Officer Elections

As mandated by its Bylaws, the Society for Albanian Studies is carrying out officer elections to elect a President-Elect, a Newsletter Editor, as well as replace two Board positions that will open up in 2018. The nominations for the said offices are below. The voting period will begin October 9, 2017, at 12:01 am EST and close on October 27, 2017, at 11:59 pm EST. Voting will be done through a secure online voting platform. All SAS members will receive voting instructions via e-mail. All votes will be recorded anonymously.

President-Elect (2018-20)

Dr. Elton Skendaj, Manchester University

Dr. Elton Skendaj is the Muir Associate Professor of Peace Studies at Manchester University. A peace researcher, Skendaj studies how international and local actors can sustain peace and democracy in post-war societies. His research and teaching focus on addressing root causes of civil wars, the role of international organizations in post-war peacebuilding, and combating corruption through responsive institutions. His book, Creating Kosovo: International Oversight and the making of Ethical Institutions (Cornell University Press 2014) examines the role of international actors in building effective state bureaucracies and democratic institutions in post-war Kosovo. Dr. Skendaj holds a Ph.D. in government from Cornell University. He was a Research Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Notre Dame Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. He has previously worked with the United Nations as a coordinator of a peace education project in Albania and has taught in the fields of peace studies, international relations, and comparative politics for over a decade.

Newsletter Editor (2018-20)

Dr. Nita Luci, University of Prishtina

Nita Luci holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. Her Ph.D. thesis is titled Seeking Independence: Making Nation, Memory and Manhood in Kosovo. She also teaches at the American University in Kosovo. Her research has focused on topics of gender and manhood, state, post-socialism, nationalism, contemporary art, body, memory, and violence. In Spring 2013 she was visiting research scholar at Dartmouth College and Fellow at the Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth. In addition to her university engagements she also serves on the boards of a number of civil-society organizations in Kosovo focusing on gender, LGBT, and activism. She has also worked with initiatives in the area of contemporary art, such as editing the publication of four supplements titled “Women n/or Witches: Representation, Feminism and Art.” She was formerly an advisor for the UNDP project Women’s Safety and Security Initiative focusing on institutional capacity building, support to women’s shelters, and research on issues of domestic violence and trafficking in human beings, including the drafting of the law on domestic violence in Kosovo. She also co-founded the independent feminist organization Alter Habitus – Institute for Studies in Society and Culture, which has focused on gender perspectives to post-war collective memory in Kosovo. She has received numerous research grants and fellowships, and has been a Returning Scholar Fellow for the past five years with the OSI Academic Fellowship Program. Her publications include: Masculine Habitus: How to Think of Men in Kosova (2011); Un/welcomed Guests: NATO Intervention in Kosova (2011); Events and Sites of Difference: Mark-ing Self and Other in Kosovo (co-authored with Predrag Markovic, 2009); The Politics of Remembrance and Belonging: Life Histories of Albanian Women in Kosova (co-authored book with Vjollca Krasniqi, 2006); Endangering Masculinity in Kosovo: Can Albanian Women Say No? (2002). She is also lecturer at the University of Prishtina, Department of Anthropology, where she heads the University Program for Gender Studies and Research at the Institute for Social Studies and the Humanities, University of Prishtina. She also coordinates the TEMPUS project Human Rights at the Heart of Higher Education at the Faculty of Philosophy.

Board Member, two positions (2018-22)

Dr. Ines Angeli Murzaku, Seton Hall University

Ines Angeli Murzaku ( is Professor of Religion and Director of Catholic Studies at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. She earned a doctorate from the Pontifical Oriental Institute, Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and has held visiting positions at the Universities of Bologna and Calabria in Italy and University of Münster in Germany. She has won grants including Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Grant (SSHRC); and Fulbright Senior Research Scholar. Her research has been published in multiple articles and seven books. Dr. Murzaku’s book publications include: Life of St Neilos of Rossano (1004) (Dumbarton Oaks, Harvard University Press 2017); Italo-Greek Monasticism from St Neilos to Bessarion (Ashagte 2017); Monasticism in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Republics (Routledge 2016); Monastic Tradition in Eastern Christianity and the Outside World a Call for Dialogue (Peeters University of Leuven 2013); Returning Home to Rome? The Monks of Grottaferrata in Albania (Analekta Kryptopherres 2009); Quo Vadis Eastern Europe? Religion, State and Society after Communism (Longo University of Bologna 2009); and Catholicism, Culture and Conversion: The History of the Jesuits in Albania (1841-1946) (Orientalia Christiana Analecta, Pontifical Oriental Institute 2006). Dr. Murzaku is currently writing a book entitled Mother Teresa: The Saint of the Peripheries Who Became Catholicism’s Centerpiece (Paulist Press 2018).

Dr. Murzaku was the vice-president of the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN) and a United Nations accredited representative for the organization Christians Associated for Relationships with Eastern Europe and the Founding Chair of the Department of Catholic Studies at Seton Hall University. She is a columnist and regular commentator to media outlets on religious matters. She has worked for or collaborated with the Associated Press, CNN, Voice of America, Relevant Radio, The Catholic Thing, Crux – Taking the Catholic Pulse, National Catholic Register, Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation (Canada), Catholic World Report, The Record, The Stream, Radio Tirana (Albania), Vatican Radio (Vatican City), and EWTN (Rome).

Dr. Pëllumb Kelmendi, Auburn University

Dr. Pellumb Kelmendi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Auburn University. His research focuses on civil wars, international peacekeeping, and post-conflict institution building. In addition to a book chapter, his work is forthcoming in the Journal of Conflict Resolution. Prior to joining Auburn, Dr. Kelmendi was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan’s Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies. He received his Ph.D. from Brown University and has also held research fellowships with Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and the United States Institute of Peace.