Dr Sonja Bašić was awarded PhD from the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb with her thesis „Edgar Allan Poe in Croatian and Serbian Literatures“. She became an assistant professor in 1971, associate professor in 1978, professor in 1984 (reconfirmed in 1996). She obtained the honorary title of professor emerita in 2003.
Professor Bašić co-founded the Chair of American Studies (1982) and Postgraduate American Studies program (1986), both of which she headed from 1992, even at the time when the postgraduate program had to be transferred from Dubrovnik to Zagreb due to the Homeland War. The Postgraduate American Studies program was resumed from 1997-2004.
1992-1994 Professor Bašić served as Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy (today the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences), as first woman ever to be elected to such an office. In 1991 she was awarded the Faculty’s highest honor, the Charter of the Faculty of Philosophy.
During her career Professor Bašić taught at several renowned universities in the United States in particular: Columbia University and New York University (New York), as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Yale University (grant by the American Council of Learned Societies). As guest professor she held a seminar in modern American novel at New York University (1985), while in the spring semester of the same year she taught two courses at A&M University, Texas.
Sonja Bašić is a member of several professional associations in Croatia (Matica hrvatska, Hrvatsko društvo književnih prevodilaca) and abroad (James Joyce Foundation, European Association for American Studies). She has served on editorial board of several journals (first as secretary, later as member of the editorial board of Književna smotra since its inception; member of the editorial council of Journal of Modern Literature; member of the editorial board of SRAZ). From 1966-1973 she served as a secretary of Croatian PEN Centre in which capacity she was one of the signatories of the Declaration concerning the name and the status of the Croatian language. After the breakdown of the Croatian Spring movement and unable to intervene on behalf of the imprisoned authors, she resigned her office in 1973 together with Antun Šoljan, the then President of Croatian PEN. She is one of the twelve members of the assembly of IUC Dubrovnik whose signatures led to the renewal of the Institute’s work in Croatia.
As a preeminent translator of literature Sonja Bašić has excelled in particular with her translations of more than a score of plays performed at the theatres across Croatia.
As a teacher Professor Bašić initiated and practised an innovative, interactive and seminar-based format of teaching, decades before it became stipulated by the Bologna reform, making huge impact with her numerous and varied courses in English and American literature of the nineteenth and especially the twentieth century on generations of students in English and American studies. She has established and successfully maintained links with colleagues at complementary American Studies programs and chairs abroad, as testified by the roster of chairs or institutes of American Studies in Graz, München, Mainz, Berlin, Oslo, Bergen, Paris and several US universities, respectively.
Professor Bašić’s research interests come to the fore not only in her publications, numerous guest appearances and presentations at home and abroad but even more so in the research done within the purview of the two research projects sponsored by the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports: „Subversions of Modernism: Joyce and Faulkner“ (1991-96); „Relations between Croatian and Anglophone Literatures in the Twentieth Century“ (1997-2002).
Professor Bašić is focused on American literature of the late 19th and 20th century, with particular emphasis on the study of William Faulkner’s work. She has made major contributions to the study of James Joyce, while her abiding interests have led her to engage with historical and theoretical aspects of Anglo-American modernism and the theory of narration.
The American Nineteen-Sixties: Literature and Culture
Anglo-American Modernism: Fiction and Poetry
– Veliki anglo-američki pripovjedači našeg doba. Biblioteka književna smotra, ur. Irena Lukšić, Zagreb: Hrvatsko filološko društvo, 2012.
– Subverzije modernizma: Joyce i Faulkner. Zagreb: Biblioteka L, Zavod za znanost o književnosti Filozofskoga fakulteta Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, 1996.
Contributor and editor
• “Osnovne odrednice u razvoju američkog pjesništva.”(Uvod) i komentari uz 52 američka pjesnika. Zlatna knjiga američkog pjesništva. Ur. Antun Šoljan. Zagreb: Nakladni zavod Matice hrvatske, 1980.
• “Život i djelo Williama Faulknera.” Izabrana djela Williama Faulknera. Ur. Šima Balen. Zagreb: Globus, 1977: 15-109. (Second edition 1988: 201-96)
• Editor, preface, annotations. Edgar Allan Poe: Djela. Vol. 1-3. Zagreb: Matica hrvatska, 1986.
Essays and journal articles
• “Henry James Between Old and New. An Interpretation of The Wings of the Dove.” SRAZ 41-42 (1976): 333-75.
• “From James’ Figures to Genette’s Figures. Point of View and Narratology.” Revue francaise d’etudes americaines 17 (1983): 201-15.
• “Faulkner’s Narrative Discourse. Mediation and Mimesis.” New Directions in Faulkner Studies. Ed. Doreen Fowler and Ann J. Abadie. Jackson: University of Mississippi, 1984. 302-22.
• “Transparent or Opaque? The Reader of Ulysses Between Involvement and Distanciation.” International Perspectives on James Joyce. Ed. Gottlieb Gaiser. Troy, NY: The Whitston Publishing Company, 1986. 106-32.
• “Faulkner’s Narrative: Between Involvement and Distancing.” Faulkner’s Discourse: An International Symposium. Ed. Lothar Honnighausen. Tubingen: M. Niemeyer Verlag, 1989. 141-48.
• “A Book of Many Uncertainties: Joyce’s Dubliners.” Style 25.3 (1991): 350-77.
• “Hemingway and Emotion.” Sentimentality in Modem Literature and Culture. Ed. Winfried Herget. Tubingen: Gunther Narr Verlag, 1991. 187-205.
• “Slobodni neupravni stil (s primjerima iz Jovcea):” Umjetnost riječi 35.2 (1991): 107-34.
• “Parody and Metafiction: Ulysses and The Hamlet.” Faulkner, His Contemporaries, and His Posterity. Ed. Waldemar Zacharasiewicz. Tübingen: Francke Verlag, 1993. 41-56.
• “History as Vampire. James Joyce, William Faulkner and Miroslav Krleža.” Transatlantic Encounters. Studies in European-American Relations. Presented to Winfried Herget. Ed. Udo J. Hebel and Karl Ortseifen. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 1995. 245-56.
• “Poe in Croatia.” Poe Abroad: Influence. Reputation. Affinities. Ed. Lois Davis Vines. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1999.
• “Faulkner’s Myriad.” Etudes faulkneriennes 2 (2000): 43-48.
• “The Reception of James Joyce in Croatia.” The Reception of James Joyce in Europe. Volume I: Germany, Northern and East Central Europe. Ed. Geert Lernout and Wim Van Mierlo. London, New York: Thoemmes Continuum, 2004. 178-86.
• “Perfume of texts, subversive embraces. A personal retrospect involving ‘formalist’ readings of Ulysses.” SRAZ 50 (2005): 133-44. (Also published in Bloomsday 100, 19th International James Joyce Symposium. Ed. Niall O’Driscoll. Dublin, The Joyce Centre, 2005. CD-ROM.)