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Cultural Diversities East and West: Postcommunism, Postcolonialism and Ethnicity

Central European University, 22 July-2 August 2002

Fellow profile

pozdrav svima!


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Sven Cvek - Self-portrait



Residence in Pula, which is in Istr(i)a, a western region of Croatia (the Mediterranean/Balkans, approximately)
Nationality Croatian
Sex Male
Age 27
Zodiac Aries
Educational background
  • M.A. student in Literary theory at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb.
  • B.A. in English and Croatian (1999)
Present position Teaching assistant
Employer English Department, American Literature Division, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Since 2000 working as a junior assistant at the English department at the Zagreb Faculty of Philosophy (read about the english department in mixed format, Croatian & English)

Research interests American postmodern literature, Literature & Identities. Construction of the Balkans in American culture (Balkanism in Western media).
Current research Actually, right now i'm serving the army (as a civilian:) in the Croatian association of the blind & working on the project IPSIS there (acronym for: internet help for the blind internet user).<
Other activities Since 1998 editor of literary journal libra libera
and since 2000 coordinator of the balkan literary network lit.kon
Also active in different net projects located at jedinstvo alternative cultural server.
Conferences, competitions...  —
Professional affiliation
  • "Geopolitical Incorrectness: Balkan Guides and Introduction on the www." Libra Libera, 8, Attack, Zagreb 2000.
  • "A Handbook for Paranoids" [review of Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of the Lot 49], Libre 9, SC, Zagreb 1998.
  • Mixal, Wenders & I [collaborative hypertext fiction]
  • Hype.Text for the Masses (open access collaborative hypertextual experiment)
  • Literary Consortium LITKON (a Balkan network for the dissemination of literature.
Excerpts from publications Geopolitical Incorrectness: Balkan Guides and Introductions on the WWW

This critical analysis of several Internet Balkan guides is an attempt to apply Maria Todorova's concept of balkanism to a "virtual" cultural practice. The text takes into account the fact that the data-body of the Balkans is defined by the American domination on the Internet, and develops this further into an analysis of American cultural construction of the Balkans' Otherness. The essay relies on the postcolonial theory (Said, Todorova), the so called "radical theory" (Criticl Art Ensembe) and theoretical approaches to travel literature (Beretti), in an attempt to show that the virtual travel guides actually work to strengthen the sendentary habits of the consummer society, not actual travel. Thus they serve as a simulation, a surogat for the real (non-virtual) experience. The imagery and metaphors applied to the Balkans (instability, barbarity) are seen as a rhetorical mechanism used to demotivate the potential traveller.
Case study for the summer course
Statement of interest The course Cultural Diversities East and West covers my field of interest (almost) exactly. I am primarily concerned with different constructions of the Other and especially the role of literature and other discursive practices in the formation of identities. So far, I have tried to deal with this problem on theexample of American representations of the Balkans in some internet "guides" and "introductions" to this region. I am also presently working on a web-based project that will, through inscribing all kinds of travel literature on a virtual map of Eastern Europe, try to problematize— historicize and politicize— Western representations of the region (the Balkans mostly). Siunce at my Faculty I do not have much opportunity to work more intensely on this this.
Personal message
Plans for the future
uh, theater & similar performative stuff (although not as much as some time ago) +music, hacktivism & cybertheory, web, linux, i don't know... i think i have a problem distinguishing hobbies from real work :(
Links Sven's short CV with a few links, more or less useful...
Thanks for visiting my webpage! hvala na posjeti
See you soon in Budapest! vidimo se u budimpešti
Contact E-mail: or

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