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Accepted Paper:

From anthropologization of the Balkans to Balkanisation of anthropology: just another story from the European periphery  
Tanja Bukovcan (University of Zagreb)

Paper Short Abstract:

The paper discusses the changes that have been happening during the last forty years in the region which is popularly known as the Balkans and formally as South-eastern Europe, during the so-called anthropologization of the peripheral version of the discipline, ethnology (Volkskunde).

Paper Abstract:

The paper discusses the disciplinary, but also educational and moral, changes that have been happening during the last forty years in the region which is popularly known as the Balkans and formally as South-eastern Europe, during the process of the so-called anthropologization of the peripheral version of the discipline, ethnology (Volkskunde). Initially, the conventional nationalist-leaning ethnology required a profound revamp, distancing itself from rural cultures, populations, and the tendency to construct a cultural past steeped in a politico-historical agenda. The infusion of new theories and emergence of fresh authors sought to modernize the discipline. Despite earnest efforts, those of us with unconventional English accents found ourselves perceived as outsiders, our contributions deemed valuable yet falling short for admission into the mainstream discourse. Recent developments offer a glimmer of hope for change. I will analyze three unrelated events from my nearly two-decade career as an anthropologist from Croatia. These events include a renowned scholar from Western Europe asserting that his anthropologist friend could have halted the 1990s war through personal experience, a conference on health in Romania featuring a lesser-known Western scholar highlighting the 'horrors' of Balkan healthcare systems, and a highly distinguished Western European scholar casually mentioning the Balkanization of anthropology. These instances reveal a persistently colonial attitude towards Balkan anthropology. In contemplating these events, one senses a potential shift towards inclusivity and recognition in the broader academic landscape.

Panel P172
What’s in a name? A reality check on recent claims and practices of decolonising anthropology
  Session 1 Thursday 25 July, 2024, -