Daily Archives: December 9, 2019

Seminar With Oszkár‎ Roginer: “/self/perception of minorities and knowledge production”

“The research project proposed a comprehensive analysis of a structural flaw in the social sciences and humanities, which is similar to – or even part of – methodologic nationalism. A concept, which is proposed by many scholars of late-modern nationalism studies, migration studies, globalisation studies, global history, historical sociology, comparative literature, and which emerged as a specific form of an analytic problem in research of Central- and Southeast European ethnic minorities as well. Encountered first in the Hungarian minorities in the post-Yugoslav states, Romania, Ukraine and Slovakia, the problem is also present in the research on Albanian minorities in Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro; Serbian minorities in Kosovo and Montenegro, the German minority in Italy, or even smaller communities like Czechs in Banat, Croats in Molise or Arbanasi in Zadar, as well as other ethnic or religious groups and metropolitan diasporas throughout the continent. A similar methodological perception can be seen in case of the Armenian, Jewish and Roma communities, as well as in the research of current migration flows and refugees throughout Europe. From the viewpoint of a state’s population, all these types of non-majority communities share a specific perception in research, which is insular, often simplistic and analytically insufficient.

Imagining the inter-state system as a set of bordering containers, the country in which the given minority lives is considered as the elementary frame of research. This way however, neither the findings nor the conclusions did usually not extend beyond state borders, while in most cases, they stayed within the inhabited region of the given minority. Furthermore, this insular (self)perception is hallmarked by a discourse of exclusion, oppression, denial and rejection throughout the 20th century, which in turn is almost without exception understood as a unique signifier of the researched minority. These, and a number of other delimiting circumstances left only the given nation-state as the sole point of reference, moreover as an agent of exclusion from participation, and denial of rights. This resulted in an archipelagic logic of ethnic minorities throughout the 20th century and determined most research trajectories since the early 1920’s, up until contemporary scholarly work. Traditionally, research on ethnic minorities has been mostly done in the fields of history, ethnography and literature, supplemented by sociology, political science, art history and architecture in the past three decades. It addressed folklore, literary production and a number of historical topics, while there is a focus since the 1990’s on demography, European integration and peace-building as well. Nevertheless, this structural flaw can be traced throughout the 20th century until today, and it can be accepted to some degree within the hard inter-state system of borders in the era of modern, industrialised nation-states. It is however more and more questionable in the last decades, when cross-border cooperation, migration and flow of commodities increases, and when the rejections from the side of majorities are rendered irrelevant.
The aim of my research is thus, to point out the deficiencies in the (self)perception of minorities, by which the inter-state system is imagined as a combination of bordering containers, with minorities as secluded subsystems of these societies. Moreover, the inquiry attempts to contest the binary structure of majority-minority, address it beyond methodologic nationalism, and by deconstructing the conventional perceptions of time, space and social realities, lift up the narrow composition of the conceptual imagination in a world, where (various) ethnicities are more interconnected, than ever before. By questioning these routine assumptions, I will tried put them in a historical perspective as well, and define a framework from which research on minorities should be emancipated.”

Oszkár Roginer was born in 1986, in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, where he studied Hungarian Studies at the University of Novi Sad (Serbia). After receiving his diploma in 2009, he moved to the University of Pécs (Hungary) in order to pursue his PhD in Literary Sciences, and defending his thesis in 2016. In 2014 he started an International Joint Degree MA in Cultural Sociology at the University of Zadar (Croatia) and the Karl Franzens University in Graz (Austria), and obtaining his MA in 2016. He is currently a PhD candidate at the Centre for Southeast European Studies in Graz, where he is working on his thesis on the construction of the Hungarian minority literary field in the post-Habsburg space. Between 2009 and 2014 he worked as a radio journalist and theatre critic in RTV Vojvodina, and in the daily newspaper Magyar Szó in Novi Sad. His most important publications include the monographs A város mint (ellen)érv. [The City as a (counter)argument]. (2015), and A jugoszláviai magyar irodalom terei – A (poszt)jugoszláv magyar irodalom és a téralapú közösségi identitás-konstrukciók viszonya a sajtóban (1945–2010)[Terrains of Hungarian Literature from Yugoslavia – Correlations between (post)Yugoslav Hungarian Literature and the constructions of spatial collective identities in the press (1945–2010)]. (2019) His academic interests lay in Hungarian minority literature, Hungarian press history of Yugoslavia, geocriticism, historical literary sociology, collective identities, memory studies.

Seminar with Oszkár Roginer in dialogue with UNIRI CAS SEE fellows was held at the University campus in Rijeka on December 6, 2019.

Seminar with Andrey Menshikov: “Political emotions, religious feelings and human rights”

“In the aftermath of Pussy Riot punk prayer, a section on the freedom of conscience in the Russian criminal code has been renewed and the norm appeared aimed at protecting “religious feelings”. This clause, although extremely controversial, indicates the important trend. By granting the right to protection of religious feelings, legislature not merely positively discriminated “believers”, it replaced rationally definable harm with emotional hurt.

The talk focused on the growing role of emotions both in decisions that affect human rights and on possible the re-conceptualization of the freedom of religion in a situation when, as O. Roy puts it, “freedom of religion is both defined as a Human right and is perceived as a threat to Human rights”.”

Andrey Menshikov graduated in Philosophy from the Ural State University (Ekaterinburg, Russia) and Medieval Studies from Central European University (Budapest, Hungary). He defended his PhD dissertation on Nicolas of Cusa’s theory of toleration at the Ural State University (2006). He was a fellow at Boston University (2004), University of California Berkeley (2007), Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (2007-8) and is now involved in research projects on political philosophy (religious freedom) and intellectual history (philosophical reflection on war and collective violence) supported by the Russian Science Foundation.

Seminar with Andrey Menshikov was held in dialogue with UNIRI CAS SEE fellows at the University campus in Rijeka on December 6, 2019.

Seminar with Valentina Moro: “Staging gender in Antiquity: why is this archive still crucial for feminist theory? The case of the study of kinship”

“The research project I worked on at CAS SEE focuses on feminist discourses and methodologies. In this seminar presentation, I discussed several contributions in the research field of Gender in Antiquity, which are significantly relevant for their feminist methodology. This links my research as a fellow in Rijeka and my previous work, insofar as I have a Bachelor’s degree in Classics and, in my Ph.D. dissertation, I have analysed several Greek tragedies from a political perspective. On the one hand, my aim is to demonstrate why such an archive was and still is so important for scholars such as Judith Butler, Adriana Cavarero, and Bonnie Honig (whose work I will refer to, among others’). On the other, I will insist on a specific methodological approach in the study of gender in Antiquity, which analyses kinship ties as being agonistically constructed in the characters’ speeches.
From the 1970s onwards, many scholars in both fields of Political theory and Classics have been referring to the Greek tragedies, calling into question the idea of gender. The political relevance of their analysis is related to the way in which each of them problematized the theatricality of the representation of gender in the Greek sources. I am particularly interested in several scholars who focused on female characters in ancient literary sources by analysing the network of relationships in which they are embedded – and especially kinship relationships.
For instance, Victoria Wohl evokes Deleuze and Guattari’s critique to the traditional interpretation of kinship ties and gender roles as fixed structures, hierarchically depending on the figure of the Father. Judith Butler investigates the specificity of kinship ties and problematizes whether they are constitutive relationships deeply rooted within a political community or whether they depend on an authoritative narration (which requires a validation). And so on.
Which are the specific feminist approaches these scholars deployed in analysing the Greek tragedy? If we aim to reconsider the history of the political concepts from a feminist perspective, which is the possible contribution of the research on gender in Antiquity?”

Valentina Moro obtained her Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Padua (Italy) in 2018. In 2016 and 2017 she was a visiting research fellow at Brown University (USA). Her research intersects the fields of political theory, classics and gender studies. Currently, she is a research fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies – South East Europe at the University of Rijeka (Croatia) and at the Istituto italiano per gli studi filosofici in Naples (Italy). She co-edited the book Polis, Erōs, Parrēsia. Letture etico-politiche contemporanee della tragedia greca (Padova University Press, 2018) and she is a member of the editorial board of the journal Materiali foucaultiani.

Seminar with Valentina Moro was held at the University campus in Rijeka in dialogue with UNIRI CAS SEE fellows on December 6, 2019.

Seminar with Snežana Vesnić “Altered Time and Memory: Analog(y) of the Digital”

“My intention is to provide a new theoretical concept of the relation of analog/digital in order to then draw on it as a technology for the creation of new cultural models of the European Union. In a practical sense, I would like to construct a theoretical basis, critically deconstructing the relation analog/digital, with which I will create new contingencies for a virtual production of new cultural conceptions. Nelson Goodman (Language of Art, 1968) formulates the difference between the analog and digital through a parallel with continuous and discrete, distancing the concepts of analog and digital from their origins. In this understanding, a digital system has nothing special to do with digits and an analog system with analogy. The basic distinction between digital and analog, then, is a representation scheme: the digital is differentiated or discrete, while the analog scheme is continuous or dense. In architecture, according to Greg Lynn, the digital is impossible to isolate from the architectural project since the digital is an integral part of its process. On the other hand, Peter Eisenman problematizes the digital as that which possesses no memory.
In this text, I will project the new concept of “altered archeology,” showing that continuity and the production of time and memory are ensured by constant transformations of the analog into digital and vice versa. Thus, the analog gives the digital authenticity, while the digital’s technological potential becomes an arsenal for the creation of (the new) analog. In the final instance, drawing on Derrida’s line that “there is no political power without control of the archive, if not memory,” I will make a digital experiment of deconstructing EU Barcode, the art project designed by Rem Koolhaas.
In the following phase, this model would be applied to the city of Rijeka, aiming to use the results of this experiment in the Rijeka 2020 project: constituting the first architectural laboratory for the rebranding of the city of Rijeka. My purpose is to exploit the potential of difference, diversity and minority as analog reservoir for generating new visions, digital strategies and methodologies of the European project.”

Snežana Vesnić, PhD is an architect, currently working as Assistant Lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Belgrade, where she also previously attended the Faculty of Applied Arts. She is a founding partner of the architectural studio Neoarhitekti (Belgrade) and award-winning author, twice nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award (2009, 2019). Vesnić conducts scientific research in the field of architectural philosophy and aesthetics. She received her PhD in 2018 from the Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade, with a thesis entitled “Philosophy and Aesthetics of the Architectural Concept: Object of Reality and Object of Illusion.” Her theoretical work and architectural practice are focused on research and production of “architectural concepts.”

Seminar with Snežana Vesnić was held at the University campus in Rijeka on December 6, 2019.