I am a SSHRC Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. I work on civil war, ethnic violence, complicity, and the civilian experience of war, drawing on extensive fieldwork experience in the former Yugoslavia. I am an interdisciplinary researcher with a PhD in anthropology, an MA in sociology, and a BA in international studies.

I am currently working on my first monograph, Zones of Violence: Serb Women inside the Siege of Sarajevo. It is based on my dissertation, which was awarded a Dean’s Convocation Medal.  In my free time, I play the cello.

Download my CV here: golubovic CV sept2021





Peer-Reviewed Articles

Jelena Golubović. Forthcoming. “Beyond Agency as Good: Complicity and Displacement after the Siege of Sarajevo.” Journal of Refugee Studies.

Jelena Golubović. 2020. “‘To Me, You Are Not a Serb’: Ethnicity, Ambiguity, and Anxiety in Post-War Sarajevo.” Ethnicities 20 (3): 544-563.

        • Best Doctoral Paper Award, Association for the Study of Nationalities (Balkan section), 2019

Jelena Golubović. 2019. “‘One Day I Will Tell This to My Daughter’: Serb Women, Silence, and the Politics of Victimhood in Sarajevo.” Anthropological Quarterly 92 (4): 1173-1199.

        • Best Article Award, International Studies Association section on Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Migration Studies, 2020
        • Article Prize, British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies Women’s Forum, 2021
        • Outstanding Published Article Award, American Sociological Association section on Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity, 2021
        • Outstanding Published Article Award, American Sociological Association section on Peace, War, and Social Conflict, 2020 (Honourable mention)
        • Postgraduate Article Prize, BASEES, 2021 (Honourable mention)

Parin Dossa & Jelena Golubović. 2019. “Reimagining Home in the Wake of Displacement.” Studies in Social Justice 13 (1): 171-186.

Jelena Golubović. 2017. “Belgrade’s First Post-Yugoslav Generation in the Contested Space of Europe: The Legacy of the 1990s.” Zeitgeschichte 1 (17): 33-48.

Jelena Golubović. 2015. “The Abnormalcy of Everyday Life: Belgrade Youth and the Legacy of the 1990s in the Context of European Union Expansion.” Contingent Horizons 2 (1): 69-88.

Jelena Golubović. 2011. “The Misrepresentation of Refugees: Effects on Protracted Refugee Situations.” Undercurrent Journal 8 (1): 68-75.


Parin Dossa & Jelena Golubović. 2018. “Community-Based Ethnography.” International Encyclopedia of Anthropology, edited by Hilary Callan, 1040-1046. John Wiley & Sons.

Popular Media

Jelena Golubović. 2021. “Research in Times of Revisionism.Conflict(Ed): The Official Blog of the PWSC. 17 February.

Jelena Golubović. 2020. “Arms Trade, Pandemic Combine to Reveal the Human Costs of War in Yemen.Ottawa Citizen. A6. Opinions Section. 4 May.



My research examines how political violence disfigures social life in enduring ways. My work is empirically grounded in ethnographic methodology, including qualitative interviews and participant observation.

Retributive Violence and the Politics of Victimhood:

I focus on a segment of society that is rendered invisible in most accounts of war: victims on the side of the perpetrator. Through this focus, I unearth a silenced and contentious history of retributive violence that took place inside the 1992 to 1995 siege of Sarajevo, when the city was held under attack by Bosnian Serb forces.

The experiences of Serbs inside the besieged city have received virtually no academic attention, yet they contain vital insights into the logic of ethnicization in wartime, as retributive violence against ethnic collectives becomes not only thinkable, but permissible. Inside the siege, Serbs came to be associated with the ethnic aggressor, and faced violent retribution at the hands of paramilitary, military, and civilian actors. Based on one year of fieldwork, I provide an account of this silenced history from the perspective of Serb women, and I track its ongoing legacy in the post-war period. I ask, what is at stake for post-conflict societies when recognition is withheld from certain classes of victims? How do unacknowledged injuries affect the micro-dynamics of coexistence? What are the political consequences of bearing a violent past in silence? I argue that the silencing of retributive crimes fuels a clandestine ethno-nationalism. Excluded from the dominant narrative, Serb women turn to divisive ethno-nationalist politics that entrench divisions between ethnic groups, and erode the authority of the post-war state.

The Civilian-Combatant Nexus in Civil War Violence:

My new research project explores the civilian-combatant nexus in the context of civil war violence. Despite the large-scale global shift from inter-state wars to civil wars, our understanding of the civilian experience of war has remained moored in frameworks and concepts inherited from the era of inter-state warfare. Chief among these is the civilian/combatant dichotomy. This dichotomy fails to capture the novel, localized dangers introduced by civil warfare, and the variety of complex roles that civilians occupy inside conflict zones. Whereas this dichotomy characterizes civilians collectively as passive victims who are disengaged from the production of violence, civilians can also act as indirect perpetrators, covertly enabling armed groups to target other civilians via clandestine channels such as denunciation. This neglected dimension of civil war has critical implications for civilian protection globally, raising an urgent need to uncover local pathways of violence that are not currently recognized by civilian protection mechanisms.

My new line of research aims to advance our understanding of the civilian-combatant nexus in the context of civil wars in order to better grasp the localized dynamics of this rising form of warfare, and so better protect the people who suffer because of it. My research takes the form of a political ethnography of denunciation, tracking this phenomenon as it occurred on both sides of the front lines of the 1992–1995 siege of Sarajevo.



Course Instructor:

Simon Fraser University:

  • Introduction to Social Research –  Fall 2020 and Spring 2021
  • The Ethnography of Politics – Spring 2020
  • Contemporary Ethnography – Fall 2018

Teaching Assistant:

Simon Fraser University:

  • Ethnography and Qualitative Methods – Spring 201
  • Anthropology and Contemporary Life – Spring 2016
  • Introduction to Cultural Anthropology – Fall 2015 

Teaching Training:

  • Certificate in University Teaching and Learning (120 hours), Simon Fraser University Teaching and Learning Centre, 2017
  • Instructional Skills Workshop (24 hours), Simon Fraser University Teaching and Learning Centre, 2016