Aida Vidan is the advisor for the secondary field in European History, Politics, and Societies at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies, research affiliate of the Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature at Harvard, and president of the Association for Croatian Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Harvard University and has taught all level language courses in Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian, as well as courses on South Slavic cultures, film, and literatures, including oral traditional heritage.
Her current research focuses on socialist experimental film and the cinema of South Eastern Europe. Her publications in the area of film studies include a co-edited volume (with Gordana P. Crnković) In Contrast: Croatian Film Today (2012). In recent years she has also actively worked on film and her short documentary Tereza's House (2015) has been in the official selection at the Boston International Film Festival, Motovun Film Festival (Croatia), and Ethnografilm Paris. Her most recent short Blue, Arrival (2017) has been included in South East European Film Festival in LA and SEE a Paris festival. She was the editor for the feature The Immigrant (dir. Sanda Zdjelar, 2016), winner of the Indie Spirit Award at Boston International Film Festival, and co-wrote the short film Regret (2013, dir. Sanda Zdjelar), which won first prize for screenplay at the same festival.
She has published extensively on issues related to South Slavic ballad (formulaic nature, transmission, mythological background, archival digitization) and is currently completing a thematic database of 11,000 women's songs held in the Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature at Harvard. Her book Embroidered with Gold, Strung with Pearls: The Traditional Ballads of Bosnian Women (2003) won the Heldt Translation Prize awarded by ASEEES’s Association for Women in Slavic Studies. She has also written on both contemporary South Slavic literatures and Croatian Renaissance authors, and contributed to the field of language instruction with the textbooks (co-authored with Robert Niebuhr) Beginner’s Croatian (2009) and Beginner’s Serbian (2009).
She has lived and conducted research in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Great Britain, Italy, and Russia, and in addition to offering classes at Harvard, she has also taught in Northwestern University’s summer program in Croatia and at the Institute of Ethnic Literature of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. In 2016 she was awarded the title of an honorary Cross-cultural Ambassador by the Sorbonne University UNESCO Club.