by the pressure of redefining an embattled masculinity in a shifting political landscape.


Pride and PanicPride and Panic: Russian Imagination of the West in Post-Soviet Film, by Yana Hashamova (Intellect Ltd, 2007)

A groundbreaking study, Pride and Panic probes cinematic representations of the unsettled Russian national consciousness, a complex cocktail of fear, anger, and anxious uncertainty. Hashamova examines the works of both established and lesser-known Russian directors, and she draws thought-provoking parallels between these evolving social attitudes in contemporary Russia and the development of an individual human psyche. The cultural impact of globalization, the evolution of the Russian national identity, and the psychology of a society all intertwine in this fascinating study of the connections between film and political consciousness.

Areas of Expertise
  • Cultural studies
  • Gender and sexuality studies
  • Balkan film, literature, and media
  • Identity (ethno-national and religious) studies
  • Russian film, literature, and media
  • B.A. at Sofia University "St. Kliment Okhridski," 1989, Bulgarian Philology
  • M.A. at Sofia University "St. Kliment Okhridski," 1990, History and Theory of Culture
  • M.A. at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1992, Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • Ph.D. at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1996, Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • Ph.D. at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1999, Comparative Literature (Film and Gender Studies)

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