Mónica Cano Abadía was educated at the University of Zaragoza, where she obtained her Ph.D. in Philosophical Studies. She wrote a Thesis Dissertation on Judith Butler entitled “Identities at Risk of Exclusion. Subversive Strategies of Social Transformation”. She has been an Assistant Professor at the University of Zaragoza (Spain), and is a member of the Research Group Justice, Citizenship, and Vulnerability (University of La Laguna, Spain). In addition to lectures and publications focusing on queer theory, she has written on new materialisms, global justice and posthuman critical theory.
Project – title: The Re-Radicalization of Critical Thinking: Toward a Global Social Justice
In a moment when post-truth politics hinders the access to information and when it seems that the triumph of neoliberalism is giving rise to fascism and populism at a global scale, this research project aims to carry out a diffractive reading (Barad, 2007; Haraway, 1999: 126) on Rosi Braidotti and Judith Butler. We argue that their recent scripts are of the most importance to analyze the agents of new thinking within a Critical Theory beyond neoliberalism.
Braidotti calls on the need for the re-radicalization against the fascism, misogyny and racism that accompanies neoliberalism. In order to do so, it is needed to construct new agents – a new caring and cosmopolitan collective subject. Braidotti advocates for the understanding of different ways of thinking the human through a new affirmative definition of what unites us. Thus, Braidotti proposes an affirmative political praxis that conforms an active and responsible collective subject. The objective would be, then, to create new sustainable horizons of hope through resistance. It would be interesting for us to explore in this research project how Braidotti’s proposal could be articulated with Butler’s and Athanasiou’s thinking about the paradoxical possibilities of agency within dispossesion (Butler and Athanasiou, 2013).
Natasa Jankovic is an architect, working in the field of research, practice and education, currently in the position of research and teaching associate of the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Architecture, where she obtained her PhD. So far, her particular research interests is given to the topic of the relationship between architecture and territory, architecture and nature, as well as city territory transformation. Publishes professional and scientific papers in national and international journals, books and conference proceedings. Participates in national and international exhibitions and architectural and urban competitions.
Living in urban environments, she seeks to read some of the terri(s)tories (architectural inscriptions within the territory, written through architecture as a code of city structure) that serves as a document about the past processes of development; but she also wishes to mark the territory: by making an architectural gesture in a natural environment, in order to write some new terri(S)tory.
Project – title: Architectural terRI[s]tories: Mapping the process of city transformation
Architecture represents one of the possible ways of how territory can be marked, but it is also a permanent trace of the process of its development. As a built form it is a sign in the ground, while as an idea it represents a trace of various approaches to its development within theoretical field. This research examines the significance and meaning of a single architectural gesture within the context of architectural narrative of the city territory by starting from the structural approach to observation of the territory and the method of post-structuralist analysis.
This research links and analyses: 1) the importance of the architectural gesture in the process of defining and developing the territory of the city, through 2) changing position from the phenomenological (formal, formative) to critical discourse of observing architecture, which examines 3) the potential of the interpretative narrative both of the architecture and the territory. With approach based on semantics and metaphors, the aim of the research of the territory and architecture as an element of its structure, is to ‘read’ some of the layers of the city (terRI[s]tories), which is considered as a cultural palimpsest, through processes and material layers of its changes and development.
 (architectural) terRI[s]tories : (architectural) stories about Rijeka’s territory.
Olimpia G. Loddo earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Law from the University of Milan in 2012 and cooperates as postdoctoral volunteer research assistant with the Department of Law of the University of Cagliari. She is assistant editor in “Argumenta. Italian Journal of Analytic Philosophy”. Her current research interests include general theory of law, social ontology, customary law, philosophy of norms, deontic logic, phenomenology of law. She is the author of several articles published in (national and international) peer reviewed journals. Essays and translations (from English and German) by Olimpia Loddo have also been published in edited collections on phenomenology of law, anthropology of revenge, philosophy of images. She is co-editor (with Pier Luigi Lecis, Giuseppe Lorini, Vinicio Busacchi, and Pietro Salis) of the edited collection “Truth, Image and Normativity”. She edited (with Roberto Pusceddu) the book “Anancastico in Deontica” [The Anankastic in Deontics], LED, 2017 (auth. Giuseppe Lorini). She is the author of the book “Ideologie e concetti in azienda. Un’analisi filosofica degli usi aziendali” [Ideology and concepts in the Firm. A philosophical analysis of company customs], ESI, 2017.
Project – title: Investigation on the Ontology of Normative Pictures
My investigation focuses on a specific kind of picture, which I call ‘normative pictures’, and on the impact that these pictures have on social reality. Normative pictures express or represent normative messages and can have a prescriptive-normative function. Traffic signs are an example of this sort of picture. Traffic signs under certain conditions have an immediate binding force, therefore some scholars consider them to be norms. However, not all normative pictures are norms. Indeed, von Wright (1963) distinguishes norms from “norm-propositions”, i.e. propositions describing norms (see also Di Lucia 1992; 2004). This distinction runs parallel to the distinction between normative pictures that express norms (or graphic norms), e.g. traffic signs (Moroni and Lorini 2015), and normative pictures that represent norms.
Davide Pala is a Post-doc Fellow at the CAS-SEE of Rijeka. Previously he was a Post-doc Fellow at the “Fondazione Burzio” of Turin and a PhD Student at the University of Turin, in the Department of Cultures, Politics and Society. He was Visiting Post-doc Fellow at the University of Frankfurt (Justitia Amplificata) and at the University of Manchester (Mancept). He works in the field of normative political theory applied to international issues. In particular, his research focuses on global justice, world poverty and economic inequalities. On the matter he wrote several articles focused on institutional cosmopolitanism, capability approach, legal positivism and nationalism. He is currently developing a normative republican account of world poverty.
Project – title: World Poverty and Neo-Republicanism
The aim of my project is to provide a normative neo-republican account of world poverty. To accomplish this purpose, I will proceed in two steps. First, I will develop a principle of non-domination that is appropriate to evaluate world poverty. Second, I will show some institutional and contextual implications of this principle, and suggest that to mitigate key forms of world poverty we should overcome the dominating character of those agents engendering it. In more detail, with regard to the former issue, I will propose and defend a principle of non-domination that is transnational in scope, deontological, agent-focused, and connected to the justification of key human rights provisions. This principle will be used to give an alternative grounding to existing accounts of the injustice of world poverty. This grounding will focus on world poverty understood as the effect of several national, international and transnational agents of domination. In other words, the account I propose to explore identifies injustice not in the very fact of deprivation, but it is agent-focused in that it is designed to clearly attribute responsibility for poverty in dominating relationships. With regard to the latter issue, instead, I will combine this normative reasoning with the empirical literature investigating the causes of world poverty to identify the main dominating agents engendering it. In particular, I will focus on the global governance, on the one hand, and the transnational firm, on the other hand. In both cases I will consider some suggestions for reform that focus on removing domination-permitting norms. The core idea is that by removing these norms world poverty would be mitigated.
After studying Architecture (Diploma) and Art History (Master’s of Art) at the Technische Universität Berlin, Gerrit Wegener has been conducting research projects at the crossroads of Philosophy, Art History and Theory of Architecture. His doctoral thesis was on Jacques Derrida and his writings on architecture. While seeking to identify and assess the contribution of Derrida to the Theory of Architecture, he further explored the possible contribution of mainly 20th century French philosophy to architectural discourse.
In parallel to his academic work, Gerrit Wegener has been working as a freelance architect, art historian and professional project manager with a focus on design and construction within existing structures, taking into account aspects of heritage and historical preservation.
Project – title: Continuous architecture. The most living act of memory
This project grounds on my former research on the influence of mainly 20th century French philosophy to architectural discourse. It focuses on the theoretical challenges and implications of continuous architecture (Weiterbauen), the further construction of the building stock. Therefore it questions architecture as testimony that carries forward heritage, as the formed environment of everyday life, and as the framework for events to take place, opening it up to the future.
Thinking architecture means to deal with the knowledge of architecture, the norms, forms and terms of building, its function and fabric of relationships. In my research I examine the testimonial strength of architecture as material as well as immaterial heritage and ask for the quality and possibility of presence of architecture. It is my goal to establish a thinking of continuous architecture as re-appropriation of the existing object, while respecting the conditions and conditionality of its development, and as framework for future events.
Carlo Burelli is a current CAS fellow at the University of Rijeka, where he works on a realistic theory of order, as the first virtue of political institutions. Previously, he had a two year Post-Doc Fellowship in the ERC Project REScEU where he investigated political conflicts and realistic forms of solidarity. He received his PhD in 2015 from Università Statale di Milano defending the thesis: “The Normative Power of Necessity: Making Sense of Political Realism”. In 2014, he was a visiting PhD at the University of Cambridge under Raymond Geuss. He has written articles on Political Realism (Towards a Realistic Conception of Politics, 2017), Solidarity (Realistic Solidarity for the Real EU, 2016) and the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes (Lex Facit Veritatem, 2015; Subjectivity is Objective, 2017). He is also the author of a short monograph on game theoretic interpretations of Hobbes’s “state of nature” (E fu lo Stato, 2010).
Project – title: A Theory of Order
The aim of my research is to investigate political realism’s claim that order has priority over justice (Galston 2010). This is in line with my previous work that focused on the nature of political conflict (Burelli 2016b), and on the stabilizing effects of solidarity (Burelli 2016a). In particular, I want to explore the normative dimension of political realism (Rossi and Sleat 2014) by claiming that a cooperative order is the basic function, and thus the most desirable feature, of political institutions. I intend to argue that a stable cooperative order is the true ‘first virtue of social institutions’ (Rawls 1971), and that those who fail to ensure it will either be reformed or fall to competitive pressure. My research broadly attempts to clarify and defend Williams’s strand of political realism, which revolves around the first political question as the ‘securing of order, protection, safety, trust, and the conditions of cooperation’ (Williams 2005).
Mišo Kapetanović holds a PhD in Balkan Studies from the University of Ljubljana. He studied Philosophy and Sociology at the University of Banja Luka and received a Joint Master degree in Global History and Global Studies from the University of Vienna and the University of Leipzig. His doctoral research dealt with the visual language of contemporary informal construction (title: “Roadside Architecture in Bosnia and Herzegovina Between Consumerism and Vernacularity”). He has written on representations in contemporary pornography, queer music experiences in the Balkans, and the history of urban planning in socialist Yugoslavia. Before Rijeka he was a research fellow at the Centre for Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz and worked as a researcher on a project “Documenting Human Losses in Croatia 1991–1995” for Croatian NGO Documenta – Center for Dealing with the Past.
Project – title: Regulation of Informal Construction in Anticipation of the European Capital of Culture Rijeka 2020
Rijeka is an odd case in the wider Croatian context of informal construction development and regulation. During the period of its largest industrial growth in the 20th century, the city did not have a problem with informal construction to the same extent as other industrial centres like Zagreb, Osijek or Split (Vresk 1997, Vresk 1998). Still, several inner city and suburban neighbourhoods developed a significant number of informally constructed buildings (Pehlin, Rujevica, Grpci, Pilepići, Rubeši, Rešetari, Srdoči, Matulji, Kostrena). Individual informal construction is commonly held culpable for disrupting urban planning and infrastructure development. It often involves socially vulnerable segments of the population, such as ethnic minorities (particularly Roma), rural to urban migrants, precarious industrial workers and war refugees, making agency and vulnerability of the actors involved in the practice a complex question. As the current dynamics of informal construction regulation in the city are soon to be altered with preparations for European Capital of Culture – Rijeka 2020 (ECC), I am interested in the ways these preparations affect informal construction regulation. Major projects such as ECC aim to attract investments and publicity. Likewise, they are frequently used to solve cities long-term ills rapidly and can serve as a justification for large developments. My research project examines the consequences ECC will have on the development of the mentioned neighbourhoods and general public infrastructure in the city; how these effects distribute towards the city periphery; and what the dynamics may hold for minorities in the city.
Project – title: Integrating Rijeka into Socialist Yugoslavia: the Politics of National Identity and the New City’s Image (1947-1955)
Marco Abram has obtained a PhD in History at the University of Udine and a Master’s degree in History of Europe at the University of Bologna. His research interests mainly focus on the national question in Yugoslavia and he devoted his doctoral thesis to the study of Socialist Yugoslavism in Belgrade after the Second World War. He worked as a researcher at the Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso, where he was involved in a project aimed at studying the Italian civil society activism during the Yugoslav wars in the 1990’s. He has published several articles in academic journals and collective volumes and has been part of the editorial board of the historical journal “Diacronie. Studi di Storia contemporanea” since 2009.
Project – title: The Slovene Reaction to the European Migrant Crisis: Class and Ideology at the edge of Schengen
“The European response to the 2015 migrant crisis was initially featured by warm welcome expressions from the European elites, especially from EU institutions and the German government. However, it quickly evolved into the enhancement of extremist positions and the “Fortress Europe” pretension. The opposition to the limited European Commission’s relocation and resettlement plan – initially led by the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia – ended up in the conclusion of an agreement with Turkey for the return of asylum-seekers to that country. Along this process, governments, mainstream political parties and new far-right organizations have shaped cultural-related and seemingly technical discursive lines for rationalizing the exclusion and rejection of migrants. In the case of the Slovene elites, the justification for the closure of the “Balkan route” of refugees in September 2015 relied in the assumption of their responsibility to protect the Schengen external border and in the intention of remaining in the core of an eventual multi-speed Europe.
This project aims to define the state of the ideology within the Slovene ruling class during the migrant crisis, considering that ideological trends do not solely respond to agency, but also to structural relations, which take place inside polities and at the transnational level. The peripheral position of Slovenia within the EU and the consequences of the European economic crisis are departing points for assessing the existence of a contagion in the region after the arrival of migrants.”
Project – title: Spatializing Cultural Policies and Activism in Croatia and Romania: A Comparative, Transnational Study
“For decades now, many European cities have embraced a repertoire of cultural policies thought to stimulate spatial development —such as the cultural mega-event or the Bilbao-emulating contemporary art museum — and democratic practice— including diverse processes, ranging from the spatial memorialization of public crimes to an opening to citizen participation and inclusion. Participation and inclusiveness in city-making have been packaged in EU documents as a “European best practice”. Exported through various EU channels in new member states, these policies intersected –and at times clashed- with a strong local activism and grassroots organization calling in particular for more inclusive, participatory practices. My project will explore in a comparative and transnational frame the spatialisation and democratization of cultural policy in two such contexts, Croatia and Romania. It will examine the entanglements of various actors at the local scale, as well as similarities, differences and links between urban activism and policies in the two countries, often researched separately because of language limitations, historical differentiations, as well as narratives and imaginaries of exceptionalism. Aiming to understand the wider region as a space of flows of ideas and practices, and using the lens of comparative urbanism, I will explore how two particular themes in cultural policy and activism have been included in debates of spatial development and inclusiveness: the cultural mega-event and the process of memorialization. First, I will scrutinize the role of European Capital of Culture bids in spatial development and inclusive city-making, with a particular focus on how the theme of participation has been mobilized in the bids for capital of culture in Rijeka, Zagreb, Timisoara and Bucharest. Second, I will build on my current research as part of the AHRC-Labex research project “Criminalization of Dictatorial Pasts in Europe and Latin America in Global Perspective” to investigate the spatialisation of memory policies and politics and the entanglements between actors, both locally and transnationally.”
Project – title: Mapping of Spatial Memory in Limitrophe Cities: Border-Landscapes and Border-Bodies
“The project draws on political meanings of borders which are perpetually blurred and shifted in tidal geography of continuous phenomenological evolution undergoing cultural mummification and erasure of preexisting maps. In the societal porosity context, where we are witnessing a revival of “quick sand” cultural boundaries, I shall focus on the production of new map of borders, flows of non-targeted displacements and dislocations, indeterminate journeys and nostalgia for a lost space instigated by the political shattering of urban zones. The corpus of my research are social actors and artists inhabiting Istria region who are disintegrating, misplacing, reinventing and questioning invisible boundaries in urban landscapes and the interstice of artistic, nominal and liminal interpretations. I plan to elaborate interventions reflecting space, new monuments, mapping of memory, mental landscapes, re-formed urban spaces. The larger context remains in the European border politics emerged from spatial reconfigurations. I draw on Italian, Slovenian and Croatians artists inhabiting Istria arguing forms of belonging, artistic exile and self-definition that unveil interrelations of cultural mutation processes from common spatial memory towards transitory emotional memory. The goal is to rethink the interconnected mapping and bordering meanings, which have become marginalized, detached, diasporic but at the same time a center and a nucleus of creativity, ontological uncertainty, cognitive anxiety, diversifying identifications and proliferating movements and unpredictable trajectories in a city. The question I am tackling is: is it so important to draw boundaries, charts and maps when the world has turned culturally liminal, flow and creolizing?”
Project – title: Read, Think, Act
“In an unstable and shifting world with growing social injustices, the ability to think critically and creatively, as well as to show solidarity with others, could be a path to social change. The aim of my research is to interdisciplinary connect Adorno’s concept of education for “general enlightenment” to the act of critical and creative reading. The questions are: can the merging of critical and literary theory give us some answers on how to enhance critical thinking? Can reading fiction encourage the development of open-minded, solidary people ready for change?
I shall define and analyze the connection between reading literature and becoming an autonomous subject. I will connect Adorno’s views to literary theory and phenomenology, in order to inspect how creative and critical reading of literature can heighten our empathy, along the lines of the theory of Martha Nussbaum. In the light of Marx’s claim that one should educate the educators, I will implement my theoretical findings at the critical reading workshop with the students of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Rijeka. We will read creatively and try to imagine alternative, better ways of living.”
Project – title: Architecture as ideology: The perspectives of critical theory from modernism to the present
“A basic entry point to reflect on architecture, which has always been deeply connected with ideology, in the realm of critical theory is explicated by Fredric Jameson in Political Unconscious:
“How is it possible for a cultural text that fulfils a demonstrably ideological function, as a hegemonic work whose formal categories as well as its content secure the legitimation of this or that form of class domination – how is it possible for such a text to embody a properly utopian impulse, or to resonate a universal value inconsistent with the narrower limits of class privilege that inform its more immediate ideological vocation?”
The ideological function of architecture is the key focus of this project. Architecture will be held here as a prominent theoretical ground for the spatial formation of ideology as such. Critical theory has largely elaborated on the formation and understanding of ideology within architecture during the age of modernism (Benjamin, Adorno) and postmodernism (Tafuri, Jameson), as well as in neoliberalism.
The aim of the project is to prepare an article outlining the basic reception of architecture in critical theory from modernism to the present, in order to reflect on architecture as a spatial formation of ideology in the age of neoliberalism, where architecture is established as one of the prominent battle fields of capitalism.”