On Mothers and Daughters with Mira Furlan

The upcoming January premiere of the Autumn Sonata by Ingmar Bergman at the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc in Rijeka was a great motive for another collaboration of scientific and art institutions in Rijeka. This time, the theme of engagement was a contemplation on the specifics and challenges of a complex mother – daughter relationships.

Bergman’s piece opens multiple challenges emerging from the concept of this relationship. The most obvious one might be that of a conflict as a common theme in general displays of women’s relations and with it related misogynist, patriarchal matrix “guarding” the possibilities of affirmative and exclusively women’s connections.

On the other side, “(women’s) family romances” are a counterpoise of an equally limited rhetorical reach. The emerging question therefor might be: what are and what could be the vocabularies of presenting this specific relationship and parenting in general, as a socially important, closely monitored and regulated agency? The talk On Mothers and Daughters led by Mira Furlan, Olga Dimitrijević, Sanja Milutinović Bojanić and Brigita Miloš,  organized by Center for Women’s Studies (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences), Center for Advanced Studies – South East Europe and The Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc in Rijeka was held on November 24, 2016 at the University Campus in Rijeka.


Following his lecture at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, professor Florian Bieber, Ph.D. held a seminar on the subject of current political developments in the U.S. and Europe and the complex life of academia, in dialogue with the fourth generation of CAS SEE Fellows at the University of Rijeka.


Crisis of Democracy in Southeastern Europe

A lecture by Folrian Bieber, Ph.D., entitled “Crisis of Democracy in Southeastern Europe”, was held on Thursday, November 10, 2016 at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. The lecture was organized by Center for Advanced Studies – South East Europe in cooperation with Department of Cultural Studies at the University of Rijeka.

The talk explored if the current crisis of democracy is substantially new or whether it echoes patterns from the 1990s. In doing so, it contextulised the current crisis of democracy in the larger European context and examins the larger challenges to liberal democracy. The 1990s in the Western Balkans was characterized by authoritarian and semi-democratic regimes that combined multi-party elections with nationalist rhetoric and the privatization of the state to affiliated business interests. After regional move towards democratization in the early 2000s, the semi-authoritarian practices began re-appearing by the late 2000s and have by now firmly taking root. The talk will argue that the current semi-authoritarian systems structurally differ from those of the 1990s, yet draw on the inability of the hiatus of democratization to rupture the structural mechanisms that facilitate the return of authoritarian practices.

Florian Bieber, Ph.D., is a professor of Southeast European Studies and director of the Centre for Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz, Austria. He studied at Trinity College (USA), the University of Vienna and Central European University, and received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Vienna. Between 2001 and 2006 he worked in Belgrade (Serbia) and Sarajevo (Bosnia & Hercegovina) for the European Centre for Minority Issues. He is a Visiting Professor at the Nationalism Studies Program at Central European University and has taught at the University of Kent, Cornell University, the University of Bologna and the University of Sarajevo.


Social Inequalities on the Urban Periphery? Vocational Education, Ultras’ Participation and Cultures of Resistance in the Classroom

This project seeks to analyse processes of class production as manifest through educational ‘sorting’ mechanisms alongside passive/active forms of resistance present amongst pupils enrolled in vocational education (strukovne škole) on the urban periphery of Zagreb. The aim is to make a unique contribution to anthropological studies of educational ‘failure’ (Willis 1977; Evans 2008) alongside football youth subcultures, drawing on my previous work on all of these topics (Hodges and Stubbs 2016; Hodges 2016; 2015; 2014). Through semi-structured interviews and ethnographic observation, I will examine the relationship between the organised practices of a fan group (the Bad Blue Boys, hereon BBB) supporting the Zagreb based team GNK Dinamo and oppositional cultures of resistance in the classroom. These practices will be examined in the context of pupils’ life trajectories relating to the transition between school and work/unemployment, with a specific focus on class production. The urban peripheral context, where hierarchies associated with urban belonging are contested, adds a further class-related component to the study, as well as a distinctly post-Yugoslav flavor which will be contrasted and compared with the UK focused literature on class, educational failure, and fan practices.


While most European states are not able to create humane conditions for those who have fled war zone sin the Near East in recent years, the dedication of Europe’s civil society proves that solidarity is alive and that the vision of a democratic Europe will not be abandoned. Community action – whether in smaller communities or in larger cities – is becoming a guiding principle for many. As a result, actions and organizations from civil society strongly infulence European democracies, changing and reshaping them.

What kind of potential do these actions of civil society hold for the advancement of European democracies in connection with the most recent refugee movement? What can be learned from historical experiences with the wars in Yugoslavia, but also from current experiences in Sweden? How is the refugee movement changing European democracies and what can be learned from civil society’s activities, which have been emerging since last year?

The AKTIONSTAGE: REFUGEES – MIGRATION – DEMOCRACY, which are being supported by a number of organizations, are dedicated to exploring these questions from a theoretical and practical perspective and are attempting to understand the current situation through historical and geographic comparisons.

Find more information on the Aktionstage conference program and events here.

Organized by Initiative Minderheiten, Center for Advanced Studies South Eastern Europe (CAS SEE), ERSTE Stiftung, Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM), Asylkoordination österreich, arge region kultur, GBW Minderheiten and Interkulturelles Zentrum (iz), Karl-Renner-Institut.

In cooperation with ÖBB-Holding, Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien, Stadtkino im Künstlerhaus, REMESO (Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society, Linköping University), oiip – Österreichisches Institut für Internationale Politik, IDM (The Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe) and Donau-Universität Krems.


The Center for Advanced Studies Southeast Europe (CAS SEE) is pleased to announce the recipients of the Autumn 2016 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 2016 CAS SEE Fellowship Awards, University of Rijeka recipients:

Andrew Hodges (Manchester – UK)

Project – title: Social Inequalities on the Urban Periphery? Vocational Education, Ultras’ Participation and Cultures of Resistance in the Classroom 

Carlos González Villa (Madrid – Spain)

Project – title: The Slovene Reaction to the European Migrant Crisis: Class and Ideology at the edge of Schengen

Deana Jovanovic (Manchester –  UK)

Project – title: Industrial Urban Spaces: after Yugoslavia

Anton Markoč (Budapest –  Hungary)

Project – title: It’s Not the Thought that Counts: The Irrelevance of Intentions to the Moral Blameworthiness of Actions

Ernesto C. Sferrazza Papa (Torino – Italy)

Project – title: Walls and bodies: a philosophical research on the material government of human mobility

Philosophy and Architecture: Inequality in the City

The «Philosophy and Architecture: Inequality in the City» course took place at the IUC in Dubrovnik and engaged its participants in topics related to the political and urban implications of social injustice in cities from the 19th to the 24th of September. Almost thirty participants from eight countries contributed to the course by providing culturally specific and well-researched insights into the many dimensions of social stratification.

The course was lead by three renowned lecturers. The visitors Jo Wolff, the current Blavatnik Chair in Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University, and Avner de Shalit, the Max Kampelman Professor of Democracy and Human Rights at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Elaborating issues related to their latest joint project, Disadvantage (2007.), Wolff and de Shalit presented the participants with a deeply humanistic, practical, analytical and minutely precise study of the policies necessary to appropriately address poverty and inequality in urban environments. They lead the course along Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, the Vice rector at the University of Rijeka and the director of the CAS SEE initiative. Prijić-Samaržija presented a continuation of her enticing work on the philosophical notions of proper governance, smart cities and the epistemological implications of social injustice.


True to its title, the course strived to connect and unify political philosophy and architecture in a way completely unlike previous notions of philosophy of architecture. The participants came from diverse academic backgrounds, ranging from university professors and exchange students to practicing architects and political theorists. By combining the theoretical groundwork provided by fields such as social epistemology and political philosophy with the architects’ empirical experience, the course provided an all-inclusive and informative vision of the developmental potential of cities. While the philosophers elaborated the ethical, political and epistemological dimensions of poverty, social credibility, work and leisure, migrations, inclusiveness, gender equality and governing, the participating architects and cultural theorists presented a starting image of the way political misbalance and social trends manifest themselves in spatial aesthetic identity.


Marking the beginning of a highly promising future collaboration, the course is to be followed by a series of similarly conceived conferences pertaining to both philosophy and architecture. In order to insure equal representation, philosophers and architects will replace each others as course leaders every two years, allowing them to place focus on topics of particular interest. Such collaboration has given way to more profound recognition of an interdisciplinary approach to civic engagement, urban reinvention and socio-political justice and stability. Philosophy and architecture have proven to complement each other with a balance of the intellectual and the practical, enriching all the students and lecturers with the ability to consciously analyse the structure of life in cities. Thus, all the participants have managed to emerge from the course in many ways more human than they had been upon entering. Combining theory and practice allowed for a melding of values and the participants enabled others to view social issues from completely new perspectives.


The “Philosophy and Architecture” course has shown potential to further develop the agenda of the Rijeka ECOC 2020 project and particularly its flagship, “Sweet and Salt”.  The ECOC creative team can greatly benefit from treating the urban development or degeneration presented throughout the course as a welcome lesson on the nature of the policies necessary to define Rijeka as a progressive city capable of rational reinvention.


What is Left in Diversity and what is Diverse in Left?

The panel discussion: “What is Left in Diversity and what is Diverse in Left?” was the last event of the CAS SEE “Rethinking Politics of Diversity” Rijeka summer school and was held at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (University of Rijeka) on Friday, September 16th, 2016.

The discussion was led by Felix Henkel (FES Regional Office, Sarajevo), Athena Athanasiou (Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens) , Adriana Zaharijevic (IFDT), Vuk Prica (Chair of the Youth Council, SDP, Primorje – Gorski Kotar County), Vedran Dzihic (CAS SEE) and moderated by Sanja Bojanic (CAS SEE).

“Crossing Roads: Civil Society and the Academia” round table

The “Crossing Roads: Civil Society and Academia” round table took place at the Rijeka City Hall on September 14th, 2016, as a part of the CAS SEE “Rethinking Politics of Diversity” summer school program, organised in cooperation with the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung – Zagreb, University Paris 8, Vincennes-St Denis and Center for Women’s Studies, University of Rijeka.

Hosted by Vojko Obersnel, M.Sc., Mayor, City of Rijeka, the round table participants examined the complex relationship between the academia and the civil society, providing their unique visions and sketching out possibilities of advanced cooperation on the basis of their experiences of being members of these intertwined communities.


Doris Kramaric / PaRiter, Rijeka

Lorena Zec / SOS Rijeka – centre for nonviolence and human rights

Vedran Obucina / Institute for European and Globalisation Studies

Nebojša Zelic / Faculty for Philosophy and Social Sciences, University of Rijeka

Bojana Culum / Faculty for Philosophy and Social Sciences, University of Rijeka  

Moderator: Danko Zitinic / University of Rijeka


The “Out of Sight: Poverty, Rurality, Gender” photo exhibition provides an intersectional approach to poverty and gender issues and presents us with photographs that were made as a result of a research project in the rural parts of Serbia and Kosovo.

Jelena Ceriman, Milos Kosovac (CELAP) and Kristina Smoljanovic (Center for Advanced Studies, University of Rijeka) presented us with the context of the ethno-sociological research whose aim was to show the (non) functioning of the social security system in these rural areas, particularly regarding certain facets of the population. The exhibition consisted of 28 out of a few hundred photographs made by people from different marginalized and invisible social groups: young women and girls, disabled persons, (permanently) unemployed people, citizens of rural areas without health care and/or any social security and people without formal education, painting a picture of the communities which are frequently represented only as numbers by the system.

Using a camera, girls, young women and women from rural parts of Kosovo and Serbia backed up the results and ethnographic materials provided by researchers, thus humanising the issues of poverty and social exclusion.

Other than in Serbia and Croatia, the exhibition will be presented in Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo, Germany and Macedonia. It will be accompanied by a series of debates on the subjects of social security issues and the protection of citizens within the region and the UN.

The exhibition is a part of the Summer school “Rethinking Politics of Diversity” program and will be open throughout its duration, September 12th – September 16th, 2016.