Lucija Polonijo

CAS SEE Seminars With Guests: Željko Ivanković

On Thursday, May 6th at 10 am (CET) we will host  CAS SEE Weekly Seminar with Željko Ivanković (Prague College) on “Cryptocurrencies and value neutrality of technology”.

The idea of author of Bitcoin network Satoshi Nakamoto was to create an electronic payment system without a ‘trusted third party’ which verifies transactions. His endeavour revives the understanding of technology, here embodied in an algorithm, as value neutral, as a pure means to an end. A comparison of essential characteristics of technology of cryptocurrencies with other types of money (metal money, paper money, book money, bank money) uncovers moral values in their technical solutions, besides the ideological arguments of advocates of crypto-money. From the evaluation an institutional nature of money emerges. The analysis of cryptocurrencies is inspired by examples from Sheila Jasanoff’s Ethics of Innovations and relies on a new legal theory of money.  

Željko Ivanković (Prague College) is an author, publisher, manager, university lecturer, and former diplomat from Zagreb, Croatia, having significant international experience. Željko was economic counsellor at the Embassy of Croatia in Tokyo and in Canberra. Earlier in his career he was a well known Croatian economic and political journalist. He received his PhD in political philosophy from the Australian National University. Željko has published several books and used to be a research director at the Croatian Banking Association; he was editor in chief of a leading Croatian financial magazine, Banka, and ran a Croatian publishing company SPO ltd (Contemporary Business Communications). 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 826 9490 6941
Passcode: 703483

Graffitied Memoryscapes: Virtual exhibition opening and online round table on research political graffiti

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, at 1:30 pm (CET)

An exhibition on the interrelations between landscapes, memory and graffiti in the post-Yugoslav space 

The exhibition is based on photos taken over the past decade by four researchers working in the former Yugoslavia: Roswitha Kersten-PejanićVjeran PavlakovićEric Ušić, and Kevin Kenjar. Each researcher has analyzed the political sentiments, ascriptions, and statements that are manifested and realized in the form of graffiti and other linguistic and semiotic signs located in the physical landscape. 

These images of the visual memoryscape from different parts of Croatia and other countries of the former Yugoslavia explicitly depict political conflicts and ideological premises, historical ruptures, and multiple layers of the past, as well as discourses of Othering and relations of in-group vs. out-group identification. Although the authors have approached these visual semiotics from various disciplines, they all share a common fascination with the graffitied memoryscape in this region of contested narratives and complex histories. 

The virtual opening of the exhibition will be complemented by a round table of experts on research on political graffiti and the semiotic landscape in different parts of Europe. Katharina Tyran from the University of Vienna will give an insight into her work on the ex-Yugoslav linguistic landscape in Vienna, Costas Canakis from the University of the Aegean will share some impressions of his extensive research in different cities and regions of Southeastern Europe and beyond.


Exhibition presentation “Graffitied Memoryscapes”

Eric Ušić, Kevin Kenjar, Vjeran Pavlaković and Roswitha Kersten-Pejanić

Discussion „Political graffiti in Southeastern Europe“

Katharina Tyran, Costas Canakis [and more to be announced later on]

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 884 1086 6038
Passcode: 131796

CAS SEE Seminars With Guests: Narine Harutyunyan Brod

On Thursday, April 22nd at 10 am (CET) we will host  CAS SEE Weekly Seminar with Narine Harutyunyan Brod on “Regulating Genetic Technologies: The Future of Human Reproduction“.

The seminar is presented and moderated by CAS SEE Fellow Desara Dushi.

The Seminar covers the issues related to modern-day reproduction through assisted reproductive technologies. New genetic technologies now allow potential parents to choose between a wide range of reproductive alternatives. One of the greatest benefits of these technologies is the ability to provide future parents with genetic information about the health status of their unborn children, which can be used to reduce births of children with severely disabling genetic diseases, or to alleviate or cure their painful and progressive genetic diseases. However, reproductive alternatives offered by new biotechnologies can often go beyond the medical necessity. The Seminar will focus on the main human rights issues that arise in parallel with the technological advancements in the field of human reproduction. 

Narine Harutyunyan Brod specialized in Medical Law and Bioethics, with a particular focus on reproductive rights. She has recently obtained a Ph.D. degree in ‘Law, Science and Technology’ from the University of Bologna, Italy. Her research interests and skills also encompass European, International, and comparative law for gene editing, preimplantation (prenatal) technologies, as well as commodification debates related to genetic technologies. Narine has been a visiting researcher at the University of Zurich and the Leibniz University. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., she has built a career as a legal expert at the Ministry of Justice of Armenia, where she analyzed and provided expert opinions on draft laws and regulations in the field of social legislation.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 836 8108 1864
Passcode: 065130


On Thursday, April 15th at 10 am (CET) we continued with “CAS SEE Weekly Seminar with Guests”, where we welcomed Josef Djordjevski whose presentation tracked the development and consequences of the idea that the Eastern Adriatic coast and its adjacent sea are “clean,” an idea that developed under Yugoslav socialism that has carried on into the 21st century.

The Coast is “Clean?”: Managing Water on the Eastern Adriatic Coastline of Yugoslavia and Croatia, 1972-2003.

Examining the processes by which different stakeholders at multiple levels of society sought to keep the Adriatic Sea “clean,” Djordjevski argues that the idea of cleanliness led to a contradictory approach to managing water on the coast. On the one hand, impressive attempts at environmental preservation and sustainability were initiated to keep the sea clean, while on the other hand, negative exploitative measures that seriously jeopardized the ecological health of the sea and the human populations living along the coast occurred. These mixed results were further complicated by conflicts within society over how the sea was perceived and treated and how the water was to be managed, as well as the role of the environment itself, which often showed its own active role in coastal management by exposing limitations.

By the late 1960s, the fragile but attractive eastern Adriatic coastline had experienced a wave of mass tourism that conflicted with industry and urbanization. In 1972, the leadership of socialist Yugoslavia initiated a project known as Adriatic III, which included a grandiose study to determine the environmental state of the coast. Leaders and stakeholders in the development of the coast unanimously concluded that their side of the Adriatic Sea was “clean” and in an ecologically healthy state. To them, this had a double meaning—on the one hand, it meant that conditions were ripe for further development, while on the other, it meant that protective measures needed to be put in place in order to keep the sea healthy and attractive. In essence, they devised a blueprint for sustainable development years before the term entered into common usage, but also established grounds for exploitation. The development of the idea of the Adriatic being a “clean” sea is one that has carried on into the present, with post-socialist Croatia also heavily relying on the notion to brand itself and attract tourists.

Josef Djordjevski is a Ph.D Candidate in History at the University of California, San Diego. His dissertation, advised by Professor Patrick Patterson, is an environmental history of the development of tourism on the Adriatic coast, and is based on research he compiled during the 2017 and 2018 academic years, funded by the University of California Chancellor’s Research Excellence Scholarship.

Watch the CAS SEE Weekly Seminar with Josef Djordjevski

“EVENINGS AT THE MOISE”: “Building of Hotel Cres, former city granary”

On Thursday, 1st April at the Moise Palace mag. art. Jasminka Ćus-Rukonić held a lecture on “Building of Hotel Cres, former city granary”. 

At the beginning of the XIX. in the whole of Europe, including Cres, the former city walls and all other city buildings that lost their previous role were abandoned, so the City of Cres sold the Praetorian Palace to private individuals, and began to use the Fontega building (granary) for its own purposes. At first, there was a city administration, for a time even a public school, and at the end of the XIX. century the building was sold and converted into a hotel. At the beginning of the 20th century, the hotel got another, second floor and a balcony on the first floor of the west facade.

This was the second lecture by Ćus-Rukonić in the Palace after she was a guest in the first season with the lecture “Coats of Arms” in the Moise Palace.

The lecture is available for watching at Moise Palace Facebook page:

“EVENINGS AT THE MOISE”: Life in the age of disease COVID-19 – the value of information in protecting the rights of vulnerable members of society

 We have continued with lectures for citizens at the Moise Palace on Thursday, 25th March with a lecture entitled “Life in the age of disease COVID-19 – the value of information in protecting the rights of vulnerable members of society.” The lecture was held by dr. sc. Dalida Rittossa and Dejana Golenko from the Faculty of Law, University of Rijeka.


They presented the results of interdisciplinary research conducted between employees of non-governmental organizations in Rijekathat provide support to victims of domestic violence and their beneficiaries on how to access and provide information on the protection of their rights during a pandemic. The purpose of this research is to stimulate discussion on this topic in the wider community.

The lecture is available for watching at Moise Palace Facebook page:

Spring 2021 CAS SEE Fellowship recipients

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

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

Valeria Graziano (Queen Mary University of London, UK)

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

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

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

Nikolina Židek (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain)

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

Bojan Bilić (University College London, UK)

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

Viktor Pál (University of Tampere, Finland)

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

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

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

Marko Luka Zubčić (University of Rijeka, Croatia)

Project – title: “Institutional Epistemology of Open Order”

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

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

CAS SEE Seminars with Guests: Čarna Brković

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

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

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

Watch the CAS SEE Weekly Seminar with Čarna Brković:

lifelong learning Program “Youth in Contemporary Society”

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


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

More about the program


CAS SEE Seminars with Guests: Larisa Kurtović

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

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

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


Watch the CAS SEE Weekly Seminar with Larisa Kurtović: