Prethodan rad

Denial and Repression of Antisemitism: Post-Communist Remembrance of the Serbian Bishop Nikolaj Velimirović. (Budapest and New York: CEU Press, 2008)

Book coverBishop Nikolaj Velimirović (1881-1956) is arguably one the most controversial figures in contemporary Serbian national culture. Having been vilified by the former Yugoslav Communist authorities as a fascist and an antisemite, this Orthodox Christian thinker has over the past two decades come to be regarded in Serbian society as the most important religious person since medieval times and an embodiment of the authentic Serbian national spirit. Velimirović was formally canonised by The Serbian Orthodox Church in 2003.

In this book, Jovan Byford charts the posthumous transformation of Velimirović from 'traitor' to 'saint' and examines the dynamics of repression and denial that were used to divert public attention from the controversies surrounding the bishop's life, the most important of which is his antisemitism. Byford offers the first detailed examination of the way in which an Eastern Orthodox Church manages controversy surrounding the presence of antisemitism within its ranks and he considers the implications of the continuing reverence of Nikolaj Velimirović for the persistence of antisemitism in Serbian Orthodox culture and in Serbian society as a whole.

This book is based on a detailed examination of the changing representation of Bishop Nikolaj Velimirović in the Serbian media and in commemorative discourse devoted to him. The book also makes extensive use of exclusive interviews with a number of Serbian public figures who have been actively involved in the bishop's rehabilitation over the past two decades.

Book coverIn 2005 a version of this book was published in Serbian as Potiskivanje i poricanje antisemitizma: Sećanja na vladiku Nikolaja Velimirovića u srpskoj pravoslavnoj kulturi (Belgrade: Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia)

Teorija zavere: Srbija protiv 'novog svetskog poretka' [Conspiracy Theory: Serbia vs The New World Order]. (Belgrade: Beogradski centar za ljudska prava, 2006)

book coverThe book examines conspiracy theories in Serbia at the time of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999. It involves an analysis of the coverage of the war in the Serbian mainstream and fringe media, as well as interviews with selected Serbian conspiracy theorists. It argues that traditional psychological explanations of conspiratorial beliefs - especially those drawing on attribution research and scapegoating theory - cannot adequately account for the emergence of conspiracy theories during times of crisis. Instead, in order to understand the appeal and popularity of conspiratorial explanations, it is necessary to explore the rhetorical and argumentative structure of specific conspiratorial accounts, against the backdrop of the historical and ideological conditions within which these are produced and communicated.

Results of this project were also published in the English language:

Byford, J. and Billig, M. (2001) The emergence of antisemitic conspiracy theories in Yugoslavia during the war with NATO. Patterns of Prejudice, 35 (4). pp. 50-63.

Byford, Jovan (2002) Anchoring and objectifying 'neocortical warfare': re-presentation of a biological metaphor in Serbian conspiracy literature. Papers on Social Representations, 11 (3). 3.1-3.14. (available online)

Byford, J. (2002) Christian Right-Wing Organizations and the Spreading of Anti-Semitic Prejudice in Post-Milosevic Serbia: The Case of the Dignity Patriotic Movement. East European Jewish Affairs, 32 (2). pp. 43-60.

Byford, J.T. (2003). Anti-Semitism and the Christian Right in post-Miloševic Serbia: From conspiracy theory to hate crime. Internet Journal of Criminology (IJC).