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The Special Editions series of the Institute for Balkan Studies, Serbian Academy of Sciences of Arts, now includes the book Legacies Pro Anima: The Wills of the Citizens of Kotor 1326–1337 of its researcher Dr Valentina Zivkovic. This study, the first of the kind in Serbian scholarship, offers a typological classification and analysis of testamentary gifts for the salvation of the soul using the sample of 74 wills of Kotor citizens drawn up between 1326 and 1337. These legacies, classified into four categories – commemorative, charitable, ad pias causas and pro male ablatis – provide the author with a basis for an in-depth analysis of a variety of medieval phenomena.   

The Institute for Balkan Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA) has published a new book in its special editions series: Drobeta A Roman Town on the Danube by Dragana Nikolić, PhD, research associate at the Institute for Balkan Studies of the SASA. Mainly based on the epigraphic research, the book offers a comprehensive overview of history an important Roman town on the Danube, situated on the left bank of the Danube, in the region of the Iron Gates, on the same location as the modern-day Romanian town of Drobeta Turnu Severin; in Roman times, Drobeta was on the border of two provinces: Dacia and Moesia Superior, connected by the famous Trajan’s bridge.

Dr. Aleksandra Djurić Milovanović, senior research associate of the Institute for Balkan Studies SASA, held a visiting lecture on February 27th at the Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge. Dr. Djurić Milovanović lecture was entitled “With the Bible in their hands across the Atlantic: The Dynamics of Emergence and Migration of the Nazarenes from Austria-Hungary to the New World” and organized within Cambridge New Habsburg Studies Network.

Milena Davidović, Researcher of the Institute of the Balkan Studies SASA, participated in the Humboldt-Conference 2020 Problems in the Medieval Tradition and in Textual Criticism: Comparing European Philologies, organized by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and Ca' Foscari University of Venice in Venice, from January 27th to 29th, 2020. The title of exposure was A few features about unexplored manuscript (Ćorović 31, The University Library Svetozar Marković, Belgrade) and its edition.

Conference programme

Valentina Živković, Senior Research Associate, and Ognjen Krešić, Research Assistant of the Institute for Balkan Studies SASA, participated in the international training school Islamic Heritage in Europe, organized by Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Departamento Historia del Arte Universidad de Granada, and Escuela de Estudios Árabes (CSIC): Unidad Asociada Patrimonio Cultural Árabe e Islámico. The school was held in Granada and Cordoba from 14 to 16 January 2020. Valentina Živković was a lecturer and the chair of the panel titled The image of Islam in the Visual culture, while Ognjen Krešić was a trainee and participated in the panel titled Islamic Architecture in Europe. The school was organized as a part of the activites supported by the COST action Islamic Legacy: East, West, North, South of the Mediterranean (1350–1750).

Ognjen Krešić, Research Assistant of the Institute for Balkan Studies SASA, took part in the international conference Visible and Invisible Borders between Christians and Muslims in the Early Modern World, organized by the Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies of Central European University and the Research Center for Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The conference took place in Budapest, 10–11 January 2020. The title of the paper was Monks without Borders – Building Cultural and Religious Networks between the Ottoman and the Habsburg Empires in the 18th Century.

The Institute for Balkan Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA), in cooperation with the Archbishopric of Ohrid and the Metropolitanate of Skopje, has published a new book in its special editions series: The Frescoes of Marko’s Monastery (Markov manastir) by Marka Tomić Đurić, PhD and research associate at the Institute for Balkan Studies of the SASA. The monograph deals with one the most thematically elaborate, conceptually complex and artistically relevant ensembles in Serbian fresco painting of the second half of the 14th century, commissioned by ktetors King Vukašin Mrnjavčević of Serbia (1365–1371) and his son Marko (1371–1395). The frescoes in the Church of St. Demetrios (1376/1377) are characterized by a blend of traditional and completely original themes, iconographical patterns and programmatic concepts based on theological teachings woven into liturgical texts, particularly religious poetry. Richly illustrated and featuring an abundance of visual material, the monograph represents a rounded research project which employs modern methodology to assess and interpret questions pertaining to the frescoes of the Church of St. Demetrios in Sušica. The structure of the book was largely shaped by the multi-layered iconography of wall paintings in the Palaiologan period and the consistent implementation of methodological principles which are rooted in field research and the detailed study of written sources on one hand, and on the other hand the author’s comprehensive insight into relevant academic literature and the current problems in worldwide Byzantine studies. The book offers a plethora of innovations and significantly expands our knowledge not only of the frescoes in the katholikon of Marko’s Monastery but also of the artistic phenomena and visual reflections of rulers’ ideologies, liturgy and theological ideas in Eastern Christian art of the late medieval period.

The 51st ASEEES (Annual  Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies) Convention was held on November 23-26, 2019 in San Francisco. Marija Mandić, Annemarie Sorescu-Marinković and Aleksandra Đurić Milovanović, Senior Research Associates of the Institute for Balkan Studies, took part in the convention. Marija Mandić organized the panel Belief in One Nation, One Language, chaired by Aleksandra Đurić Milovanović. Marija Mandić presented the paper Minority Language Ideology in Habsburg Lands: The Case of Serbian Ethno-Confessional Schools. Aleksandra Đurić Milovanović presented the paper Seeking for the Freedom of Belief: Religious Minorities as Refugees in Yugoslavia within the panel Allies, Adversaries and in Between: Religious Groups and Socialist Yugoslavia’s Foreign Policy. Annemarie Sorescu-Marinković delivered the presentation Minority Languages Gone Digital: The Case of Bayash Romanian within the framework of the panel Minority Languages: Identities, Ideologies, and Implications.

Convention program

Svetlana Ćirković, senior research associate, and Mirjana Mirić, research associate of the Institute for Balkan Studies SASA, participated at the scientific conference The Contribution of Rade Uhlik to Linguistics and Culture of the Roma with the contributions entitled Ethical Dative in Rade Uhlik’s Papers (Ćirković) and Balkan Linguistic Features in Rade Uhlik’s Papers (Mirić). The conference took place on 22 November 2019 in the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Belgrade. It was organized by the Committee for the Study of Life and Customs of the Roma SASA.

Conference programme and abstracts

Annemarie Sorescu Marinković, senior research associate of the Institute for Balkan Studies SASA, took part, between November 15th and 17th 2019, in the international scientific conference 100 Years of Romance Language Studies in Zagreb: Tradition, Contacts, Perspectives. This anniversary conference was organized by the Department for Romance Languages and the Department for Italian Language of the Philosophy Faculty at the University of Zagreb. The conference hosted more than 200 participants who presented the results of their research in eight parallel sections, in all Romance languages. Annemarie Sorescu Marinković delivered a lecture in Romanian entitled Daj Nostri în era digitală. Practici plurilingve și folosirea românei pe rețelele de socializare ale băieșilor (Daj Nostri in the Digital Era. Plurilingual Practices and the Use of Romanian on the Bayash Social Media).

Programme of the conference