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Balkan Worlds III: Power Networks in the Imperial and Post-Imperial Balkans (18th – 20th c.)

Balkan Worlds III: Power Networks in the Imperial and Post-Imperial Balkans (18th – 20th c.)

The communicative origins of the concept of «networks» and the fact that they often act as a vacant signifier in historical analysis, replacing terms and semantic tools of earlier theoretical approaches, albeit without this necessarily being a prerequisite, created the conditions for a critical approach to the overuse of this concept. As David Bell correctly observed when commenting on the growth of global history as the result of a methodological insistence on the issue of communication networks that the latter didn’t play a bigger role in a globalized perception of history than, for example, the growth and spread of socialist internationalist ideas in the 19th century. Nevertheless, a question remains: if precisely the meaning of the political that supposedly transcends the meaning of the communication aspect, could also be defined on the growth or transformation of the social networks creating the conditions for concentrating social and cultural capital and thus the reconstruction of the dominant political sphere. The conference will insist precisely on the manner, preconditions, and process according to which social networks can be transformed into power networks in the framework of an empire or within the framework of a nation state in the Balkans from the 18th through the 20th century. More specifically, the scientific committee would select the research of relationships with political power in the following types of social networks:

– intellectual or scholarly networks

– commercial or merchant networks

– diaspora networks

– clerical networks

– patronage or clientelistic networks

– political networks

– scientific or academic networks

The working language of the Conference will be English. The conference will be held in Thessaloniki on October 6-9, 2016 by the Department of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies, University of Macedonia. The deadline for submitted proposals is May 31, 2016. Please include there the following information: i) name and surname ii) full title of paper, iii) abstract (200-300 words), iv) institutional affiliation, v) short CV, vi) telephone, fax, e-mail. We welcome individual proposals for 20-minute presentations. Proposals should be sent to: ds@uom.gr

The Conference Scientific Committee members and plenary speakers are:

Karen Barkey (Columbia University/University of California, Berkeley)

Edhem Eldem (Βοğazici University, Istanbul)

Benjamin C. Fortna (The University of Arizona)

Hannes Grandits (Humboldt University, Berlin)

Olga Katsiardi (University of Athens)

Dimitris Stamatopoulos (University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki)

The committee will announce its final choices by June 30, 2016. Speakers will be asked to submit their final papers by September 15, 2016, to allow sufficient time for them to be distributed and ready by conference participants. The University of Macedonia will cover speakers’ accommodation expenses during the conference; It is expected that travel costs will be covered by speakers’s affiliated institutions.

Best regards,

Dimitris Stamatopoulos

Associate Professor in Balkan and Late Ottoman History

Dept. of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies

University of Macedonia

156 Egnatia Str.

54006 Thessaloniki

Greece