Our second summer school was held between August 4 - 13 in Ulcinj, Montenegro. The proximity of fantastic Montenegrin beaches did not distract us from the main focus of this year’s summer school - pedagogical classroom rendering. The working program was structured around lectures and seminars delivered by our participant colleagues, workshops conducted by resource faculty, and discussions in project groups. Out of some 30 people, participant colleagues, faculty, staff and partners seven people were unable to join us. Iliriana, Tomislav, Alenka, Branko, Stefi, Visar and Ivan, you were sorely missed!
Day 1. After Irena’s and Hannah’s opening presentation of the past year’s project outcomes (which included a very successful special issue of the Anthropology of East Europe Review) and a brief overview of the summer school program, the resource faculty and participant colleagues presented their individual and joint work. Those resource faculty members who had already made their teaching tours – Michal, Sari and Dan – reported on their teaching experiences in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Romania. The remaining teaching tours plans were discussed. The project groups - Trauma and memory, Gender, Discourses of modernity, Public and local administration, community participation and corruption, Space / place, Education, and Law - met after lunch and in the evening to assess and discuss progress on group projects and determine the short and medium-term outcomes.
Day 2. The entire group met in the morning to discuss and finalize the schedule for lectures and workshops and decide which workshop topics would best respond to the needs expressed by the participant colleagues: preparation of project proposals, financing, publishing, and curriculum development issues. In the afternoon, the workshop conveners met to review the materials submitted by the participants, book proposals, draft syllabi, project proposals, etc. to be discussed at the workshops, while participant colleagues prepared their lectures. In the evening, Irena and Hannah presented the lectures and the workshops schedule. After dinner at the hotel, some went out to explore Ulcinj night life while others chatted on the terrace.
Days 3-6. On the third day we started a series of morning lectures and seminars delivered by our participant colleagues. The aim of the exercise was to hear and see everybody deliver a lecture or conduct a seminar on the topic of their choice, learn about the difficulties that surface when we approach certain topics or question firmly established concepts, and discuss the possibilities to infuse the existing syllabi with the post-socialist, and post-colonial perspectives. The 30-minutes lectures or seminars – the form was chosen by the participant colleagues – were followed by extensive discussions of the teaching methods employed, difficulties encountered in the classroom, curriculum-related issues, administrative and material constraints, etc. The afternoons were dedicated to work in project groups and many memorable sessions were held at a charming little restaurant that Sari baptized ‘Love shack’ (>> clip from Maja’s speech - mp3, 800kB). The members of the largest project group – Modernity – wrote abstracts for the joint edited volume, prepared a draft book proposal and discussed the best venues for publishing it; the Trauma group wrote a draft joint article, while other groups made detailed plans of their activities in 2005-2006.
Day 7. The morning of the seventh day was free, allowing the group to recover from wild partying following the successful completion of the lectures cycle. In the afternoon, Nancy led the first workshop on getting published (>> Clip from Nancy’s lecture - mp3, 800kB), which was followed by a lively debate structured around issues of writing and publishing.
Day 8. Two workshops were held on day 8: in the morning Dan and Michal discussed curriculum development issues and problems and the second one by Irena and Duška on successful project applications. We finished early because we had to prepare for the dinner at lovely little restaurant that Sari and Nancy discovered during their exploration missions into town. A copious meal was accompanied by lively discussions and Dan’s traditional summer school speech. This year Dan wrote a poem for the occasion: ‘Straight forward, going backwards.’ (>> Clip Dan - wmv, 7.5MB)
Day 9. The groups met in the morning to finalize their summer school outcomes and the afternoon was entirely devoted to the preparation of an ideal curriculum. The working session developed into a lively debate on ideal vs. realistic curriculum, the administrative and material difficulties that exist at most departments in the region (university structure, poor library resources, bureaucratic obstacles, etc) and the possibilities that the project offers to bridge this gap. Sari, Duška and Maja B. had to leave a day earlier because of the scarcity of air connections between Ljubljana and Podgorica. As expected, the place felt strangely empty after they left. Everything was buzzing in the evening, organizing, exchanging books, papers, photographs…
Day 10. The majority of our group left early in the morning and the brave men who stayed behind – Georgi and Bogdan – hopefully enjoyed some peace, quiet and –darkness! The electricity went off that night…
Summer School 2 location: