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240508 SE Re-Imagining the Balkans and Eastern Europe (P3) (2019S)

Anthropological Perspectives, Debates and Comparisons

Continuous assessment of course work

Participation at first session is obligatory!



max. 40 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Friday 22.03. 15:00 - 18:15 Seminarraum D, NIG 4. Stock
Friday 05.04. 15:00 - 18:15 Seminarraum D, NIG 4. Stock
Friday 03.05. 15:00 - 18:15 Seminarraum D, NIG 4. Stock
Friday 17.05. 15:00 - 18:15 Seminarraum D, NIG 4. Stock
Friday 31.05. 13:15 - 20:00 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Thursday 06.06. 15:00 - 18:15 Seminarraum A, NIG 4. Stock


Aims, contents and method of the course


Eastern and South-Eastern Europe/the Balkans represent an ascending field of inquiry for anthropologists. Especially due to the collapse of real-socialism, the violent conflicts in the Balkans and the on-going process of EU-Eastern Enlargement, the number of anthropological contributions on this part Europe in recent two decades has been continuously growing. Moreover, anthropological inquiries into eastern and southeastern fringes of Europe have generated new and innovative ways of thinking about core concepts of anthropology, such as identity, hybridity, borders, the state, civil society, history/temporality, diversity, violence, modernity, migration etc. As indicated in the title, this course will thus provide the students with the opportunity to re-assess both the knowledge about this part of Europe and important concepts and research fields in anthropology, as well as provide inputs for potential BA and MA Theses. As one of its further aims is to communicate to students the dialectics of theory and empirical knowledge, the contents of the course will comprise both theoretical and ethnographic contributions/case studies and thus encourage the students to apply a comparative perspective as one of the core tools of anthropological inquiry.


The course will offer a substantial overview over older and more recent anthropological explorations of Eastern Europe and the Balkans. These will be developed against the background of the seminal theoretical perspectives on Othering/Balkanism and the Anthropology of (Post)Socialism, which have strongly marked the way the Balkans have been (critically) explored by anthropologists. The critique of the Balkanist imagery constructing this part of Europe merely as an "incomplete self" of Western Europe as well as the essential critique of neoliberal transition reforms precisely anthropologists (of postsocialism) have formulated in their work on Eastern Europe and the Balkans, will continuously inform the course. Furthermore the course will continuously refer to relevant approaches to gender and the importance of historical legacies for exploring current transformations in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

The course will be structured along the following thematic units: "Othering" and Imagining Eastern Europe and the Balkans The "East", Balkanism, Hellenism; The "socialist Other" early anthropological work during Real-Socialism; Anthropology of Postsocialism Core Approaches; Property Relations and (Moral) Economies; Kinship, State and Civil Society; Gender, Patriarchy and Feminism; (Post)-conflict, Gender and Transitional Justice; Religion, (Ethno)Nationalism and Identity Politics; History and Memory; Identity Diversity/Multiculturalism; Exploring (Forced) Migration in South(Eastern) Europe Past and Present; Anthropology of Border(lands) (South)Easteuropean Cases.

Didactic Methods
The course will unfold as a combination of theoretical inputs, exemplified by case studies and films, guest lecture(s) as well as student presentationas and continuous discussions.

Assessment and permitted materials

Presentation (40%) and seminar paper (60%)

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Attendance in required (one double session can be missed).

Examination topics

Reading list

Selected Bibliography:

Ballinger, Pamela (2004):"Authentic Hybrids" in the Balkan Borderlands, Current
Anthropology 45(1): 3160.
Bougarel, Xavier, Elissa Helms, Gerlachlus Duijzings (2007): The New Bosnian Mosaic. Identities, Memories and Moral Claims in a Post-war Society
Brubaker, Rogers (2004): Ethnicity Without Groups. Harvard University Press.
Duijzings, Ger (2000): Religion and the Politics of Identity in Kosovo. Columbia University Press.
Green, Sarah F. (2005): Notes from the Balkans. Locating marginality and Ambiguity on the
Greek---Albanian Border. Princeton University Press.
Helms, Elissa (2013): Innocence and Victimhood. Gender, Nation and Women’s Activism in Post-war Bosnia. The University of Wisconsin Press.
Hann, Chris (2002): Postsocialism. Ideas, Ideologies and Practices in Eurasia. Routledge.
Kymlicka, Will (2002): Multiculturalism and Minority Rights: West and East, JEMIE 4(2002).
Jansen, Stef (2015): Yearnings in the Meantime: "Normal Lives" and the State in a Sarajevo Apartment Complex. Berghahn.
Todorova, Marija (2009). Imagining the Balkans (Updated Edition). Oxford University Press.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:40