61 Sever Street
Worcester, MA 01609
Professor of Liberal Arts
Division: General Education
Office Location: 36 Roxbury Street, First floor
Dr. Vladimir Pistalo grew up in Mostar, Kraljevo, and Belgrade. He studied law in Belgrade and Sarajevo and received his Ph.D. in American history from the University of New Hampshire. His dissertation was entitled “Juggling with Three Identities: Serbian, Yugoslav, and American Identities Among the American Serbs, 1900-2000.”
Before Dr. Pistalo emigrated to the United States in 1993, he worked as a journalist, commenting on the bloody destruction of Yugoslavia in Vreme magazine. Currently he is a professor of liberal arts at Becker College and teaches U.S. and world history.
Dr. Pistalo has authored 11 books and numerous stories. His most recent novel, Venice, was published in 2011 and is a bestseller in Serbia. In December 2011, Venice was on the shortlist of novels in the running for the NIN Literary Award for best novel of 2011, one of the highest honors for Serbian contemporary authors.
In November 2011, Dr. Pistalo presented his paper, “Thoughts and Notes on Authority: the Case of Nikola Tesla,” at the 43rd Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. Dr. Pistalo also presented at the Association’s 2010 conference.
In 2009, Dr. Pistalo was on sabbatical from Becker College in Serbia and the neighboring countries of Croatia, Bosnia, and Montenegro. While the primary goal of Dr. Pistalo’s sabbatical was the translation of his novel Tesla, Portrait Among Masks, published in 2008. Written entirely during his time at Becker College, Tesla has been a bestseller in Serbia for two years and the book most read in Serbian libraries. Dr. Pistalo signed a contract with Graywolf Press for publication of Tesla in the United States.
Tesla: Portrait Among the Masks, a creative recounting of the life of the legendary Serbian-American inventor, Nikola Tesla, was recognized with the NIN Literary Award for best novel of 2008. Critics have acknowledged that Tesla could not have been accomplished without a thorough knowledge of American history and an understanding of everyday American life. Dr. Pistalo’s work has received recognition by Dr. Dragan Simic, head of the Center of American Studies in Belgrade, and Susan Delja, cultural affairs officer from the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade.
According to Delja, “It was interesting for me, as an American and as a U.S. diplomat, to watch Serbian students react to Dr. Pistalo’s lecture and engage in constructive dialogue about how history and culture has shaped the United States and its relationship to the rest of the world.”
Dr. Pistalo’s books range from poetic prose to novels and include Picture Book, Nights, Manifestoes, The end of the century, Korto Malteze, Stained glass memories, Aleksandrida, Stories from around the world, and Millennium in Belgrade. His stories have been included in all major anthologies of both Serbian and Bosnian prose.
Dr. Pistalo was an invited speaker at the 2011 International PEN Congress in Tokyo, and he spoke at the conference of the American Society for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. As a visiting lecturer at the University of Belgrade, he developed and taught a course entitled American Values and Popular Culture in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, which was attended by more than 200 students.
As a part of the Conflict Resolution Program at Northeastern University, Dr. Pistalo introduced a group of 30 American students to relevant individuals and institutions in the Balkans.To set the stage for ongoing cooperation, Dr. Pistalo facilitated a presentation for Dr. Tom Kelly, of the Department of Sustainable Development at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), to the political science faculty at the University of Belgrade.
During his time away from campus, Dr. Pistalo travels extensively, doing public readings of his work, attending conferences, doing interviews in international media, and writing for Politika and the Serbian website B92.net.
Venice in the news:
B92.net – August 2011 (in Serbian)
Tesla in the news:
Vladimir Pistalo Performs in Prague – December 2011 (in Serbian)
B92.net – January 2009
Pistalo: Fellini, Venezia and Putumayo – July 2011 (cultural review, in Serbian)