Please forward to potential interested scholars!

International Symposium:
Bektashism between religious movement and established religion
Tirana, 23 October 2009

The European University in Tirana, in association with the Academy of Sciences and the Centre for Albanian Studies, is organizing an International Symposium on Bektashism. The event features the participation of many international and local experts in the field, including the following keynote speakers:

1.Nathalie Clayer (CNRS France):
"Institutionalisation and Bektashi Religious Authority in Twentieth-Century Albania"
2. David Shankland (Bristol University): TBA
3. Ahmet Karamustafa (Washington University in St. Louis): to be confirmed
4. Albert Doja (Member of the Academy of Sciences):
"From Confraternal Religion to Instrumental Theology in the Political History of Bektashism"
5. Ger Duijzings (SEES University College London): TBA
6. Bernd Fischer (Indiana University): TBA

Recent work on Bektashism demonstrates an innovative and well-argued approach, according to which the system of beliefs and practices related to Bektashism seems to have corresponded to a kind of liberation theology, whereas the structure of Bektashi groups corresponded more or less to the type of religious organization conventionally known as charismatic groups. If this is the case, their spiritual tendency could at times connect with and meet social, cultural and national perspectives. It is the overall combination of these factors that seems to cast heterodox mystics and heretics of any kind as non-conformist and often dangerous for the political establishment, as was the case with the Bektashis as much in Ottoman Anatolia and Modern Turkey as in Albania. However, in other circumstances, they may become politically compliant and reliable, depending on political situations. In this case, when members of the previously persecuted religious minority will acquire a degree of religious and political respectability within society at large, the doctrines of heterodoxy and liberation theology fade into the background. In the end, the heirs of the heterodox promoters of spiritual reform and social movement turn into followers and faithful defenders of a legitimate authority. They become the spokespeople for an institutionalized orthodoxy whose support is sought by the political regime.

Call for Contributions

The International Symposium aims to promote theoretical academic debates and discussions on different approaches to Bektashism from various humanities and social science perspectives, while taking into account, on one hand, the implications of Bektashism to issues of identity and cultural politics and, on the other hand, the similarities and differences of Bektashism in Anatolia and in the Balkans, including Albania.

Submissions are welcome to address the following but not limited issues:

1. Bektashism as a liberation theology: doctrinal and organizational patterns, master and disciple relationships, gnostic and dualist ideas
2. The relationship between heterodoxy and orthodoxy in Bektashism
3. The relationship of Bektashism to political structures
4. The extent of Bektashism in acting as both a conservative and radical force for both social stability and social change in society
5. The relationship of Bektashism to culturalist and nationalist movements
6. The extent of Bektashi background and inspiration in Naim Frashëri’s work and activism

Submission proposals (max. 250 words) should be sent by email and must be accompanied with a short bio (max. 100 words) of the Applicant's academic affiliation/ research topic/general research interests by 30th July 2009. Accepted papers will be announced by 15th August 2009. The approved candidates will have to submit the full-length paper of no more than 7000 words by 15th September 2009. The time presentation made available to speakers will be about 20 minutes followed by a Q&A session. In order to facilitate discussion papers will be made available to all participants in advance and will be published as Symposium Proceedings by UET Press.

Send submission proposals to:

Prof. Dr. Albert Doja, H.D.R.
Member of the Academy of Sciences
Professor of Sociology & Anthropology
European University of Tirana, Albania
Phone: +355-686038335

Views: 223

Replies to This Discussion

are there any fees to attend this seminar ?
I don't know. I think you have contact Albert Doja.

are there any fees to attend this seminar ?
Dear Balkanologists,

I hope it could be useful, or at least a bit interestingly.

Max-Planck-Institut für ethnologische Forschung /Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

Workshop Religious Hegemony and Religious Diversity in Eastern Europe: Postsocialism vis-à-vis the Longue Durée

24 – 25 June 2010


Agnieszka Pasieka, Lina Pranaityte, Ingo W. Schröder, Kinga Sekerdej (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology; Research Project “The Catholic Church and Religious Pluralism in Lithuania and Poland”, funded by Volkswagen Foundation) Venue: Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, Germany


With the demise of socialist regimes across Eastern Europe, a rapid proliferation of all kinds of religious expressions in the public sphere has been observed. This holds true for the hegemonic churches (mostly Roman Catholic and Orthodox), as well as for a wide array of “other” religions. However, twenty years into the transition it has become clear that both the role played by the hegemonic churches in the national public sphere and the current pluralism in attitudes and religious affiliations can only be properly understood by invoking a diachronic perspective. In the workshop we want to critically assess the analytical purchase of the postsocialism concept vis-à-vis notions of the longue durée in explaining contemporary religious hegemony and diversity in Eastern European countries. Concepts such as the religious habitus (Bourdieu) and religion as a “chain of memory” (Hervieu-Léger) have been invoked to explain the historical dimension of religious beliefs and identifications. Now, twenty years into the “postsocialist condition”, we can draw upon a substantial number of ethnographic studies of the religious field that allows us to critically evaluate this historical dimension. The workshop seeks to combine original ethnography with theoretical reflection on the dialectic of continuity and change in investigations of religion in Eastern European societies. We therefore invite the participants to reflect on the theoretical issues on the basis of ethnographically grounded explorations of the various movements, counter-movements, and negotiations within the religious field in Eastern Europe.

Important topics in this respect include:
• the public and private roles of religion
• the ties of religion to national or ethnic identities and identity politics
• the connection of religion and memory • religious diversity, individual religious bricolage and religious indifference/ secularization vis-à-vis re-sacralization

These empirical data on continuity and change will be used to address wider theoretical issues on the dialectic of continuity and change:
• To what extent are legacies of socialism and larger trajectories of national history shaping the contemporary religious situation, as compared to the contemporary impact of Western modernity, capitalism, and political changes?
• How much do postsocialist social fields really differ from those of the socialist era and earlier periods of history? To what extent has religion “re-emerged”, been “de-privatized” or “recreated” (by invoking the past under current premises) after socialism?
• Are the Gramscian notion of hegemony and key concepts from Bourdieuan social theory (the religious field, habitus/collusio, doxa, religious capital, symbolic violence), which have exerted the strongest influence on the project’s theoretical approach, useful tools for a historically-informed study of postsocialist religion?

Some participants will be invited by the organisers. An open call for papers will be posted in October 2009.

Ingo W. Schröder (
Kinga Sekerdej (
Albania (Durrës): 2nd International Scientific Conference “Economic Policy and EU Integration”: Call for Paper, see attachment)
The 2010 European Conference of the Association for Borderland Studies "THE MULTIFACETED ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL GEOGRAPHIES OF INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL EU BORDERS", Department of Spatial Planning and Development, Aristoteleion University of Thessaloniki 23‐25 September 2010 Veroia – Greece.

Call for Papers:
Southeast European (Post) Modernities
6th Conference of the International Association for Southeast European Anthropology (InASEA)
Regensburg (Germany), April 28 — May 01, 2011
(see attachment)
Audiovisual Media and Identity in Southeastern Europe
8.-10. April .2010
Lutherstadt Wittenberg

in the

Collegienstraße 62
06886 Lutherstadt Wittenberg

Eckehard Pistrick
Andreas Hemming

Institute for Music
Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
Kleine Marktstr. 7
D-06108 Halle/Saale
+49 (0) 345 55 24553

08. April 2010
Registration 14:00-18:00

Greeting and Keynote 18:00-19:30
Prof. Dr. Gretel Schwörer-Kohl, Halle
Prof. Dr. Angela Richter, Halle

Prof. Dr. Nicola Scaldaferri, Milano
Keynote Address

Day 1, 09. April 2010

1. Session 9:00 -10:30 History of Photography in SEE
Prof. Dr. Jean-Paul Champseix, Paris: Prohibited modernity – Social Realism and Propaganda Photography
Christian Marchetti, Tübingen: Volkskundliche Bilder aus dem Südosten

2. Session 10:45 -13:00 History of Sound in Southeastern Europe
Prof. Dr. Sokol Shupo, Tirana: Strategies of Banning and Promoting
Folklore and Classical Music in Communist Albania
Dr. Ana Hofman, Ljubljana: Performing the Traditional Folklore: Micronarratives of Socialist Folklorization
Dr. Veselka Toncheva, Sofia: Bulgarische Volksmusik im Nationalen Fernsehen – audiovisuelle Formen der Identitätskonstruktion

3. Session 14:00 -16:15 Approaches to the Visual in Southeastern Europe
Antonio Maria Pusceddu, Cagliari: Capturing War in Images: On local photo-exhibitions in Northern Greece
Daniel Suber PhD, Slobodan Karamanic, Konstanz: The Visual between Norm and Excess: Everyday life modes of Cultural Transmission in Post-Socialist Serbia
Nela Milic, London: Balkanizing Taxonomies

4. Session 16:30 -18:00 Staging Sound in the Mediterranean
Prof. Dr. Bernard Lortat-Jacob, Paris: The feast as musical contest : some specific situations in Morocco, Sardinia, Rumania and Albania
Prof. Dr. Panos Panopoulos, Mytilini: Noisy images, Colourful sounds: Representing the senses of the carnival body (with a preview of Steven Feld's “Skyros Carnival” (2010))

Films and Discussion 20:30-22:00
“Chant du pays perdu” (2006) by Bernard Lortat-Jacob and Helene Delaporte
“Pisanata Bulka” (2008) by Veselka Toncheva

Day 2, 10. April 2010

5. Session 8:30 -10:45 Interpreting Visuality
Dr. Gilles de Rapper, Anouk Durand, Aix-en-Provence/Paris: Family photographs and families of photographers: State photography and the private sphere in communist Albania
Aris Anagnostopoulos, Southampton: Cretan Postcards and Reality
Andreas Hemming, Halle: Exhibiting Culture – Images of Albania

6. Session 11:00 – 13:15 Linking sound, emotions and the Past in SEE
Yves Defrance, Rennes: The construction of identity in Corsica and Bulgaria in the light of ethnomusicological research
Eckehard Pistrick, Halle: Weeping or Dancing? – Remembering Migration and Ethnomusicology in South Albanian villages
Eran Livni, Bloomington: Why Was Iordan Not Interested in Pictures of Dancing Gypsies? - Bulgarian Popfolk Music in the Discourse of Modern Europe

Discussion 14:15-15:30



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