Zagorka Golubović was born on March 8th 1930 in Debrc, near Šabac (Serbia), and moved to Belgrade in 1933. At age 14 she joined the League of Communist Youth of Yugoslavia. After graduating, at age 23, she taught philosophy in several Belgrade high schools. In 1957 she became a Teaching Assistant at the Faculty of Philosophy where, upon defending her doctoral thesis, she was appointed Assistant Professor, the first female professor of ethnology and anthropology at the University of Belgrade. In 1960 she was elected Member of the Federal Parliament.
Zagorka Golubović is one of the founders of social anthropology in Serbia. During the 1960s, she was a member of the editorial board, and a frequent contributor to the prestigious Praxis journal. She was the only woman among the core members of the famous Praxis group and Korčula Summer School (1963-1974) – a Marxist humanist philosophical movement. She introduced the courses of Anthropology and Sociology of Family to the undergraduate sociology program at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, and also helped establish the Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies of Anthropology there. She headed a whole array of research projects and mentored numerous undergraduate and graduate students.
She openly supported the students’ protest in June 1968 and took part in the biggest anti-government movement in socialist Yugoslavia. As a result, she was banned from teaching at the Faculty after the National Assembly of Serbia passed a Lex Specialis in January 1975, by which eight members of the Praxis group – including Golubović – were banned from teaching at the Faculty. Between 1975 and 1981 she occasionally taught as a guest professor at universities in Sweden, Great Britain, and USA. In 1981 she became the Principal Research Fellow at the Center for Philosophy and Social Theory of the Institute for Social Sciences. In 1991 she was invited back to the Faculty of Philosophy, where she taught as Full Professor until 1996. From 1996 until her retirement in 2001, she worked at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory. She has remained active in social research and public life.
During the 1990s, Golubović had a prominent role in the anti-war movement in Belgrade. A fierce critic of Slobodan Milošević’s regime, she was actively involved in the civil and student protests of 1996-1997. After the democratic changes in 2000, she remained a critical and outspoken observer of the economic and social transition in Serbia.
Golubović was editor of Gledišta, Sociologija and Filozofija; a member of the editorial board of Praxis, as well as member of Praxis International. She was a member of the governing council of the Yugoslav Association for Philosophy and Sociology, as well as President of the Sociological Society of Serbia and Philosophical Society of Serbia. She was an active member and contributor to the Commission for Defense of Freedom of Thought and Expression, as well as the Anti-Corruption Council.
Her books: Problemi savremene teorije ličnosti, 1966; Čovek i njegov svet u antropološkoj perspektivi, 1973; Kriza identiteta savremenog jugoslovenskog društva: jugoslovenski put u socijalizam viđen iz različitih uglova, 1988; Antropološki portreti, 1991; Antropologija u personalističkom ključu, 1997; Stranputice demokratizacije u postsocijalizmu, 1999; Ja i drugi. Antropološka istraživanja individualnog i kolektivnog identiteta, 1999; Izazovi demokratije u savremenom svetu, 2003; Kuda ide postoktobarska Srbija, 2000-2005, 2006; Pouke i dileme minulog veka. Filozofsko-antropološka razmišljanja o glavnim idejama našeg vremena, 2006; Moji horizonti: mislim, delam, postojim, 2012.
She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the award for life achievement “Radomir Lukić” in 2014.