BALKAN SOCIETY FOR THEORY AND PRACTICE MISSION
The Balkan Society for Theory and Practice (BSTP) is an academic society based in Kosovo. The mission of BSTP is to create a platform for critical research and academic and artistic collaboration in the Balkans. BSTP provides a platform for the expression and realization of subversive and challenging ideas, exchange of research and projects, and a space for networking and solidarity building between local and international scholars, activists, journalists, and artists. As a women-led society, BSTP aims to build a safe environment for discussion between people of all genders, sexual orientations, races, and abilities. Our mission is to draw attention to places traditionally deemed unphilosophical as sites of theoretical and practical resistance.
The primary project of Balkan Society for Theory and Practice is our annual workshop. These workshops ask how contemporary international political issues uniquely impact Eastern Europe. BSTP’s first workshop was held in 2018, in Prizren, Kosova. The goal of this workshop was to orient current decolonial and postcolonial discourses towards post-socialist Balkan countries as well as to critically dissect the implemented neoliberal reforms in these countries. Our 2019 workshop, which will be held in Prishtina, Kosova, considers whether nationalism is obsolete. For more information on this year’s workshop, please click here.
BALKAN SOCIETY FOR THEORY AND PRACTICE WORKSHOP MISSION
The goal of the BSTP annual workshop is to establish and expand a diverse community of local and regional scholars to produce well-grounded discussions and research focused on contemporary economic and political issues in Eastern Europe. We believe that a workshop, as opposed to a traditional conference environment, is especially well suited to fulfil our mission of collaboration and research development. Participants share works in-progress, which encourages collaboration and the transformation of ideas.
The goal of BSTP annual workshops is to discuss themes that are crucial to the socio-political and socio-economic situations in the Balkans. We invite local and international lecturers and panellists to hold talks for the general public, and we provide a safe space that incentivises discussion on topics that are traditionally deemed controversial.
BALKAN SOCIETY FOR THEORY AND PRACTICE HISTORY
The Balkan Society for Theory and Practice was established in 2017 by Jeta Mulaj, Deniza Mulaj, and Jasmine Wallace. BSTP was a response to hierarchical academic workshops and conferences, of which the founders wrongly prioritized the work of invited speakers at the expense of conference participants’ own research. BSTP was also a response to the underrepresentation of Eastern Europe as a region, and European studies, in discussions about contemporary international politics. Issues emerging from decolonial and post-colonial discourses, for example, raise important critiques of Western Europe. However, these critiques all too often ignore the effects of colonialism internal to the European continent between Eastern and Western Europe. BSTP seeks to expand these important political conversations to include themes such as Orientalism, post-socialism, and borders as they are uniquely expressed in and through the Balkans.
Coming from backgrounds of philosophy and anthropology, the three founders of BSTP recognize the importance of expanding left-wing discourses and academic trends that focus exclusively on Western Europe to include Eastern Europe. BSTP was therefore established with several goals in mind: to create opportunities for Eastern European scholars, to support the work of international scholars, intellectuals, activists, artists, and students, to promote the work of regional thinkers on an international scale, and to expose international participants to the work of contemporary Balkan thinkers.
The Balkan Society for Theory and Practice is sensitive to the oppression of people based on their gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and abilities. We are committed to ensuring a safe space for oppressed gendered people of all backgrounds including cis-gendered women, trans men and women, and those who identify as non-binary.
BALKAN SOCIETY FOR THEORY AND PRACTICE TEAM
Jeta Mulaj is the co-founder and executive director at the Balkan Society for Theory and Practice. Mulaj is a philosophy PhD candidate at DePaul University, working on questions of capitalism and stability.
Deniza Mulaj is the co-founder and program manager at the Balkan Society for Theory and Practice. She is a Fulbright scholar working on post-war divided societies, ethnic and territorial divisions, peace-building and reconciliation missions. She holds a cultural anthropology M.A. from North Carolina State University.
Jasmine Wallace is the co-founder and program manager at the Balkan Society for Theory and Practice. Wallace is a philosophy PhD student at Villanova University working on black queer studies, philosophy of race, and trans* theory.
Jeta (Jetim) Luboteni is a member of the Balkan Society for Theory and Practice. Luboteni is a Masters student at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, studying Middle East and Islamic Studies. They are interested in the racialization of Islam and its impact on religious identity among the Albanian diaspora, as well as life outcomes of immigrants.
BSTP DONORS AND PARTNERS
Critical Theory Workshop