CAS SEE Fellowship

Filip Milačić

The Emergence of Identity Politics Cleavage and its Effect on Social Movements
Seminar was held at the University of Rijeka on May 11, 2018.

“Numerous European societies are currently dealing with great socio-political changes that are strongly affecting their political systems and their democracies in general. I argue that this has been to a great extent caused by the emergence of the new polarization line in their political systems, which I label identity politics cleavage. Accordingly, I, firstly, explain the reasons for its emergence in the Western and Eastern Europe. Secondly, I investigate the emergence of the new protagonists and movements in national and transnational contexts as a direct response to it. I thereby focus on the anti-liberal reaction: an emphasis on the ethnic notion of the citizenship, i.e. on the ethnic and cultural homogeneity, and the “war against gender”, i.e. the advocating of “family values”.”


Filip Milacic has studied political science and history of Eastern Europe at the University of Heidelberg and obtained his PhD at the Humboldt University in Berlin (Supervisor Professor Wolfgang Merkel). He was a fellow of the Friedrich Ebert foundation. He is an author of the book Nationalstaatsbildung, Krieg und Konsolidierung der Demokratie (Nation-state building, war, and consolidation of democracy) (Springer: Wiesbaden). His work was published in many academic journals including Ethnopolitics and Southeast European and Black Sea Studies. He is currently a fellow of the Center for Advanced Studies, University of Rijeka, Croatia.

Barbara Turk Niskač

“Life is all about work”: Growing food as lifestyle politics in Slovenia
Seminar was held at the University of Rijeka on May 11, 2018.
  “In a global drive towards lowering production costs and maximise profits run by corporations and market institutions (Steel 2009), many agree that the global food systems need rethinking (Grasseni 2014). At the same time, various forms of food activism are taking place all over the world from local food and food sovereignty movements, slow food movements, solidarity purchase networks, community supported agriculture, seed swap events, to alternative urban provisioning such as food pooling, food banking, gleaning, freeganism, urban canners and guerrilla gardening.
Moving beyond ethical consumerism, I place the focus of my research at ethical food production. By bringing into discourse Michael Lambek’s ‘ordinary ethics’ (2010), I will look at young families that have intentionally decided to move from urban centres to grow their own food and/or set up a farm, thus placing food production at the forefront of their lifestyle. While the knowledge to the successors of traditional family farms is transmitted through socialisation, I am interested in families that had no previous knowledge of growing vegetables and/or raising animals, and the reasons that lie behind their decisions to pursue such a lifestyle. Following values-based approach to political activism (Lambek 2010), I am particularly concerned with meanings and practices these families attribute to their new lifestyle with regard to food production and dynamics of work, and how they express their concern to the world of neoliberal capitalism and its industrial corporate food systems (Sayer 2011).
Drawing on a study conducted among five families in Slovenia, I will present back-to-the-land movements in the context of food activism in Slovene case study. After providing a short historical overview of the part-time peasants, I will particularly focus on the last decade in the context of political and economic crisis in Slovenian context. Firstly, I aim to understand the rationales behind families’ decisions to produce food as a form of self-sufficiency through the concept of work. I argue that such lifestyle entails also specific dynamics of work, which is not “time purchased from the stream of life” (Henricks 2015: 5), but it also includes social dimension, typical for community-based societies. Therefore, these families represent a counter-narrative to conceptions of family life within post-industrial societies, where work is being excluded as a form of social interaction and learning, and restricted to the understanding of work as a capitalist mode of production. Secondly, by bringing the concept of ‘ordinary ethics’ into discourse on food activism, I examine the concern of these families that they are eating sufficiently good food, and that they have a self-determination of the kind of food they eat.
Finally yet importantly, I suggest that these alternative lifestyles provide a critique of consumer culture and strive towards environmental sustainability and non-capitalist economic relations (Grasseni 2014; Wilbur 2014). Furthermore, I suggest that their decision to pursue alternative lifestyle can be understood as a form of ‘unclaimed activism’ or ‘lifestyle politics’ (Bennett 2006; Nolas 2017). In the face of mass industrial food production, such small-scale localised entrepreneurs and their potential alliances with local consumers represent competitors of mega farms and multinational distribution and preserve social, environmental, and economic diversity, as well as food sovereignty (Grasseni 2014: 53).”

Barbara Turk Niskač, current CAS SEE Fellow, received her PhD in Ethnology, Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of Ljubljana (2016), where she worked as a Junior Researcher, and is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor. She was a Visiting PhD Student at the University of Sarajevo, Centre for Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Studies and a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the Rutgers University. Her doctoral dissertation Playing at Work, Working at Play: An Ethnographic Study of Learning in Early Childhood examined the relationship between play, work and learning in early childhood in Slovenia. Her main research interests include anthropology of childhood, anthropology of education, anthropology of work, migration and ethnic studies, sensory ethnography and visual anthropology. She is particularly interested in employing participatory visual methods in research with children and youth. Apart from academia, she also worked for International Organization for Migration (IOM – UN Agency).

Daniela Brasil

Emancipatory Learning: Reframing Situatedness and the new Cartographies of Belonging
 Seminar was held at the University of Rijeka on May 10, 2018.

  “In this paper we will discuss the first part of The Emancipatory Learning Project, a long-term art-based-research-journey I have embarked within decolonial (Mignolo, Souza Santos, do Mar Castro Varela, Spivak, Vasquez) and post-anthropocentric discourses (Abram, Haraway, Shiva, Braidotti) – while searching for transformative and emancipatory pathways towards the ambitions notion of Earth Citizenship. This research has identified a variety of learning spaces that are playing a decisive role in the construction of a post-colonialist, post-patriarchy, post-capitalism and post-anthropocentric society: learning communities of thinking-feeling and thinking-acting grounded in a deeper notion of Buen Vivir (living in plenitude), that are cross-fertilizing in the globe. The long list includes free- and anti-universities, ecoversities, communities of concern and communities of care, eco-villages, grass-roots social and educational enterprises, socially-engaged artistic projects, happy labs, open platforms, collaborative networks, “autonomous zones” and so on and so on.

In this paper we will discuss how some of these spaces are transforming coexistence and belonging through empowering practices and inclusion. This paper is therefore divided in three sections: The first is a general reframing of emancipation within epistemic diversity, by highlighting the concepts of response-ability and situatedness (Haraway); the second is a definition of dis-othering and unlearning as basic movements towards a form of radical openness that can enable societal transition; and the third section is an examination of these Living Learning Environments as the (new) schools or flourishing habitats where new forms of belonging – emancipated from biological and cultural separations among native and invasive species, re-imagined beyond identity politics within selective inclusions and exclusions – is taking place. A variety of counter-hegemonic gestures of resistance and/or liberation that are enabling small shifts for social change: towards relational and responsive forms of belonging within a more-than-human world.”


Daniela Brasil has initiated and coordinated various transdisciplinary and participatory projects that use playfulness and radical imagination as exercises for active citizenship and tools for people’s empowerment. Her research interests lie mainly on pedagogic, artistic and spatial practices that focus on horizontal forms of exchanging/creating knowledge and know-how; while searching for ways to (un)learn colonized thoughts, behaviours and representations. She studied Architecture and Urbanism in Rio de Janeiro, Environmental Urban Design in Lisbon and Barcelona, Social Sculpture in Oxford and received her PhD and her Master of Fine Arts in Public Art and New Artistic Strategies at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.  For the past 6 years, she was Assistant Professor and Researcher at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Graz University of Technology, and from 2011-14 she was a member of the ADRIART consortium for the creation of the Master of Media Arts and Practices in the Universities of Rijeka, Croatia and of Nova Gorica, Slovenia. Daniela is based in Graz, Austria, where she works as an artist and researcher in collaborative settings, especially with the Daily Rhythms Collective on feminist actions and with Studio Magic on experimental architecture since 2013.

Polona Sitar

Reclaiming Menstruation: Menstrual Social Movements, Feminist-Spiritualist Menstrual Activism and The Red Tent
Seminar was held at the University of Rijeka on May 10, 2018.
  “In this paper we will try to understand global menstrual movements as new forms of social engagement, especially in which way they are challenging and changing the existing social order in the global world today. We are living in times when menstrual blood is still regarded as something embarrassing and a taboo and therefore depicted in commercials for menstrual pads in blue colour. At the same time groups of women are coming together all over the world to reclaim and to celebrate the power of their menstrual cycle in the Red Tent gatherings. They teach women that the flow of blood shall no longer be anything to be ashamed of or frowned upon. On the contrary – it is understood to be far from ordinary; as magic and sacred. This is in stark contrast to the cultural taboo around the discussion of menstruation today. The Red Tent gatherings contain features that can be viewed as kind of woman-centred feminism, yet divert from more radical or cultural feminist tenets as they do not promote a complete counter-culture based on an identity politics for women. This kind of menstrual movements promote gender equality, build community, offer a platform for sharing women’s stories, encourage female solidarity and hold a more positive view towards the female body. The power of these beliefs has a significant potential for delegitimizing the dominant system, but at the same time this might not always lead to the envisioned social change and overturning of gender hierarchies and the patriarchy.

The purpose of this paper is to discover the reasons behind more and more growing need for establishing the Red Tents all over the world. Why many women find it life changing to be heard, witnessed and supported in this way and what kind of consequences does this entail? We will try to understand the role of the Red Tent as a menstrual movement, especially in regards to abolishing the menstrual taboo. We also wish to explore if the reclaiming of sisterhood in women’s spirituality that is being propagated and explored within the Red Tent gatherings, contains political potential beyond the level of mere personal empowerment. There exists a growing curiosity from the side of secular feminism for the neglected, yet critical, and even political potential of spirituality. We will also explore the tensions between the feminist-spiritualists and the radical menstruation activists within the menstrual movements. Some feminist-spiritualists activists regard the menstrual cycle as a criterion for womanhood. However, not all women menstruate (post-menopausal women, athletes etc.) and not only women menstruate (transmen, intersexuals etc.). Inspired by the transgender and genderqueer rights movements and theoretical paradigms, such as feminist philosopher Judith Butler’s idea of gender performativity they challenge essentialist constructions of womanhood. By referring to ‘menstruators’ instead of ‘women,’ activists want to expand menstruation beyond the limitations of gender with the potential to undermine gender as a stable category in the patriarchal two-gender system.”


Polona Sitar has obtained a PhD from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana and a bachelor’s degree in Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology from the Faculty of Arts and also in Communication Sciences from the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Ljubljana. She holds a title Assistant with a doctorate which she received while working at the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, at the Institute of Culture and Memory Studies. Her main research interest focuses on anthropology of consumption, gender studies, memory studies and anthropology of postsocialism. In 2017 her first book titled “Not just Bread, Roses too!”: Consumption, Technological Development and Female Emancipation in Socialist Slovenia was published by a leading Slovenian scientific publishing house ZRC SAZU.

5 YEARS OF CAS SEE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF RIJEKA

The 5th anniversary of the Center for Advanced Studies – South East Europe at the University of Rijeka was held at the at the Rectorate’s Aula Magna on Monday, March 26, 2018.

On the occasion, Madam Rector, Prof. Snježana Prijić – Samaržja, Director od CAS SEE opened the event with presentation of the Center’s establishment course, its development vision and the present ventures. On behalf of Dr. Sanja Bojanić, Executive Director of CAS SEE, Kristina Smoljanovic, Project Associate gave a presentation on the Center’s functioning models, its accomplishments in numbers and also of its core strength – the Fellows of CAS SEE. Following this, the present 7th generation of Fellows introduced their academic backgrounds and ongoing research projects to be completed during their Spring/Summer residence at the University of Rijeka.

The event concluded with further discussions around a joint banquet with the modification of the afternoon program, Fellows and Associate Researchers Presentations at the newly established DeltaLab postponed to another date due to unforeseen weather circumstances which held the Trieste ESOF2020 delegation.

 

 

Spring 2018 CAS SEE Fellowship Recipients

The Center for Advanced Studies – Southeast Europe (CAS SEE) was pleased to host the recipients of the Spring 2018 CAS SEE Fellowship Awards at the University of Rijeka, for the first working meeting. 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. Fellows will present their work within the CAS Collegium, creating an intellectually heterogeneous atmosphere and fostering a productive self-examination or even friction, which may lead to new and unexpected ideas and innovation.

Please join us in congratulating the following Spring 2018 CAS SEE Fellowship Awards, University of Rijeka recipients:

Filip Milacic (Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany) – The emergence of identity politics cleavage and its effect on social movements

Tiziano Toracca (University of Perugia, Italy; University of Ghent, Belgium) – Metamorphosis of Labour. The Movement for a Basic Income in the Light of the Modern Paradigm of Labour

Francesca  Forlè  (Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Italy) – Rythmòs in Acting Together. Reinforcing Joint Actions, Improving Stability, and Orienting Power Hierarchies

Daniela Brasil (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany) – Emancipatory Learning: New Schools and Artistic Platforms for Social Change

Polona Sitar (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia) – Global Menstrual Movements as New Forms of Social Engagement

Barbara Turk Niskac (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia) – “Life is all about work”: Growing Food as Lifestyle Politics

Pavao Zitko (University of Perugia, Italy) – Ultramodern Man as a State of Consciousness

2018-2019 CAS SEE FELLOWSHIP RECIPIENTS

The Center for Advanced Studies – Southeast Europe (CAS SEE) at the University of Rijeka is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018/2019 CAS SEE Fellowship Awards.

The purpose of the CAS SEE Fellowship Programme is to further the research or creative work in the humanities and humanistic social sciences in the Balkans. Fellows will present their work within the CAS-Collegium on a bi-weekly basis, creating an intellectually heterogeneous atmosphere and fostering a productive self-examination and even friction, which may lead to new and unexpected ideas and innovation.

Please join us in congratulating the following 2018-2019 Spring CAS-SEE Fellowship Awards, University of Rijeka recipients:

Filip Milacic (Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany) – The emergence of identity politics cleavage and its effect on social movements

Tiziano Toracca (University of Perugia, Italy; University of Ghent, Belgium) – Metamorphosis of Labour. The Movement for a Basic Income in the Light of the Modern Paradigm of Labour

Francesca  Forlè  (Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Italy) – Rythmòs in Acting Together. Reinforcing Joint Actions, Improving Stability, and Orienting Power Hierarchies

Daniela Brasil (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany) – Emancipatory Learning: New Schools and Artistic Platforms for Social Change

Polona Sitar (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia) – Global Menstrual Movements as New Forms of Social Engagement

Barbara Turk Niskac (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia) – “Life is all about work”: Growing Food as Lifestyle Politics

Pavao Zitko (University of Perugia, Italy) – Ultramodern Man as a State of Consciousness

The 7th generation of fellows will start their collaboration with a working meeting scheduled for 23 February, 2018 at the University or Rijeka.

The 2018-2019 Spring CAS SEE Fellowship Awards winners will be announced on March 19, 2018 at a public event following the 5th anniversary of the Center for Advanced Studies founding at the University of Rijeka.

AUTUMN 2017 CAS SEE FELLOWSHIP RECIPIENTS

The Center for Advanced Studies – Southeast Europe (CAS SEE) is pleased to announce the recipients of the Autumn 2017 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. Fellows will present their work within the CAS Collegium, creating an intellectually heterogeneous atmosphere and fostering a productive self-examination or even friction, which may lead to new and unexpected ideas and innovation.

Please join us in congratulating the following Autumn 2017 CAS SEE Fellowship Awards, University of Rijeka recipients:

Mónica Cano Abadía (Zaragoza, Spain) The Re-Radicalization of Critical Thinking: Toward a Global Social Justice.

Gerrit Wegener (Berlin, Germany) Continuous architecture. The most living act of memory.

Olimpia Giuliana Loddo (Cagliari, Italy) Investigation on the Ontology of Normative Pictures.

Nataša Janković (Belgrade, Serbia) Architectural terRI[s]tories: Mapping the process of city transformation.

Davide Pala (Torino, Italy) World Poverty, Radical Inequalities and Neo-Republicanism.

Carlo Burelli (Milano, Italy) A Theory of Order.

CAS SEE FELLOWS INAUGURATION

The Center for Advanced Studies – Southeast Europe (CAS SEE) at the University of Rijeka organized the 5th Fellows Inauguration at the University Campus Akvarij caffé on Thursday, March 16, 2017.

The Fellows will stay and work at the CAS SEE premises in the following ten months divided in two terms (Spring and Autumn 2017/2018) and present their research to the representatives of the University, the Academia and the public.


Themes of their research are relevant for the current social and humanistic political debates which focus on:
1.            Making Inclusive Cities: Towards Participatory Governance Practices 
2.           Critical Theory

During their stay in Rijeka, the CAS-SEE fellows will, according to their research themes and proposals, be involved in the work of the Sweet&Salt flagship, hosted by the CAS SEE, within the Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture project.

The fifth generation of CAS SEE Fellows was welcomed by:
Vice-rector for Students and Studies, Full Prof. Snježana Prijić-Samaržžija, Ph.D., Rector-elect at the University of Rijeka, Executive director of CAS SEE, Ass. Prof. Sanja Bojanić, Ph.D., Vice-Dean for International relations at the Academy of Applied Arts in Rijeka, Irena Kregar – Šegota, Development and Strategic Partnerships Director, Rijeka 2020 Agency, Full Prof. Idis Turato, Sweet&Salt Flagship Director (Rijeka 2020 – ECOC)

Please join us in congratulating the following 2017-2018 Spring and Autumn CAS-SEE Fellowship Awards, University of Rijeka recipients:

SPRING 2017

Mateja Kurir  (Ljubljana, Slovenia) Architecture as ideology: the perspectives of critical theory from modernism to the present
Gruia Badescu (Oxford University, UK) Spatializing Cultural Policies and Activism in Croatia and Romania: A Comparative, Transnational Study
Marek Szilvasi (Budapest, Hungary) Between Commodity and Common Public Good: Access to Water and its Relevance for Roma People in Europe
Natasha Sardžoska (Skopje, Macedonia) Mapping of spatial memory in limitrophe cities, landscapes, borders and bodies in Istria
Gregor Moder (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia) Critical Theory. Truth in Politics: Comedy, Sophistry and Critique
Marija Ott Franolić (Zagreb, Croatia) Read, Think, Act