Dr Sara Bernard
- Lecturer in societal transformations (Central & East European Studies)
I joined CEES as a lecturer in societal transformations in January 2020. Prior to that I taught at Goldsmiths, University of London. I was educated at the University of Bologna, and at the University of Regensburg, where I obtained my PhD in 2016. I have held a research fellowship at the Centre for South East European Studies, University of Graz, and spent periods of study and research in Madrid, Belgrade and Zagreb.
I am a social historian of international migration in the twentieth century, particularly interested in the Cold War period and in South and Southeastern Europe. My doctoral project examined the return of the Gastarbeiter to socialist Yugoslavia. It was turned into a book and published by Harrassowitz in 2019 https://www.harrassowitz-verlag.de/titel_5814.ahtml .
I am coordinator of the Working Group Labour Migration History of the European Labour History Network https://socialhistoryportal.org/elhn/wg-migration .
Since 2019 I have been a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
There are two major lines of inquiry in my research agenda:
One of my principal research interests lies in the history of migration in the former Yugoslav region in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. I am particularly interested in the different ways in which Yugoslav unity was legitimised but also challenged by ‘Yugoslavs on the move’. I explore how different types of migration and mobility involving diverse individuals, families and communities led to the establishment of different transnational networks which affected Yugoslav nation-building and overall development. I am also interested in exploring the immigration history of the former Yugoslav region. In particular I am currently exploring the social and legal status of those ‘migrants’ who reached Yugoslavia as foreign workers during socialism, a topic which links me to my second area of interest.
A second and more recent line of inquiry is the examination of experiences and understandings of uses of foreign labour within the cooperation and solidarity networks developed within the Second and Third Worlds during the Cold War. Yugoslavia was a key player in these networks thanks to its independence from Moscow and its leadership role in the Non-aligned Movement. Using Yugoslavia as the starting point for my research, the questions which I am interested in investigating include: How did political elites in the Global South translate and incorporate experiences with international migration into their fight for a better and more equal world? How did knowledge and debates arising from these experiences work to undermine and transform existing policies and patterns of intervention from the Global North? What can the experience and regulation of the status of labour migrants in socialist countries tell us about the global history of labour?
I am happy to supervise on any aspect related to my research interests and I welcome enquiries from potential PhD applicants in any of my main areas of research.
Contributor: CEES 1B: COMMUNISM AND ITS COLLAPSE
Contributor & Convenor: CEES 2B: CENTRAL EUROPE AFTER COMMUNISM
Honours Option: (DE)CONSTRUCTING YUGOSLAVIA: MIGRANTS, REFUGEES, AND DIASPORAS 1918-2008
Convenor: YUGOSLAVIA AND AFTER: THEMES AND CONTROVERSIES