Good News for Balkan Studies
[ In eigener Sache ]
We won't be able to save them, of course, but we, the Kk.rev team and esp. Maximilian Hartmuth from the Balkan Cities Weblog, are happy that the Austrian Ministry for Science and Research (BMWF) will be funding the Workshop Balkan Studies - Quo Vadis? to be held in April.
The concept stems from Maximilian Hartmuth, organisation is done by Kk.rev and the IDM, funding by the Austrian Ministry for Science and Research (BMWF).
Vantage point is the current crisis in Balkan Studies and their ambivalent status of either national histories or area studies. Evidently Balkan Studies are in search for a disciplinary home as also shown by the many recent attempts to do 'Post/Colonial Balkan Studies', in which Kk.rev has been involved, too. Either way, the predicament of Balkan Studies is between stereotype, nostalgia and Europeanization. Apart from the again outstanding territorial definition of the Balkans, which grosso modo doesn't exist any more, since it - parts of it - whatever it was - has become the Westbalkans.
The workshop's objective will be to provide a record of the discipline, its history and institutionalisation in study centres in and outside the region; to explore the anatomy of academic inquiry into this region, with the objective to "diagnose" strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and "threats".
Can it be called a discipline at all, or should we speak of several schools of Balkan Studies, with diverging commitments or resistance to, for example, theory, interdisciplinarity, communication with other (perhaps more developed) schools of history and related social sciences? Which are the topics privileged by agents of Balkan Studies, and what impact does this have on the reception of the Balkans in the academic and non-academic sphere?
How do current events (e.g. wars and conflicts, 9/11) influence the research in the field and its foci? To which extent are Balkan Studies, today as in the past, integrated with other “area studies”, such as that of "Eastern Europe" (a survivor), "Central Europe", or the Middle East? What is the impact of funding schemes on the area and its positioning?
Venue: HS, Inst. Slawistik, AAKH / Campus
The programme is to be found here, the abstracts are available as Balkan Studies 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and as pdf.