Monthly Archives: February 2021

Spring 2021 CAS SEE Fellowship recipients

The Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe (CAS SEE) is pleased to announce the 13th generation of fellows, recipients of the Spring 2021 CAS SEE Fellowship Awards at the University of Rijeka. The purpose of the CAS SEE Fellowship Programme is to further the research and creative work in the fields of the humanities and humanistic social sciences in the Balkans and to provide support for early-stage researchers. Inspired by the cooperation of previous generations of CAS SEE Fellows and their creation of long-term thematic synergies among researchers, the upcoming CAS SEE Fellowship will stimulate fellows to present their research in Rijeka and in the Moise Palace, new university premises in Cres, at the Cres Island. Alongside pursuing their independent research interests, fellows will attend regular CAS SEE regional conferences and seminars.

We congratulate the following CAS SEE Fellowship Awards, University of Rijeka recipients:

Valeria Graziano (Queen Mary University of London, UK)

Project – title: “Get Along Comrade – Tinkering as Care for Freedom”

Desara Dushi (University of Bologna, Italy and University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg)

Project – title: “The Impact of Judicial Reform and New Judicial Institutions in the Rule of Law and EU Integration in Albania”

Nikolina Židek (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain)

Project – title: “The Genie Out of the Bottle: Engagement of the Argentinean-Croat Diaspora in Homeland Politics (1990-today)”

Bojan Bilić (University College London, UK)

Project – title: “Unexpected Challenges to Trans Freedom: Transphobia in Serbian Leftist Activism”

Viktor Pál (University of Tampere, Finland)

Project – title: “Red Trash. The Concept of Waste in Communist Eastern Europe”

Miloš Ćipranić (Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Serbia)

Project – title: “The Statutes of Eastern Adriatic Communes in Space”

Marko Luka Zubčić (University of Rijeka, Croatia)

Project – title: “Institutional Epistemology of Open Order”

Gabriele Giacomini (University Vita-Salute San Raffaele in Milan, Italy)

Project – title: “The Utopia of “Rousseauian Democracy” in the Digital Age: A Liberal Critique”

CAS SEE Seminars with Guests: Čarna Brković

On Thursday, February 25th at 12:00 pm (CET) we hosted CAS SEE Weekly Seminar with Čarna Brković presented by our fellow Kevin Kenjar. The seminar is entitled: Minority Sexualities, Kinship, and Non-autological Freedom in Montenegro.

This talk explores conceptions of freedom among gay men in Podgorica, Montenegro, who strive to maintain love alongside kinship relations. The demands of liberal freedom and those of social relatedness are often seen as opposed. By contrast, in Podgorica we can trace a notion of “non-autological freedom” understood as an ability to engage in a certain practice while thinking through its conditions and constraints from multiple perspectives and in a way that Čarna Brković interlocutors saw as respectful of others. Linking anthropological discussions of freedom with a focus on ordinary ethics, in this talk she will explore how we can understand freedom as a shared category, practiced through an open and collective deliberation with other people. Gay men who pursued love and sexual fulfillment as well as stringent family expectations did not enact freedom as always-already individualized subjects who made autonomous choices; they came into being as particular socio-moral persons by deliberating either collectively, through an actual conversation, or by engaging in imaginative identification with others. By placing both relationality and deliberation at the heart of freedom, in this talk, Brković will discuss anthropological approaches to this concept.

Čarna Brković is a Lecturer in Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology at the University of Goettingen. Her work combines a focus on inequalities and power with an eye for social complexity and ambiguity. After her PhD at the University of Manchester, she started developing two projects. One explores what happens with humanitarian affect and practices in Eastern European semiperiphery and how the fall of socialism transformed humanitarianism in former Yugoslavia. Another looks at the experiences and practices of sexuality and freedom among gay men in Montenegro. Čarna is the author of “Managing Ambiguity” (Berghahn, 2017) and has written about care, favors, refugee camps, and histories of anthropology.

Watch the CAS SEE Weekly Seminar with Čarna Brković:

lifelong learning Program “Youth in Contemporary Society”

The lifelong learning Program “Youth in Contemporary Society” has started and is being implemented by the University of Rijeka and the Faculty of Philosophy in partnership with the Institute for Social Research and the University of Ljubljana. The program has 30 participants from six European countries who will attend (online and onsite) classes over the next 10 months with a focus on three thematic units, a youth research and youth work, youth work and youth and community development, in order to provide them with recent scientific research the findings enabled a better understanding of the position of young people in the modern world.


The Youth in Contemporary Society lifelong learning program is a youth study pilot project. At many universities within the European Union and beyond, the field of youth studies is considered a part of social sciences so the education of youth work professionals is performed at undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels (university and specialist study programs). The dynamics and complexity of contemporary society demand a methodical and coherent approach to the identification, analysis, and evaluation of the broad social context in which different social groups exist to develop responsive, adequate, and quality public policies aimed at efficiently solving their problems. The youth, as a separate social group, are no exception from that and their distinctiveness has been recognized in many normative and other acts on national, international, and global levels as well as the importance of quality education of professionals which will work for the youth and with the youth.

More about the program


CAS SEE Seminars with Guests: Larisa Kurtović

On Thursday, February 18th at 4 pm (CET), we hosted CAS SEE Weekly Seminar with Larisa Kurtović (University of Ottawa) presented by our fellow Kevin Kenjar. The seminar is entitled: Sarajevo’s Spring of Discontent: Public Safety, Youth Violence and Politics of Answerability in Postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In February 2008, the murder of a 16-year-old high school student, Denis Mrnjavac, inspired the first large citizen mobilization in postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina. This wave of protests led many Sarajevans to come out to the streets but caught the political leadership and international reformers by surprise. This talk draws on ethnographic research among participants of these mobilizations to make sense of how a tragic act of youth violence could accomplish what a decade-long promotion of participatory democracy in postwar Bosnia did not, namely lead to a first sustained uprising against the country’s ruling officials?  In tracking the citizens’ response to the tragedy, I show how the murder and the government’s (non) response to the rise of youth crime, lead to a reckoning with both the material and the perceived collapse of the biopolitical order, both in its more punitive and more caring forms (c.f. Stevenson 2014).  In taking to the streets, protesting citizens, many of them middle aged parents beset by anxieties about their children’s and their country’s future, outlined a demand for a different kind of a relationship with the state, one based on an ethics of answerability (Bakhtin 1990). This form of political reason, emerging in the wake of the war and socialism, exceeded liberal conceptions of governmental accountability, and blasted open the question of what kind of state authority was necessary in the wake of catastrophe. In making sense of these protests, I ask what postsocialist anxieties about youth crime and public safety can tell us about the politics of the future writ large.

Dr. Larisa Kurtović is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Ottawa. She is a political anthropologist who conducts research on activist politics, postsocialist transformation and the aftermath of international intervention in postwar Bosnia. Her ethnographic analyses of popular mobilizations, political satire and nationalist politics, have appeared on the pages of the American Ethnologist, FocaalHistory and Anthropology and Critique of Anthropology among others. She is currently writing a book entitled Future as Predicament: Political Life After Catastrophe based on her long-term research in postwar-Bosnia, as well as working on a future graphic ethnography about syndical struggle and political possibilities with anthropologist Andrew Gilbert and graphic artist Boris Stapić.


Watch the CAS SEE Weekly Seminar with Larisa Kurtović:


CAS SEE Seminars with Guests: Pamela Ballinger

On Thursday, February 11th at 3:30 pm (CET), we hosted CAS SEE Weekly Seminar with Pamela Ballinger. After a brief introduction on the ‘Unlikely refuge?’ project by Michal Frankl (principal investigator), Pamela Ballinger (University of Michigan) presented her book ‘The World Refugees Made: Decolonization and the Foundation of Postwar Italy’ (2020), in dialogue with Doina Anca Cretu and Francesca Rolandi (members of the ‘Unlikely refuge?’ project).

The seminar was organized in cooperation between the Center for Advanced Studies Southeastern Europe and the ERC project ‘Unlikely refuge?. Refugees and citizens in East-Central Europe in the 20th century’ (, hosted by the Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences.  

In her recent book, The World Refugees Made: Decolonization and the Foundation of Postwar Italy, Pamela Ballinger recuperates the histories of so-called “national refugees” who arrived on the Italian peninsula from the various possessions in Africa and the Balkans that Italy lost as a result of defeat in World War II. Locating these migrants within the vast population of displaced persons in Europe after 1945, the study analyzes the emergence and consolidation of distinctions between “national” and “foreign” refugees, together with respective regimes of humanitarian assistance (those run by states for their own displaced citizens, those under the aegis of international UN agencies). The exclusion of Italian and other national refugees from classification as international refugees proved complex and laborious, involving a wide range of international, intergovernmental and state actors who sharpened their categories for eligibility and relief through such debates. Simultaneously, assuming the burden of care for its own refugees served as an instrument through which the new Italian Republic asserted its sovereignty and reframed citizenship after empire. Ultimately, the Italian state’s experience of resettling migrants from its former territories reinforced restrictive policies towards foreign refugees, for whom Italy became an unlikely (i.e. rare and difficult) refuge for much of the Cold War. 

Pamela Ballinger is Professor of History and the Fred Cuny Chair in the History of Human Rights in the Department of History at the University of Michigan. She holds degrees in Anthropology (B.A. Stanford University, M. Phil Cambridge University, M.A. Johns Hopkins University) and a joint Ph.D. in Anthropology and History (Johns Hopkins). She is the author of History in Exile: Memory and Identity at the Borders of the Balkans (Princeton University Press, 2003), La Memoria dell’Esilio (Veltro Editrice, 2010), and The World Refugees Made: Decolonization and the Foundation of Postwar Italy (Cornell University Press, 2020). She has published in a wide range of journals, including Austrian History Yearbook, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Contemporary European History, Current Anthropology, Journal of Contemporary History, Journal of Modern Italian Studies, Journal of Refugee Studies, Journal of Tourism History, and Past and Present. Her areas of expertise include human rights, forced migration, refugees, fascism, seaspace, and modern Mediterranean and Balkan history.


Watch the CAS SEE Weekly Seminar with Pamela Ballinger: