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It is an event organised by South East European Studies Programme, Oxford, in co-operation with the Kokkalis Program, John F. Kennedy School for Government, Harvard University. On 29-30 May 2004, the South East European Studies Programme (SEESP) convened a graduate conference entitled Nationalism, Society and Culture in Post-Ottoman South East Europe. It focused on the formation of nation-states following the demise of the multi-ethnic and multi-religious Ottoman Empire, tracing the common patterns of nation-building in the region and its impact on identity politics today. The conference, which was attended by nearly seventy scholars and doctoral students from a number of countries and disciplines, featured more than twenty papers on various aspects of nation-state formation. While a large part of those dealt with the history of nation-state formation and its impact on understandings of 'Self' and 'Other', many papers also discussed contemporary issues such as minority and human rights, citizenship, and the politics of inclusion and exclusion.

The Oxford Symposium (OS) would like to further the above debates by shifting the focus to identity politics in our time, without losing sight of long-term historical patterns, structures and processes. OS is looking at the phenomenon of Trans-nationalism, understood as exchange of resources, information, technology, across national borders with multiple political, cultural or economic dimensions. The conference will discuss social networks, many of which are either a consequence of the process of nation-state formation, or of its very failure. Issues of interest include, among others:

- Diasporas and minorities. cross-border ethnic groups (e.g. Hungarians and Albanians); de-territorialised minority groups (like the Roma); diasporas in Western Europe and beyond: 'Yugoslavs', Kosovar Albanians . The OS will pay particular attention to groups 'in-between' two nation-states such as the Bulgarian Turks living in Turkey.

- The Umma as a trans-national community: Islamic activism among Balkan Muslim communities, intra- and extra-regional networks, and their impact on relations with non-Muslims and the state.

- The politics of reconciliation revisited: critical perspectives on the Greek-Turkish rapprochement, civil-society networks promoting dialogue on past conflict in former Yugoslavia, bi-communal activism in Cyprus.

- Cross-border social networks: the informal sector and trans-national organised crime in the Balkans.

The debate will be informed by a series of critical questions such as:

- To what extent have trans-national currents developed or been strengthened as a consequence of exclusionary processes of nation-state formation?

- Does the proliferation of 'ethno-criminal' networks after the collapse of the region's socialist regimes (and the neo-liberal withdrawal of the state from the economic realm in Turkey in the 1980s) prove or challenge of the claim that ethnic and religious affiliations are sources of identity and security?

- How do nation-states in South East Europe address these phenomena?

- Do some of these networks have the potential to transcend the divisions and internalised boundaries between the people and nation-states in the region?

Looking at these issues through the lens of the region's experience with nation-state formation will give us an opportunity to deepen further the debate on identity politics.

SEESP will publish all materials presented at the Oxford Symposium on its website and will facilitate further publications in various academic journals. Selected papers may also be incorporated, together with contributions from the May 2004 conference, into the book project Nationalism in South East Europe, which is already underway.

Conference details and application process.

The OS is planned as a two-day conference, with a separate key-note lecture by a leading expert on Trans-nationalism in South East Europe. A panel composed of the conveners and members of South East European Studies at Oxford will choose up to 20 papers from advanced doctoral students and young academics. There will be six to seven panels with a chair and a discussant each, based on the cluster of themes emerging from the submitted papers. We are expecting between sixty and eighty attendees. Invited applicants will receive a substantial contribution to their travel and accommodation costs.

OS is soliciting proposals dealing on wider South East Europe, including Turkey, in all fields of the social sciences, especially history, anthropology, politics, geography, cultural studies, urban studies, architecture and linguistics. Scholars in Armenian and Kurdish studies are also encouraged to apply.

Applications should consist of the following items. Please ensure that you

follow these guidelines, as incomplete or non-standard applications will

not be considered!

- Proposal, of no more than 300 words outlining the paper's key argument

- A brief one-page CV, indicating the applicant's affiliation and full contact details

- A list of publications (one-page maximum),

- Though the OS targets doctoral students and young academics, the convenors might consider outstanding applications by advanced master students. In that case the applicants should also submit a letter of reference from their supervisor.

Deadlines : please send your inquiries and application to seesp@sant.ox.ac.uk mentioning Oxford Symposium in the subject line. Please note that your application must reach us by Monday, March 14, 2005. Late applications will not be considered. Authors of the papers selected for the Oxford Symposium will be notified by April 11, 2005. Participants will be required to submit the full text of their respective papers to the convenors by May 16, 2005. The conference will begin on Friday afternoon, June 17 with the key-note-lecture.

We are looking forward to welcoming you at the Oxford Symposium!

The Convenors: Dimitar Bechev and Kerem Oktem

South East European Studies Programme, Oxford

Kerem Oktem  (Dipl.-Ing., M.St. MMES, Oxon)

St Antony's College (University of Oxford)

http://www.sant.ox.ac.uk/areastudies/seesp-oktem.shtml