When it comes to this year’s fellowship, it’s almost difficult not to get excited about contemporary social sciences and the things we do at CAS SEE here in Rijeka. In between two Weekly Seminars, we have gathered again on Thursday at ten to share more about what each of the Spring Fellows is researching and the ways in which their work communicates to the (post)pandemic reality, as well as our own – holding the first Digital Fellowship at CAS SEE.

This Thursday we heard from Ondřej Císař, Professor at the Charles University in Prague and one of our Spring Fellows. His presentation entitled “Changing Climate: Varieties of Environmental Political Mobilization” opened a space to discuss about the newly arisen political agents (seemingly) making way for new ecological purposes – in forms of social movements. More importantly, Císař inquires about the stratification of these agents (parties) within a political system: how their positioning and the ways in which they operate speak about the (actual) impact that they have on bringing ecologically charged changes – movements, within contemporary (European) democratic frameworks.

The second part of our meeting was dedicated to our Fellow Guglielmo Feis who introduced to us the idea of Digital Humanities (How (a Bit of) Programming Can Make Us Better Researchers), with the emphasis on the “new form of literacy” – (basic) programming (skills). Although certainly enthusiastic about (the philosophy behind) the contemporary digital tools, Feis also pointed out certain aspects of “digital conforming(s)” or “dubious standardization(s)”, touching upon the potentials of the digital to contribute to and strengthen democratic development, as well as the possibilities of their misuse.

An indicative common ground can be found in the last Thursday’s (June 4th) lectures, one which also correlates to some of our Guest’s subjects and that is the active side of the contemporary, transforming democracies, and a large number of levels wherein (informed and compassionate) social action (citizen activity) is coming to the forefront as a necessity of our time(s).