CAS SEE Fellows

Reflections from Isolation

March 2020

As a form of keeping spirits under the newly-developing global circumstances, we asked our 2020 Fellows to send us a few words about how are they holding up, and to share thoughts they might have on the COVID-19 crisis. The aim was not to delve too deep into theoretical and scientific discussions, which we will most certainly focus on in the near future. At this point, our aim was to gather notes on experiences as the record (document) of our global strange spring of 2020.

Federica Porcheddu 

I’m in Sassari right know. We are lockdown since the 9th of March. We had further restrictions since Saturday until April 3 and all non-essential services have been suspended. It is possible to go out just for food, medication purposes or to let our pets out. Here in Sardinia, we have more than 340 infected, most of them in Sassari. The situation is difficult and stressful but I am trying to stay focused and to continue my research as much as possible.

The coronavirus emergency has turned our plans and our lives upside down. It forced us to stop. To remain isolated. The whole world has been forced to stop in front of an invisible enemy, who makes no distinction between the rich and the poor, between the homeless and the businessman. For the virus, we are all the same. We are all equally exposed to danger. All equally fragile. This forces us to rethink what the priorities are. It is difficult to imagine what the global scenario will be once the crisis is over, but when everything returns to normal, will we have changed? Will we have learned that our life on earth cannot be separated from the protection of life, and at the same time, of the environment? I think that the big challenge is to rethink our way of being together and our way of being political. More simply, our way of being human.

Valentina Moro

I am in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Luckily, my family and my beloved ones are healthy and we are all trying to cope with it in the best way. In my region, everything has been gradually locked down: starting from schools and public events, now also the unnecessary industrial activities have been shut down.
Unfortunately, many workers still have to go to work and they are concerned and panicked. Some of them are striking all over Italy.

Generally speaking, I think that it is a very confused and frightening period. The tension is increasing and the people need to see positive results after all of the efforts most of us did, spending the last weeks locked at home.

From a political perspective, I think that the biggest challenge is to keep pursuing solidarity and creating networks of support. It seems always more difficult and selfish to say that the virus is not the only enemy, but this is so important. The idea that the only way to cope with the emergency is to stay obedient and separated can be very dangerous: this is a bad message. The challenge for the social movements – and particularly for feminist movements, I would say – is to keep fighting for social equality, for the environment, and for all of the other critical situations the virus has dramatically shed new light on. Even – and most importantly – while being socially distanced. Here just as all over the world.

Alessandra Scotti

I’m in Naples and today is my 15th day of quarantine. Luckily I’m fine and all my loved ones are fine too. The last official bulletin counted 1013 positives in my region. The daily percentage of new cases of Covid-19 is 8,2%, lower than the one recorded in the last few days and, after weeks, below 10%. It represents a relevant hopeful sign and, maybe, first feedback after the restriction measures.

Of course, we can’t let our guard now. Our hospitals are already full and we are all concerned about the situation in northern Italy and in the rest of Europe. I keep doing my Bioethics course on Teams and I often talk with my virtual class about the ethical issues linked to this pandemic, like the problem of resource allocations. Allocating scarce resources in a big crisis could be ethically and humanly wrenching.

I wonder if we – as humankind – can get something good out of it. I agree with what Harari said in his article on Financial Times: “The decisions people and governments take in the next few weeks will probably shape the world for years to come. In this time of crisis, we face two particularly important choices. The first is between totalitarian surveillance and citizen empowerment. The second is between nationalist isolation and global solidarity”. I’m rooting for the second one.

I still try to be productive with my research, even if it’s not easy and I miss libraries and friends.

My deepest sympathy to Zagreb city.

Francesca Rolandi

Coronavirus reached me while I was in Belgrade for archival research. At the end of February, I was notified by the airline company I flew with nine days before that a confirmed case of coronavirus among the passengers of the flight had been detected. It was the first time that I possibly came in contact with the virus, and the first time that it changed my plans.

After necessary days of self-isolation, I went back to Milano, the medical emergency was already serious but seemed to be under control. Since I was then supposed to travel to Rijeka within a couple of days, I started following carefully the restrictions introduced both in Italy and Croatia. The situation escalated much faster than expected and it soon became clear that the national borders were about to be sealed. Similarly, every country was acting without any coordination with its neighbors.

When my isolation was over, the Lombardy region and soon the entire country were already in lockdown.

While entering my 26th day of the quarantine, I am trying to reflect upon the possible outcomes of this crisis, considering both challenges and opportunities. I am trying to do it historically, as a scholar who has dealt with post-war transitions. Every crisis brings about the risk of further marginalization of the most endangered categories, as we can see, for instance, on the “Balkan route“, where refugees are both further criminalized and abandoned. However, I hope that some of the contradictions that emerged during this crisis will contribute to raising awareness. I guess that many Italian citizens got more aware of the value of the Italian healthcare system, currently on the front line, although being chronically underfinanced and affected by the diversion of resources to the private one.

Xenia Chiaramonte

Shortly before Lombardy became a red zone, I had moved to the north-east of Italy intending to reach Croatia in the following days to begin my stay at the CAS. My friends in Trieste would keep me company, I thought. The truth is that in those moments there is a particular ethical and pre-juridical sense of self-discipline. My thought was to be a potential plague spreader, although in the previous weeks I had taken every precaution against the common invisible enemy.

I haven’t met anyone. I waited. I had arrived by car and so I went back, taking my days in Milan as an inner journey and a self-care gymnasium.

The air we breathe now is clean: this is one of the most unforgettable utilities of calamity. A calamity that every day seems more human and less divine, offered to us by the neoliberal reason with its financial cuts to essential services, to research, in a word to life.

Vladan Sutanovac

The stories-of-today(s) we’d like to share come from the cross-roads of Vienna (Austria) and Niš (Serbia). When it comes to the former, although my previous visit, before the outbreak, took me there mid-October for my Ph.D. defense, Vienna being my second home, at the moment I still keep close ties via my mentors, fellow-scholars, and friends. The latest from them is that Vienna/Austria has followed in the footsteps of the general population movement-constraints. The same goes for Niš/Serbia. The figures are on the rise, as just about everywhere in the world, the general impression being, the more people keep to the benevolent instructions, the more benevolent the strain seems to become, rendering it dormant for another eon or two real soon, hopes are high. Other than that, from what I have gathered from our daily musings in virtuo vivo is that, in all other walks of daily life, it’s business-with-upbeat activities as usual. Our lack of physical contact, we compensate for by organizing mad hatter like chit-chat tea parties for hours on end. The remaining hours we divide between keeping up with our (my wife being also a fellowess sociologist) soft-science scientific musings, drawing on our year-(2018)-round Shanghainese ethnographic adventures, and soft-plays with our newborn starman Kozma and his first book on stellar delights.

Tanja Andić

In many ways, my life has not changed much at all. For the last few months, I have primarily been staying in my apartment trying to finish up my dissertation, so I can defend in May. The defense will be online now. My partner works from home, so our work lives were not particularly affected in the immediate sense. Our cats are happy that we are here even more than usual. In some sense, I shamefully felt a bit of relief at first – suddenly, my friends cannot call me to hang out, and I no longer had to feel guilty for saying no and again explain what exactly I’m doing, and why I’ve been doing it for so long, and “when will it be over?” For the first few days of the curfews, I took a break from writing and scrolled through the endless news about the virus. “What does a dissertation matter right now, anyway?” I thought. I chuckled at memes over group chats; one of the former Yugoslavs saying “first time?” to “the world falling apart” was a favorite among my group, a reminder that even dire circumstances eventually end. We then joked about which newspapers made the best toilet paper during the war. So it goes.

The evening applause at 20h for medical workers punctuates my evenings. I like that someone in the neighborhood always attempts to start clapping a couple of minutes early, and then realizes that maybe their clock is wrong, and trails off for a bit, waiting for everyone else to join in. The applause seems a little less cheerful some days; I wonder if it’s because the novelty has worn off, or if people are angry that some proposed measures are overstepping their capacities to provide for extended families while others which were meant to protect them never went through. I worry about my sister, who is a nurse in the US. I worry about the grocery store workers from my nearby shop, who have to interact with so many people every day. I worry about a lot of things, but this is nothing new, probably for most of us here. From inside my apartment, the various online news — the extremely wealthy managing to find ways to profit from the crisis, the potential rent strikes discussed over social media — all feels like a strange dream, predicting a future somewhere between a mundane dystopia peppered with inklings of hope for something better. I cannot think of a situation where seemingly every place on the planet is affected in some sense. Like others, I am hopeful that we will learn something from this and maybe even get something good out of it, globally.

My heart goes out to everyone here residing in or with friends and family in Italy and Zagreb, and of course other highly affected places, who are facing these states of exception in the most exceptional circumstances, to put it calmly. I greatly look forward to meeting everyone eventually and wish you all the best in the meantime.

 

Photo credit: Sergio Siano – Naples in Quarantine

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.

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)

◌ PROGRAM ◌

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.

MONICA CANO ABADIA

The Re-Radicalization of Critical Thinking. Toward a Global Social Justice with Judith Butler and Rosi Braidotti

“The research project The Re-Radicalization of Critical Thinking: Toward a Global Social Justice intends to carry out a diffractive reading on Rosi Braidotti and Judith Butler. A diffractive reading is a methodology that tries to read important insights though one another. What Braidotti has called the ‘transatlantic disconnection’ shows that they belong to different traditions within post-structuralist feminist philosophy. Nonetheless, I would say that their (dis)connections can be seen more as a fruitful exchange –as Butler proposes in Undoing Gender– and an interesting overlapping of perspectives that enables thinking about social justice.

Several are the differences between Butler and Braidotti, and both have addressed them in many occasions. In this presentation, I will diffractively outline some of the points of friction that are of the most importance for me in order to think –with and through them– about global social justice –namely, questions about the decentering of the humanist subject, negativity and lack, vulnerability, agency, relationality, or activism.

Both highlight the necessity of calling for action towards social transformation. Thus, I will argue that their recent scripts are of the most importance to analyze the agents of new thinking within a contemporary Critical Theory beyond neoliberalism.”


Mónica Cano Abadía, current CAS SEE fellow, obtained her Ph.D. in Philosophical Studies at the University of Zaragoza. 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.

Fellows at the “TESTIMONY. POETRY. LANGUAGE.” Conference

The conference investigated the concept of testimony, notably war testimony, from different perspectives, i.e., literature, philosophy, sociology and political activism.

The first day of the conference and a roundtable on the third day were entirely devoted to the analysis of the holocaust poet Paul Celan through the contributions of Sue Vice, Pajari Räsänen, Matthew Boswell and Nina Čolović. A philosophical analysis of Celan’s poetry was provided by Petar Bojanić, while Bertrand Badiou was a key figure, providing testimony of Paul Celan’s poetry and biography.

The second day, with panels chaired by CAS Fellows Mónica Cano Abadía and Olimpia Loddo, focused on the role played by poetry in the testimony of the Yugoslav war. A first-hand testimony was offered by the Bosnian writer Asmir Kujović, while Lidija Dimkovska, a Macedonian writer based in Slovenia, paid a moving tribute to a long list of writers that are the voice of a post-Yugoslav languages. Andrijana Kos-Lajtman analyzed the influence of Dadaism on Manifest Mlade Bosne by Darko Cvijetić. Senadin Musabegović described the role played by poetry in testifying the real face of nationalism.

In the panel “Rhetoric, Politics and Poetry after Yugoslav Wars,” Jay Surdukowski showed how Radovan Karadžić used poetry to justify his war crimes. In her presentation To War or to Write, Elizabeta Šeleva described poetry as a means to redesign reality through the creation of an alternative “literary ought.” Goran Lazičić described the rhetoric and politics of testimony in the novels of the Serbian writers Svetislav Basara and David Albahari.

During the third day of the conference, with panels chaired by CAS Fellow Davide Pala, Olivera Marković-Savić showed the use and misuse of the term ‘veteran’ after the end of the Yugoslavian war, and she stressed the legal misrecognition of veterans by the Serbian state. Šeherzada Džafić talked about poetry focussing on war as a powerful form of both testimony and ethical learning, while Selma Zilić Šiljak presented the clash between dominant narratives of war and the horizontal and private accounts of it in Velika Kladuša.

In the first panel of the fourth and last day, chaired by CAS Fellow Mišo Kapetanović, Cornelia Grabner gave voice to the Movement for Peace in Mexico, while Robert von Hallberg focused on the relationship between testimony and poetry in the US. Danijela Majstorović shared her research on the construction of the Yugoslav new woman and the role of the Women’s Antifascist Front (AFŽ). Marzuq Al Halabi talked about Mahmoud Darwish, the prophet of the Palestinian revolution who created a bridge between Palestine and other international movements.

The last panel, chaired by Marco Abram (Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso), revolved around memorial sites in Rwanda (Matthew Boswell) and the role of women poets in the peace process in Colombia (Cherilyn Elston). Afterwards, Djurdja Trajković moderated a roundtable in which the role of poetry as a form of testimony was discussed. A poetry reading about conflicts in peripheral capitalism closed the conference.

After the conference, the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory of Belgrade hosted one workshop and two lectures. The workshop consisted in a critical discussion of the important book “Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities” by Etienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein. Fourteen commentators highlighted different aspects of it, e.g., the relation between race and nation (e.g., Carlo Burelli, Davide Pala), on the one hand, and the link between race and gender, on the other hand (e.g., Mónica Cano Abadía). Djurdja Trajković closed the workshop by stressing the strict historical connections between nationalism, racism, and classism. The first lecture, given by Manuela Bojadžijev and entitled “Is (neo-)racism a form of violence of the past?”, provided a conceptualization of the distinctive features of racism and a great overview of the main literature analyzing racism from the 50’s onwards. The second lecture, given by Sanja Milutinović Bojanić and entitled “Rhetoric of Emancipation vs. Rhetoric of Misogyny”, showed the central traits of the rhetoric of both emancipation and misogyny and illustrated them through the analysis of several historical occurrences of both emancipation and misogyny.

– CAS SEE Fellows

“Race, Nation, Class’: Ambiguous Identities” international seminar with CAS SEE fellows

The coming year will mark three decades since the publication of Immanuel Wallerstein’s and Etienne Balibar’s seminal work Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities. The book, characterized by a specific ”dialogical” structure, has become influential in the study of racism and in the interdisciplinary school of cultural studies. The publication of the work was preceded by a series of Wallerstein’s and Balibar’s debates at the Maison des sciences de l’homme in Paris between 1985 and 1987. In the course of these encounters, the two authors developed the unique dialogical method, the ”practice-of-theory”, which consisted in the gradual elaboration and intertwining of the three fundamental concepts – race, nation and class – through simultaneous historical-empirical and theoretical analyses.

Wallerstein and Balibar formulate in this study a complex analysis of the roles that the classificatory schemes of race, nation and class played in the process of the genesis and global spreading of capitalism, above all their role in legitimizing the extreme social inequalities that capitalism produces and deepens. Upon the analysis, the authors’ central theoretical claim is that one can identify fissures, ruptures and contradictions in the fabric of the conceptual and empirical inter-imbrication of the three categories, suggesting that any strategy of resistance to forms of social domination grounded in the race-nation-class nexus must identify and exploit these contradictions. The authors finally draw our attention to the fact that the race-nation-class constellation is constantly being reinforced in global capitalism, which also requires constant reflection about new strategies of resistance.

The seminar at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory aims to comprehensively reflect on the relevance and heuristic value of Wallerstein’s and Balibar’s study for the present day. Within its temporal limits, the seminar will try to employ the ”practice-of-theory” method of the book in its analysis and attempts at re-actualization. The participants are invited to engage in forms of critical reconstruction, either of particular aspects of the book or its whole, and to explore avenues for the possible application of Wallerstein’s and Balibar’s perspective in analyzing manifold ways in which the fundamental categories of race, class and nation are (individually or synthetically) today used to legitimize or challenge capitalism, globally as well as in the region of former Yugoslavia.

Time: December 18th 2017 at 14:30

Venue: Belgrade, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory (address: Kraljice Natalije 45, 4th Floor)

Program

14:30 – 14:40  | Welcome Word – Petar Bojanić (Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade)

14:40 – 15:00  | Introductory Remarks – Manuela Bojadžijev (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/Berliner Institut für empirische Integrations-und Migrationsforschung, BIM)

15:00 – 15:20  | Regional Reception – Marjan Ivković i Djurdja Trajković (Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade)

15:20 – 15:35  | Coffee break

15:40 – 19:00  | Reflections on the Book

Participants

Rastko Močnik (University of Ljubljana and Faculty for Media and Communication, Singidunum University, Slovenia and Serbia), Gordan Maslov (Center for Social and Humanities Research, Croatia), Valida Repovac Nikšić (Faculty of Political Science, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina), Nataša Sardžoska (Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe at the University of Rijeka, Croatia), Vedran Džihić (University of Vienna, Austria; Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe at the University of Rijeka, Croatia), Petar Bojanić (IFDT), Marjan Ivković (IFDT), Srdjan Prodanović (IFDT), Djurdja Trajković (IFDT), Jelena Vasiljević (IFDT), Adriana Zaharijević (IFDT), Carlo Burelli (Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe at the University of Rijeka, Croatia), Mónica Cano (Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe at the University of Rijeka, Croatia), Davide Pala (Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe at the University of Rijeka, Croatia)

Organizing Committee

Petar Bojanić (Center for Ethics, Law and Applied Philosophy; Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade)

Djurdja Trajković (Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade)

Marjan Ivković (Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade)

Partners

Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade

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

Support

Seminar is supported by Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKV), Berlin

Testimony. Poetry. Language. Conference

Organizers: Center for Cultural Decontamination, Belgrade; The Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, Belgrade and Center for Advanced Studies – South East Europe, University of Rijeka

Time and venue: Belgrade, 14 – 16. 12. 2017

Witnessing is a participative act, testifying is an act of speech with multiple addressees at one time, at the least those relating to the situation testified about, the situation of testifying and a self-address which constitutes multiple speakers. The simultaneity of time and space creates an ever-changing assemblage of singular-plural social relations, intimate and political, at work long after the testimony has been given and each time it is heard anew. The diversity of social relations at the base of testimony makes its relation to reality complex, both that experienced and that in which testimony is heard. This makes it unstable for the purpose of the listener whose demand is for The Truth i.e. a comprehensive meaning which would constitute the person testifying as Subject and/or as a generic Subject as well as constitute both testifying and testified factual situations as Events.

“In our European juridical tradition, testimony should remain unrelated to literature and especially, in literature, to what presents itself as fiction, simulation, or simulacra, which is not all literature. When a testifying witness, whether or not s/he is explicitly under oath, without being able or obligated to prove anything, appeals to the faith of the other by engaging himself to tell the truth — no judge will accept that he should shirk his responsibility ironically by declaring or insinuating: what I am telling you here retains the status of a literary fiction. And yet, if the testimonial is by law irreducible to the fictional, there is no testimony that does not structurally imply in itself the possibility of fiction, simulacra, dissimulation, lie, and perjury—that is to say, the possibility of literature, of the innocent or perverse literature that innocently plays at perverting all of these distinctions. If this possibility that it seems to prohibit were effectively excluded, if testimony thereby became proof, information, certainty, or archive, it would lose its function as testimony. In order to remain testimony, it must therefore allow itself to be haunted. It must allow itself to be parasitized by precisely what it excludes from its inner depths, the possibility, at least, of literature. We will try to remain [demeurer] on this undecidable limit. It is a chance and a threat, a resource both of testimony and of literary fiction, law and non-law, truth and non-truth, veracity and lie, faithfulness and perjury.” DEMEURE Fiction and Testimony, Jacques Derrida

Who testifies and to whom? What are the social relations created in, by and through language and what does language itself testify to? How does language relate to the time of the speaker, the spoken and the testimony? Assuming that presence is the core of testimony how does it relate to its actors? And how does presence become embodied and embedded in language or vice versa? How does the setting of testimony affect its procedure in different times and locations and do interrelations exist between these settings? Has the Holocaust become a paradigm for remembrance and what are its affects in different locations? Do poetry and prose offer a way in and out of testimony, memory and language itself? Holocaust poetry and prose have become canonized as the language of memory, how does it impact the remembrance of the Yugoslav wars and commemorations of other wars?


Conference Program

December 13th | 14:00 – Press Conference at the Center for Cultural Decontamination

Thursday, December 14th

Venue: Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, 1st Floor (Kraljice Natalije 45, Belgrade)

10:00 – 12:00 | Panel 1: Paul Celan as Paradigm of Testimonial Reading and Writing

Chair: Sanja Bojanić

10:00 – 10:30 | The Testimony of Celan’s Manuscripts and Writings, Bertrand Badiou, Ecole Normale Superieure (FR)

10:30 – 11:00 | Paul Celan’s Dialogic Influences, Sue Vice, University of Sheffield (UK)

11:00 – 11:30 | Bearing Witness – One Language to Another, Pajari Räsänen University of Helsinki (FI)

11:30 – 12:00 | Panel 1: Discussion

12:00 – 12:30 | Coffee Break

12:30 – 14:00 | Paul Celan: Testimonies of Heimat (“Ort meiner eigenen Herkunft.” Heimat, Und Ich?), Petar Bojanic IFDT (SR)

14:00 – 15:00 | Lunch Break

15:00 – 17:00 | Panel 2: Paul Celan Today

Chair: Srđan Prodanović (IFDT)

15:00 – 15:30 | The Witness as Agent: Reflections on Paul Celan and Etty Hillesum, Michael Eskin, Upper West Side Philosophers, Inc. (USA)

15:30 – 16:00 | Denken und Gedenken: Reading Celan in the 21st century, David Coury, University of Wisconsin (USA)

16:00 – 16:30 | On the Edge of Text: Traumatic Disruptions in Language, Nina Čolović Linguist Researcher, Serb National Council/ The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb and Aneta Lalić, Department for Culture, Serb National Council (HR)

16:30 – 17:00 | Panel 2: Discussion

18:00 |  Testimony: Truth or Politics – Exhibition Opening, Galerija-legat Milice Zorić i Rodoljuba Čolakovića (Rodoljuba Čolakovića 2)


Friday, December 15th

Venue: Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, 1st Floor (Kraljice Natalije 45, Belgrade)

10:00 – 12:00 | Panel 3: Yugoslav Wars and Bearing Witness

Chair: Mónica Cano (CAS SEE)

10:00 – 10:30 | Fiction and Testimony of war, Asmir Kujović, Writer, (BiH)

10:30 – 11:00 | Testimony and Genre, Lidija Dimkovska, Writer (SLO/MAC)

11:00 – 11:30 | The Neo-Dada Face of Postmodernism: Manifest Mlade Bosne by Darko Cvijetić as a Protest against the Cultural and Generalized Disabilities of Yugoslavia at the Turn of the Century, Andrijana Kos-Lajtman, University of Zagreb (HR)

11:30 – 12:00 | Panel 3: Discussion

12:00 – 12:30 | Coffee Break

12:30 -14:00 | Poetry in the Throes of Transition, Senadin Musabegović, Head of the Department of History of Art at the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo

14:00 – 15:30 | Lunch

15:30 – 17:30 | Panel 4: Rhetoric, Politics and Poetry after Yugoslav Wars

Chair: Olimpa Loddo (CAS SEE)

15:30 – 16:00 | The Sword and the Shield: The Uses of Poetry at the War Crimes Trial of Radovan Karadžić, the Poet-Warrior, Jay Surdukowski, Sulloway & Hollis / Senior Fellow Humanity in Action (USA)

16:00 – 16:30 | To War or to Write, Elizabeta Šeleva, Saints Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje (MAC)

16:30 – 17:00 | The Rhetoric and Politics of Testimony in the Novels of Svetislav Basara and David Albahari, Goran Lazičić, AU Institute for Slavic Studies University of Graz (AUT)

17:00 – 17:30 | Panel 4: Discussion

19:00 |  Round table and poetry reading about the YU wars

All participants lecturing on the theme as well as David Coury

Moderator: Noa Treister (CZKD / Ucitelj neznalica)

Poets: Darko Cvijetić (BiH), Lidija Dimkovska (SLO/MAC), Andrijana Kos-Lajtman (HR), Senadin Musabegović (BiH)


Saturday, December 16th

Venue: Center for Cultural Decontamination (Birčaninova 21, Belgrade)

10:00 – 12:00 | Panel 5: Language and Representation of Yugoslav War

Chair: Davide Pala (CAS SEE)

10:00 – 10:30 | War and language, Olivera Marković-Savić, University of Priština (KM)

10:30 – 11:00 | Ethical side of the verse – from work to document, Šeherzada Džafić, University of  Bihać (BiH)

11:00 – 11:30 | The Representation of War in the Performance Arts, Darija Davidović, University of Vienna (AUT)

11:30 – 12:00 | Memory-work Research: Silence and Borders in Oral Histories, Selma Zulić Šiljak i Lejla Somun-Krupalija, independent researchers (BiH)

12:00 – 12:30 | Panel 5: Discussion

12:30 – 13:00 | Coffee Break

13:00 -14:30 | Testimony and Defense: The Poetic Word and 21st Century Violence, Cornelia Grabner – UK Lancaster University

14:30 – 16:00 | Lunch Break

16:00 – 17:00 | Not Losing the Thread. Cruel January – A Month in the Life of Paul Celan, Bertrand Badiou

16:00 – 16:30 | Coffee Break

17:30 – 19:00 | Round table about the poetry of Paul  Celan

All participants on the theme as well as Robert von Hallberg, Matthew Boswell

Moderator: Alexander Pavlović (IFDT)

20:00 |  Concert – Onaj Dječak


Sunday, December 17th

Venue: Center for Cultural Decontamination (Birčaninova 21, Belgrade)

10:00 – 12:00 | Panel 6: Conflicts in Peripheral Capitalism

Chair: Mišo Kapetanović (CAS SEE)

10:00 – 10:30 | Global Resonances and the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity in Mexico, Cornelia Grabner – Mexico, Lancaster University (UK)

10:30 – 11:00 | Testimony and U.S. Poetry, Robert von Hallberg, Claremont McKenna College (US)

11:00 – 11:30 | Constructing the “new” Yugoslav woman: a testimony/testament of emancipation at the end of WWII, Danijela Majstorović, University of Banja Luka (BiH)

11:30 – 12:00 | Panel 6: Discussion

12:00 – 12:30 | Coffee Break

12:30 -14:00 | Mahmoud Darwish- The Witness and the Testimony, Marzuq AlHalabi, Van Leer Jerusalem Institute (IL)

14:00 – 15:30 | Lunch Break

15:30 – 17:00 | Panel 7: Memorial Sites and Affects

Chair: Marco Abram (OBCT)

15:30 – 16:00 | Reading Genocide Memorial Sites in Rwanda: Eurocentrism, Sensory Secondary Witnessing and Shame, Matthew Boswell, University of Leeds (UK)

16:00 – 16:30 | Testimony in Times of Conflict: Reading Colombian Women Poets and Peace Activists, Cherilyn Elston, University of Reading (UK)

16:30 – 17:00 | Panel 7: Discussion

19:00 | Round table and poetry reading – Conflicts in Peripheral Capitalism

All participants on the theme as well as Michael Eskin and Jay Surdukowski

Moderator: Djurdja Trajkovic (IFDT)

Poets: Cherilyn Elston (UK), Marzuq Al Halabi (IL), Ramiz Huremagić (BiH), Asmir Kujović (BiH)


Other project partners are: The Ignorant Schoolmaster and his Committees, Belgrade; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; Boem, Vienna, Austria; Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa  (OBCT Transeuropa), Rovereto, Italy; Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo; the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Centre for Cultural and Social Repair, Banja Luka; The Leibniz-Institute for East and Southeast European Studies, Regensburg, Germany

Further information at: http://svedocanstvo-imenovatitoratom.org/en/conferences

*The Conference will be held as part of the project TESTIMONY – TRUTH OR POLITICS: The Concept of Testimony in the Commemoration of the Yugoslav Wars.

Conference “Cultures in translation: a paradigm for Europe”

Culture in traduzione: un paradigma per l’Europa | Kulture u prijevodu: paradigma za Europu

 Date: 18-19 October 2017, Belgrade

Venue: Italian Culture Institute in Belgrade

Languages: English, Italian and Serbian

Translation: Simultaneous

PROVISIONAL PROGRAMME:
Day 1  |  18 October 2017

9.00-10.00 | Registration of participants and welcome coffee

10.00-10.30 | Opening lecture

⌑ Petar Bojanic, IFDT (10 min)

⌑ Davide Scalmani, IIC (10 min)

⌑ Irena Fiket (10 min)

I         Translatability and Untranslatables: Examples and Reflections

10.30-12.30 | Moderator: Milos Cipranic

Speakers:

10.30-11.00 | Snežana Milinković, University of Belgrade, Professor of Italian literature and translator (Tradurre è impossibile ma necessario) language: Italian

11.00-11.30 | Annette Đurović, University of Belgrade (Od „Personenkennzahl“-a do „Personenkennziffer“-a ili Put između raspada dva sistema u budućnost) language: Serbian

11.30-12.00 | Deja Piletic, University of Montenegro (I dottori del triennio – doktori trogodišnjih studija? Le sfide della traduzione giurata dall’italiano in montenegrino e viceversa) language: Italian

12.00-12.30 | Discussion

12.30-14.00 | Buffet Lunch

II      Philosophy in Translation: Translation as a Philosophical Problem

14.00-17.00 | Moderator: Sasa Hrnjez

Speakers:

14.00-14.30 | Luca Illetterati, University of Padova, Professor of Theoretical Philosophy (Animali che traducono) language: Italian

14.30-15.00 | Adriana Zaharijevic, IFDT, Member of Association of Literary Translators of Serbia (Prevođenje filozofije: slučaj pojma agency) language: Serbian

15-15.30 | Discusssion

15.30-16.00 | Gaetano Chiurazzi, University of Torino, Professor of Theoretical Philosophy (La storicità della traduzione) language: Italian

16.00-16.30 | Zdravko Kobe, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (Traduzione e trasformazione) language: Italian

16.30-17.00  | Discussion

20.00 | Dinner (Restaurant Savski Venac)

Day 2  |  19 October 2017
III      Translation, Interculturality and European Identity Politics

9.30-13.30 | Moderator: Burelli Carlo

Speakers:

9.30-10.00 | Aleksandra Mančić, Senior Research Associate – Institute for Literature and Arts, Belgrade and translator – Member of Association of Literary Translators of Serbia (Translation as Intercultural Practice and its Relevance for the Future of Europe) language: Serbian

10.00-10.30 | Silvana Borutti, Pavia, Professor of Theoretical Philosophy (L’antropologia e la traduzione come modello della comunicazione interculturale) language: Italian

10.30-11.00 | Discusssion

11.00-11.30 | Djurdja Trajkovic, IFDT (Madness of Pierre Menard: Power of the Untranslatable) language: English

11.30-12.00 | Michael Oustinoff, literary critic and theorist of translation, Professor at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France (Globalization and the Translation of Imaginaries)

12.00-12.30 | Olimpia Giuliana Loddo, The Center for Advanced Studies – Southeast Europe (CAS SEE) Rijeka, University of Cagliari (Translating written norms into normative pictures) language: English

12.30-13.30 | Discussion

13.30-14.30 | Buffet Lunch

IV     Actuality of Translation – Translation as Activity

14.30-17.00 | Moderator: Davide Pala

Speakers:

14.30-15.00 | Gojko Bozovic, Arhipelag, Beograd (Izazovi savremenog prevođenja i savremenog izdavaštva) language: Serbian

15.00-15.30 | Mirna Zelic Pokaz, Head of Croatian Language Department, DGT EC (Translating for the European Commission) language: English

15.30-16.00 | Katja Stergar, Slovenian Book Agency JAK/Traduki / Antje Contius, S. Fischer Stiftung/Traduki (Traduki’s work and implications) language: English

16.00-16.30 | Discussion

16.30-17.00 | Conclusion of the conference

Davide Scalmani, IIC

EUNIC Serbia representative (name still TBC)

20.00 | Dinner (Restaurant in Skadarlija)