Announcing the First Winner of the Dragan Klaić Lecturer Award

Current | 23.04.2014. 00:00

Dragan Klaić Foundation and UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management proudly present the first winner of the Dragan Klaić Lecturer award – Prof. Dr. Silvija Jestrović.


Initiated by the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management at the University of Arts in Belgrade, the Dragan Klaić Fellowship Program is presented in memory of Prof. Dragan Klaić, PhD, theater scholar and cultural analyst. Supported by the Open Society Foundations and the European Cultural Foundation, it consists of 2 initiatives – Dragan Klaić Fellowship (student scholarship) and Dragan Klaić Lecturer (professor award), both given annually in order to contribute to the creation of a centre of excellence and attract the best students and professors to the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management. This interdisciplinary master study program is organized in cooperation with the Université Lumière Lyon 2 (France) and taught in English and French. For promoting international cultural cooperation, intercultural dialogue and mediation in the Balkans, the program received the UNESCO Chair title in 2004. 


Silvija Jestrović is an associate professor at the University of Warwick. She has graduated from playwriting and dramaturgy at the University of Arts in Belgrade (1989-1992) and completed her postgraduate studies at the University of Toronto in 2002. From 1990 to 1996 she was a freelance playwright, dramaturge and journalist. Before coming to Warwick in 2005, she was SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow and lecturer at York University in Toronto.

Research Interests

  1. Exilic theatre and performance
  2. Contemporary urban and political performances
  3. Avant-garde theatre and performance
  4. Performance, theatre, and culture of the Balkans
  5. Performance analysis
  6. Language and intertextuality in drama and performance
  7. Writing for performance

Her research interest in the avant-garde and in theatre theory has resulted in the book Theatre of Estrangement: Theory, Practice, Ideology (University of Toronto Press, 2006) that focuses on the notion of making the familiar strange in Russian Formalism, Russian avant-garde and in Brecht. She has also published articles related to some aspects of this subject in New Theatre Quarterly, Contemporary Theatre Review, Substance, and Balagan. This strain of her research has continued in her more recent work on semiotics of performance and urban spaces.

The other important area of Silvija Jestrović’s research concerns issues of performance and exile including identity, space and language. Her most recent work on exile includes the article “Performing Like an Asylum Seeker: Paradoxes of Hyper-Authenticity” (RIDE, 2008) and the co-edited monograph (with Y. Meerzon) Performance, Exile, ‘America’ (Palgrave, 2009). Her latest book is entitled Performance, Space, Utopia: Cities of War, Cities of Exile (Palgrave, 2012). The book is a culmination of a substantial period of AHRC funded research and it combines her interest in cities, exile, radical political performance, and critical theory. It deals with issues and theories of space, identity, community, and the trope of exile in two contexts of crises: the political oppression in Belgrade and the war in Sarajevo during the 1990s.




Performance, Space, Utopia: Cities of War, Cities of Exile (Palgrave Macmillan, Spring 2012)

Theatre of Estrangement: Theory, Practice, Ideology (University of Toronto Press, 2006)

Edited Monograph

(with Y. Meerzon) Performance, Exile, and‘America’. Palgrave Macmillan (2009)

Chapters in Books

"How to Defamiliarise Things With Words: Semiotics of Trans-sense Language," Futurist Dramaturgy and Performance. ed. Paul Stoesser. Ottawa: Legas, 2011 pp 67-79

“Exiles and the City: Krzysztof Wodiczko’s New York Interventions of Making the Familiar Strange”, Performance, Exile,and ‘America’ Palgrave Macmillan, 2009 pp 244-64

“Anthropomorphic City Horizon: Structuralist’s Foregrounding in Antony Gormley’s Sculptures”, Structuralism(s) Today, ed. V. Ambros. New York, Ottawa: Legas, 2009 pp191-203

Guest co-editor:

Modern DramaSpecial issue on Theatre and Exile. University of Toronto Press, 46:1 (Spring 2003)

Refereed Articles:

 "Seeing Better: The Modernist Legacy and its Transformations", ALT Theatre: Culture and Diversity on Stage. Vol 8, no.3, March 2011 pp 18-23

“Nomadksi jezik” [Nomadic Language], Sarajevske Sveske, June, 2009

“Performing Like an Asylum Seeker: Paradoxes of Hyper-Authenticity, ” Research in Drama Education. Vol 13. Jun 2008. 159-70

“The Semiotics of Nonsemiotic Theatre”, Semiotica, Vol 168. January 2008, 93-109

“The Theatrical Memory of Space: from Brecht and Piscator to Belgrade,” New Theatre Quarterly. Vol. XXI, no. 4 (November 2005): 358-367

"Body and Machine: Extending the Codes in Theatre of Laurie Anderson and Robert Wilson", Contemporary Drama in English. Dresden : American Studies, Technische Universität, vol. 11 (Spring 2004): 99-117

“Laurie Anderson: From the Ice-Cube Stage to Virtual Performance,” Contemporary Theatre Review: an International Journal. London: Routledge, vol. 14 no.1 (Winter 2004): 25-39

“Exilic Perspectives: Introduction”, Modern Drama. University of Toronto Press, 46:1 (Spring 2003): 1-4

“Uncle Vanya After Theatre of the Absurd,” Toronto Slavic Quarterly. No. 4 (Spring 2003) Available:ć04.shtml 

“Theatricality as Estrangement of Art and Life in the Russian Avant-garde,” SubStance: A Review of Theory and Literary Criticism. University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31 no.2&3 (2002): 42-57

"Playwright Between Languages,” Toronto Slavic Quarterly. (Summer 2002) Available: 

“Performing the Symbiosis of Intertextulity and Distancing,” Balagan: Slavisches Drama, Theater und Kino [Balagan: Slavic Drama, Theatre and Film]. University of Potsdam and Regensburg Press, Heft1/01 Band 7 (2001): 52-76

“Theatricalizing Politics / Politicizing Theatre,” Canadian Theatre Review no.103. University of Toronto Press (Summer 2000): 42-47


Dragan Klaić was a theater scholar and cultural analyst. He served as a Permanent Fellow of Felix Meritis Foundation in Amsterdam and taught Arts and Cultural Policy at the University of Leiden. He obtained a degree in Dramaturgy in Belgrade and a Doctorate in Theater History and Dramatic Criticism from Yale University. Klaić worked as a theater critic and dramaturge, held professorships at the University of Arts in Belgrade and University of Amsterdam, guest professorships in the USA, at the CEU Budapest and University of Bologna, led the Theater Instituut Nederland, co-founded the European Theater Quarterly Euromaske, and served as the President of the European Network of Information Centers for the Performing Arts and of the European Forum for the Arts and Heritage. His fields of engagement were contemporary performing arts, European cultural policies, strategies of cultural development and international cultural cooperation, interculturalism and cultural memory. He led complex international research projects, conceptualized numerous conferences and symposia, authored and edited publications. Klaić is the author of several books and hundreds of articles. He was the Chair of the European Festival Research Project. Dragan Klaić passed away in August 2011.