Monthly Archives: November 2020

CAS SEE Seminars with Guests – Milica Popović

On Thursday, December 3rd, we hosted CAS SEE Weekly Seminar with Milica Popović, presented by Filip Balunović. The seminar is entitled „Memories as resistance strategies and the use of Yugonostalgia – the case of the (post)Yugoslav political actors: the last pioneers“.

Embracing the social-constructivist concept of the past, her research takes an interdisciplinary approach to nostalgia, bringing together political science and cultural memory studies. With the aim to answer the main research question on the meaning of Yugonostalgia for politically active last pioneers and its reflection in their politics; her thesis is based on extensive research of the narratives of the generation of the last pioneers (born between 1974 and 1982), in three (post)Yugoslav countries: Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia. Avoiding methodological nationalism (Wimmer and Schiller, 2003) and implementing Constructivist Grounded Theory in data analysis (Charmaz 2004), through political ethnography, in-depth interviews, and participant observation, in 2017 and 2018, Milica Popović interviewed 62 political actors across the political spectrum.

In her research, she argues that Yugonostalgia of the last pioneers primarily serves the purpose of resisting the imposed political and personal discontinuity, becoming a collective and a political phenomenon. Generationally changing the location, it finds itself engendering the political potential, notably for the new left wing movements and political parties. Nostalgia forges generational communities who are transforming into political generations; transforming the memory of the Yugoslav cause, into a memory with a (post)Yugoslav cause (Rigney, 2016).
Instead of discarding nostalgia as apolitical, we need to reinstate it as the political and thus expand our own understanding of the political field in the 21st century. The (post)Yugoslav memory narratives of the last pioneers give us an insight into new and unexplored political imaginaries of the (post)Yugoslav space that could be summarized as “No state, no nation – one space, one identity”.

Milica Popović is a PhD candidate at the Interdisciplinary doctoral programme in Balkan studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, under the mentorship of Professor Mitja Velikonja and at the Doctoral School of Sciences Po Paris, affiliated with CERI (Center for International Studies), under the mentorship of Professor Jacques Rupnik. The title of her thesis is “(Post)Yugoslav memories as resistance strategies – Understanding the political significance of Yugonostalgia”. Milica is currently a CEEPUS Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law from University of Belgrade and a Master degree in Political Science from University Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas. She is interested in transcultural memory and transgenerational transmission of memory within post-socialist contexts and the influences of memory and nostalgia onto the political identities of political and social elites in (post)Yugoslav countries; as well as representation and discursive uses of nostalgia in the political field. She has been a lecturer at Sciences Po Paris (Introduction to Political Science and Ethics of War). Since 2020, Milica has been a member of the Editorial Board of Balkanologie and a member of the Administrative Board of SFERES – French Association for Russian and East European Studies in Social Sciences. She is also an active member of IMNN – International Media and Nostalgia Network and MSA – Memory Studies Association.


Watch the CAS SEE Weekly Seminar with Milica Popović:

CAS SEE Seminars with Guests: Rijeka in Flux

On Thursday, November 26th, at 6 pm CET, we hosted CAS SEE Seminar with Brigitte Le Normand, Jon Corbett, Vanni D’Alessio, and Francesca Rolandi; the talk revolved around Rijeka in Flux project.

In addition to coordinating a team of historians researching the history of postwar Rijeka, the project Rijeka in Flux, supported by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, explores innovative ways of communicating history to a larger public. Elaborating on the concept of space, and bringing together historical and geographical knowledge, as well as expertise from the digital humanities, the project has produced two digital tools. An interactive map based on crowdsourcing, developed between 2015 and 2017, allows the user to upload and share contents on the city’s history, thus giving space to different memories and narratives. More recently, an augmented reality mobile phone app, which will be soon released, provides the user with the opportunity to have an embodied experience of the past, either autonomously, or guided by a historian. How can public history benefit from the digital humanities? What challenges has the project encountered, and what has it learned from them?


Brigitte Le Normand (University of British Columbia Okanagan)

Jon Corbett (University of British Columbia Okanagan)

Vanni D’Alessio (University of Naples – Center for Advanced Studies South East Europe)

Francesca Rolandi (Center for Advanced Studies South East Europe – University of British Columbia Okanagan)

Brigitte Le Normand is Associate Professor of History, and Academic Director of the Public Humanities Hub at the University of British Columbia Okanagan.  Since 2015, she has been exploring the potential of interactive maps for changing our understanding of the past, using Rijeka as a case study.

Jon Corbett is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. He the director of the Spatial Information for Community Engagement (SpICE) Lab. His work explores how digital maps can be used by communities to document, store and communicate their spatial knowledge.

Vanni D’Alessio teaches Modern and Contemporary History at the Department of Social Sciences of the University of Naples, where he also leads the Digital History Laboratory. He is one of the authors of the digital historical map “Rijeka-Fiume, a Historical Narrative” and one of the researchers involved in the elaboration of the texts for the smartphone application “Rijeka Fiume App”

Francesca Rolandi is a joint fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies South East Europe and the University of British Columbia Okanagan. She has contributed to the mobile phone application “Rijeka Fiume App” with markers and a guided tour, and took part in the related communication activities and strategies.

Workshop: “Where Are the Women of Goli Archipelago?”

As part of artist Andreja Kulunčić’s project, “You Betrayed the Party Just When You Should Have Helped It,” anthropologist Renata Jambrešić Kirin and feminist theorist Brigita Miloš held a workshop in partnership with the Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe – University of Rijeka. The event has taken place on Zoom on the 24th of November, from 14.30 to 16h.

The workshop, “Where Are the Women of Goli Archipelago?” is envisioned as a dialogue between feminist theorist Brigita Miloš and anthropologist Renata Jambrešić Kirin on the topic of “how feminist archival practices engendered new historical narratives” (Eichhorn 2013) and how digital non-stationary willfulness archives (Ahmed 2014) conceptualize and organize messy, intermittent, entangled, cyclical and corporeal women’s lives. Each archive is a peculiar place of difference and/or exclusion, and the (digital) rearrangement of Yugoslav cultural memory regularly omits the history of women as political prisoners or victims of the “red terror.” Based on the artistic research project, “You Betrayed the Party Just When You Should Have Helped It” by Andreja Kulunčić, the workshop will show examples of ethical-aesthetic confrontation with the “invisible” former spaces of women’s political gulags on the islands of Sveti Grgur and Goli Otok which through the practice of “late capitalist ruination” (Tsing 2015 and Stoler 2013) become places of forgetting, carelessness, and touristic commodification. As Jasna Koteksa, author of Against the Pre-Archival Mentality (2006), points out, women’s archives attempt to hold on to women’s lives and their complexities: “It’s an attempt to archive all of the past, including the pain and the idea for its unravelling”.

*Visual artist Andreja Kulunčić’s project, “You Betrayed the Party Just When You Should Have Helped It,” organized by MAPA and Goli Otok Ante Zemljar, is a continuation of the artist’s long-standing interest in the position of women in society, based on her engaged artistic practices which question the ideological, social, and political sphere. The project departs from dominant conceptions of memorialization and commemorative practices by thematically centering the history of women’s imprisonment on the Goli archipelago. The focus of the project is the position of women detained on Goli Otok and Sveti Grgur from 1949 to 1956, who remain marginal in public discourse on totalitarian violence in Yugoslavia.

Collaborators on the project are anthropologist Renata Jambrešić Kirin and psychotherapist Dubravka Stijačić.

The project “You Betrayed the Party Just When You Should Have Helped It,” is produced by the associations Goli Otok Ante Zemljar/Darko Bavoljak and MAPA/Maja Marković.

Goli Otok and Sveti Grgur, 2019-2021.

The project is funded by the “Kultura Nova” Foundation, EPK Rijeka 2020, the Croatian Ministry of Culture, and the City of Zagreb.

Watch the video:

“Evenings at the Moise”: Challenges of Parenting

On Thursday, 19th November at the Moise Palace dr. sc. Sanja Smojver Ažić held a lecture on “Challenges of Parenting”. The lecture dealt with various aspects of what it means to be a parent these days, tackling various issues of modern-day parenthood. Today we tend to treat children as “small adults”, but what does that mean exactly? Is their “happiness” really the main goal of parenting? Today’s children become independent at a later age than ever before, and parents feel the responsibility to prepare them for a world that is more and more difficult to grasp – from dealing with social networks to an array of more serious issues.

Dr. sc. Sanja Smojver Ažić works at the Department of Psychology of the University of Rijeka. She is a renowned expert on developmental psychology and the psychology of parenting.

This lecture was the third consecutive lecture held at the Moise Palace to be streamed online through the Facebook Live platform. Online participants also had the opportunity to directly post comments and questions which were then read out loud.

The lecture is available for watching at Moise Palace Facebook page:

Photos by Renato Muškardin

“Evenings at the Moise”: The Coats of Arms in the Moise Palace

On Thursday, November 12th, Jasminka Ćus Rukonić, an archaeologist who dedicated a considerable portion of her career to the study of heraldry, gave a lecture entitled The Coats of Arms in the Moise Palace at the Moise palace. The talk elaborated on the known coats of arms and their locations across the palace and explained how to interpret color when it comes to stone coats of arms. In the ensuing discussion, a couple of people from the audience shared their memories of the Moise family members from the past century.

The palace contains 35 coats of arms, most of which were revealed during the building’s recent reconstruction. Since most of these coats of arms – no less than 32 pieces – belong to the Petris family, the more recent scientific literature has been referring to the palace as the “Petris-Moise palace”.

There were several branches of the Petris family, but the most renowned branch was the one whose most famous descendant was Frane Petrić, a Renaissance philosopher and scientist. The lecture pointed out the differences between the coats of arms of various branches of the Petris family. The coats of arms on the newly discovered frescoes and painted wooden plates helped detect the building’s original owners: the most powerful branch of the Petris family. “We can rightfully say that we are now sitting in Frane Petrić’s salon“, Ćus Rukonić concluded.

Photos by Renato Muškardin

“Evenings at the Moise”: Air quality on the islands of Cres and Lošinj

Prof. dr. sc. Ana Alebić-Juretić from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Rijeka held a lecture “Air quality on the islands of Cres and Lošinj” on 5th November at the Moise Palace. It was also the first lecture with an online broadcast via Facebook Live, and we will continue with this practice in the future – on Thursdays at 6 pm.

Prof. Alebić-Juretić mentioned that air quality depends on the air quality in the surrounding areas and that it is generally a very good situation on our islands. There are certain traces of various compounds that vary from year to year, as well as throughout the year, but clean air can primarily be “thanks” to the cessation of production in the area. Dr. sc. Alebić-Juretić commented on the fact that the real victory would be to have both production and good air quality, as is the case with more and more European cities, such as the Austrian city of Linz.
The importance of the measuring station on Vrana Lake was emphasized several times. There was talk about the impact of air quality on Vrana Lake and lake water composition and changes over the years and decades.

Dr. sc. Alebić-Juretić pointed out that it is good for health to travel to a different climate occasionally – “change the air”, as they used to say in the past – either to the sea, in the mountains, north or south, so that the body has the opportunity to be exposed to different conditions.

Photo by Renato Muškardin

“Evenings at the Moise”: Lecture by Dr. Juraj Sepčić

Dr. Juraj Sepčić has designed a series of lectures entitled “Flipping through a Catalogue of Human Pathology”, divided by topics into several “chapters” that will be presented to the public in the coming months. The first lecture entitled “Congenital and hereditary diseases,” held on October 29th, 2020, at the Moise palace.

The audience had the opportunity to hear an explanation of the concept and functioning of genes and genetic inheritance, but also how people in the past, based on experience, sought to curb the transmission of hereditary diseases. Among other things, Dr. Sepčić looked at the current pandemic from a genetic point of view, explaining how and why individuals will develop different disease forms. We also learned how modern medicine allows the treatment and cure of hereditary diseases that were considered incurable until recently.

Photos by Renato Muškardin