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Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Ms Špela Drnovšek Zorko

BA Liberal Arts and Sciences, University College Utrecht, MA Anthropology and Cultural Politics, Goldsmiths


Spela Drnovsek Zorko
Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Ms Špela Drnovšek Zorko
Email address:
Office Hours:
Tuesdays 2-3pm in room 571
Thesis title:
Tracing gendered 'homes' in diasporic intergenerational narratives of Yugoslavia.
Year of Study:
2nd year
Internal Supervisors


Špela Drnovšek Zorko holds a BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences from University College Utrecht (2009) and an MA in Anthropology and Cultural Politics from Goldsmiths, University of London (2011). Her past research has dealt with gender and Balkan identity in the context of performative art, and with refugee family narratives in the aftermath of Yugoslavia. She has presented her work at ASA 2012 (New Delhi) and EASA 2012 (Paris) and has also worked as an independent researcher and freelance poetry translator. Špela joined the Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies in September 2012 as an Early Career Researcher on the Marie Curie ITN project Diasporic Constructions of Home and Belonging (CoHaB).

PhD Research

My research addresses the question of intergenerational family and community narratives among migrants from the former Yugoslavia living in Britain. I ask how mediated memories of Yugoslavia might shape gendered notions of home, nation, and belonging at the intersection of diaspora and post-socialism. Rather than attempting to define a unified imagined home, I am interested precisely in what is diasporic about such histories in the context of the present-day British “diaspora space”, particularly in the wake of dominant historical narratives about the demise of socialism. My emphasis on gendered imaginaries of belonging reflects the fact that gender is always inextricable from discourses as well as lived experience of nations and homes. It also provides an entry point into thinking how class - or a sense of possibility - might be constructed along gendered lines, especially against the background of the financial crisis in Britain.

At the moment, I am undergoing fieldwork in London and other locations in the United Kingdom. Starting with the theoretical question “how do diasporic spaces construct narrative gendered ‘homes’ in relation to the Yugoslav past and the British present?”, I aim to trace, ethnographically, the echoes of diasporic (post-)socialism in contemporary narrations of home and belonging.

PhD Conferences

  • CoHaB meeting, Oxford, November 2012
  • Life Narratives and Gendered Citizenship Seminar, Utrecht, January 2013
  • COST PhD workshop, “Transcultural Memory in Europe”, Copenhagen (May 2013)
  • CEELBAS research student workshop, “Practical and ethical dilemmas facing researchers from Central and Eastern Europe based at UK universities and studying Central and Eastern Europe”, Bath (July 2013)
  • SSEES Postgraduate Student Conference, London (February 2014)


  • Initial Training Network CoHaB.
  • Marie Curie Initial Training Network "Diasporic Constructions of Home and Belonging" (CoHaB).