6th Conference

“Southeast European (Post) Modernities”
28 April – 1 May 2011
Regensburg, GermanyPreliminary conference program (in pdf)Sponsors
The conference is made possible by generous contributions by: 

  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
  • University of Regensburg
  • Universitästiftung Hans Vielberth

Call for Papers
The Call has been closed!

1. Venue
The 6th Conference of the International Association for Southeast European Anthropology (InASEA) on Southeast European (Post) Modernities will be held at the University of Regensburg, Faculty of Philosophy I, in Regensburg (Germany).

2. Aim
When the communist regimes in Europe collapsed in 1989–90, many observers predicted a relatively short “transition” from communism to market economy and plural democracy. More than twenty years later it is obvious that post-socialist Europe has not reached the “end of history” but is still undergoing deep changes in almost all spheres of life. This is particularly true for Southeast Europe: people have to adapt not only to the challenges of transformation but also of EU accession and globalization. All these changes bear heavily on everyday life and culture, resulting in new patterns of social, economic, and political organization and new cultural practices.

Southeast Europe has thus rightfully been called a laboratory of transformative processes. Democracies were established, property was redistributed, social and labour relations changed, and new cultural models emerged. Furthermore, innovative communicative and productive technologies were introduced which affected the position of individuals and groups towards each other. For very many in the region, these changes meant new insecurities and even losses, while for others they brought chances and real gains. The societies have not only acquired new structures and shapes, but have also become more unequal than they used to be. These changes pertain not only to the formerly socialist countries but also to Greece and Turkey. It seems that Southeast Europe, which used to be considered a repository of old traditions, has become one of the most dynamic regions in Europe. But the dynamics are multi-vectored.

While many in Southeast Europe consider “Europe” and the “West” as the model to be followed, it is obvious for the observer of Southeast European everyday reality that many adaptations to global transformative pressures take on specific and sometimes even idiosyncratic forms. Southeast European societies provide new evidence for the variegated, multi-stranded nature of modernity. Many observers stress the coincidence of hypermodernity in some spheres and strong traditionalism, or even resistance to change in others. Other observers conclude that the notion of “modernity” is not a viable concept to analyse the new realities pointing to the fact that already the communists had considered themselves the embodiment of modernity. So, how to conceptualize the post-communist period? In some respect, Southeast Europe even appears more “post-modern” (or “modern”?) than Western Europe, where achievements of the welfare state which neo-liberal reformers consider outdated are still in place.

For native and foreign researchers these different forms of (post) modernity make Southeast Europe a fascinating and at the same time challenging field of research. The region provides ample material for an anthropology of change: by focusing on the lived experiences of groups and individuals ethnologists and anthropologists can contribute to the better understanding of these ambivalent processes. They are able to observe and theorise the impact of the reconfiguration of political, social, and economic power on the everyday lives of real people and, thus, provide vital information and insight which macroperspectives often ignore.

After twenty years of rapid change in Southeast Europe it is time to analyse and discuss these new configurations and patters that have emerged in the region. At the same time, the Southeast European experience should make us question long standing assumptions about the nature of “modernity”, which far too long was equated with the “Western experience”. For the 6th InASEA conference in Regensburg, Germany, we therefore invite paper and panel proposals from anthropologists, ethnologists and scholars from neighbouring disciplines which discuss the impact of the transformative processes on the everyday life and culture in Southeast Europe.

3. Themes
The conference will be organized around a number of major themes for which we encourage paper proposals:

  • Conceptualizing “tradition”, “modernity” and “post-modernity”
  • Coping with the challenges of change: adaptation, appropriation, resistance
  • Social groups and new life styles
  • Dimensions of social and cultural exclusion
  • Cultures of the new elites
  • The reconfiguration of political and economic power
  • Gender relations after socialism
  • Changing faces of labour and labour relations
  • Impact of the new communication technologies
  • Modalities of consumption
  • Forms and uses of material culture
  • Changing modes of leisure
  • New cultural tastes: entertainment, media, heroes, stars
  • Family, kinship and generational relations
  • Sexuality between commercialization and liberation
  • “(Post) modern” religion and faith
  • Historical experiences of change in everyday life
  • Modernization theory and Southeast Europe
  • Anthropological theories and methods of studying social change

4. Paper and panel proposals
Deadline for paper and panel proposals is 18 July 2010.
Only proposals using this form will be considered. Proposals should refer to the most appropriate conference theme and specify the technical equipment needed for the paper presentation.
Invited panel proposal are also welcome. The panel organizer(s) should submit the panel title, a 200–250 word panel abstract, as well as a list of the three to four planned presenters includ-ing all the information about individual papers detailed above using the proposal form.
The papers may be proposed and presented in one of the three InASEA official languages, i.e. English, French or German.

Paper proposals are to be sent as e-mail attachment to:


Participants will be notified in November 2010 about the acceptance of their paper.

5. Proceedings
A selection of conference papers will be published in two regular issues of InASEA’s annual journal, Ethnologia Balkanica (volumes 14 and 15), after undergoing anonymous peer re-viewing.

6. Travel and Accommodation
Pending the approval of sufficient funds for the conference, the conference organizers will cover at least a part of the travel and accommodation costs for participants from the coun-tries of Southeast Europe not in the European Union before 2007 (Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Turkey). Accommodation for participants who qualify for financial support will be pre-arranged. Other participants will also be assisted in making hotel reservations.
More information about accommodation will be published on the >a href=”http://www-gewi.kfunigraz.ac.at/inasea/conference6.html”>conference website in due time.

7. Registration Fee
InASEA members are entitled to free participation in the conference. Non-InASEA members will be asked to pay an on-site registration fee equivalent to:
– 20 EUR (participants from the above-mentioned Southeast European countries)
– 40 EUR (other participants, including those from the SEE countries that joined the European Union before 2007)

8. Contacts
More information about the Conference and InASEA can be obtained from the President of InASEA

Prof. Dr. Ulf Brunnbauer
Chair of Southeast and East European History
University of Regensburg
D-93053 Regensburg, Germany
E-mail: ulf.brunnbauer(at)geschichte.uni-regensburg.de
Phone: +49-941-943-3792, fax: +49-941-943-5032

9. Additional Information
More information about InASEA is available at its website.

News on the Conference will be announced on the Conference website.

For more information on Regensburg and accommodation in Regensburg go to the tourist office’s website.