An institution that promotes university cooperation and academic exchange in SE Europe.

Border Crossings Network Since 2003

The programme


The 13th Konitsa Summer School teaching and fieldwork activities

The 13th Konitsa Summer School offers a full academic programme with an emphasis on theoretical, epistemological and methodological issues in Sociocultural Anthropology. The course "Ethnographic Research in Border Areas" is the core course, which explores the borders, border crossings and boundary construction processes in SE Europe.

Moreover, the School’s programme includes courses discussing the current political and economic conditions in SE Europe. The relationship between data gathering and data analysis and the writing of ethnography are discussed as intellectual, methodological and epistemological tools for the conduct of the fieldwork practice. A special ethnographic focus on environmental history and cultural ecology which explores issues related to the border area complements a rich and advanced curriculum.

The participants have a chance to conduct short fieldwork projects in three Balkan countries, participate in the BCN’s publication series, actively engage in local issues, and become acquainted with the border area. Various lecturers join their forces to teach providing an international aura and enhancing the School’s interdisciplinary character.

Robert M. Hayden, Professor of Anthropology, Law and Public & International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, USA, will be the invited speaker to deliver a lecture and a workshop.


Courses offered


Courses offered
23 – 26/7


1. Migrating words and practices: drawing concepts from ancient to contemporary grammatology

2. Environmental history and cultural ecology of the Mediterranean and the Balkans. The case of Pindus and the adjacent borderlands

3. Sensorial ethnographies – from everyday experience to affective tonalities

4. Doing fieldwork: theory, method and the production of anthropological knowledge


Ethnographic Research in Border Areas
27 – 31/7

5. Fieldwork exercise in Albania, Greece and the F.Y. Republic of Macedonia for all participants

(the participation in it is obligatory and a prerequisite for the certificate of attendance)

Preparation for the presentation of the fieldwork exercise results

Presentation of the fieldwork exercise results

 *See the attached documents of the course description and the daily plan below



 Invited speaker


Robert M. Hayden

Professor of Anthropology, Law and Public & International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, USA

Robert Hayden (J.D., Ph.D.) is an anthropologist of law and politics. His primary research for more than three decades has focused on the Balkans, but has also done fieldwork in India (1970s, 1992, 2013) and among the Seneca Iroquois of New York State (1970s). Following ethnographic research on Yugoslav socialism from 1981-89, he did extensive work on issues of violence, nationalism, constitutionalism and state reconstruction in the formerly Yugoslav space, as well as on transitional justice issues stemming from the Yugoslav wars. From 2007-2013 Professor Hayden headed Antagonistic Tolerance: An International & Interdisciplinary Project on Competitive Sharing of Religious Sites, which developed and analyzed, variously, ethnographic, historical and archaeological data from Bosnia, Bulgaria, India, Mexico, Peru, Portugal and Turkey. His new research stemming from this project include studies of sufi/ dervish orders in post-imperial settings, and the (re)construction of religious sites to mark competing national territorial claims in Bosnia since the end of the war there.


LECTURE: Borders and the Limits of Authority


Developing insights from comparative research:


Sharing & Contesting Sacred Sites from India through The Balkans



While most of my research for the past 35 years has focused on the Balkans, my training and first research experiences were focused on India.  This quirk of personal intellectual biography has been, I think, an advantage because my analyses of the Balkans have always been informed by comparisons, often with India/ South Asia, but also with other regions.  This workshop discusses the development of a major research project on the ways in which colleagues and I developed a major comparative research project on competitive sharing of religious sites, which started with my ethnographic work on a site in India but which experiences in the Balkans showed to be much more widely practiced.  We thus developed ways to look at patterns of social action that seem comparable in widely separated cultural traditions and historical settings.  The larger project showed both the necessity of careful ethnography and the limitations on the conclusions that can be drawn from limiting one’s research to ethnographic studies of particular locations at specific moments in time.






Hayden, Robert M. "Antagonistic Tolerance: Competitive Sharing of Religious Sites in South Asia and the Balkans." Current Anthropology 43: 205-231 (2002)


Hayden, Robert M., Tuğba Tanyeri-Erdemir and Aykan Erdemir, “The Iconostasis in the Republican Mosque: Transformed Religious Sites as Artifacts of Intersecting Religioscapes,” International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 46: 489-512 (2014).

Hayden, Robert M. “Intersecting Religioscapes in Post-Ottoman Spaces,” pp. 59-85 in Post-Ottoman Coexistence: Sharing Space in the Shadow of Conflict, Edited by Rebecca Bryant, Oxford & New York: Berghahn, 2016.


Day Trips

An excursion to the Greek-Albanian border area will take place on Friday, 27th of July as an introduction of the participants into the border landscape, proximity and its function as well as to its people and its history.



Cultural events

July and August are months in which many social events, religious celebrations and public feasts, that include traditional music and dancing, take place in the town of Konitsa and the surrounding area.

These occasions are great opportunities for the participants to get more familiar with the area and its people, know each other, socialize and get entertained. As every year, we will attend as many as possible.


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