5th International Balkan Studies Conference "Balkan Express"

5th International Balkan Studies Conference "Balkan Express"

11. 04. 2019

5th International Balkan Studies Conference "Balkan Express"

November 8-9, 2019


Dear colleagues and friends,

It is our honor to invite you to the 5th International Balkan Studies Conference "Balkan Express". This year the conference will aim to rethink the Balkans through the idea of "Living together” with a focus on the topics of tolerance, coexistence, reconciliation. 

Date: November 8-9, 2019

Conference venue: Institute of Ethnology of the CAS, Na Florenci 3, Prague, Czech Republic

Conference language: English

Application deadline: May 31, 2019

Online registration:


Please see attached invitation / conference call for more details. Feel free to share this invitation with your colleagues.

We look forward to seeing you in Prague in November!

With kind regards,

PhDr. Dana Bittnerová, Csc. -

PhDr. Mirjam Moravcová, DrSc. -

Mgr. Ivana Skenderija -

Mgr. Markéta Slavková, PhD. -

František Šístek, M.A., Ph.D. -


In 2019, the fifth international Balkan Express conference will aim to rethink the Balkans through the concept of "Living together”. Loosely building on the previous conference (the Invisible, the Overlooked and the Forgotten), this year our thematic focus will be on relations of Tolerance, Coexistence, and Reconciliation.

The goal of the conference is to unveil processes and practices often overlooked within Balkan studies, and to identify and discuss topics/issues that contribute to mutual dialog and strengthening social cohesion in the region. Instead of engaging in mainstream notions and gestures imposed “from above” (e.g. by national governments, the EU, the UN, etc.), we invite papers that will analyze these aspects “from below”. That is, examine how tolerance, coexistence, and reconciliation, are understood, expressed, and practiced on an everyday level by the people of the Balkans in their local and social contexts.

Since the 1990s, academic production has prevailingly analyzed the region through nationalist and ethnic frameworks that emphasize social conflict, resulting in a somewhat “negative” and “dark” image of the Balkans. We would like to seek out discourses and practices that transcend these stereotypical perceptions and conceptualizations. To ask how we might rethink the Balkans as a place where many people attempt and even succeed to live a “good life”. And to demonstrate how the experience of the Balkan people is linked to a sense of belonging and the construction of identities that make life together possible.

We perceive the Balkans to be a European region defined by distinct historical and sociocultural contexts. The conference adopts an interdisciplinary approach, enabling different fields of knowledge production and ways of understandingthe region to interconnect. In addition to a rich program, the conference will also provide a glimpse into Balkan cultural and artistic production including food, photography, film and music. We look forward to meeting you in person in Prague this November.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

-    Historic and long-established forms and discourses of coexistence and their current reinterpretations (e. g. common cultural heritage,perceived plurality and tolerance of the Ottoman Empire, the idea of Slavic mutuality, and the socialist principal of “brotherhood and unity”)

-    The ideas and practices of national, ethnic, and religious tolerance and symbiosis (formal and informal)

-    Everyday life and coexistence on local and regional levels (e.g. “mixed marriages”, neighborhood/komšiluk, kinship/kumstvo )

-    Practices of downplaying ethnicity and religious differences in everyday life

-    The practical language of tolerance, coexistence, and reconciliation (words, images, sounds)

-    Literary, artistic, and media representations

-    Commemorating and performing tolerance, coexistence, and reconciliation

-    Policies of tolerance, coexistence, and reconciliation; grassroots initiatives; activism

Application deadline: May 31, 2019

Information regarding acceptance: June 20, 2019

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