Aida Vidan is Associate Curator of the Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature at Harvard University and Lecturer in the Department of International Literary and Cultural Studies at Tufts University. In addition, she serves as Director of Strategic and Educational Initiatives, South East European Film Festival Los Angeles, and president of the Association for Croatian Studies.
She holds a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Harvard University where she previously held an appointment of Preceptor in Slavic languages and literatures. Currently she teaches Russian and South Slavic cultures and literary theory at Tufts University.
Her principal areas of research include Eastern European film and oral traditions as well as interactions between Croatian early modern theater and orality. She is the co-editor (with Gordana P. Crnković) of In Contrast: Croatian Film Today (2012) and has published numerous articles in this area, including “Framing the Body, Vocalizing the Pain: Perspectives by the South Slavic Female Directors” for which she received an Outstanding Essay Prize from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (2019). She also actively works on film and her documentaries have been shown at various film festivals in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America. Her current project is a feature documentary on the Milman Parry Collection.
She has published extensively on issues related to South Slavic ballad (formulaic nature, transmission, mythological background, archival digitization) and is the author of a thematic database of 11,000 women's songs held in the Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature at Harvard (forthcoming). 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).