As an undergraduate, Jordan Kiper traveled independently throughout the southeastern part of Europe, known as the Balkans, to study the various dialects of Serbo-Croatian and how language usage was changing in the region. While visiting Bosnia and Serbia, he saw evidence of the Yugoslav Wars and the toll they had taken on the people who lived there.
“Everywhere I went the effects of the war were apparent,” says Kiper, now a doctoral student in anthropology at UConn, who is focusing his dissertation on the effects of war propaganda on combatants of campaigns involving human rights violations, particularly in Serbia. “There were bullets in walls and several buildings were still destroyed. I would go to Bosnia and neighboring areas, and the people seemed so similar; I would wonder why neighbors would do this to one another.”
Kiper, who came to UConn from Colorado University in 2009, is among the graduate students who participated in the 10th Human Rights Institute Conference: Contexts of Human Rights, held this week at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.
By Kenneth Best