EASA, 2010: EASA2010: Crisis and imagination

Maynooth, 24/08/2010 – 27/08/2010

(W065)

Stateless ethnic groups in Europe: problems and perspectives

Location Humanities Small Seminar Room 2
Date and Start Time 25 Aug, 2010 at 11:30

Convenor

Ewa Nowicka (Collegium Civitas) email
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Long Abstract

This workshop is to concentrate on small ethnic groups and nations in unifying Europe that continue to strive to negotiate, create and/or defend their ethnic identity in spite of not having their own state. In some countries they have gained legal status as an ethnic minority, while in others they struggle to be recognized as such to this day. On the one hand these groups can support their efforts by the notion of cultural diversity as a current European value. On the other hand their struggles are still framed by a persistent and partly unreflected image of the nation state as the only legitimate basis of the world order. The papers may discuss contradictory concepts within which processes of ethnomobilization take place. They may question the reason or purpose of such processes in the light of current word crisis. But they may consider prospective solutions in preserving and developing the culture of stateless ethnic groups as well.

Discussant: Jan Grill (University of St Andrews)

This workshop is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

The Istro-Romanians: perspectives regarding the legacy of a culture

Author: Mihai Burlacu (Transilvania University, Brasov)  email
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Long Abstract

The Istro-Romanians are one of Europe's smallest ethnic groups. They inhabit villages like: Susnievika (i.e. Suşnieviţa), Zejane (i.e. Jeiani), Brdo (i.e. Bârdo) and Nova Vas (i.e. Noselo) in the north-eastern corner of the Istrian Peninsula, Croatia. Their dialect is currently included in the UNESCO Red Book of Endangered Languages as Seriously Endangered.

Istro-Romanians are not accepted by the Croatian Constitution as a national minority. Without any institutions to preserve their language and cultural heritage, the very existence of this ethnic group is threatened. In 2009, there were about 200-220 Istro-Romanian speakers left in the Istrian Peninsula.

Drawing on an ongoing research project in which I am a member (Code: CNCSIS-UEFISCSU ROMANIA, CNCSIS GRANT, SU 57-09-01), this paper presents potential solutions for preserving the culture of Istro-Romanians and approaches the way Istro-Romanians attempt to defend their identity by creating networks of cooperation both with the diaspora and with Romania.

Do Istro-Romanian culture have a(ny) future?

Author: Georgeta Marghescu (University Politechnica, Bucharest)  email
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Long Abstract

This paper aims to consider the challenges and perspectives of a seriously endangered culture, the one of Europe's smallest stateless ethnic groups living in Istria Peninsula: the Istro-Romanian culture. The number of the groups' members is rapidly diminishing and the Istro-Romanian dialect is present in the UNESCO Red Book for Endangered Languages. It is estimated that, if no change occurs, in about 30 years, there will be no more Istro-Romanian speakers. New cultural politics are necessary in order to regain the self-confidence of Istro-Romanians in their own culture and in order to preserve their cultural identity.

The paper presents some results of a research project concerning the Istro-Romanian culture performed by a team constituted from researchers working with the Romanian Institute of Anthropology and the University "Politehnica" of Bucharest. The dynamic of the cultural identity and of the environment is investigated in order to understand the present and to consider the evolution of the Istro-Romanian culture.

Developing strategies for growing roots: an autobiography of displacement, migration and repatriation

Author: Alexandra Balandina (Technological Education Institute of Epirus)  email
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Long Abstract

As a child of Greek political refugees (of the Greek civil war 1946-1949), a grandchild of Greek Asia Minor refugees and an offspring of mixed marriage I have always felt that my ethnic, national and cultural identities are negotiable and fluid. This feeling has induced existential and cultural crises which I struggle to reframe by developing strategies for growing roots in the (second repatriate) country I decided to settle down. In this paper I will explore how political histories of the Greek civil war and nationalist ideologies and policies of contemporary Balkan nation-states (Macedonia and Greece), on the one hand, and the post-socialist transformations in Eastern Europe, on the other hand, create complexities in the process of identity formation at the individual level. Autobiographical consideration will illuminate the historical and personal struggles in the process of formation, adoption and protection of national identity across three family generations.

Ethnicization and (trans) national governmentality: the case of Moldavian Csangos

Author: Calin Cotoi (University of Bucharest)  email
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Long Abstract

The Csangos are defined as ethnically charged subjects by two antagonistically nationalizing projects: the Hungarian and the Romanian one. The Hungarian-based one is stressing the archaicity, the Middle Ages characteristics of the Csangos. The Romanian nationalizing strategy appears as a counter strategy; the Csangos are seen as "hybrids", half-denationalized Romanians.

Extended networks of organizations, associations, scientific institutes, forums, ethnic tourism networks etc. using at the same time global technologies and old national myths are modeling and forging ethnic identities by deploying state-like effects. A relatively wide and lax network of European Council bureaucrats, nationalist intellectuals, ethnographers, historians, folklorists, anthropologists etc. connected by scientific institutes, NGO's, Internet forums and portals have similar effects with nation-state apparatuses. Various actors compete to deploy state-like effects into the field of ethnicity, group and subjectivity formation.

This workshop is closed to new paper proposals.