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


Dr Dragana Nikolić participated in the conference “International Workshop in Epigraphy and Sigillographу” organised between 28 and 30 October 2019 at St. Konstantin Preslavski University of Shumen Shumen and Veliki Preslav. The event is organized by the St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia in the framework of the Cultural Heritage, National Memory and Social Development National Research Programme supported by the Ministry of Education and Science, with the cooperation of the University of Shumen.

Conference program

Dr Dragana Nikolić, research fellow of the Institute for Balkan Studies SASA presented a paper at the conference "Applicaton of Free Software and Open Hardware" (PSSOH), held on October 26, 2019 at the School of Electrical Engineering of the University of Belgrade.




Dr Dragana Nikolić participated in International Epigraphic Roundtable “Defending the polis - defending the Empire. The ancient Greek and Roman military strategy and inscriptions International Epigraphic Roundtable – University of Debrecen” Organised in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Regional Committee in Debrecen October 17-18, by Dr. Peter Forisek (University of Debrecen) and Prof. Dr. Ioan Piso (Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca). The paper was titled “Roman Military Strategy in the Iron Gates in the Light of Epigraphic Evidence”.

Conference program

MA Rastko Lompar, research trainee of the Institute for Balkan Studies SASA, participated at the conference of the International Association for Comparative Fascist Studies (COMFAS) held from 25 to 27 September 2019 at the University of Uppsala (Sweden). At the conference, Rastko Lompar  presented a paper entitled “Gangrenous Tissue Must be Removed!: Violence as the Vessel of Social Transformation in the Ideology of the Yugoslav National Movement ZBOR". The conference gathers more than 50 scholars from all over the world and it is the most important international conference for fascist studies.

Conference program

Marija Mandić, senior research associate of the Institute for Balkan Studies SASA, gave a talk together with Krisztina Rácz (UiO), entitled “Reverse Integration: Hungarian as the Language of the Social Environment in Socialist Yugoslavia”. The lecture was carried out as the part of the international project Probing the Boundaries of the (Trans)National: Imperial Legacies, Transnational Literary Cultures, and Multilingual Practices in East Central Europe (2018–2021), carried out by the Institute for Balkan Studies SASA and the Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages (ILOS), University of Oslo, funded by the Research Council of Norway.

Life on the Rivers in Southeastern Europe (Historical Aspects of the Spatial Planning of Settlements and Communications) is the title of a new collection of studies published by the Institute for Balkan Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA) as its 141st special edition. Edited by Ljubodrag P. Ristić, the collection includes thirteen texts by scholars from Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Macedonia. Since the first period of their settlement along riverbanks, humans have influenced the forming and changing of their surroundings and natural environment by building settlements, roads, bridges and canals, transforming nature and consequently clashing with it. Ranging from the period of classical antiquity to the 20th century, the research topics discussed in the book are focused on these shifts and conflicts. The evolution of settlements along the banks of the Danube River has garnered the most attention and has, as such, been accorded the largest space. In the classical period mines developed in the Danube Valley (Podunavlje), leading to the construction of settlements and traffic routes. The Danube was the frontier that needed to be crossed by barbarian invasions. Along its banks old and modern settlements rose and fell; routes were traced and fortresses, dams and canals built. These changes are reflected in the history of Novi Sad, Belgrade, Vidin, Lom and Rousse. The main factors that shaped the urban planning of Belgrade in the mid-20th century were the Sava and Danube waterways. At the same time, the Danube was the key factor in the creation of the first spatial plan of Serbia. Research of the basins of the Sava, Drina, Great and West Morava and some other smaller rivers of Serbia have highlighted both the huge benefits of waterways and the enormous damage incurred due to flooding. The military and strategic importance of the Strymon River is presented through the prism of military conflicts in the classical period. The great advantage provided by waterways was in the past also reflected at the micro-level (watermills) and in the 20th century in the construction of electrification systems (the Treska River). This collection of writings is the second book on spatial planning in the Balkans published by the Institute for Balkan Studies of the SASA.