Archived events from the Centre for the Study of the Balkans.
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March 24, 6.30 pm GMT – Discussion on the film Homecoming: Marina Abramovic and Her Children (2020) with Boris Miljkovic, director and Jovana Karaulic, producer
Moderation: Dr Nada Zecevic, Department of History/Centre for the Study of the Balkans, Goldsmiths University of London
Panellist: Dr Aleksandar Brkic, Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship, Goldsmiths, University of London The screening of the film will be enabled to all attendees who register here before March 20 via a password protected link, so they can see the film prior to the discussion. The details of the access to the film and the discussion will be sent to the registered attendees via a separate email 22-23 March.
March 23, 6.30 pm GMT – Discussion on the film Exil/Exile (2020) with Visar Morina, film director
Moderation: Dr Nada Zecevic, Department of History/Centre for the Study of the Balkans, Goldsmiths University of London
The screening of the film will be enabled to all attendees who register here before March 20 via a password protected link, so they can see the film prior to the discussion. The details of the access to the film and the discussion will be sent to the registered attendees via a separate email 21-22 March. Watch the trailer here.
February 10, 7 pm - Diagnosing and Treating Disease in Byzantine Hospitals
Public Lecture by Petros-Bouras Vallianatos
Introduction: Dr Nada Zecevic, Goldsmiths University of London, Department of History
Moderation: Dr Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim, Goldsmiths University of London, Department of History
This talk focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of disease in Byzantine hospitals (xenōnes). It uses evidence from the corpus of surviving Byzantine hospital recipe books (xenōnika), including all the edited and unedited examples.
It also considers important non-medical sources, such as charters of medical institutions, legal sources, epistolography, and archaeological evidence. In this venture, particular attention will be paid to the role of uroscopy whether in conjunction with the examination of the pulse or not, in the diagnosis and prognostication of disease.
In the field of therapeutics, importance will be given to drug therapy, whether allied with dietetics and surgery or not, the impact of Arabic versus classical pharmacology, the introduction of expensive exotic substances, and the development of existing and new composite drugs in response to epidemic diseases, such as the Black Death. Finally, recipes for women’s diseases will be studied closely in an attempt to shed light on the level of the individualisation of the patient.
Petros Bouras-Vallianatos is a Wellcome Lecturer in History of Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He is a specialist in the history of medicine and pharmacology in the medieval Mediterranean, with a particular focus on Byzantium and on the cultural exchanges between the Christian and Islamic worlds.
He has published extensively on medieval medicine and pharmacology, offering editions of previously unpublished texts; the reception of the classical medical tradition in the Middle Ages; and Greek palaeography, including the first descriptive catalogue of the Greek manuscripts at the Wellcome Library.
His recently published monograph, Innovation in Byzantine Medicine: The Writings of John Zacharias Aktouarios (c. 1275-c. 1330) (Oxford University Press, 2020), highlights the late Byzantine innovative contributions to the fields of physiology, diagnosis, and therapeutics. He has also produced three edited volumes, including Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Galen. He is the PI of a five-year Wellcome funded project “Making and Consuming Drugs in the Italian and Byzantine Worlds (12th-15th c.)”.
December 2, 7pm (BST) - Reform and Renewal in Medieval East and Central Europe: Politics, Law and Society
Edited by Alexandru Simon, Éva B. Halász and Suzana Miljan (Cluj-Napoca – Zagreb – London: Romanian Academy – Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts – School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, 2019) – book presentation followed by a discussion on “The Balkans, The South-East Europe, the European East – the entangled histories of a concept?”
- Prof. Alexandru Simon (Romanian Academy, Center for Transylvanian Studies, Cluj-Napoca)
- Dr Éva B. Halász (Eötvös Loránd Research Network – Institute of Military History, Budapest – National Archives of Hungary Research Group for Medievistics)
- Dr Suzana Miljan (Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts), editors
- Professor Damir Karbić, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
- Dr Ljubica Perinić, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
- Dr Teodora Artimon, Trivent Publishing, Budapest
- Professor Martyn Rady, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London
Reform and Renewal in Medieval East and Central Europe: Politics, Law and Society represents a collection of papers authored by 30 scholars focusing on the history of medieval Central, East and South-east Europe.
By comparatively focusing on the development and transformation of the region’s medieval polities, their socio-legal interactions, and their urban development as a paradigm of the region’s convergences, the edition reflects a variety of historiographic experiences, all leading to the question of how we can approach the European East as a field of entangled medieval histories.
November 18, 7pm (BST) - After we Burnt Villages – Reading Film as History
Discussion on film Pretty Village, Pretty Flame (dir. by Srdjan Dragojević, 1995) by Dr Milja Radović, University of St. Andrews
Respondent: Fedja Štukan, actor, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Special guest: Srdjan Dragojević, film director, Belgrade, Serbia
In this Lecture, we will explore the ways in which we can read film as history. The overarching question that we seek to answer is: How can we understand the context [off-screen space] through the film?
In order to answer this question, we shall focus on the films produced during the 1990s conflict on the territory of former Yugoslavia. Through an analysis of film language [mise-en-scene, symbols, images, montage, sound and music, camera movement] we will assess the representations of the films’ ideological context.
Before we turn to the analysis of the films, the historical development of the Yugoslav cinema will be presented. Then, we will look at the selected films/scenes and analyse the film language, to finally discuss the relationship between the on-screen [what we see in the film] and off-screen space [what we do not see, the surrounding political context].
October 28, 7pm (BST) - New Identity Politics on Social Media among Serbian Londoners
Public lecture by Dr Sanja Vico, The London School of Economics and Political Science
Respondent: Professor Eric Gordy, School of Slavonic and East European Studies || University College London
Moderator: Dr Maurice Walsh, Department of History, Goldsmiths University of London
Dr Sanja Vico, LSE and Professor Eric Gordy, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL discuss identity politics on the ‘semi-periphery’
In the age when identity politics is being studied on various grounds, very little is known about the lives and experiences of the subjects on the ‘semi-periphery’. The ones who are neither part of the developed West, nor of developing countries and former colonies in the Global South, but those who occupy the space ‘in-between’.
Studies to date have demonstrated that due to this position of ‘in-betweenness’, sometimes coupled with the experience of discrimination or negative stereotyping, the semi-peripheral position is often fraught with chronic self-insecurity.
On the other hand, most studies of identity politics or politics of differences have looked at subcultures and organised attempts to challenge power and dominant representations, and thereby to redefine identities and one’s position in society. Thus, it has not been explored sufficiently if and how everyday spontaneous tactics of “blending in” and “standing out” can constitute what has been thought of as identity politics.
In her lecture, Dr Vico draws our attention to ordinary unremarkable communication practices of the subjects from the semi-periphery living in a global city – namely, Serbian Londoners. She argues that these almost invisible practices are often manifestations of identity politics aimed at reconstructing their national identity and consequently improving their position in society.
Dr Vico draws an ethnographic study of digital communication practices of Serbian Londoners, to identify a new form of subtle spontaneous identity politics on social media. This form of identity politics seeks to reassert this group’s national identity and presents it as both an “exotic” difference and “cosmopolitan”, i.e. the one that belongs to the world. She combines the analysis of social media affordances as well as diverse social factors, including users’ agency, to look at communication practices of this specific group on social media.
As Dr Vico argues, this form of identity politics has been brought about by social surveillance of the social media, the context of London as a global city, and the particular socio-historical circumstances that shaped the identity of the observed community.
Dr Vico shows that the identity politics of the Serbian Londoners is normatively ambivalent, representing, on the one hand, a source of empowerment, and, tending, on the other hand, to commodify their differences.
Dr Nada Zecevic presents at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds
Between July 6 and 10, Dr Nada Zecevic (History) took part in the International Medieval Congress (IMC). Since 1994, this Congress is organized by the Institute for Medieval Studies (IMS) of the University of Leeds and it represents the largest annual conference in any subject in the UK and the largest conference of its kind in Europe, regularly attracting over 2000 registered participants, and serving as a barometer for trends in Medieval Studies generally. Responding to the global challenges caused by the covid-19 crisis, this year’s Congress was held in a virtual environment, while its special thematic strand dealt with borders, covering a wide range of outlooks on physical boundaries and material borders to dynamic social and spatial relationships. In her paper 'Women with masculine characters'?: The Regencies of Noble Women in the East Adriatic and Latin Greece, 14th and 15th Centuries, Dr Zecevic focused on power relations that challenged gender construction among the elite of the late medieval Balkans. For the full programme of sessions and other events at this year’s v-IMC, see here.
"Making Films in Times of Political and Financial Crises": Workshop with Želimir Žilnik
Wednesday 13 November 2019, 2pm–5pm
Laurie Grove Baths
Making films under financial and political constraints remains an urgent topic in the current social climate. There is perhaps no better European filmmaker to explicate working in this climate than Yugoslav-Serbian director Želimir Žilnik. Žilnik has been active making films since the 1960s, always working with a strong political consciousness and a confrontational attitude to the status quo. From his debut feature film receiving the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1969 to his career retrospective at Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2019, Žilnik has constantly been one of the most vital and celebrated filmmakers on the European continent. On the occasion of his first UK survey program, at Close-Up Film Centre in London, he will lead a workshop at Goldsmiths for doctoral candidates working with the moving image and operating on the boundary between theory and practice. The workshop will consist of two parts; the first section involves a lecture with short screenings and discussions integrated, while the second part is student-led, inviting PhDs to contemplate their own research and projects in dialogue with Žilnik. Particular themes of emphasis include navigating political action and creative work, the ethics of filmmaking, working with fiction/nonfiction, and strategies of fundraising and organising. Food and drinks will be served. Early registration is recommended, as space is limited. This workshop is supported by the Centre for the Studies of the Balkans and offered free of charge.
This event is made possible by the generous support of CHASE.
A special programme of Želimir Žilnik's early documentary shorts will be shown at LUX on 17 November, and affiliated public programs include a symposium at Birkbeck on 15 November and a practice-based workshop at Goldsmiths on 13 November.
The Centre for the Studies of the Balkans is delighted to support the discussion on the monograph
The Great Cauldron: A History of Southeastern Europe
By Marie-Janine Calic (LMU Munich)
The discussion is hosted by IHR’s seminar on Rethinking Modern Europe and will take place on:
October 23, 5.30pm-7.30pm at the IRH, Wolfson Room NB02
(Basement, IHR-Senate House, Malet Street, London WC 1E 7HU)
Speakers: Marie-Janine Calic (LMU Munich), Catherine Carmichael (UEA), Alex-Drace Francis (Amsterdam) and Dejan Djokic (Goldsmiths University of London).
Dr Jasna Dragovic-Soso and Dr Dejan Djokic speak at a conference in New York
Dr Jasna Dragovic-Soso (Politics) and Dr Dejan Djokic (History) spoke at an international conference Ex uno plures: Post-Yugoslav Cultural Spaces and Europe, held at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University on Friday 26 March and Saturday 27 March 2010. The goal of the conference was to explore post-Yugoslav cultural spaces by bringing together and facilitating dialogue between an unprecedented concentration of leading intellectuals, both from the former Yugoslav territories and from the West. Alongside opening questions of difference and commonality, the conference also addressed issues such as how can the post-Yugoslav spaces—and even micro-spaces—respond to the challenges of globalization? Dr Dragovic-Soso’s spoke about ‘Collective Responsibility, International Justice and Public Reckoning with the Past’, while Dr Djokic’s talk was entitled ‘Was the Disintegration of Yugoslavia Inevitable? An Historian’s View’. Read full conference programme.