During two terrifying days and nights in early September 1941, the lives of nearly two thousand men, women, and children were taken savagely by their neighbors in Kulen Vakuf, a small rural community straddling today’s border between northwest Bosnia and Croatia. This frenzy—in which victims were butchered with farm tools, drowned in rivers, and thrown into deep vertical caves—was the culmination of a chain of local massacres that began earlier in the summer. In Violence as a Generative Force, Max Bergholz tells the story of the sudden and perplexing descent of this once peaceful multiethnic community into extreme violence. This deeply researched microhistory provides provocative insights to questions of global significance: What causes intercommunal violence? How does such violence between neighbors affect their identities and relations?
Max Bergholz is Associate Professor of History at Concordia University in Montreal. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in the Balkans since 2003 on the dynamics of intercommunal violence, nationalism, and memory. His research has won support from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies, and his articles have been published in journals such as American Historical Review. In November 2016, Cornell University Press published his first book, Violence as a Generative Force.
Copies of Prof. Bergholz’s book will be available for purchase at the event.