Categories
Announcements

The Passing of Dr. Robert Elsie

Dear members and friends,

It is with great sadness that today I learned of the passing of Dr. Robert Elsie. Dr. Elsie needs no introduction. He was not only a scholar and a giant, but an institution of Albanian Studies for over 30 years.

His legacy includes over sixty books, including the most recent Albanian Alphabets: Borrowed and Invented (2017) and The Tribes of Albania: History, Society and Culture (2015) as well as translations of Jeton Neziraj: The Demolition of the Eiffel Tower: A Comedy of the Absurd for Four Actors (2017), and the three volume set of Michael Schmidt-Neke: chronology of an Albanian quarter of a century (1990-2015) (2016). He is the author of the magisterial Biographical Dictionary of Albanian History (2013), Historical Dictionary of Kosovo (2011), and Historical Dictionary of Albania (2010) among many, many other books.

In addition to being a translator himself, Dr. Elsie’s own work has been translated into dozens of languages. His personal website, elsie.de, remains one of the greatest resources for Albanian Studies online and perhaps unmatched by any non-virtual institution.

The Tirana Times pays a full biographical tribute to Dr. Elsie here.

While having communicated with Dr. Elsie on many occasions, I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Elsie many years ago when I was a graduate student at the University of Michigan, where he came to give a lecture. He was a delightful, open-hearted, generous man. Most recently, I communicated with him about our book award. He graciously accepted my invitation to become a member of the Society for Albanian Studies, calling it “an honor.” 

No words can describe the immensity of this loss. On behalf of the Society for Albanian Studies, I extend my deepest condolences to his family, dearest friends and colleagues, and the scholarly community in Albanian Studies and beyond.

We will hold an In Memoriam for Dr. Elsie at our next meeting at ASEEES in Chicago. We will also plan a series of future commemorative events to remember the life and legacy of Dr. Elsie.

Sincerely,

Dr. Besnik Pula

President, The Society for Albanian Studies

Categories
Announcements

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 (http://academic.shu.edu/orientalia/) 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.

Categories
Announcements Prizes

Call for Applications – Skendi Book Prize

The Stavro Skendi Book Prize for Achievement in Albanian Studies is presented every year to the best book making a contribution to, and advancing research in, Albanian Studies. Albanian Studies is broadly defined to include original work that furthers our understanding of Albanian societies across geo-political borders, time periods, and disciplinary confines.

The Prize committee will consider single-case studies, comparative research, and any theoretical and empirical contributions pertinent to the area of Albanian Studies. Nominated books must be in English. They must have been published within three years prior to the year of the award. Books may be nominated by the author or other scholars. Only scholarly books published by an academic press will be considered for the prize.

To nominate a book please send an email to the committee members indicating that you are doing so. Please include the following documents: 1) a one paragraph summary of the work; 2) the date, place and name of the publisher; 3) a short bio of the author; and 4) the PDF version of the book. Alternatively, you may send print copies of the book to all committee members at the addresses indicated below. The nomination and supporting documents should be sent before the deadline of June 30, 2017. The committee will make the selection and notify the recipient of the award by October 15, 2017. The Award will be formally presented at the Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) in Chicago, IL, in November 2017.

Book Prize Committee Members:

Anna Di Lellio , Chair
Graduate Program in International Affairs
New York University
19 University Place
5th Floor
New York, NY 10003

Elidor Mehilli
Hunter College of the City University of New York
Department of History
695 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10065

Arolda Elbasani
New York University
Center for European and Mediterranean Studies
285 Mercer St, 7th Floor
New York NY 10003

Categories
Announcements

Call for Applications – Pipa Graduate Paper Award

Graduate students are invited to participate in the Arshi Pipa Best Graduate Student Paper Award Competition sponsored by the Society for Albanian Studies (SAS). The Arshi Pipa Best Graduate Student Paper Award shall recognize significant and important original research made by a Graduate Student Member that advances the field of Albanian Studies regardless of academic discipline, and the student’s prospects for ongoing future contributions to Albanian Studies. Nominations for the Best Graduate Student Paper Award must be made to the SAS Graduate Essay Prize Committee. Please email a copy of paper to the committee by August 31, 2017:

Graduate Essay Prize Committee:

Elton Skendaj, University of Miami, Chair

Chelsi West Ohueri, University of Texas at Austin

Pellumb Kelmendi, University of Michigan

Eligibility:

  1. The author of the paper must be a Graduate Student Member of the SAS at the time of nomination.
  2. The paper must have been written no more than two years before the paper’s nomination, and must be in English.
  3. Graduate student papers that have been co-authored with professors are not eligible.
  4. Papers from any academic discipline in the social sciences are accepted, insofar as they make a contribution to Albanian Studies, broadly defined.

Application Process:

  1. The deadline for nominations is August 31, 2017.
  2. To complete the nomination, e-mail a copy of the nominated paper (in MS Word or PDF format) to the committee.
  3. Nominations can be made by any member in good standing and self-nominations shall also be accepted.
  4. The Graduate Essay Prize Committee will make the selection and notify the recipient of the award by the end of September, 2017.

Prize:

  1. The Award will be formally presented at the 2017 Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) in Chicago, IL, in November 2017.
  2. If financially feasible, the Graduate Student Paper Award shall be accompanied by a small monetary reward.
  3. The awardee shall receive a Certificate from SAS, along with recognition on the SAS newsletter.
    Any questions about the prize or the application process can be addressed to the Graduate Essay Prize Committee.

Categories
Announcements

Online ballot for Bylaws & Officers

Online voting for the SAS Bylaws and officers is going on November 1-10, 2015. All SAS members will receive an e-mail with instructions explaining the voting procedure.

Below, members and the public will find the final draft of the proposed SAS Bylaws and the list of nominees, which are subject to the vote.

All members are asked to participate and cast their vote!

Please find a list of all SAS board nominees below. Elections and a ballot on the proposed SAS Bylaws will be held November 1-10, 2015. All members are invited to support SAS by participating and voting.

President* (2-year term)

Besnik Pula

Besnik Pula’s (Ph.D., University of Michigan) research interests lie in the comparative political economy of developing countries, post-communist transformations, and the social and institutional impacts of globalization. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science at Virginia Tech. His current interests include issues of European integration and what those processes have meant for both regional economies in Europe as well as the global political economy more generally. His doctoral dissertation, State, Law, and Revolution: Agrarian Power and the National State in Albania, 1850-1945, is a comparative historical study of agrarian relations and state building in Albania and is based on archival research performed in the Central State Archive of Albania. His research has appeared in East European Politics, Political Power and Social Theory, Theory and Society, Comparative Studies in History and Society, and Nationalities Papers. He has also contributed chapters to World Hegemonic Transformations, The State and Crisis in Neoliberalism (edited by Yildiz Atasoy), Sociology and Empire (edited by George Steinmetz), and The Case for Kosova: Passage to Independence (edited by Anna Di Lellio). Dr. Pula has held fellowships from the National Science Foundation, National Council for Eurasian and East European Research (NCEEER), the Fulbright program, International Researcher and Exchanges Board (IREX), and the American Council for Learned Societies (ACLS). His scholarship has been twice awarded by the Section on Comparative and Historical Sociology of the American Sociological Association, including his dissertation which received Honorable Mention for the Theda Skocpol Best Dissertation Award.

President-Elect (2-year term)

Anna Di Lellio

Prof. Anna Di Lellio is a Professor of Politics at the Graduate Program in International Relations of the The New School for Public Engagement, and at the International Relations Program of New York University. Her research focuses on Kosovo, particularly on nationalism, security, transitional justice and state-building. She is the editor of The Case for Kosova. Passage to Independence (Anthem, 2006), and the author of The Battle of Kosovo 1389. An Albanian Epic (I.B. Tauris, 2009). She is the Director of the Kosovo Oral History Initiative.

Treasurer (4-year term)

Robert Austin

Robert Clegg Austin is a specialist on East Central and Southeastern Europe in historic and contemporary perspective at the Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (CERES) at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. In the past, Austin was a Tirana-based correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; a Slovak-based correspondent with The Economist Group of Publications; and a news writer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Toronto. Austin has written articles for The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, Southeast European Times, Orbis, East European Politics and Societies and East European Quarterly along with numerous book chapters and two books published separately in Tirana and Prishtina. His most recent book, “Founding a Balkan State”, was published with the University of Toronto Press in October 2012. At the Munk School he coordinates the Undergraduate European Studies Program, the Hellenic Studies Program and the Hungarian Studies Program.

Newsletter Editor (2-year term)

Viktor Ivezaj

Viktor Ivezaj is a Ph.D. student at Wayne State University where he specializes in Balkan politics – minority rights, nationalism, ethnic conflict and polarization. His dissertation will focus on the shifting Albanian Identity in post-conflict Yugoslavia. Ivezaj recently served as a Special Lecturer in Oakland University’s Department of Political Science where he taught courses in World Politics and U.S. Foreign Policy. In 2009, Ivezaj co-authored a Feasibility Study on the legal establishment of the Municipality of Tuzi. Ivezaj currently serves as a Consultant for several Albanian-American associations, including several other NGOs dealing with minority rights issues in Kosova, Montenegro, and Macedonia. Ivezaj’s forthcoming research includes Incomplete Democracies in Transition: Problems with Minority Rights and Majority Rule in the Balkans and The Politics of Identity in Montenegro: The Effects of Preference Falsification and Ethnic Polarization Among the Albanian Minority. Along with Professor Shinasi Rama (NYU), Ivezaj is working on an edited volume examining Albanian minority politics in Montenegro. Ivezaj also served on the international editorial board of the International Journal of Albanian Studies (IJAS).

Board member (to elect four, two at four year terms and two at two year terms)*

Agron Alibali

A native of Albania, Agron Alibali’s research centers on issues of legal and electoral reform, human and minority rights, and development and reform of banking and financial institutions in southeastern Europe. A graduate of the University of Tirana Law School and Boston University School of Law, Alibali has worked at the Albanian Ministry of Justice and John Hancock Financial Services. He has been a consultant for the World Bank and an adjunct professor at Bryant University where he taught banking and business law. He has promoted and pursued several projects in southeastern Europe, including curriculum development, constitutional and electoral reform, environmental law, and bilateral university partnerships. Mr. Alibali has published several articles in various legal journals covering different aspects of positive and customary law. As a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School in 2000, he researched and presented work on Kosovo’s legal status after NATO’s intervention and also on the legal status of ethnic minorities in the European Union. Through his work with local NGO’s in Albania, Alibali has contributed in further developing international environmental law especially in connection with various compliance mechanisms of international financial institutions. In 2008, he was nominated as a candidate member with the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee at the UN Office in Geneva, Switzerland.

Gent Carrabregu

Gent Carrabregu is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Theory at the Department of Political Science, Northwestern University (Evanston, IL). His research interests are primarily focused on the history of Western political thought (early and late modern) and contemporary moral philosophy and democratic theory (especially Rawls and Habermas). His doctoral dissertation is an exploration of the relationship between philosophy and political ethics in the political thought of Kant, Hegel, Arendt, and Habermas. He also takes an interest in the intellectual history of Albanian political and social thought, focusing especially on Kosovar Albanian thinkers in the former communist Yugoslavia. Essays of his have been published in academic journals such as Theory & Event and Political Theory. In addition, an essay of his on Ukshin Hoti’s political thought has been published as part of an edited collection of essays in Albanian (Publikja Shqiptare, 2012). He has presented his work in progress in numerous academic conferences around the world. He is currently (AY2015-16) a Visiting Instructor of Political Science at the American University in Bulgaria (AUBG).

Victor Friedman

Victor Friedman received his B.A. in Russian Language and Literature from Reed College in 1970 and his Ph. D. in both Slavic Languages and Literatures and in General Linguistics from the University of Chicago in 1975. Currently he is Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at the University of Chicago with a joint appointment in Linguistics and Slavic Languages and Literatures and an associate appointment in Anthropology. Friedman has done fieldwork in the Balkans for over thirty-five years and has received research grants from Fulbright-Hays, IREX, ACLS, NEH, APS, etc. He has over 200 publications, including Studies on Albanian and Other Balkan Languages (2004). He has been a visiting scholar at Cornell (Balkan linguistics, LSA summer institute 1997), University of Skopje (Balkan Identity, 1999), Central European University-Budapest (Romani linguistics 1999, 2001, 2003), Kyoto University (Balkan linguistics, 1999), National University of Malaysia (Southeast Europe/Southeast Asia: Comparative Perspectives, 2000), University of Helsinki (Balkan linguistics, 2000), University of Prishtina (Balkan and Caucasian linguistics, 2002), and LaTrobe University (Research Center for Linguistic Typology, Balkan linguistics, 2004). Friedman’s research centers on grammatical categories (particularly the verb), language contact, and sociolinguistics (especially problems of variation and standardization) in the Balkans and the Caucasus. Owing to the intimate connections of language with politics and ethnic identity in these parts of the world, his work has of necessity been interdisciplinary. His publications deal with the following languages: Albanian, Aromanian (Vlah), Azeri, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (especially the Torlak dialects), Bulgarian, Georgian, Greek, Judezmo, Lak, Macedonian, Megleno-Romanian, Romani, Romanian, Russian, Tadjik, Turkish.

Nita Luci

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.

Elidor Mëhilli

Elidor Mëhilli is Assistant Professor of History at Hunter College. His work focuses on modern Europe, authoritarian regimes, and globalization, and he teaches courses on 19th and 20th century European history, international history, and dictatorships. He received a Ph.D. from Princeton University and held a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute (2011-2012) and a Mellon fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania’s Humanities Forum (2012-2013). He has also been a visiting fellow at the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung in Potsdam, Germany (2012) and at Birkbeck College in London, United Kingdom (2014). His recent commentary has appeared in Quartz (qz.com) and The Conversation (theconversation.com).

Elton Skendaj

Dr. Elton Skendaj is a lecturer in the department of political science at the University of Miami. His research focuses on how international and local actors can sustain peace and democracy in post-war societies. His book, Creating Kosovo: International Oversight and the making of Ethical Institutions (Cornell University Press and Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2014) examines the role of international actors in building effective state bureaucracies and democratic institutions in post-war Kosovo. In addition to several book chapters, his articles are published or forthcoming in Global Governance and Problems of Postcommunism. Dr. Skendaj is also conducting research on Corruption and Anti-corruption reform in the Western Balkans, a project funded by the Norwegian Research Council. He has also worked professionally with international organizations and civil society organizations in Europe and the US. Skendaj holds a Ph.D. in government from Cornell University, and has had research fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for scholars and the University of Notre Dame.

Jane C. Sugarman

Jane C. Sugarman is Professor of Music at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and director of the doctoral program in ethnomusicology. Since the early 1980s she has conducted research on Albanian music and dance among communities in Macedonia, Kosova, and their diasporas. She is the author of Engendering Song: Singing and Subjectivity at Prespa Albanian Weddings (1997), and articles that relate music and dance to gender, nation, transnationalism, and conflict and post-conflict situations. Her current research focuses on mediated Albanian musics in Kosova during and since the socialist period.

Board member (graduate student member, two or four year term*):

Chelsi West Ohueri

Chelsi West Ohueri is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation, Mapping Race and Belonging in the Margins of Europe: Albanian, Romani, and Egyptian Sentiments, draws from long-term, ethnographic research in Central and Northern Albania. She has conducted research in Albania since 2006 and her primary areas of interest include race and racialization, identity, nationalism, and the anthropology of space and place. She is currently working to publish an article on Balkano-Egyptian communities in Tirana. West Ohueri plans to defend her dissertation in the spring of 2016.

  • denotes extraordinary election. SAS will normally only elect a President-Elect, but due to the need to fill the current vacancy, an extraordinary election for President is being held. Board members will serve staggering terms of four years. However, due to the need to fill vacancies, SAS will elect two Board members with shortened terms of two years. The decision on which candidates will fill the 2-year and 4-year positions will be made after the elections via a random draw.
Categories
Announcements

SAS Bylaws final document

The final draft version of the proposed Bylaws of the Society for Albanian Studies (SAS) is now available.

Categories
Conference Event

SAS events at ASEEES Annual Convention

The Society for Albanian Studies is pleased to announce a number of events to be organized at the ASEEES 2014 Convention in San Antonio, Texas, November 20-23rd.

The events include a sponsored panel as well as a number of SAS-related panels and roundtables. The SAS business meeting will also be held during the ASEEES 2014 Convention, on Friday, November 21st.

SAS-sponsored panel at ASEEES 2014:

Electoral Change and Democratic Consolidation in Albania and Kosovo

Fri, November 21, 8:00 to 9:45am, Marriott San Antonio Rivercenter, 3rd Floor, Conference Room 2

The 2013 national elections in Albania and the 2013 municipal elections in Kosovo have marked distinct but important milestones in the consolidation of democratic institutions and the enhancement of political stability in the two states. This panel debates the process and outcome of the 2013 elections in the consolidation of democratic institutions, the role of changing electorates, the realignment of elite politics, and the impact of the elections and their aftermath on EU integration in the region.

Chair: Nicholas C. Pano, Western Illinois U

Papers:

The 2013 Parliamentary Elections in Albania: A Real Milestone for Democratic Institutions or More of the Same? – Ioannis Armakolas, U of Cambridge (UK); Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos, University of Athens

Near and Far: A Comparative View of the Institution of the Elections in Albania and Kosovo – Afrim Krasniqi, Albanian Institute of Sociology

In Internationals We Trust: Elections Monitoring Missions in Albania and Kosovo and their Reports – Marta Joanna Kolczynska, Ohio State U

Discussant: Elez Biberaj, Voice of America

Other SAS-related panels and roundtables at ASEEES 2014

Beyond Transition: New Approaches to Understanding Contemporary Society and Economy in Kosovo and Albania

Thu, November 20, 1:00 to 2:45pm, Marriott San Antonio Rivercenter, Hospitality Suite 4

The panel showcases papers which perform critical analyses of current and historical institutions, critical cultures, and practices of power in Kosovo and Albania. Moving beyond standardized historical narratives of transition, nationalism, and ethnic conflict which inform much of the scholarship on the region, this panel offers critical analyses of energy politics, the role of intellectuals, gender relations, and the subversive appropriation of public space by activist art. Jointly, the papers offer alternative frameworks for understanding contemporary society, economy, culture and historical social change in the two societies.

Chair: Anna Di Lellio, The New School for public engagement

Papers:

Notes Toward a Critical Intellectual History of Kosovar Political Thought: The Case of Ukshin Hoti – Gent Carrabregu, Northwestern University

And Then There Came Gas: Pipeline Development, Fossil Fuels and the Everyday of Albanian Energy Politics – Ajkuna Hoppe, CUNY Graduate Center

Everyday Aesthetics of Power: Urban Space, Art and Publics – Nita Luci, University of Prishtina (Kosovo)

Discussant: Besnik Pula, Princeton U

Parties, Elections, and Democratic Accountability: Comparative Perspectives on Southeast Europe

Sat, November 22, 10:00 to 11:45am, Marriott San Antonio Rivercenter, 3rd Floor, Conference Room 3

This panel debates the role of political parties and elections in creating democratically accountable governments and states in the transitioning societies of southeast Europe, with a particular focus on Kosovo. What role does voter mobilization and voter activism play in the enactment of democratic accountability? How effective is the interaction between political parties and electorates and what are the consequences of this for the democratic process? How successfully does democratic accountability translate into concrete and effective policies in the fight against corruption and the provision of public goods?

Chair: Besnik Pula, Princeton U

Democratic Consolidation and Anti-Corruption Reform in Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia – Elton Skendaj, University of Miami

Kosovo’s Political Compass: Mapping Ideology in Kosovo – Leon Malazogu, Democracy for Development Institute (D4D)

Low Voter Turnout and Political Culture in Kosovo – Dafina Bardhi, Loyola University Chicago

Discussant: Anna Di Lellio, The New School for public engagement

Social Emergences, Cultural Formations: A Study of Marginalization and Identity Politics in post-Communist Southeastern Europe

Sun, November 23, 8:00 to 9:45am, Marriott San Antonio Rivercenter, 3rd Floor, Grand Ballroom Salon D

This panel examines the precarious nature of identity and belonging in post-communist landscapes. Specifically each of the papers focuses on minority communities and groups in Southeastern Europe. The term ‘minority’ itself is complex and contested, and highlights frictions within processes of identity formation. Since the early 1990s many individuals in the Balkans have negotiated and renegotiated cultural forms such as assimilation and difference in new ways. These negotiations are fraught with tensions that play out through inherited and newly constructed narratives of imagined communities. These frictions are further underscored by nationalist ideologies, European Union discourses of socioeconomic and political transformation, as well as rhetoric of tolerance and multiculturalism. We aim to interrogate these sociocultural tensions in order to shed light on the complexities of belonging, prejudice, and marginalization embedded within everyday practice and discourse.

Chair: Ajkuna Hoppe, CUNY Graduate Center

Papers:

‘They took our hearth’: Covert Prestige and Overt Marginalization of the Aromanian Language in Macedonia – Eric Heath Prendergast, UC, Berkeley

Social Mobility and Identity Politics: A Focus on Nationalist Programs of Greece and Romania as Powerful Mechanisms for the Assimilation of Albanian Aromanians of Voskopoja – Inis Shkreli, Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of European Studies, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Slippery Categories and the Construction of Difference: A Study of Belonging and Racial Formation in Tirana, Albania – Chelsi West, University of Texas at Austin

Discussant: Nita Luci, University of Prishtina (Kosovo)

Conditionality and Conditions: Requirements and Realities in the EU-Balkan Relations (roundtable)

Thu, November 20, 1:00 to 2:45pm, Marriott San Antonio Rivercenter, 3rd Floor, Conference Room 8

EU Conditionality has been applied for years to post-socialist transitional countries in order to prepare them for membership. This policy has been also implemented and further reinvigorated when the time for SEE came. However, the conditions under which the policy of conditionality has been defined dramatically changed after the 2004 enlargement, and they are still evolving, as we saw in the case of Croatia (which meanwhile joined the EU) and Serbia, which is going to start negotiations soon. Furthermore, the conditions that impact on the EU conditionality strategy appear to be different when Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, and Macedonia are concerned. Therefore, the proposed round table aims to investigate and discuss the relationship between the evolving conditions (at the international and local levels), and the strategy of EU conditionality in support of democracy, market economy, and prospective membership in SEE both during negotiations and when the candidate country has joined the full membership (as in the case of Croatia) in the current Western Balkan context. Given the peculiarity of the suggested topic and the need to offer a more accurate and updated analysis to the audience, the roundtable format better serves these aforementioned needs.

Organizer: Francine Friedman, Ball State U

Roundtable Members:
David B. Kanin, Johns Hopkins U
Stefano Bianchini, U of Bologna (Italy)
Julie Mostov, Drexel U
Sara Barbieri, Europe and the Balkans International Network

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Announcements Conference

Call for Papers for ASEEES 2014 panel on electoral change in Albania and Kosovo

The Society for Albanian Studies is issuing a call for papers for its panel on “Electoral change and democratic consolidation in Albania and Kosovo,” to be organized at the 2014 Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES). The 2014 Convention of ASEEES will be held November 20-23, 2014, in San Antonio, Texas.

SAS invites submissions for a panel that will discuss the process and outcome of the 2013 national elections in Albania and the 2013 municipal elections in Kosovo. The 2013 national elections in Albania have brought important electoral shifts, including the return to power of the Socialist Party of Albania after eight years of rule by the Democratic Party, creating new expectations for the country’s struggle against corruption, policies for economic development, and progress towards accession into the European Union (EU). In Kosovo, the results of local elections witnessed dramatic shake-ups and transfers of political power at the municipal level, indicating changing voting trends and more demanding voter expectations of incumbents and political parties. The local elections in Kosovo also saw the successful organization of municipal elections in the Serb-dominated municipalities of northern Kosovo, creating new prospects and challenges for interethnic relations in Kosovo. We invite paper submissions for this panel that deal with any of the following questions:

  • address the role of the most recent elections in Albania and/or Kosovo in shaping short-term and long-term political trends in these states;
  • study electoral trends and changing electorates in any one or in both states;
  • explore the impact of the most recent elections on the consolidation of democratic institutions at the national and/or local level;
  • examine the role of political parties, civil society, the media, and other actors in framing issues, in shaping voter expectations, and in voter mobilization;
    interpret what the conduct and outcome of the elections indicate about changing political cultures and voter expectations in these states;
  • examine the impact of municipal elections in Kosovo on interethnic relations and the integration of the Serbian minority and relations with Serbia in the context of EU-led negotiations;
    study the impacts of the elections and related political processes on EU integration in the region.

Graduate students are especially encouraged to submit papers. Papers that examine electoral changes in Albania and/or Kosovo from a comparative regional perspective are especially welcome.

Those interested in having their papers considered for the panel must submit an abstract outlining their paper proposal in no more than 300 words, as well as full name, contact information, and institutional affiliation to Elton Skendaj, no later than January 10th, 2014.

Selected papers will be notified of acceptance. Participation at the 2014 ASEEES Convention in San Antonio will be expected of those whose paper proposals are accepted.