Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Dr Sandra Uskoković

Dr Sandra Uskoković is a Visiting Research Fellow in 2023-24.

Sandra Uskokovic, a scholar of historic and contemporary Mediterranean and Eastern European art and heritage, is a full-time professor at the University of Dubrovnik, Croatia.

She holds an MA in American Studies (Historic Preservation) from George Washington University, USA and a PhD in Art History from the University of Zagreb, Croatia. She has worked as a research fellow at ICCROM, UNESCO and US/ICOMOS, and received grants from the Getty Trust. Uskokovic has published four books on heritage and architecture. Her last book, which opens questions about the post-socialism Anthropocene, was published by UPI2M books,  Anamnesis: Art Dialogues in Public Space (2018). She has also written and published numerous conference papers and research articles in her home country and abroad. A visiting scholar at universities in Europe, Asia and North America, her research interests include critical heritage studies, modern architecture and contemporary art, urban and cultural studies, and performative arts. She is an expert member of ISC20 and the Association of Critical Heritage Studies. During her sabbatical leave in Autumn 2022 she was granted the position of Visiting Scholar at the Center for Asian Studies at Koc University in Istanbul (KUASIA) and during late Spring/Summer 2023 she was working as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute for Art and Visual History at Humboldt University, Berlin .

Project description:

As Visiting Research Fellow, I wish to continue my research dedicated to the study of the art and visual culture of post-socialism in South-eastern Europe and the Mediterranean from a global perspective. Taking into account that PACT (the IAS's Postsocialist Art Centre) collaborates closely with the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies and the History of Art Department, I will try to encompass a diversity of historical, contemporary, comparative, horizontal and environmental perspectives on the subject.

Furthermore, my research ties into the view of post-socialism as a specific articulation of the Anthropocene (with its time scale and ecological implications) as it launches questions about death and the disappearance of civilisation, memory and archives, scope and methods of humanistic research, and emotional responses to the “end of nature” (Bill McKibben,1989).

Encouraged and stimulated towards disruptive thinking at the IAS with the notion of “post-socialism as challenging and decentering Westcentric discourses of the Anthropocene”, I intend to draw upon on the transitory geographies of the Balkans, and 'beyond Europe', while dealing basically with problems of representation, visuality and power. I intend to focus my research territorially into a visual analysis of South-eastern and Central Europe's transregional infrastructures of connectivity while dealing with problems of geocultural power in order to reveal the struggles through which fragmented, entangled and shifting constellations of images, objects and ideas are purposely cultivated to prefigure new ways of overcoming Eurocentric asymmetry.

These cultural transfers must be viewed in connection with the history of power and the formation of trans-spatial societies, contributing to the investigation of the potential for the development of cross-boundary communication in the region. By adopting the image as a methodological tool, I will try to decipher the grammar, gestures, sceneries and architecture of the inscription and realisation of power in space while looking into the archaeology of traces, infrastructures, signs and cultural artefacts.

I wish to communicate these ideas and share these forms of thinking through a combination of talk and performance. 

Finally, the aim of my research is to understand the geographies of research at the intersection of critical geography and creative art practices: how these geographies challenge existing understandings of these disciplines and practices, and what they might contribute to wider discussions of working beyond disciplines and to the emerging fields of creative research and geohumanities