Monthly Archives: May 2018

Public Lecture by Judith Butler: “Interpreting Non-Violence”

Venue: Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc in Rijeka

Date and time: June 18th 2018 at 6 p.m.

This year’s Summer School opens with a public lecture by Judith Butler (University of California, Berkeley), entitled “Interpreting Non-Violence.” The lecture will be held on Monday, June 18th 2018, at 6.00 p.m. at the Croatian National Theatre ‘Ivan pl. Zajc’, and will be moderated by Sanja Bojanic (UNIRI CAS SEE; Academy of Applied Arts; Center for Women’s Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences).

“Interpreting Non-Violence”

“If non-violence is to make sense as an ethical and political position, it cannot simply repress aggression or do away with its reality; rather, non-violence should emerge as a meaningful concept precisely when destruction is most likely or seems most certain.

We need to think first about an ethics of non-violence that presupposes forms of dependency, and interdependency that are unmanageable or become the source of conflict and aggression. Second, it proposes that we consider how our understanding of equality relates to the ethics and politics of non-violence. For that connection to make sense, we would have to admit into our idea of political equality the equal grievability of lives. Only a disorientation from a presumptive individualism will let us understand the possibility of an aggressive non-violence, one that emerges in the midst of conflict, one that takes hold in the force field of violence itself.”

 Judith Butler is Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program in Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley. She served as Founding Director of the Program in Critical Theory. A prolific author, she is perhaps best known for “Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France” (1987); “Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity” (1990); “Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of ‘Sex’” (1993); “Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable?” (2009); and “Is Critique Secular?” (co-written with Talal Asad, Wendy Brown, and Saba Mahmood, 2009). Her most recent books include: “Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly” (2015); “Vulnerability in Resistance,” (2016), edited with Zeynep Gambetti and Leticia Sabsay.

Butler is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Andrew W. Mellon Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement in the Humanities (2009-13). She is currently the principal investigator in a four-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs. Her visit to Rijeka is part of this endeavor, since the Center for Advanced Studies Southeast Europe and the Center for Women’s Studies (both of the University of Rijeka) and the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory (University of Belgrade) are Consortium members.

Tickets to the lecture are free, but need to be reserved ahead of time. Please e-mail or call +385 (0)51 337 114 to reserve. Reserved tickets are available for pick-up no later than twenty-four hours before the event. The theater box office hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., as well as two hours before the event.

The lecture will be followed by the play TURBOFOLK-RiLOUDID, a production of Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc in Rijeka, beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets for the play can be purchased at the box office of Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc in Rijeka or online at, starting on May 28th, 2018.

Panel discussion: “Political Violence: Is Counterstrike Possible?”

Rijeka June 19th at 5 p.m. | City of Rijeka Town Hall

“Southeastern Europe has seen more than its share of violence. It has also seen loud proclamations of anti-violent ideology from states and governments, from organizations of civil society, down to sundry public voices. The region has seen the adoption and implementation of various EU laws and policies to a far greater and more drastic extent than even in their countries of origin. This trend is partly a symptom of identity crises and identity insecurity, for which policies are designed to curtail all kinds of societal violence, shifting power towards ever-increasing prerogatives of wanton administrations. Instances of violence tend to be interpreted as systemic social degeneration that needs to be uprooted by draconian control and repressive policies. The results are a police force and state institutions with sweeping authority over individuals on the one hand, and widespread apathy and defeatism among ordinary people, on the other. Thus, the study of violence as well as anti-violence policy addresses a core quality of life issue in Southeastern Europe.”

The panel discussion “Political Violence: Is Counterstrike Possible?,” in addition to Judith Butler and the mayor of the city of Rijeka, Vojko Obersnel, will include by Donatella della Porta (Scuola Normale Superiore di Firenze), Astrid Deuber-Mankowsky (Ruhr University Bochum), Peter Fenves (Northwestern University) and Marc Crepon (Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris), and will be moderated by Vedran Dzihic (oiip/UNIRI CAS SEE). The discussion will be held in English.

Round Table with Judith Butler “In Tribute to Saba Mahmood”

Rijeka | June 20th 2018, 5:30 p.m. | Art-kino Croatia

The round table discussion, entitled In Tribute to Saba Mahmood, is dedicated to the recently deceased anthropologist from the University of California, Berkeley who dedicated her scientific research career to studying the relationship of different religious forms and sexual practices, in particular as regards women. At the conversation in Art-kino Croatia, guests from the region will join Judith Butler in evoking Saba Mahmood’s book Religious Difference in a Secular Age. A Minority Report, focusing specifically on aspects directly relevant to the regional context. Participating in the conversation are Rebeka Anic (Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar – Split), Zilka Spahic Siljak (University of Stanford, TPO Foundation Sarajevo), Sanja Potkonjak (University of Zagreb), Adriana Zaharijevic (IFDT, University of Belgrade), Senka Bozic (University of Zadar), and will be moderated by Sanja Bojanic (CAS SEE, APURI). The discussion will be held in Croatian and English. The round table will be followed by the projection of Martha Rosler’s film Semiotics of the Kitchen (USA, 1975).

Follow us on Facebook for more information about the upcoming events.

Organizers: University of Rijeka, Center for Advanced Studies Southeast Europe (UNIRI CAS SEE) and the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory (University of Belgrade).

Partners: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Zagreb, HNK Ivan pl. Zajc, Erste Stiftung, European Fund for the Balkans, Institut Francais Croatia, Consulato generale d’Italia – Fiume, Goethe Institute Zagreb, Art-kino Croatia and the City of Rijeka. The Summer School program is part of the “Kitchen” and “Seasons of Power” Flagships of the project “Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture.”


Summer School Program: “Critique of Violence Now: from Thinking to Acting against Violence”

University of Rijeka, Center for Advanced Studies Southeast Europe (UNIRI CAS SEE)

In cooperation with
The Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory University of Belgrade

Supported by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Zagreb, National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc, Goethe Institute Zagreb, Erste Foundation, European Fund for the Balkans, French Institute Croatia, Consulato generale d’Italia – Fiume, City of Rijeka, Art-kino Croatia

Venues: Akvarij, University campus, Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc, DeltaLab, Art-kino Croatia, City of Rijeka Town Hall

Dates: June 18th – 22nd 2018

Rationale and background:

The 2018 CAS SEE Summer School examines one of today’s most pressing topics: how to think and what to do with violence in our present society. To what extent is it possible to deconstruct and name the emerging mechanisms of violence? What kinds of phenomena precipitate coercion and violence, making it difficult to suppress and rendering it seemingly inevitable? Assuming that in myriad social contexts, violence is not a self-contained, but rather a relational/social phenomenon (across families, associations, corporations, nations, states, religions), is there any social purpose to it, and does it have any productive alternative? Is violence a form of communication, and might there be strategic communicative substitutes that could non-repressively reduce the recourse to violence?

Southeastern Europe has seen more than its share of violence. It has also seen loud proclamations of anti-violent ideology from states and governments, from organizations of civil society, down to sundry public voices. The region has seen the adoption and implementation of various EU laws and policies to a far greater and more drastic extent than even in their countries of origin. This trend is partly a symptom of identity crises and identity insecurity, for which policies are designed to curtail all kinds of societal violence, shifting power towards ever-increasing prerogatives of wanton administrations. Instances of violence tend to be interpreted as systemic social degeneration that needs to be uprooted by draconian control and repressive policies. The results are a police force and state institutions with sweeping authority over individuals on the one hand, and widespread apathy and defeatism among ordinary people, on the other. Thus, the study of violence as well as anti-violence policy addresses a core quality of life issue in Southeastern Europe.

“Critique of Violence Now” will:

  • Provide a framework for an exchange of views and insights among activists and academics on the following topics: political violence, administrative violence, legal violence, domestic violence, collective violence in the regional and global context, countering (discourses of) violence through social engagement, social inequalities and neoliberal conquest of state and society;
  • Inspire and build capacity of participants through stimulating topical and theoretical input by renowned academics, creating opportunities for building networks and joint cooperation actions in the field;
  • Provide workspaces for the participants to discuss and work on short papers (approx. 3 pages) dedicated to four major clusters: “Political Violence: Revisited”; “Administrative Violence: Migration”; “Ethnicized Violence”; “Deconstructing Misogyny and Patriarchy”. Papers (in English) would be further refined immediately after the Summer School and published in a volume edited by the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory of the University of Belgrade (IFDT University of Belgrade).

The Summer School is organized as part of the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, of which UNIRI CAS SEE and IFDT University of Belgrade are members. The event will also serve to confer the inaugural prize for critical theoretical engagement ”Miladin Zivotic”, established in 2017 by IFDT University of Belgrade. The award is bestowed on those social theorists whose work has had significant impact on the broader public, exemplifying socially engaged theory and theoretically grounded social engagement.

Program and Timetable

Program Board of the Summer School:

Petar Bojanic (IFDT University of Belgrade, UNIRI CAS SEE), Astrid Deuber-Mankowsky (Ruhr University Bochum), Vedran Dzihic (oiip / UNIRI CAS SEE), Manuela Bojadzijev (Humboldt University), Sanja Bojanic (UNIRI CAS SEE; Center for Women Studies UNIRI, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences), Adriana Zaharijevic (IFDT, University of Belgrade) and Gazela Pudar Drasko (IFDT, University of Belgrade).

Organization Board:

Monica Cano Abadia, Kristina Smoljanovic, Natasa Jankovic (UNIRI CAS SEE); Ana Ajdukovic (Center For Women Studies, FFRI); Marlene Weck (FFRI/University of Freiburg); Marilea Pudar (IFDT University of Belgrade) and Edward Djordjevic (FFRI)

Summer school visuals are designed by Natasa Jankovic.


Program of the “Equality and Citizenship 2018” Summer School

The Center for Advanced Studies – South East Europe, the University of Rijeka, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Rijeka and the Croatian Society for Analytic Philosophy are organizing the 5th edition of the Equality and Citizenship Summer school from June 25th – 29th, 2018 in Rijeka, Croatia.

Summer school program and full schedule is available at the following link: Equality and Citizenship 2018

The Summer school does not reproduce, in a diluted form, the familiar teaching format of a university course. Instead, it is organized around “Author-Meets-Critics” symposia that are dedicated to publications and works-in-progress by some distinguished authors. All the leading participants will give a paper on a topic on which they are currently working, or a précis of a recently published book. During the symposia dedicated to them, they will then reply to the papers given by the other scholars.

This year’s leading participants are:

Prof Cecile Laborde, University of Oxford

Prof Julian Savulescu, University of Oxford

Prof Jonathan White, The London School of Economics and Political Science

Prof Lea Ypi, the London School of Economics and Political Science

The summer school is primarily aimed at attracting post-doc researchers and doctoral students. All participants will receive a certificate of participation that describes the activities in which they have participated at the summer school. The accepted candidates must pay 100 € / 750 HRK participation fee by June 10th, 2018 on the following account:

  • Account Holder: Filozofski fakultet u Rijeci, Sveučilišna avenija 4, 51000 Rijeka, Hrvatska / Croatia
  • Name of the Bank: Zagrebačka banka d.d. Zagreb, Paromlinska 2, 10000 Zagreb, Hrvatska / Croatia
  • IBAN: HR9123600001101536455
  • “Za ljetnu školu političke filozofije” / for the Summer school of Political Philosophy
  • “Poziv na broj” / Reference Number: 0800010014

Organizers of the Summer school can cover scholarships for a limited number of participants, but a motivated request is needed.

1) Accommodation

Participants can book rooms in one of Rijeka’s Hostels , Hotels or Private Accomodation.

2) Further information

Useful information about the city of Rijeka can be found at:

If any further details are needed, please contact us at:

Updated information regarding the summer school will be available at the CAS SEE website.

Directors of the Summer school:

Prof Elvio Baccarini, University of Rijeka

Prof Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, University of Rijeka

Asst Prof Nebojša Zelič, University of Rijeka

Organization Board:

Dr Ivan Cerovac, University of Rijeka

Siba Harb, University of Leuven

Viktor Ivanković, CEU Budapest

Assoc Prof Luca Malatesti, University of Rijeka

Andrea Mešanović, University of Rijeka

Aleksandar Šušnjar, University of Rijeka

Filip Milačić

The Emergence of Identity Politics Cleavage and its Effect on Social Movements
Seminar was held at the University of Rijeka on May 11, 2018.

“Numerous European societies are currently dealing with great socio-political changes that are strongly affecting their political systems and their democracies in general. I argue that this has been to a great extent caused by the emergence of the new polarization line in their political systems, which I label identity politics cleavage. Accordingly, I, firstly, explain the reasons for its emergence in the Western and Eastern Europe. Secondly, I investigate the emergence of the new protagonists and movements in national and transnational contexts as a direct response to it. I thereby focus on the anti-liberal reaction: an emphasis on the ethnic notion of the citizenship, i.e. on the ethnic and cultural homogeneity, and the “war against gender”, i.e. the advocating of “family values”.”

Filip Milacic has studied political science and history of Eastern Europe at the University of Heidelberg and obtained his PhD at the Humboldt University in Berlin (Supervisor Professor Wolfgang Merkel). He was a fellow of the Friedrich Ebert foundation. He is an author of the book Nationalstaatsbildung, Krieg und Konsolidierung der Demokratie (Nation-state building, war, and consolidation of democracy) (Springer: Wiesbaden). His work was published in many academic journals including Ethnopolitics and Southeast European and Black Sea Studies. He is currently a fellow of the Center for Advanced Studies, University of Rijeka, Croatia.

Tiziano Toracca

Metamorphosis of Labour. The Movement for a Basic Income in the Light of the Modern Paradigm of Labour

Seminar held at the University of Rijeka on May 11, 2018.

“In my talk I will discuss a social and political movement active at an international level, which engages in developing a new paradigm of welfare through the proposal of a universal basic income (UBI). This movement has created an international network – Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) –  it has fostered a huge debate and it is advocating a new, radical practice of democracy, social integration and post industrial solidarity. The goal of UBI is mainly to guarantee social rights to whoever lives in a digital society and not only to people who work.
In my talk, on the one hand, I will illustrate the historical origins and the development of this movement within the European framework; on the other hand, I will discuss the ideology which is behind UBI within the contemporary emerging and global metamorphosis of labor (precariousness, flexibility, total mobilization, polarization, inequality, deindustrialization, end of work). In particular, I will try to discuss UBI on the basis of a long term representation of labor and the constitutive ambiguity which exists at the core of the modern notion of work. For its widespread and traumatic consequences, the metamorphosis of labor challenges democracy differently and it has been analyzed in various fields of studies: economics, law, sociology and political science, but also in artistic, philosophical, and literary studies. The increasing interdisciplinary approaches to this topic are a clear signal of the complexity and the relevance of this human experience. Scholars in the humanities engaged with labor issues because the transformation reflects on the everyday life of ordinary people and on their interior world. In particular, the metamorphosis of labor seems to have lost the traditional connection between work and citizenship due to the modern notion of labor. Modern work is a paid activity that allows an individual to participate actively in the social life of his community. The modern conception of labor is based on the idea that only workers belong to social communities; it is based on the idea that labor is the centre of the democratic process of socialization. To work in a modern society means to participate in the public sphere, to be recognized by others and therefore to own a social identity. Personal growth and social integration characterize the ideal horizon of a long series of struggles and social conflicts and in particular the fights for decent working conditions pursued by labor movements, the idea of class and intellectual engagement and the protections and guarantees that the labor law has built since the industrial revolution. The contemporary emerging crisis of labor relations deals on the contrary with: social disintegration, fragmentation, isolation, risk, increasing unemployment, anxious, poverty, confusion. The transformation that we are living obstacles “vita activa” unveiling a new anthropological mutation characterized by the decline of work as the traditional instrument of the Bildung of the self. The idea of “the end of work” is probably the most emblematic consequence of such a crisis.
  In this framework, I will focus on the relation between work and social identity and I will analyze the symbolic impact of the Universal Basic Income on this relation and on the notion of social identity. In order to do that I will adopt a humanistic perspective in the belief that we cannot reduce work to an economic or legal relation. I will also take into account the Basic Income Network Italia (BIN Italia), an organization which has been created in 2016 by an interdisciplinary group of scholars and social activists (”

Tiziano Toracca graduated in Law (Pisa, 2005) and in Italian Language and Literature (Pisa, 2011). He got a Joint PhD in Italian Studies, Comparative Literature and Literary Studies (Perugia-Ghent, 2017).
He coordinated the Jean Monnet Project I work therefore I am European ( at the Department of Philosophy and Education Sciences of the University of Torino. Currently he is research fellow at CAS SEE in Rijeka with a project on the universal basic income in relation with the conception and representation of modern labour. His research focuses on the Italian contemporary narrative, Modernism and Neomodernism, Law and Literature with specific attention to the issue of Labour. He is member of the Center for European Modernism Studies and of the Italian Society for Law and Literature and he is editor of «Allegoria». Since 2012 he teaches humanities in the high school and a course of creative writing in a psychiatric center.

Barbara Turk Niskač

“Life is all about work”: Growing food as lifestyle politics in Slovenia
Seminar was held at the University of Rijeka on May 11, 2018.
  “In a global drive towards lowering production costs and maximise profits run by corporations and market institutions (Steel 2009), many agree that the global food systems need rethinking (Grasseni 2014). At the same time, various forms of food activism are taking place all over the world from local food and food sovereignty movements, slow food movements, solidarity purchase networks, community supported agriculture, seed swap events, to alternative urban provisioning such as food pooling, food banking, gleaning, freeganism, urban canners and guerrilla gardening.
Moving beyond ethical consumerism, I place the focus of my research at ethical food production. By bringing into discourse Michael Lambek’s ‘ordinary ethics’ (2010), I will look at young families that have intentionally decided to move from urban centres to grow their own food and/or set up a farm, thus placing food production at the forefront of their lifestyle. While the knowledge to the successors of traditional family farms is transmitted through socialisation, I am interested in families that had no previous knowledge of growing vegetables and/or raising animals, and the reasons that lie behind their decisions to pursue such a lifestyle. Following values-based approach to political activism (Lambek 2010), I am particularly concerned with meanings and practices these families attribute to their new lifestyle with regard to food production and dynamics of work, and how they express their concern to the world of neoliberal capitalism and its industrial corporate food systems (Sayer 2011).
Drawing on a study conducted among five families in Slovenia, I will present back-to-the-land movements in the context of food activism in Slovene case study. After providing a short historical overview of the part-time peasants, I will particularly focus on the last decade in the context of political and economic crisis in Slovenian context. Firstly, I aim to understand the rationales behind families’ decisions to produce food as a form of self-sufficiency through the concept of work. I argue that such lifestyle entails also specific dynamics of work, which is not “time purchased from the stream of life” (Henricks 2015: 5), but it also includes social dimension, typical for community-based societies. Therefore, these families represent a counter-narrative to conceptions of family life within post-industrial societies, where work is being excluded as a form of social interaction and learning, and restricted to the understanding of work as a capitalist mode of production. Secondly, by bringing the concept of ‘ordinary ethics’ into discourse on food activism, I examine the concern of these families that they are eating sufficiently good food, and that they have a self-determination of the kind of food they eat.
Finally yet importantly, I suggest that these alternative lifestyles provide a critique of consumer culture and strive towards environmental sustainability and non-capitalist economic relations (Grasseni 2014; Wilbur 2014). Furthermore, I suggest that their decision to pursue alternative lifestyle can be understood as a form of ‘unclaimed activism’ or ‘lifestyle politics’ (Bennett 2006; Nolas 2017). In the face of mass industrial food production, such small-scale localised entrepreneurs and their potential alliances with local consumers represent competitors of mega farms and multinational distribution and preserve social, environmental, and economic diversity, as well as food sovereignty (Grasseni 2014: 53).”

Barbara Turk Niskač, current CAS SEE Fellow, received her PhD in Ethnology, Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of Ljubljana (2016), where she worked as a Junior Researcher, and is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor. She was a Visiting PhD Student at the University of Sarajevo, Centre for Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Studies and a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the Rutgers University. Her doctoral dissertation Playing at Work, Working at Play: An Ethnographic Study of Learning in Early Childhood examined the relationship between play, work and learning in early childhood in Slovenia. Her main research interests include anthropology of childhood, anthropology of education, anthropology of work, migration and ethnic studies, sensory ethnography and visual anthropology. She is particularly interested in employing participatory visual methods in research with children and youth. Apart from academia, she also worked for International Organization for Migration (IOM – UN Agency).

Daniela Brasil

Emancipatory Learning: Reframing Situatedness and the new Cartographies of Belonging
 Seminar was held at the University of Rijeka on May 10, 2018.

  “In this paper we will discuss the first part of The Emancipatory Learning Project, a long-term art-based-research-journey I have embarked within decolonial (Mignolo, Souza Santos, do Mar Castro Varela, Spivak, Vasquez) and post-anthropocentric discourses (Abram, Haraway, Shiva, Braidotti) – while searching for transformative and emancipatory pathways towards the ambitions notion of Earth Citizenship. This research has identified a variety of learning spaces that are playing a decisive role in the construction of a post-colonialist, post-patriarchy, post-capitalism and post-anthropocentric society: learning communities of thinking-feeling and thinking-acting grounded in a deeper notion of Buen Vivir (living in plenitude), that are cross-fertilizing in the globe. The long list includes free- and anti-universities, ecoversities, communities of concern and communities of care, eco-villages, grass-roots social and educational enterprises, socially-engaged artistic projects, happy labs, open platforms, collaborative networks, “autonomous zones” and so on and so on.

In this paper we will discuss how some of these spaces are transforming coexistence and belonging through empowering practices and inclusion. This paper is therefore divided in three sections: The first is a general reframing of emancipation within epistemic diversity, by highlighting the concepts of response-ability and situatedness (Haraway); the second is a definition of dis-othering and unlearning as basic movements towards a form of radical openness that can enable societal transition; and the third section is an examination of these Living Learning Environments as the (new) schools or flourishing habitats where new forms of belonging – emancipated from biological and cultural separations among native and invasive species, re-imagined beyond identity politics within selective inclusions and exclusions – is taking place. A variety of counter-hegemonic gestures of resistance and/or liberation that are enabling small shifts for social change: towards relational and responsive forms of belonging within a more-than-human world.”

Daniela Brasil has initiated and coordinated various transdisciplinary and participatory projects that use playfulness and radical imagination as exercises for active citizenship and tools for people’s empowerment. Her research interests lie mainly on pedagogic, artistic and spatial practices that focus on horizontal forms of exchanging/creating knowledge and know-how; while searching for ways to (un)learn colonized thoughts, behaviours and representations. She studied Architecture and Urbanism in Rio de Janeiro, Environmental Urban Design in Lisbon and Barcelona, Social Sculpture in Oxford and received her PhD and her Master of Fine Arts in Public Art and New Artistic Strategies at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.  For the past 6 years, she was Assistant Professor and Researcher at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Graz University of Technology, and from 2011-14 she was a member of the ADRIART consortium for the creation of the Master of Media Arts and Practices in the Universities of Rijeka, Croatia and of Nova Gorica, Slovenia. Daniela is based in Graz, Austria, where she works as an artist and researcher in collaborative settings, especially with the Daily Rhythms Collective on feminist actions and with Studio Magic on experimental architecture since 2013.

Polona Sitar

Reclaiming Menstruation: Menstrual Social Movements, Feminist-Spiritualist Menstrual Activism and The Red Tent
Seminar was held at the University of Rijeka on May 10, 2018.
  “In this paper we will try to understand global menstrual movements as new forms of social engagement, especially in which way they are challenging and changing the existing social order in the global world today. We are living in times when menstrual blood is still regarded as something embarrassing and a taboo and therefore depicted in commercials for menstrual pads in blue colour. At the same time groups of women are coming together all over the world to reclaim and to celebrate the power of their menstrual cycle in the Red Tent gatherings. They teach women that the flow of blood shall no longer be anything to be ashamed of or frowned upon. On the contrary – it is understood to be far from ordinary; as magic and sacred. This is in stark contrast to the cultural taboo around the discussion of menstruation today. The Red Tent gatherings contain features that can be viewed as kind of woman-centred feminism, yet divert from more radical or cultural feminist tenets as they do not promote a complete counter-culture based on an identity politics for women. This kind of menstrual movements promote gender equality, build community, offer a platform for sharing women’s stories, encourage female solidarity and hold a more positive view towards the female body. The power of these beliefs has a significant potential for delegitimizing the dominant system, but at the same time this might not always lead to the envisioned social change and overturning of gender hierarchies and the patriarchy.

The purpose of this paper is to discover the reasons behind more and more growing need for establishing the Red Tents all over the world. Why many women find it life changing to be heard, witnessed and supported in this way and what kind of consequences does this entail? We will try to understand the role of the Red Tent as a menstrual movement, especially in regards to abolishing the menstrual taboo. We also wish to explore if the reclaiming of sisterhood in women’s spirituality that is being propagated and explored within the Red Tent gatherings, contains political potential beyond the level of mere personal empowerment. There exists a growing curiosity from the side of secular feminism for the neglected, yet critical, and even political potential of spirituality. We will also explore the tensions between the feminist-spiritualists and the radical menstruation activists within the menstrual movements. Some feminist-spiritualists activists regard the menstrual cycle as a criterion for womanhood. However, not all women menstruate (post-menopausal women, athletes etc.) and not only women menstruate (transmen, intersexuals etc.). Inspired by the transgender and genderqueer rights movements and theoretical paradigms, such as feminist philosopher Judith Butler’s idea of gender performativity they challenge essentialist constructions of womanhood. By referring to ‘menstruators’ instead of ‘women,’ activists want to expand menstruation beyond the limitations of gender with the potential to undermine gender as a stable category in the patriarchal two-gender system.”

Polona Sitar has obtained a PhD from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana and a bachelor’s degree in Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology from the Faculty of Arts and also in Communication Sciences from the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Ljubljana. She holds a title Assistant with a doctorate which she received while working at the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, at the Institute of Culture and Memory Studies. Her main research interest focuses on anthropology of consumption, gender studies, memory studies and anthropology of postsocialism. In 2017 her first book titled “Not just Bread, Roses too!”: Consumption, Technological Development and Female Emancipation in Socialist Slovenia was published by a leading Slovenian scientific publishing house ZRC SAZU.

Francesca Forlè

Rythmòs in Acting Together.
A Tool to Improve Stability and to Orient Power Hierarchies
Seminar was held at the University of Rijeka on May 10, 2018.

 “The main aim of the present talk is to argue that the theoretical notion of rythmòs (Piana 1991, Zhok 2012) can be crucial in the analysis of shared agency and collective actions (Searle 2010, Gilbert 2013).

 Rythmòs can be defined as the general trans-modal structure of impulses and relaxations, which characterizes a great variety of diachronic courses and phenomena (from a bouncing ball to a collapsing scree, from musical rhythms to human actions).

In this talk, I will argue that, even being a trait that characterizes actions at a sub-personal level, rythmòs can also be exploited at a personal level to reinforce joint actions and to promote agents’ collaboration. In this sense, rythmòs acquires a central role in giving stability to collective actions and in reducing the risk of uncertainty (Michael and Pacherie 2015). Secondly, I will argue that the rythmòs of a collective action can be manipulated by an agent in order to achieve a position of leadership (Bassetti and Bottazzi 2015). Charisma, for instance, can be, at least partly, considered as the ability to manipulate the rhythm of an interaction by consciously or unconsciously imposing one’s timing.
 Rythmòs will appear as a means to stabilize collective actions but also to orient power roles.”

Francesca Forlè is CAS SEE Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Rijeka and Guest Lecturer at the Faculty of Psychology, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan. Previously, she has been Post-doctoral Fellow at the Faculty of Philosophy, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan. She holds a PhD in Cognitive Neurosciences and Philosophy of Mind. She is mainly interested in phenomenology, philosophy of mind and social ontology. She is Managing Editor of the journal Phenomenology and Mind and member of the Research Centre PERSONA at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, MilanFrancesca published several papers on peer-review international journals and edited volumes. She is also co-editor of three special issues of the journal Phenomenology and Mind. Francesca has also recently published the book Qualità terziarie. Saggio sulla fenomenologia sperimentale, FrancoAngeli, Milano 2017 (Tertiary Qualities. An essay on experimental phenomenology).

Rules without Words #2

The seventh, Summer 2018, generation of CAS SEE Fellows continues investigations into non-verbal normativity. This year’s seminar is reflective of the diversity of themes which may gather under the umbrella of “rules without words”, with Fellows tackling issues of requiredness, unlearning and Laibach. The language of the lectures and the discussion is English. The seminar is open to public. Discussants and audience members from all professions are invited.

 Venue: DeltaLab (address: Delta 5, HR 51000, Rijeka)


17.00 | Francesca Forlè: “ Requiredness in a World of Facts”
17.30 | Daniela Brasil: “Unlearning How to Behave: Exercises of civic disobedience in and
outside the classroom”
18.00 | Polona Sitar: “The Laibach Phenomenon: Ideology, Art and Popular Music”

Francesca Forlè: “Requiredness in a World of Facts”

In her 2015 paper on value realism, De Monticelli presents an everyday-life case of non-verbal normativity (De Monticelli 2015, 85-86). While visiting Berlin, she ended up in a small park called Koppenplatz, in the heart of Mitte. There was a green table there, with two chairs nearby: the all setting seemed to be a piece of public furniture provided by the city. One of the two chairs was upside down. The author was strikingly deluded when she tried to put this chair in the upright position: the chair could not be turned over because it was fixed on the soil. Indeed, the table and chairs were a work of art, properly a memorial of the war and the Nazi tragedy: that small disorder in that setup was a symbol of a violated home and the violated everyday life caused by the war. For our purposes, the author’s delusion is interesting because it spread out of the experience of something that ought to – or required to – be put in order. The upside down chair of that setup in Koppenplatz required be putting in the right position, and motivated the author to act appropriately. What is that requiredness-trait that emerges from some objects in the world and appears to be somehow normative for the subject facing it? In this talk, I will present Köhler’s notion of requiredness, and how it accounts for normative (non-linguistic) properties in a world of facts.

Daniela Brasil: “Unlearning How to Behave: Exercises of Civic Disobedience in and Outside the Classroom”

Focusing on adult education, unlearning is proposed simultaneously as a pedagogical, artistic and social practice. It uses small gestures as tools to trigger sensitive experiences while playfully and critically intervening in the world. This paper examines the methods used in selected classes I have facilitated in the Institute of Contemporary Art of the Gra University of Technology in Austria for the past five years. Specifically, the classes proposed exercises that open up critical reflections on the social impact of our (in)visible behaviors, choices and attitudes, by inciting students to make gestures that matter: gestures that disrupted normativity implicit in Austrian public spaces. This study brings to the foreground one course entitled “Creleisure: Towards Another Economy of Creativity and Time”, which drew on Hélio Oiticica’s claim from the early 1970s to merge creativity with pleasure and leisure. Creleisure became a motto to de-naturalize normative behaviors and biased worldviews overseen by students in their daily lives, while suggesting that collective joy and playfulness can be meaningful tools for (un)learning practices: inside and outside the classroom.

Polona Sitar: “The Laibach Phenomenon: Ideology, Art and Popular Music”

In November 1980 a poster appeared on the walls of the Slovenian mining town of Trbovlje. All that it contained was a black cross and the name Laibach. With the poster once anonymous musician and art group was noticed for the first time. The name of the group appeared to the Yugoslav authorities disputable at that time as it contained a fascist connotation – the name Laibach was a German name for the capital of Slovenia (Ljubljana) during their occupation in the WW2. The persecution reached its peak in 1983, when the Union of the Socialist Workers Party in Ljubljana banned the group from using the name. Due to the historically disputable name Laibach, the appearance of members of the group in which people saw the Nazis and because of their performance, that resembled the content of political propaganda instead of a regular rock concert, the audience saw the destroyer of the state order in the group. With the music performed by Laibach, the political system and the popular culture are being questioned on the basis of the fusion of popular music and political ideology (with the provocative use of symbols and the aesthetics of totalitarian ideologies). Although Laibach is primarily a music group, its members are concerned with its graphic design and scenography, in the past they were publishing philosophical and theoretical texts, worked with the theater and visual/film art etc. While focusing on the non-verbal normativity through the perspective of studying ideologies articulated through popular music and propagated in artistic practices, this contribution will try to answer the question why the band Laibach breeds anxiety in the listeners, where this anxiety originates from, what its purpose is and what is the meaning of the presence of Laibach in the core of popular culture today.

Event visuals are made by Nataša Janković.