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  1. Gender and Women’s History

Workshop Leaders: Lara Zelić, Iris Živičnjak

„The marginal man…is one whom fate has condemned to live in two societies and in two, not merely different but antagonistic cultures….his mind is the crucible in which two different and refractory cultures may be said to melt and, either wholly or in part, fuse.“(Robert E. Park, Cultural Conflict and the Marginal Man in Everett V Stonequist, The Marginal Man, Introduction, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1937)

Marginalization is a social disadvantage that comprises those processes by which individuals and groups are ignored or relegated to the sidelines of political debate, social negotiation, and economic bargaining – and kept there. Marginalized groups are communities with specific characteristics that separate them from majority.

In this workshop we will be dealing with minorities and/or marginalized groups in terms of gender, sex, and sexual orientation. Firstly, we would like to address how perception of sex and reproduction has been changing throughout history and how different societies perceived the role of sex and reproduction. We would like to explore relationship towards human (especially female) body and sexuality throughout history (e.g. Victorian times, Sexual revolution in the 60’s, etc.). Furthermore, we will discuss the change in the society’s behavior and attitude towards LGBT community and what was their reaction to social exclusion (Stonewall riots, gay prides, etc.). Lastly, we will deal with the place of women in history. During the long historical development women can, and up to some point, must be considered a marginal group in certain societies and whole civilizations in general. One of the main characteristics of most cultures that have existed throughout history is that they have been patriarchal. Some of the questions we will explore are: How exactly have women been marginalized? Should women in power be taken as an exception or as a different group in a society? Why were the witch trials so popular and why almost all witches were women? How was the treatment of prostitutes in renaissance different compared to the 19th century? The scope of this workshop is quite extensive, discourse in this topic is forever changing and controversial and we are looking forward to our discussion!

  1. Religious, Racial, and Ethnic Minorities
    Workshop Leaders: Miroslav Kujundžić, Martin Ošap, Adam Tuković

This workshop is interesting because it is intentionally opened to people of different profiles and interests. It is not focused only on political history. Rather, it is associated with other sciences such as sociology, geography, demography, religious studies, anthropology, and others.

Students will be able to discuss and present many interesting phenomena from ancient times to the present. How did individual ethnic and religious groups form? How have particular ethnic, racial, and religious minorities coexisted with other majority nations, racial and religious groups? A wide range of topics comes into account. Will it be Egyptian and Babylonian captivity of the Jewish people, the Crusades, colorful images of the Iberian peninsula, missionary activity, the creation of Protestantism, the problems of the Romani minority in Europe, African Americans in the 19th century, indigenous people, or something else, it is entirely up to students. We humbly expect that these interesting topics and issues will initiate constructive discussion, which would serve the purpose of this workshop.

  1. Rare Health Conditions (People with Physical or Mental Disabilities)
    Workshop Leaders:
    Veronika Završki, Josipa Pleša

In this workshop, we will deal with the matter of how people dealt with diseases which were unknown to them or rare at the time. We will discuss why people with uncommon diseases were outcasted from society or treated badly in many different ways. What were some of the worst explanations or treatments for, at the time, unfamiliar diseases? Let us just remember the Elephant man and the way his disability was abused. What about other physical mutilations? Were people with obvious physical abnormalities humiliated? What about those health conditions that we take for granted today? The most important thing to stress in this matter is that we can explore different perspectives throughout history. That is why, in this workshop, we will rather deal with unfamiliar or unexplainable diseases present at a certain period in history and/or connected to a specific group of people, than with those which are still considered to be a mystery. Furthermore, we will explore the subject of the absurd fear of unknown that is part of human nature since the beginning of our species. We also want to explore things that were considered bad and wrong (for example, being left-handed) and how people thought they should be treated with specific methods.

  1. On the Edge of the Law (Prostitution, Prisoners, Criminal Organizations, etc.)
    Workshop Leader:
    Marko Pavelić, Vjeran Šergo

From dark  alleys of modern cities to shady corridors of medieval courts, ever since humans had laws and regulations there have been ones who were caught on their borders or outside of them. They were persecuted by authorities, feared and despised by their contemporaries, and sometimes even caught in the imaginations of artists, or they became symbols of defiance, freedom, and fight of a common man against overwhelming odds. They came from all classes, professions, and religions. Some were led by greed and cruelty, some by ideals and others didn’t have a choice. They were our villains and our heroes, sometimes hated, sometimes pitied or judged.

The aim of this workshop will be to put a new perspective on the term”criminal”. We will research prison system of punishments in different states throughout history and how society looked on those who were breaking the laws. Some professions, such as prostitution, have always been on the edge of the law, but it’s position, and positions of those who practiced it, varies from country to country and culture to culture. Some illegal activities were big and organised, employing hundreds of people and evolving throughout centuries like Italian mafia and Japanese Yakuza. How have laws and perspective on those who lived on it’s edge changed? How were criminal organisations created and how did they evolve? Why were some criminals condemned by society and other praised as heroes? Why did some professions become illegal and how did the perspective of them changed?

These are some of the questions that we will try to answer in this workshop. We will try to deepen our perceptive of historical times and see how laws and society have been dealing with those who transgressed against its values.

  1. Political Minorities
    Workshop Leaders:
    Helena Marković, Tomislav Vila

The entire idea of democracy revolves around the fact that it is the decision of the majority that counts. An opinion of the many should prevail over the opinion of the few and once the majority succeeds in its agenda it tries to preserve the status quo as much as possible. This goal led to marginalization and oppression of any political group that might criticize and be in opposition to the ruling class. History is full of examples, from the ancient times all the way to the modern age, of this form of marginalization.

However, again and again, history shows us that it is not the majority but a strong minority which drives or stops progress. Our past contains numerous examples of relatively small and weak groups which somehow overcame a larger opposition to achieve their goal. Many civil rights activists, labor unions, gender, religious, ethnic minorities etc. have all won major cases against numerically superior opponents. However, it is not uncommon for the previously marginalized group to turn the tables on the previous rulers and start a marginalization of their own.

So, who were those political minorities, how were they treated by the ones in power, how did they overcome the majority, and did they abuse their power to continue the marginalization? This workshop will try to touch upon and possibly answer those questions.

PhD Workshop
Workshop Leaders: Luka Pejić, Davorin Ćuti, Sergej Filipović

Throughout the years noticeable number of European history students have participated in different ISHA gatherings, such as international seminars and conferences, while editing and publishing their academic journal Carnival, as well as broadening the network of young and aspiring researchers and lecturers willing to learn and share the knowledge. The PhD workshop, scheduled within the Osijek’s summer seminar regular activities, can serve as a cornerstone and prospect of constructive collaboration among the ISHA alumni members, predominantly its PhD candidates. During the first day, participants of the roundtable can discuss their doctoral topics with special emphasis put on the methodological foundations of their theses, challenges sprouting from the researches in progress and relevance of the possibly new historical understandings derived from these works. On the second day the workshop, now open for everyone interested in discussion, will focus on theoretically and transdisciplinary innovative ways of elaborating the history of the marginalized, i.e. history from below. Moreover, possibilities of further international collaboration among the workshop participants should be reconsidered as well.

Theatre as a way of inclusion of minorities
Workshop Leader:
Vicko Marelic

What is the solution to the major global challenges of minority integration and post-conflict reconciliation?Both can be addressed with a bottom up approach using theatre. Common cultural co-ordinates created through performing arts allow people to bond over a creative experience.Integration via improvisation, reconciliation through improvisation.With culture, division is not the only vision.

The Viennese basedproject SPIKU (Spiel mit den Kulturen) uses comedy improvisation theatre as a method of integration, reconciliation and international bridge building. Theatre projects offer a strong base due to the communicative nature of performing arts. You do not need to understand every joke to laugh with each other. You do not even need to understand every word to communicate. SPIKU uses the stage to unite people of different backgrounds through acting and crying (with laughter).

Working initially with asylum seekers, refugees and local residents in Vienna, SPIKU was the Austrian representative at the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations summer school in New York in 2014. This inspired the idea that improvisation comedy could facilitate reconciliation, peace building and youth participation.

Working in tandem with historians, peace activists and teachers, SPIKU has used theatre to work on sensitive memory to promote intra-regional co-operation in the Alpen-Adria borderland.Being a historian of the region, I was inspired to use theatre following similar examples through the ´Concerts of friendship´ in Trieste in 2010 which featured youth orchestras from Italy, Slovenia and Croatia playing a concert together to commemorate historical anniversaries.

Support from regional initiatives such as the EUSDR and Erasmus + and partners such as youth centres in Slovenia, bilingual schools in Austria, universities in Italy, SPIKU´s reconciliation initiative was chosen by the Jena Centre for reconciliation studies in Germany to feature in the forthcoming book Research in peace and reconciliation- a comparative perspective between the Balkans and the Caucasus.

The project is currently participating in the EU sponsored Horizon 2020 project ´Troubled heritage- digging into past in search of a European future (2016-2020) ´ which hopes to bring together a common European history text book. Other projects include a youth partnership theatre project between Croatia, Italy, Austria and Slovenia for the centenary of the Treaty of Versailles in 2018.

With support from international peace organisations such as the Friedrich Schiller University, UNHCR and the IOM, SPIKU attempts to ask, address and answer the challenging socio-political questions of today; how can we use culture as a form of integration? How can we best educate youth about history while surfing steadily on the stormy waves of memory? Can culture help young Europeans come to terms with turbulent pasts?Areattempts of government better than that of regional, NGO and bottom-up initiatives?

Through showing practical attempts of integration, reconciliation and trans-border projects, a theoretical examination of borderland history in one of the most diverse areas of the EU will be topped up with an interactive comedy improvisation theatre workshop that has already brought diverse people together from the Atlantic to the Adriatic.