BSTP 2018 WORKSHOP
The goal of this workshop, which will be held in Prizren, Kosova, in the summer of 2018 is to orient current decolonial and postcolonial discourses towards post-socialist Balkan countries. The workshop will gather international scholars, activists and artists to discuss and analyze anti-capitalist politics, feminism, critical race theory and postcolonialism in the context of Kosova, specifically, and eastern Europe, generally. Hence, the workshop will draw attention to places traditionally deemed unphilosophical as sites of theoretical and practical resistance.
Post-socialist Balkan states are currently in a condition of economic and political devastation after years of war and unfulfilled promises to join Europe. One of the most common theoretical frameworks employed to theorize this situation is transition politics, which denotes the transition from socialism to democratic capitalism. While transition politics used to refer to the transition from any political rule to another, it now refers exclusively to the transition from socialism to democratic capitalism—the natural end of history’s movement. It represents the belief in democracy, free elections, and capitalism to finally bring peace, stability, and economic prosperity. Thus, international imposition in the Balkans is enforced with the promise of EU membership and, in turn, political and economic stability. Since the telos is determined, what remains to be controlled are the socio-economic circumstances in which capitalism can blossom. Transition politics is driven by the EU’s civilization mission as dictated by Eulex, Nato, IC, World Bank, IMF, US Embassy, and USAID among others. All the brutal mechanisms of transition are justified through the rhetoric of development, economic prosperity and peace. Stabilizing the region is a priority from which economic integration and development can follow.
Given the current situation in the Balkans, the workshop will address the following questions:
In what ways can discourse on decoloniality and postcolonialism help us address and analyze the current situation of post-socialist Balkan countries?
How does the status of European countries that are not EU members change our conception of Europe and hence the distinction between West and East?
What is at stake in capitalist logic that employs stability and security as the condition for the development of capitalism?
How has the history of racial and ethnic discrimination of Balkans by Western Europe informed the nature of political intervention in the region which has resulted in greater economic and socio-political devastation?
What is the relation between the racial and ethnic discrimination and politics that have “appeasement” and “peace” at their center?
How has transition politics and the “civilizing mission” of Europe foreclosed or opened up possibilities for non-heteronormative sexualities and/or gender expression in the Balkans?
How has queer identity become politicized in the campaign to Europeanize the Balkans?
 For example: Krytyka Polityczna, Polands’ Democratic Left Alliance, the Polish Socialist Party, Croatia’s Subversive festival, Slovenia’s The United Left, Kosova’s Movement for Self-Determination, and many more.
 To join Europe, insofar as the European Union demarcates where Europe begins and ends. Not to be a part of the European Union is, today, not to be a European country.
The goal of the Balkan Society for Theory and Practice workshop this year will be to focus postcolonial and decolonial studies on the Balkans. The workshop will be a collaborative space for sharing and workshopping research projects. Papers should be works in progress, open to development in response to feedback. Participants will be asked to share their papers before we gather on July 18th in Prizren. This will ensure that each participant has had sufficient time to review the material. The workshop format will consist of a 20-25 minute presentation of the key points discussed in the paper, followed by a general discussion, questions, and feedback from the group. We will discuss two papers per day, reserving approximately 2 hours per paper.
Evening programs will include screenings of regional films and documentaries, as well as parties with local music/musicians;
guest lectures and panels;
teach-ins organized by the workshop participants from the larger Prizren community.
Lunch is provided each afternoon following the workshop. A portion of the program fee will go to local Prizren women who have graciously offered to cater our meetings. Dietary restrictions will be accommodated to the best of our abilities. Please contact us for more information.
Kino Lumbardhi is wheelchair accessible. For more information about special accommodations, please contact us.
The first and last days of our program will include receptions following an afternoon of workshopping. Drinks and snacks will be provided for all the participants. A portion of the program fee will go toward reception catering services.
The workshop will take place in English.
Wifi and projectors will be available. Printing shops are available in the city, close to the workshop, for affordable printing.
PDF of the program:
PDF of the 2018 BSTP Poster:
Ajkuna Tafa obtained her M.A. degree in Anthropology at the University of Tuebingen, Germany and received Ph.D. training in Anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center in NY. Her research interests include post-Socialism, decoloniality and race within Socialist globalization during the Cold War, particularly the racial notions that informed the China - Albania relationship in the eve of the Cultural Revolution. An editor, translator and linguist, she has worked as an educational consultant in Japan and has recently moved back to New York, where she works as a public speaking lecturer at the John Jay College and as an educational liaison at the Goethe-Institut NY.
Dr. Boris Buden is a philosopher, translator and cultural theorist. He has published widely in areas including philosophy, politics, cultural and art criticism. Buden is a fellow at the European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies (EIPCP) in Vienna and he teaches cultural theory at Bauhaus University.
Elife (Eli) Krasniqi is an anthropologist, feminist activist and writer. Krasniqi did her M.A. in Sociology at the New School for Social Research in New York. She is a Ph.D. candidate in History and Social Anthropology at Karl Franzens, University of Gras. For more than fifteen years, as a civil society feminist activist she conceptualized, developed and led project mainly on gender issues. Her research interests and publications include studies on family, gender, social history, social movements and collective memory in SEE. Krasniqi is a co-founder and director of Alter Habitus, a feminist institute for studies in society and culture in Prishtina.
Dr.Linda Gusia is a sociologist and feminist activist. She teaches at the University of Prishtina, Department of Sociology. She graduated from NYU (2003) and holds a Ph.D. from University of Prishtina (2016). Her research interests are gender, sexuality, nationalism, collective memory in the context of conflict and war, public spaces, cites, social movements. As part of her Ph.D. research she interrogated ambiguities of nationalism and gender by looking both at the women movement in Kosovo and sexual violence as a strategy of war, looking closely at the politics of gender representation visually and textually.
Dr. Paola Bacchetta is professor and vice chair of Pedagogy in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at University of California, Berkeley. She directs: the graduate Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender and Sexuality; the Gender and Women’s Studies major and minor; and the LGBT minor. She is former Coordinator of the Gender Consortium at Berkeley, which represents all Berkeley research and teaching units on gender. Bacchetta is author or contributing co-editor of the following book length works: Co-Motion: On Feminist and Queer Alliances (forthcoming with Duke University Press); Femminismi Queer Postcoloniali (Queer Postcolonial Feminisms, with Laura Fantone, Italy, Ombre Corte, 2015); Gender in the Hindu Nation (Delhi, India: Women Ink, 2004); Right-Wing Women: From Conservatives to Extremists around the World (with Margaret Power, Routledge 2002); Textes du Mouvement Lesbien en France, 1970-2000 (DVD, with Claudie Lesselier, 2011); Global Racialities: Empire, Post-Coloniality, and Decoloniality (with Sunaina Maira, forthcoming, Routledge). She is currently co-editing the anthology Fireflies: Writings by Lesbians of Color in France, 1970s to Present with Nawo Crawford; and the book Fatima Mernissi For Our Times with Minoo Moallem. Bacchetta has published over fifty articles in professional journals and book chapters. She has been an activist in queer of color, anti-racism, decolonial, lesbian and feminist movements throughout her life, in the U.S., France, India and Italy. For access to her publications: http://berkeley.academia.edu/PaolaBacchetta
Dr. Marina Gržinić is a philosopher, theoretician and artist from Ljubljana. She is a professor and research adviser at the Institute of Philosophy at the Scientific and Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Science and Arts. She is also a full professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria. Her research interests include ideology, technology, biopolitics/necropolitics, transfeminism and decoloniality. In addition to her work on video art, she has published numerous books and collection of texts, such as Border Thinking: Disassembling Histories of Racialized Violence (The Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna and Sternberg Press, Berlin 2018).
Dr. Nita Luci is a lecturer at the Department of Anthropology and the conceptual Art Program, at the University of Prishtina. Her research focuses on topics of gender and manhood, ethnography of state, social movements, public art, memory and violence. She is the co-founder of the program for Gender Studies and Research at the Faculty of Philosophy, UP. She has participated and lead a number of national and international research, teaching, and publishing projects. She was a visiting scholar and fellow at the Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth. Her publications include: The Making of Citizenship Against Corruption in Kosovo: Protest, Lies, and the Public Good (2016), "Our Men Will Not Have Amnesia": Civil Engagement, Emancipation, and Gendered Public in Kosovo (With Linda Gusia, 2014); Un/welcomed Guests: Nato Intervention in Kosovo (2011), and much more.
Dr. Tjaša Kancler is an activist, researcher and associate professor at the Department of Visual Arts and Design at the University of Barcelona. They hold a Ph.D. in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona. Dr. Kancler has published on decolonizing transgender, non-Eurocentric academia, decoloniality, trans*imaginary, bodies, borders and zonification. They have been a part of Berlinale Talent Campus 2009, Decolonizing Knowledge and Life through Theory and Art, Vienna 2011; Material Matters in Times of Crisis Capitalism, Transnational Feminist and Decolonial Approaches, Giessen 2014; Decolonizing the Museum, MACBA 2014; Postcolonial and Postsocialist Dialogues: intersections, opacities, challenges in Feminist Theorizing and Practices, Linköping 2015; Decolonizing Transgender in North, Karlstad 2016, and more.
Dr. Piro Rexhepi holds a Ph.D. in Politics from University of Strathclyde. He is currently a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. His research interests include the politics of (post)socialist sexuality in Kosova and Bosnia, LGBTQ activism in post-Yugoslavia, Islam in Eastern Europe, orientalism and homonationalism. His publications include "The Politics of (Post)Socialist Sexuality," "Unmapping Islam in Eastern Europe Periodization and Muslim Islamophobia and Europeanization in Kosovo," and many more
Dr. Sezgin Boynik lives and works in Helsinki. He has completed his Ph.D. in Jyväskylä University, Social Science department, on the cultural politics of Black Wave in Yugoslavia from 1963 to 1972. His research focuses on the relation between aesthetics and politics, punk, cultural nationalism, Situationist International, and Yugoslavian cinema. He has co-edited "Nationalism and Contemporary Art" (with Minna L. Henriksson, Rhizoma & EXIT, Prishtina, 2007), co-authored "History of Punk and Underground in Turkey, 1978-1999" (with Tolga Guldalli, BAS, Istanbul, 2008). He has published extensively on contemporary art, historical materialist aesthetics, Dusan Makavejev, Godard, anti-formalism, and much more. He is an editor of Rab-Rab: Journal for Political and Formal Inquiries in Art.
Andrés Fabián Henao Castro is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Boston. His research deals with the relationships between ancient and contemporary political theory, via the prisms of de-colonial theory and poststructuralism. He is currently working on a book that explores different subject-positions and forms of agency imagined in the theoretical reception of Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone. His recent publications include the article “Nietzsche and Haiti: The Post-Colonial Rebirth of Tragedy” (forthcoming in Theory & Event), “Slavery in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave: Alain Badiou, Jacques Rancière, and the Militant Intellectual from the Global South” (Theatre Survey); “Can the Subaltern Smile? Oedipus Without Oedipus” (Contemporary Political Theory); and “Antigone Claimed: ‘I am a Stranger!’ Political Theory and the Figure of the Stranger” (Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy). He is also a member of the international research network Performance Philosophy and a columnist for the online journal of political analysis Palabras al Margen (Words at the Margins).
Ashley Bohrer is a feminist, activist, writer, translator, teacher, and all-around badass based in Syracuse, NY. Among other organizations, she has organized with Jews for Justice in Palestine, Feminist Uprising to Resist Inequality and Exploitation (FURIE), Occupy Chicago, the Coalition Against Corporate Higher Education (CACHE), Jewish Voice for Peace, and the Center for Jewish Nonviolence. She holds graduate degrees in both Philosophy and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Since completing her PhD, Ashley has been teaching postcolonial philosophy, critical prison studies, ecofeminism, and intersectional theory at the university level. She has studied, taught, or held research positions in the United States, France, China, and Germany. When she’s not behind the megaphone or buried in books, she’s usually cooking enough vegetarian food to feed a small revolutionary army.
Christina Novakov-Ritchey is a scholar and interdisciplinary performance artist based in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Belgrade. CNR holds an M.A. in Culture and Performance from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where her thesis examined bajanje, a Balkan healing practice, as an aesthetic negotiation with sickness. Currently a doctoral student in UCLA’s Culture and Performance program, her dissertation explores labor, rurality, and the economics of performance in post-Yugoslav artistic collaborations. Her scholarly work is supported by the UCLA Graduate Research Mentorship Program and the U.S. Department of State Program for Research and Training on Eastern Europe and Eurasia (Title VIII). As a performance artist, CNR has most recently presented her performance work in Los Angeles at One-Night Stand, Highways Performance Space, and the 18th Street Arts Center; in Trevi, Italy at Palazzo Lucarini; and in Houston, Texas at Rice University. Continually weaving together her artistic and scholarly practices, CNR’s primary areas of interest include social aesthetics, rural temporalities, post-socialist performance, and anarchist anthropology.
Clémence Beugnot is currently completing her Research master in Development Studies (“Developing societies and political restructuring”) at the University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. Her fields of interest include Migration, Gender Studies, Development policies and social movements in Balkan region and iGreece. In parallel, she has been working as a volunteer and activist on feminist issues, with prisoners, and with asylum seekers in Paris and Dunkirk. She also contributed to the organization of the international meeting Times of Resistance with citizens resisting democratic regression in Europe in CZKD (Center for Cultural Decontamination, Belgrade).
Ebru Suleyman is an independent researcher from Prishtina. She has completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Ankara Universities’ Political Sciences Faculty in the International Relations programme, after which she spent a year in Middle Eastern Technical University studying European Cultures. She then completed a Master’s Degree in International Affairs in American University. Her research interests currently concentrate on nationalism, culture, and identities.
Ervjola Selenica holds a PhD in International Studies from the University of Trento Italy. She has a BA in International Relations and Political Science from the University of Bologna, Italy, an MSc. in International Development Studies from the University of Amsterdam (with Distinction), the Netherlands and a post-graduate diploma on Peace and Conflict from the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Norway. She has worked for the International Training Programme for Conflict Management (Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa - Italy) and as a consultant for UNESCO, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack, FRIDE/European Parliament, the Kosovo Foundation for Open Society and the Norwegian Students' and Academics' International Assistance Fund. Her research interests include the political economy and politics of education reforms, state building and state formation in war and post-war settings, peacebuilding, conflict, critical security and the global governance of aid and development. Ervjola has a country expertise on Kosovo and East Timor.
Franziska Singer studied History, Religious Studies and Southeast Asian Studies in Berlin and Melbourne. After working for several years at ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, she re-entered the academy. Currently, she is completing her PhD in Religious Studies at the University of Marburg in Germany. Her research focuses on young Muslim women in Sarajevo and their self-positioning as European and Muslim in different contexts.
Hajrije Kolimja graduated from DePaul University with Distinction, having studied English and Philosophy. While at DePaul, she became a scholar at the Newberry Library where she performed research that culminated into the work, “Barbarian Love in Eighteenth Century Britain’s Skënderbeg Narrative,” an analysis of the usage of female bodies in three Christian propaganda plays. She is currently a Fulbright semi-finalist to Albania with the hopes to continue research for her first novel which explores Albanian-American experience, particularly focusing on cultural and religious consequences of intimacy for Albanian females.
Joanna Zielinska conducts her research in the Balkans, mainly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, since 2011. Her primary interests are in the fields of the politics of memory and the identity formation in the countries of ex-Yugoslavia; the multidimensional impact of foreign investments and presence in the region; neocolonialism in Bosnia and Herzegovina; performativity of urban space; media, art and social representations of Sarajevo of the last 30 years; theatre in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Joanna is presently finishing her PhD thesis entitled “Heterotopy Sarajevo. The Urban Space as a Stage and Representation” in the Department of Performance Studies at Jagiellonian University. She combines her academic practice with performative research. For many years she cooperated with Sarajevo War Theatre on numerous projects. In 2015 Joanna founded an interdisciplinary project Sarajevo Mind Map. The focus of the project was the urban space and its different representations. It served as an art platform that was open to a dialogue with the local community and offered an exchange place between artists coming from different countries and various artistic and professional fields. The outcomes of the project were a dance performance, exhibition, workshops for children and adults. In 2016 her documentary film about Sarajevo "Sarajevo Femme Fatale" premiered at Sarajevo Film Festival and traveled around Europe. Joanna is also an author of numerous publications.
Juliane Rahn, born in a German country that does not exist anymore. Studied dramaturgy in Munich and Cracow, Poland. Up until 2012, she worked in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, i.a. for the performance collective Nevid Teatar (»Robert Bosch Cultural Managers in Central and Eastern Europe«). She is currently working on her doctorate in theater studies on »Theater and Performance, Public Sphere and Citizenship in post/socialist Yugoslavia since 1980 (with a special focus on Bosnia and Herzegovina)«, at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, in cooperation with the DFG research group »Cultures of Critiques« at the Leuphana University Lüneburg). Freelance dramaturge and cultural journalist, i.a. with CADAM. and Fortis Green Film+Media (Munich), with ArtPole Agency (Kiev) and Haveit (Prishtina). Since 2017 she is based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Liberal zoopolist and long-distance runner.
Kasia Narkowicz works on the intersections of race, religion and gender in Poland. She is interested in the ways that Otherness is constructed and Others are excluded in post-communist and post-colonial spaces. Kasia holds a PhD from the University of Sheffield in the UK and have since held postdoctoral posts at the University of Cambridge, Södertörn University and University of York. Originally from Poland, Kasia is usually based in the UK but has recently spent a year in Delhi, India.
Mathias Klitgård Sørensen is a writer, translator, editor and queer activist currently based somewhere between Mexico City and Berlin. With an academic background in Philosophy (BA) and Migration and Gender Studies (MA), Mathias spends most of their time working through issues in critical theory, feminism, decolonial thought and anti-capitalism. This academic endeavour has been kept in constant dialogue with activist editorial work for the feminist periodical Hysteria and in collaboration with other critical journals on the left as well as LGBT and queer activism in various national and regional contexts. Mathias is currently working on projects related to the politics of time and the politics of nature through the lens of queer Marxism.
Marisola Xhelili: I am currently a PhD candidate in the Philosophy department at Marquette University, working on topics of social identity as they pertain to the Balkan region of Europe. Prior to beginning my graduate studies, I received my Bachelor of Arts from Skidmore College, where I spent four years between campus in New York and London, Paris, and the Balkans studying issues of colonization and conflict transformation. These interests have persisted and evolved during my time in graduate school, culminating with my upcoming dissertation research, which seeks to change the ways in which the Balkans are represented through the aid of Decolonial Theory and Africana Studies. In addition to my research on the Balkans, I am a part time lecturer at Marquette University as well as the co-founder and co-director of Engendering Dignity in Philosophy (EDIP). EDIP is a classroom based program that allows incarcerated women and social-justice-minded undergraduates to collaboratively study topics of gender and freedom in both the prison and university context, and allows full-time faculty and graduate students to collaboratively transform pedagogy in more inclusive directions. I attribute my research and activism interests to growing up in post-communist Albania and, later, in American inner-cities with an immigrant status. Both social positions have shaped my understanding of the meanings that come to bear on social inferiority, as well as enriched my abilities to—from this position—critique and re-inform how we think about and engage with the legacies of our (personal and collective) past. When I’m trying to not be so serious, I make perfume.
Marko Ilic is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at UCL SSEES. His current research project explores the intersections between contemporary art and politics in post-socialist societies, focusing on the post-Yugoslav context. This project stems from his PhD, which was the first comprehensive study of Yugoslavia's alternative art spaces between 1965-1989, known as Students’ Cultural Centres. He has a forthcoming article in Third Text and contributed a chapter to Collaboration and its (Dis)Contents (Courtauld Books Online, 2017). He is also currently working on a monograph titled Self-Management: The New Art Practice in Yugoslavia, 1966-1989. Before joining SSEES, he worked as an Associate Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art and as a Teaching Fellow in Art History at Newcastle University.
Nadiya Chushak (PhD, Melbourne University, Australia) is an independent researcher and queer activist. Explores identity and memory politics, and post-socialist transformations. Teaches in Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and outside of academia.
Vernon Shukriu, born in 1994, is a philosopher from Prizren. He has completed his BA in Philosophy at the University of Prishtina and will commence his MA in Political Philosophy at Radboud University in Nijmegen. His research operates on the "continent of knowledge opened up by Marx" and at the core of his present endeavours lies the colossal oeuvre of Louis Althusser.
Yulia Serdyukova is a photographer, producer and script-writer for documentary films, and queer activist. She has produced three feature-length and two short films, among which are “Delta” (dir. Oleksandr Techynskyi, Ukraine-Germany, 82 mins, 2017) and “The Fall of Lenin” (director Svitlana Shymko, Ukraine, 11 minutes, 2017).
(Transform! Europe is partially financed through a subsidy from the European Parliament).
Image above: Untiled, from the series "Imagined States and Desires: A Balkan Journey." Kosovo, 1999 © Vanessa Winship