CCCS’s Third International Conference on Identity and Culture Took Place

CCCS Conference 2015

This past September (3-5), in Skopje (Macedonia), the Center for Culture and Cultural Studies (CCCS) organized its Third International Scientific Conference, titled “Identity and Culture”. Macedonia’s capital hosted over 250 researchers from virtually each corner of the world. The large number of participants speaks to the timeliness of this year’s conference topic, namely how it has resonated with researchers at home and abroad. Key note speaks were presented by Milena Dragicevic Sesic and Guy Starkey.

Milena Dragicevic - Sesic
Milena Dragicevic – Sesic
Guy Starkey
Gauy Starkey
As stated by the Center’s President, Professor Dr. Loreta Georgievska-Jakovleva, during her opening speech, this year’s Conference aimed at answering the following questions:

  • What does identity represent?
  • What is the relationship between culture and identity?
  • Why do identities and identifications matter?
  • How does culture determine identity? What are the internal/external factors that determine identity’s contours?
  • What defines individual, that is to say, collective identities?
  • How do identity formation processes function?
  • Is identity an essential category or just a construct that receives temporary stabilizing?
  • Why do we currently, ever so frequently speak of identities (plural), and not identity (singular)?
  • How do ethnicities protect their identity from changes?
  • What role do traditional and media play in the identity formation processes?
The Conference took place during three working days, with five parallel sessions, conducted in three official languages: Macedonian, English, and Russian. The papers were grouped around 10 topics:

  • Tradition and Cultural Heritage
  • Politics and Memory
  • Migrations, Diaspora, and Minorities
  • Citizens and Territories
  • Space/Place and Architecture
  • Globalization and Media
  • Language and Communication
  • Gender, Literature, and Representation
  • Knowledge and Education
  • Identity and Popular Culture
Once again. the Conference confirmed the stance that the terms culture and identity, in and of themselves, are wide and complex. They carry with them different, often oppositional, meanings. This in turn has produced circumstances where the concepts “culture”and “identity” are examined through several varied perspectives, and thus set amid new academic and interdisciplinary contexts.
Conference_Identity_4403The papers presented reached the following conclusion – namely, that the present moment, i.e., the era of the fast-paced dramatic change, globalizing practices, migrations, mass media, the question about the relationship between culture and identity is constantly being re-actualized. Along those lines, the Conference did contribute to a better understanding of the processes involved in identity formation, be it individual or collective, thus striving to better understand the role that culture plays in the constructing and reconstructing of identities.
Said papers tackled topics centering on several different factors – linguistic, ethnic, social, psychological, political, artistic, religious, economic, gendered, subcultural, class-based, professional – pivotal as such in the identity formation processes, particularly focusing on the historical contexts and cultural legacies. An entire separate session was dedicated to the European identity.
The papers that receive positive reviews will be published in the online peer-reviewed journal Investing Culture (during 2016). Conference_Identity_4342Selected full-length papers with a high-impact will be published in the international peer-reviewed journal Култура/Culture (in both the print and online editions).
The Off-Programme allowed the other countries’ participants to visit some of Skopje’s historical and cultural monuments, through several organized visits, as well as taste traditional Macedonian food, surrounded by the ambience of the Matka Canyon; visit the natural resources and cultural monument of the UNESCO city Ohrid and the Monastery complex of St. Naum.

More photos in Conference gallery