Mobilizing local knowledge

We will strengthen Southeast European Studies by soliciting ‘local knowledge’, bringing leading voices from the region to Regensburg to give lectures and teach, and supporting early career scholars from the region to develop new and innovative research. The Visiting Professorship Programme, International Visiting Fellowships for early career scholars, and pre-doctoral scholarships are but a few activities in this field.

A key principle is to do research about the region together with the region. We want to counter existing asymmetries in the production of knowledge, entering into dialogue with colleagues from the region, creating equitable channels of communication and exchange from which we can mutually benefit. Setting the research agenda together with our partners, we propose to concentrate on issues that have been of continuous importance to citizens in the region: economic survival, public health, migration, environmental problems, the lack of trust in public institutions, collective identities, memory and conflict, globalisation and outside interference, to name just a few.

We open up new research horizons by exploring ‘Europe’ from the fringe, bringing ‘other’ bodies of knowledge to light, which show a high degree of cultural intimacy with vernacular sites and contexts. Knowledge of the languages and acquisition of advanced language skills is a precondition for conducting good research. In addition, interdisciplinary approaches are essential, with social anthropology focusing on everyday life, history looking at long-term developments, and linguistics addressing the shifts in symbolic and semantic systems. In making vernacular and ‘decentred’ voices heard, Southeast European Studies offers ample opportunities to explore larger issues linked to processes of globalisation, causing ‘frictions’ in specific locales. 

Our measures are:

  • Visiting Professorships.
  • International Visiting Fellowships for early career scholars.
  • Seed funding for postdocs to explore new and innovative ideas for research. The funds can be used flexibly to cover, for example, archival research and fieldwork, travel, research assistance, workshops, and the like. 
  • Pre-doctoral scholarships, to prepare an application for PhD funding.
  • Workshops “How to prepare an excellent doctoral project”. 
  • Mentoring junior scholars, preparing a publication for the IOS journal Comparative Southeast European Studies (COMPSEES). 

It will be a measure of our success when we manage to support burgeoning research projects to be conducted in the region by scholars residing there, helping to reduce the academic brain drain from the region and contributing to employment possibilities in the respective countries. We welcome joint research funding applications with lead applicants coming from the region.

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