Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Rudolf Vogel Medal for Richard Swartz

At its annual meeting on 13 February 2010 the Südosteuropa-Gesellschaft (Southeast Europe Association) awarded a Rudolf Vogel Medal to the Swedish journalist and writer Richard Swartz . This distinction, which is annually bestowed on a renowned journalist who writes about the Southeast of Europe, goes for the first time to a foreign author. Richard Swartz lives in Vienna and works for the Stockholm daily Svenska Dagbladet, the German Süddeutsche Zeitung and other international newspapers. He has published a number of critically acclaimed books about Southeastern Europe, many of them translated into German and some into English: Room Service. Reports from Eastern Europe translated from the Swedish by Linda Haverty Rugg, New Press, 1998 and A House in Istria, translated from the Swedish by Anna Paterson, New Directions, 2002. about Room Service:

Room Service offers detailed images of the people and places of Richard Swartz's adopted slice of Europe, and thoughtful reflection on his status as a privileged outsider. We meet Serbian poets and priests in the service of war, the bewitching wife of a Romanian bigot, a Czech factory manager turned hotel porter in the wake of 1968, Ceaucescu's masseuse, the king of all the gypsies, a cantor who is the last survivor of a Jewish community, and many others - famous, infamous, and anonymous - who take their places in a fascinating, moving, and sometimes cuttingly funny history of a region at the brink of enormous change. A rich, literary portrait of Eastern Europe in transition. about A House in Istria

In formerly communist Eastern Europe, there are many empty houses. Inhabited in turn by very different families -- Jews, fascists, communists -- the houses now stand empty, decaying, the objects of countless lawsuits.
Richard Swartz's quirky and marvelous first novel revolves around one such house and the Western European man obsessed with it. Narrated by his wife, the action takes place over just seven blazing hot days in Istria, formerly Yugoslavia. His obsession drags his poor wife, a native of Istria, into long burlesque conversations with lawyers and owners; her out-of-control husband (who doesn't speak the language) involves them in surreal scenes with nearly insane characters. Since everything the husband knows (and everything the reader knows) must be channeled through the wife, we enter a world in which nothing is directly intelligible and everything is skewed. The unusual, antic, hilarious style calls Capek, Gogol, and Kafka all to mind.

A Young Southeast European Researcher in the Spotlight

The Südosteuropa-Gesellschaft (Southeast Europe Association), a mediation body and a centre administering within Germany research in the area of Southeast European studies awarded at its annual meeting on 13 February 2010 two Fritz and Helga Exner Foundation awards to young scholars (Förderpreise). One of them was given to Ramona Lenz for her dissertation entitled "Mobilitäten in Europa: Migration und Tourismus auf Kreta und Zypern im Kontext des europäischen Grenzregimes" which will be published in 2010 by VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften in Wiesbaden.

Research on migration and tourism is usually conducted separately. Ramona Lenz, however, points out various linkages between these two forms of mobility and their infrastructure and analyzes them with regard to the European border regime that promotes some kinds of mobilities while at the same time hampering others. The core of her thesis are the results of ethnographic research in tourist areas in Crete and Cyprus, which Ramona Lenz discusses in relation to mobility opportunities and restrictions in the European Union. The tourism sector as a labor market for immigrants and the varied use of tourist facilities in Mediterranean countries are at the center of the dissertation.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

National Bodies in Eastern Europe

Conference to be held 28-29 August 2010 in Wellington, New Zealand

Several scholars have explained the rise of nationalism as the consequence of "modernization," variously understood as some combination of secularization, industrialization, rising literacy, increasing technological sophistication, and similar factors. National ideologies transformed political life, as they seized European imaginations, but also affected how people viewed each other in everyday circumstances. The experience of life in Eastern Europe, a region where the impact of nationalism proved particularly explosive, has included the experience of being stereotyped and classified in terms of nationalist fantasy.

We wish to explore the spread of nationalized thinking as it relates to the body. How did people in central Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans classify each other in terms of national concepts? What characteristics supposedly distinguished the Czech from the German, the Jew from the Ukrainian, the Romanian from the Hungarian, the Turk from the Greek, and so forth? How did these fantasies of the national body emerge, and how did they affect human interactions? Other topics of
possible interest include: national bodily practices, literary concepts of national bodies, national sexuality or sexualities, national clothing or accoutrements, sporting nationalism, or eugenics.

We are initially soliciting papers for a conference hosted by the Antipodean East European Study Group at Victoria University and the Russian Programme at the University of Canterbury. The conference will take place on the weekend of 28-29 August in Wellington, New Zealand. We welcome scholars working in history, anthropology, sociology, literary studies, film studies, and other related disciplines. The conference organizers then intend to publish selected papers either as an edited volume, or a special edition of a relevant journal. Final word lengths are flexible at this stage, but we suggest contributors aim for 6,000 words.

Interested parties contact Alexander Maxwell at

Antipodean East European Study Group (Victoria University) Russian Programme (University of Canterbury)

Sunday, February 7, 2010


The Department of Slavic Languages
the Department of Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences
at Brown University present

October 9-11, 2010

The Slavic Cognitive Linguistics Association (SCLA) announces the Call for Papers for the 2010 annual conference. The conference will be held on the campus of Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island) on Saturday, October 9 through Monday, October 11, 2010.

SCLC-2010 Keynote Speakers

Eugene Charniak
Brown University

Adele E. Goldberg
Princeton University

Ronald W. Langacker
University of California, San Diego

Abstracts are invited for presentations addressing issues of significance for cognitive linguistics with some bearing on data from the Slavic languages. As long as there is a cognitive orientation, papers may be on synchronic or diachronic topics in any of the traditional areas of phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, discourse analysis, or sociolinguistics. In addition to the Slavic Languages, relevant papers on other languages of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union are also acceptable.

Abstracts may be submitted up until the deadline of April 16, 2010 to Steven Clancy . Abstracts should be approximately 500 words, but strict word limits are not required. Notification of acceptance will be provided by May 31, 2010.

Most presentations at SCLC are given in English, but may be in the native (Slavic) language of the presenter. However, if the presentation is not to be made in English we ask that you provide an abstract in English in addition to an abstract in any other SCLA language.

MAIN SESSIONS (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday)
Each presentation for the main sessions will be given 20 minutes and will be followed by a 10-minute discussion period.

Saturday, October 9: conference panels beginning in the morning and continue throughout the day, evening reception, keynote address, and conference dinner
Sunday, October 10: main sessions and keynote address throughout the day, lunch and dinner
Monday, October 11: main sessions and keynote address with conclusion by noon

Information on transportation, accommodations, and the conference venue will be forthcoming. Please see the conference website for further information.

Brown University is located in Providence, Rhode Island and is accessible from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS, 55 miles away) or T.F. Green Airport (PVD) in Providence.

We hope you will be able to join us for SCLC-2010. Please forward this call for papers to your colleagues and graduate students who may be interested in presenting or attending.


Steven Clancy
President, SCLA

Tore Nesset
Vice-President, SCLA

Masako Fidler
Conference Organizer and Host, Brown University

on behalf of the SCLA officers and the 2010 SCLA organizing committee

Friday, February 5, 2010

CfP: International Conference on Dialogue of Languages, Cultures and Civilizations, 8-10.4.2010 , Albania

The Department of Slavic and Balkan Languages of the School of Foreign Languages, University of Tirana, Albania, in collaboration with the Trakya University, Edirne, Turkey, organize an International Conference on Dialogue of Languages, Cultures and Civilizations. The event takes place on 8, 9, 10 April 2010 at the School of Foreign Languages, University of Tirana, Albania. On this occasion interested persons are invited to take part at the Conference.
Preferred subjects:
- Problems Regarding Translation from/to Balkan and/or Slavic languages
- Teaching of Balkan and/or Slavic Languages
- Reception of the Balkans in Europe
- Reception of Europe in the Balkans
- Balkan Features in Language / Literature / Art
- Dialectological Approach of Balkan Linguistic Relations

Other relevant subjects may also be introduced.

Languages of the conference are English, Russian and all Balkan languages. At any case, an English translation of the paper must be distributed to participants before reading the paper.

Conference Registration Fee is 30 Euros.
For members of academic staffs (professors, university teachers, students) the Registration Fee is 10 Euros.

The Organizing Committee is compound by professors from both University of Tirana and Trakya University, Edirne.

Mailing addresses:

Departamenti i Gjuhëve Sllave dhe Ballkanike
Fakultetit i Gjuhëve të Huaja
Universiteti i Tiranës
Rruga e Elbasanit

Participants are asked to announce by 15 February 2010 the title of the paper and to deliver by 15 March 2010 an abstract of the paper in English. Participants will be notified whether the paper is accepted by 20 of March 2010. Conference registration fee should be paid upon registration.

Confirmation of participation - Application 15 February 2010
Submission of abstracts 15 March 2010
Notification about acceptance 20 March 2010

Participants should cover expenses for their accommodation. However, the Organizing Committee will take care to provide facilities and ensure reduced prices for participants.

Info about hotels in Tirana:
There are a lot of hotels in Tirana and the prices are different according to the offered service. At any case, all the hotels are clean and the food is really delicious. You can still find bio food in very small prices. Prices of hotels start from 30-35 Euros per night (breakfast included).

Tirana International Airport (TIA, phone +355 4 38 18 00, lost & found phone +355 69 206 66 26, is officially named Nënë Tereza (or Mother Teresa airport), but is also known as Rinas. The airport is 17km northwest of Tirana.

A taxi to the airport costs about €20, call a yellow Airport Express Taxi (ATE, tel. 223 34 19, 068 204 95 98, 068 207 03 11) and pay 2000 Albanian Leks (ALL), or 2500 ALL at night hours. A trip to the airport usually takes 20 minutes. Parking at the airport is free for 15 minutes, 150 ALL for one hour, 720 ALL for a day and 3000 ALL per week. Exchange rate: 1 Euro = 138 ALL.

There is a more economical way to come to Tirana from Rinas airport. You can take the Rinas Express airport bus (Mob. 069 209 89 08, 069 205 40 02), which departs every hour between 07:00 and 19:00 from beside the National Museum on Skanderbeg Square; tickets cost 250 lek (2 Euros) and the trip takes under 20 minutes. Buses from the airport to the centre depart every hour between 08:00 and 19:00.
For more info please visit:
For complete Tirana guide please visit:

Further information will be send to participants accepted by the Organizing Committee.
Aristotle Spiro, PhD
Sector of Greek Language
Department of Slavic and Balkan Languages
School of Foreign Languages
University of Tirana
Mob. 00355 683850442

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Summer intensive study and study abroad for Balkan languages

The Critical Languages Institute at Arizona State University is offering intensive summer courses and summer study abroad programs for 11 languages and among them Albanian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian and Macedonian.

Details are available at .

Most CLI courses run 8 weeks in Arizona followed by an optional 3 weeks in country. Students receive 8-10 semester credits and can expect to make progress equivalent to 2 semesters' of regular language study.

CLI programs are tuition free and are FLAS eligible. CLI offers scholarships for selected languages. Class size is limited. Admission is competitive. Application deadline is March 1, 2010.

Second Call for Papers

23rd May 2010, La Valleta , Malta
organised in conjunction with LREC 2010 conference (17-23 May 2010, La Valleta, Malta)
The reconciliation of differences in the availability of language resources and tools for more intensively and less intensively spoken languages has been the main concern of several European initiatives. Central and (South-) Eastern European languages can be the subject of a case study in that respect: integration of diverse languages into a broad language community.
The main result of these initiatives was the increased production of language resources and especially language technology tools for Central, Eastern and Southern European languages in recent years. While monolingual systems have achieved performances comparable to those for intensively studied languages, still a lot of work has to be invested in multilingual tools for applications such as machine translation or cross-lingual information retrieval. At least three major issues have critical influence on the performance of such systems:
- the availability of the appropriate quantities of data for training and evaluation;
- the analysis of structural linguistic differences among languages so as to be able to improve statistical methods with targeted linguistic knowledge;
- the availability of knowledge bases for incorporation into language processing systems.
The identification of key aspects of linguistic modelling and resource supply for multilingual technologies involving Central, Eastern and Southern European languages can have impact not only on the local improvement of such systems but also on the overall development of multilingual technologies. The same holds for well established or emerging linguistic knowledge representation frameworks, which can only benefit from embedding components for Central, Eastern and Southern European languages.
We are looking for submission of original, unpublished work related to Central and (South)-Eastern European languages in the following areas:
- Automatic identification of comparable or parallel corpora
- Extraction of linguistic knowledge from comparable or parallel corpora
- Improvement of statistical methods with knowledge extracted from comparable or parallel corpora
- Domain adaptation of statistical methods in multilingual context
- Multilingual systems involving Central, Eastern and Southern European languages
- Production, management and interfacing of knowledge bases including Central, Eastern and Southern European languages
- Machine translation for Central, Eastern and Southern European languages
A special track will be dedicated to machine translation for Central and (South-)Eastern European languages. The main goal of this track is to sum up linguistic particularities of these languages, which are challenges for an MT-System. In this respect we are encouraging submission of papers analysing the translations of the test data at
in any of the languages referred to as Central or (South-) Eastern European.
Authors can use any on-line, open-source or commercially available system. The source language is English. Papers submitted under this track should discuss evaluation criteria specified at
Accepted papers (both main session and special track) will be published in workshop proceedings. We intend to publish revised versions of the papers in a volume in LINCOM Series. Demonstrations of existing systems are also welcome.
Submission Details
Submissions have to be made through the START system of the main LREC conference at
Contributors should submit a PDF file no longer than 10 DIN-A4 pages. The formatting details should follow the LREC conference formatting details at
Papers will be blind reviewed by minimum 3 members of the Programme Committee.
When submitting a paper from the START page, authors will be asked to provide essential information about resources (in a broad sense, i.e., also technologies, standards, evaluation kits, etc.) that have been used for the work described in the paper or are a new result of their research.
For further information on this new initiative, please refer to:
NEW Important Dates
Deadline for paper submission: 22 February 2010
Notification of acceptance / rejection: 15 March 2010
Submission of final papers: 25 March 2010
Workshop: 23 May 2010
Organising Committee
Stelios Piperidis, ILSP, Natural Language and Knowledge Extraction Department, Athens Greece
Milena Slavcheva, Bulgarian Academy of Science, Institute for Parallel Processing, Linguistic Modeling Department, Sofia, Bulgaria
Cristina Vertan, University of Hamburg, Arbeitsstelle „Computerphilologie“, Hamburg, Germany
Programme Committee
Galja Angelova (IPP, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
Bogdan Babych (Centre for Translation Studies, Leeds, UK)
Damir Cavar (University of Zadar, Croatia)
Tomaz Erjavec (Jozef Stefan Institute, Slovenia)
Maria Gavrilidou (ILSP, Athens, Greece)
Walther von Hahn (University of Hamburg, Germany)
Cvetana Krstev (University of Belgrade, Serbia)
Vladislav Kubon (Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)
Petya Osenova (University of Sofia, Bulgaria)
Stelios Piperidis (ILSP, Athens, Greece)
Gabor Proszeky (Morphologic, Hungary)
Adam Przepiorkowski (IPAN, Polish Academy of Sciences)
Milena Slavcheva (IPP, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
Kiril Simov (IPP, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
Dan Tufis (Romanian Academy of Sciences)
Cristina Vertan (University of Hamburg, Germany)
Dusko Vitas (University of Belgrade, Serbia)
For further questions please see the web page of the workshop at:
or contact Dr. Cristina Vertan at:
cristina DOT vertan AT uni-hamburg DOT de
tel: +4940428384767

Monday, February 1, 2010

Center for Linguistic and Cultural Studies BALCANICA

Posted on behalf of Irina Sedakova, Head of BALCANICA

This Center of the Institute for Slavic Studies (Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow) celebrated its first birthday on 25 March 2008 with the conference МАРТЕНИЦА, MĂRŢIŞOR, ΜΑΡΤ’Σ, VERORE… Tatiana Civjan and Maksim Makartsev of the Institute for Slavic Studies are also affiliated with BALCANICA. The Center’s mandate is the continued support of the multidisciplinary Balkan studies launched in the 1960s in the Department of Structural Linguistics (now Department of Typology and Comparative Linguistics), which range from linguistics and, more specifically, the typology of the Balkan Sprachbund to Balkan Weltanschauung and culture (mythology, folklore, arts, music and theatre) in synchrony and diachrony, from the ancient until the modern times. The Center will carry on with the organization of biennial Balkan symposia (the tenth was held in March 2009), publish scholarly work on Balkan topics in Russia and contribute to Balkan periodicals abroad (such as Linguistique balkanique, Zeitschrift für Balkanologie and Revue des études sud-est européennes). It will serve as a bridge between Balkan scholars working abroad and in Russia, take part in international collaborative projects and conferences, including the congresses and interim conferences of AIESEE (Association internationale d’études du Sud-Est européen). And, last but not least, the Center will coordinate and promote the work of younger scholars, provide to them resources, organize seminars and lectures. The next big event, the round table ЦВЕТНИЦА, DIELA E LULEVET, DUMINICA FLORILOR, ΒΑΓΙΟΤΣΥΡΙΑΤΣΗ… will focus on the vegetative code of Palm Sunday in the Balkan, Baltic and Slavic regions (30 March 2010). The topic of the Eleventh Balkan Symposium is Balkan Spectrum: from Light to Color (March 2011).

Contact Information:
Phone: +7 (495)938-19-43