The East / Central Europe Research Group

Institute of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen

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Annual Report - 2002


Membership and routine activities

ECEG consists of students, Ph.D.'s and teachers at the Institute of Anthropology in Copenhagen, who are involved in research in and about the former socialist countries in East and Central Europe, including former East Germany, the Central, East and North Asian territories of the former Soviet Union, and Mongolia. In 2002, ECEG acquired many new members from within and outside the Institute; we now have 29 registered members. Throughout the year, we have held regular meetings, to discuss academic questions or work on practical tasks related to the group's other activities.

Teaching and guest lecturers

Fall semester (in co-operation with the University of Vilnius, Lithuania):
Two-module, internet-assisted course: "Power, State and Nationalism in East / Central Europe" (http://www.fsnnielsen.com/kur/2002-2_EastEur/). The course was practically oriented: Students in Copenhagen and Vilnius prepared project proposals together for (fictitious) ethnographic research projects in the region. Teachers: Finn Sivert Nielsen (Copenhagen), Kristina Sliavaite (Vilnius).

September:
Mini-seminar on human rights in East/Central Europe, with speakers from Estonia, Latvia and Russia.

Guest lecturers:
Vintila Mihailescu (Bucharest), Kristina Sliavaite (Vilnius), Vytis Ciubrinskas (Vilnius), Mari-Ann Herloff Mortensen, Kari Helene Partapuoli.

MA's and Ph.D's

Jeppe Linnet defended his MA thesis on a pro-EU youth NGO in Riga, Latvia.

Kristin Rande was admitted as a Ph.D. at the Institute and com-menced fieldwork in Vilnius, on consumption patterns among Lithuanian nouveaux riches.

Conferences

In April 2002, ECEG organized the Fourth Nordic Conference on the Anthropology of Post-Socialism (http://www.fsnnielsen.com/oeur/4nor/). The con-ference attracted 40 participants from the Nordic countries and East/Central Europe. There were keynote lectures by three invited speakers and eight workshops. Sponsors were: The Social Science Research Council, The Humanistic Research Council, The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and CIRIUS. The Insti-tute supported the confer-ence with 8000 DKK, and allowed free use of its premises. Conference papers were published at: http://www.anthrobase.com/Browse/home/Cnf/4nor/

International networks

ECEG administers Socrates/Erasmus student/teacher exchange programs with the universities of Vilnius, Riga and Ljubljana, and a NORFA-funded mini-network with the universities of Vilnius and Lund. We participate in the Helsinki-centered network "Micro-Perspectives on Post-Soviet Transformations", with members from the circum-baltic region. In 2002, we have taken the initiative to form the "Nordic and East / Central European Network for Qualitative Social Research", with members from the Nordic countries and throughout the East/Central European region (see below).

Academic positions

The Institute has announced a new Assistant Professorship with East/Central European specialization, which will be filled in February 2003.


NECEN:

Nordic and East / Central European Network for Qualitative Social Research

http://www.necen.org/

The network was formed in April 2002, during the Fourth Nordic Conference on the Anthropology of Post-Socialism. Since then, a rudimentary homepage has been established and various preliminary work has been done.

A steering group has been chosen, with members from four Nordic and four East Euro-pean countries. The steering group will hold its first meeting on April 13th 2003, in Hel-sinki, during which it will adopt a formal charter and a 1-2 year activity plan. The meeting is sponsored by: The Social Science and Humanistic Research Councils and the Institute of Anthropology in Copenhagen.

Meanwhile, a number of network-related initiatives have been taken by the East / Central Europe Re-search Group in Copenhagen. These include expanded co-operation within the Baltic region (Socrates-Erasmus agreements, teaching co-operation, guest lecturers, network participation etc.). We are taking the first steps toward the formation of an inter-Baltic MA program in anthropology, and are discussing Institute participation in the interdiscipinary Center for Baltic Studies under the ěresund University.