Nebojša Popov Collection
Beograd Palmira Toljatija 1, Serbia
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Name of collection
- Personal fond of Nebojša Popov
Provenance and cultural activities
The Nebojša Popov Collection is kept in the Historical Archives of Belgrade. Since Popov was a prominent Yugoslav and Serbian sociologist and intellectual, and later became an anti-war activist, his collection is very valuable for research that examines the culture of dissent.
Popov worked at the University of Belgrade's Sociology Department as an assistant until 1975, when he was removed from the faculty along with seven other professors. This instance is a key example of how the repressive actions of party authorities affected life at Belgrade University in the mid-1970s.
Due to problems in Belgrade in 1976, Popov was forced to complete his doctorate at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb. Six years later, Popov became the director of the Center for Philosophy and Social Theory, where many other displaced professors from the Faculty of Philosophy were also employed. The Center became an independent institute, and where Popov spent most of his working life.
In the early 1980s, Popov was arrested and sentenced to twenty-five days imprisonment as a member of the so-called “petition movement” that supported the Polish movement Solidarity. Popov was also involved in opposition activities such as the journal 'Praxis', the Korčula Summer School and the 'Open University' movement.
In 1989, Popov was one of the founders of the 'Association for Yugoslav Democratic Initiative' (UJDI), the first democratic political organization in Yugoslavia that sought to reform the Yugoslav system.
Popov donated his personal effects and library to the Historical Archives of Belgrade at the request of its director, non-conformist historian Branka Prpa, who lead and reformed the institution between 2002 and 2010. The collection covers the period from 1966 to 2000, thus documenting nearly the entirety of the author’s professional life. In an interview with COURAGE, Prpa states: “Nebojša Popov was an extraordinarily important figure within Serbia and Yugoslavia for his participation during socialist times to a political group called “Praxis philosophy. They were, actually, the only dissidents to the regime; we had leftist dissidents, they were not from civic origins. The Praxis philosophy, which assembled all the best philosophers, sociologist and others, became one of the most important events in Serbia and Yugoslavia in the second part of the twentieth century.“ Popov submitted seventeen boxes to the Archives which contained not only documentation of his own political and academic work, but also testaments to the broader socio-political context of opposition activities that took place, of which he was a part. The collection is very versatile, but since the material has not been organized, currently chronological and thematic research is difficult.
In addition to documents, the collection includes books, newspaper articles, various texts, self-portraits, and photographs. A plethora of valuable documentation makes this collection very important for researchers, in particular, boxes 1-4 and 11-14, where material relating to dissident activities and opposition can be found.
Description of content
The content of the collection covers the estate of the Belgrade sociologist Nebojša Popov. The description of the collection states that material is arranged in the following way:
Boxes 1-4: prints, manuscripts, press clippings, newspapers, magazines, court decisions, appeals, minutes of opposition meetings and round table discussions, excerpts of book pages, articles from academic journals, etc., from 1970 to 2000.
Box 5: book excerpts, articles from academic journals, and similar items.
Box 6: magazines, periodicals, photo documentation - originals.
Box 7: prints, manuscripts, press clippings, newspapers, magazines, court decisions, appeals, minutes from sessions of the University Council in Belgrade, “Student Declaration,” minutes of round table discussions with lists of participants, book excerpts, articles from professional journals, from 1970 to 2000.
Box 8: photocopies of press articles and professional literature before World War I, during and after World War II; original printed copies and brochures from different periods; the ethnic map of Yugoslavia in the edition of NIN (undated);
Box 9: bibliographies of texts on different topics, prints from the press referring for instane to Dobrica Cosic, 5 October 2000, Ljuba Tadic et al., letters and photographs from opposition’s protests.
Box 10: manuscripts, minutes from NSF meetings (editorial office for the unpublished book Srpska strana rata) held during 1994-5, papers on dissidents, photocopies of works on Bolshevism, Spomenka Huber - Various, Electrotechnical Students' School, Praxis, etc.).
Boxes 11-14: material pertaining to student demonstrations in 1968.
Box 15: material pertaining to the position of women in society, including family, freedom and equality for women, feminism, and the like.
Box 16: material pertaining to the issues of human rights, political conflict, and processes, court decisions on prohibiting the sale and dissemination of books, film scenes, etc.
Box 17: material pertaining to Legija (the main organizer of Zoran Djindjic's assassination), Slobodan Milosevic, Stambolic case (murder of Ivan Stambolic, former president of the CK SK of Serbia by the security organizations of Serbia), etc.
The collection also contains around three-hundred books.
- grey literature (regular archival documents such as brochures, bulletins, leaflets, reports, intelligence files, records, working papers, meeting minutes): 100-499
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 100-499
Stakeholder(s) of the collection
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Beograd, Belgrade, Serbia
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- completely open to the public
Popov, Nebojša, Contra fatum, Slučaj grupe profesora Filozofskog fakulteta u Beogradu: 1968-1988. [The Case of a Group of Professors from the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade: 1968-1988] 1989. Beograd.
Popov, Nebojša, Sukobi: društveni sukobi – izazov sociologiji. [Conflicts: Social Conflicts - the Challenge of Sociology] 1990. Beograd.
Popov, Nebojša, Jugoslavija pod naponom promena: dvanaest ogleda (1968-1990). [Yugoslavija undergoing Change: Twelve Replies: 1968-1990]. 1990.
Popov, Nebojša, Sloboda i nasilje, razgovor o časopisu Praxis i korčulanskoj letnjoj školi (sa Milan Kangrga, Zagorka Golubović, Ivan Kuvačić, Božidar Jaksić, Ante Lesaja). [Freedom and Violence, Talk about the Praxis Magazine and the Korčula Summer School (with Milan Kangrga, Zagorka Golubović, Ivan Figić, Božidar Jaksic, Ante Lesaja)] 2003. Beograd.
Popov, Nebojša, Srpski populizam: Od marginale do dominantne pojave. [Serbian Populism: From a Marginal to a Dominant Phenomenon] 1993.
Popov, Nebojša, Republikanac. [Republican] 1994.
Popov, Nebojša, Iskušavanja slobode: Srbija na prelazu vekova. [Testing Freedom: Serbia at the Turn of the Century] 2010.
Author(s) of this page
- Radović, Sanja
Prpa, Branka, interview by Nießer, Jacqueline, October 24, 2017. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection