An institution that promotes university cooperation and academic exchange in SE Europe.

Border Crossings Network Since 2003

Staff Members

Vassilis Nitsiakos
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Director of the Konitsa Summer School
Vassilis Nitsiakos studied Modern Greek (University of Ioannina), Folk life Studies (University of Leeds, England) and Social Anthropology (University of Cambridge, England). He holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge. He is currently Professor at the University of Ioannina, Department of History and Archaeology. His main research interest are: Economic, social and cultural transformations in modern Greece, the cultural construction of space and time, myth and ritual, tradition and modernity, ethnicity and nationalism, emigration, cultural ecology, theory and method in social sciences and the humanities. His most recent research projects are in the fields of migration, borders and identities and cultural ecology. Currently he has been engaged in the THALIS research project Conservation through religion. The sacred forests of Epirus. His books On the border. Transborder mobility, ethnic groups and boundaries on the Albanian-Greek frontier, LIT, 2010, and Peklari. Social Economy in a Greek Village, LIT, 2016 are included in the publication series of the Border Crossings Network.

Robert M. Hayden
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Professor of Anthropology, Law and Public & International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, USA
Robert Hayden (J.D., Ph.D.) is an anthropologist of law and politics. His primary research for more than three decades has focused on the Balkans, but has also done fieldwork in India (1970s, 1992, 2013) and among the Seneca Iroquois of New York State (1970s). Following ethnographic research on Yugoslav socialism from 1981-89, he did extensive work on issues of violence, nationalism, constitutionalism and state reconstruction in the formerly Yugoslav space, as well as on transitional justice issues stemming from the Yugoslav wars. From 2007-2013 Professor Hayden headed Antagonistic Tolerance: An International & Interdisciplinary Project on Competitive Sharing of Religious Sites, which developed and analyzed, variously, ethnographic, historical and archaeological data from Bosnia, Bulgaria, India, Mexico, Peru, Portugal and Turkey. His new research stemming from this project include studies of sufi/ dervish orders in post-imperial settings, and the (re)construction of religious sites to mark competing national territorial claims in Bosnia since the end of the war there.

Rajko Muršič
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Rajko Muršič is professor at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Dept. of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology. He published eight monographs (all in Slovene) and co-edited nine edited volumes (six in English). His professional interests and teaching comprise anthropology of popular music; theories of culture; epistemology, urban anthropology, methodology of anthropological research, etc. His regional interests comprise Slovenia, Central and South-Eastern Europe (fieldwork in Slovenia, Poland, Macedonia, Germany and Japan). He participates as expert researcher in the ERC project Sensotra (Sensory Transformations and Transgenerational Environmental Relationships in Europe, 1950-2020) at the University of Eastern Finland (2016-2021). Currently he serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the IUAES and a president of the Slovenian Ethnological and Anthropological Association Kula. His recent publications are Sounds of Attraction: Yugoslav and Post-Yugoslav Popular Music (2017, co-edited by Miha Kozorog) and Music Glossary for the Youth (2017).

Ljupco Risteski
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Ljupco Risteski is professor in the of Ethnology and Anthropology, St Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje.

Ioanna Laliotou
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Ioanna Laliotou is Associate Professor in Contemporary History at the Department of History, Archaeology and Social Anthropology, University of Thessaly, GR). Shereceived her academic training at the University of Athens in Greece (BA in History), Birmingham University in Britain (M.Soc.Sc. in Cultural Studies), and the European University Institute, Florence, Italy (Ph.D. in History). She was a Andrew Mellon Visiting Professor at Columbia University (Spring Semester, 2016) and has conducted research as a Fulbright Scholar at Columbia University (USA), as a post-doctoral fellow at Princeton University (USA) and as a fellow at the International Center for Advanced Studies at New York University (USA). She is author of Transatlantic Subjects. Acts of Migration and Cultures of Transnationalism between Greece and America (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2004) and co-editor of the collective book Women migrants between the East and the West: Gender, mobility and belonging in contemporary Europe (London: Berghahn, 2007). Laliotou is also member of the editorial committee of the journal Historein. Her research interests include cultural history, subjectivity, mobility, migration and refugeeness and visions of future and utopia in contemporary society. Her most recent book is Future History. How the 20th century imagined an other world (in Greek) (Athens, Historein-EKT 2018). (open access: https://epublishing.ekt.gr/sites/ektpublishing/files/ebooks/Laliotou%20-%20Future%20History.pdf)

Phoebe Giannisi
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Phoebe Giannisi born in Athens, is the author of six books of poetry, including Ομηρικά, (Athens : Kedros, 2010), published in German ("Homerika", translated by Dirk Uwe Hansen, Reinecke & Voss. 2015) and in English, (“Homerica”, translated by Brian Sneeden, World Poetry Books, 2017). Her last poetic book Ραψωδία (Athens: Gutenberg 2016) has been awarded the PenHeim Grant for translation into English in 2018. An architect, graduated from the National Polytechnic School of Athens, Phoebe Giannisi holds a PhD in Classics from Lyon II-Lumère, published as Récits des Voies. Chant et Cheminement en Grèce archaïque, (Grenoble: Éditions Jérôme Millon, 2008). She has also co-authored, with Alexander Tzonis, a monograph on ancient Greek architecture, published by Flammarion in French, English and German (Classical Greek Architecture: The Construction of the Modern,(Paris, 2004). A 2015–2016 Humanities Fellow of Columbia University, Giannisi is an Associate Professor at the University of Thessaly. Her work transverses the borders between poetry and performance, installation, theory and representation, and investigates the connections of poetics with body and place. Phoebe Giannisi has contributed to several group shows including the Lyon Biennale (2009), Guggenheim New York (2013), Bauhaus Dessau (2015). In 2010 she was co-curator for the Greek Pavilion of the 12th International Architecture Exhibition (La Biennale di Venezia) with a project on biodiversity and seeds, entitled The Ark. Old Seeds for New Metropolitan Cultures. In 2012-13, her poetic video/sound installation about the Cicada, TETTIX, was exhibited at the Museum of National Art (EMST) in Athens. In 2015 she exhibited her work project about husbandry of goats AIGAI_O at the Angeliki Chatzimichali Museum in Athens (with Iris Lycourioti). In October 2016, she presented her performance/lecture Nomos_The Land Song at Onassis Center, New York.

Ioannis Manos
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Ioannis Manos is assistant Professor in the Department of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies at the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki. He studied History and Archaeology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Social Anthropology at the Universities of Hamburg, Germany and Sussex in UK. He has worked as a Full Time Visiting Research Fellow at the Sussex European Institute, (Sussex University). His publications and main research interests focus on Southeast Europe and include the geopolitical borders and border regions, nationalism and identity politics, anthropology of dance, methodology of teaching anthropology and epistemology and methodology of research.

Paraskevas Potiropoulos
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Paraskevas Potiropoulos is assistant Researcher at the Hellenic Folklore Research Centre of the Academy of Athens. He studied Philosophy and Psychology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Social Anthropology and Folklore at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and at the University of Ioannina, Greece. His research interests and publications has been focused in the identity politics, the symbolic construction of place and the transformation of space, the refugees and border regions. His academic interests include material culture, local identity, the methodology and epistemology of ethnographic research.

Monica Stroe
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Monica Stroe works as assistant professor of anthropology in the Department of Sociology at the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration Bucharest (SNSPA), where she teaches Anthropology of food, Heritage politics, Sociology of consumption, Ethnographic writing and coordinates the ethnographic research projects of the MA students. She studied Nationalism Studies at Central European University in Budapest and Anthropology at SNSPA Bucharest, with various fellowships or short study grants at Goldsmiths College, University of Perugia, Universite Libre Bruxelles. Her research interests and publications focus on cultural landscapes, semi-subsistence farming, food heritage, food and social class, identity politics.

Zeliha Nilüfer Nahya
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Zeliha Nilüfer Nahya is associate Professor in the Department of Turkish Folklore at Erciyes University in Kayseri, Turkey. She studied Folklore and Ethnology at Ankara University. She also worked as assistant Professor for one year in the Department of Anthropology at Yeni Yüzyıl University in Istanbul. Her research interests and publications focus on religious conversion and identity in Christians of Turkey, image and Otherness, food culture, converted sacred places, kitchen as a cultural place. She conducted many fieldworks in Turkey.

Kalliopi Stara
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Kalliopi Stara is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Biological Applications and Technologies Department of the University of Ioannina where she also teaches Cultural Ecology (2016-2017). Her research is focused on the study of Sacred Natural Areas, especially in Konitsa and Zagori, Ethno-botany, Ethno-ornithology and Environmental education. She holds a degree from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Psychology (1992), a master's degree from the University of Wales, Bangor in Ecology (2001) and a PhD from the University of Ioannina in Folk Studies (2009). Her PhD thesis is about the sacred woods and groves in the Vikos-Aoos National Park, while her research interests are focused on the scientific fields of Cultural Ecology and Ethno -ecology.

Rigas Tsiakiris
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Rigas Tsiakiris is currently working in the Forestry Service of Ioannina (Department of Forest Management) and until recently was working as a consultant of the Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy. He has also worked for the Hellenic Forest Research Institute and already from the 1980s he was engaged in several research teams surveying the biodiversity of mountains and islands all over Greece. With postgraduate studies in Great Britain in the field of Ecology, he finished his PhD in the Department of Biology (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) with a thesis on the sustainable management of protected areas through agricultural production. Currently his research interest focuses on the historical ecological human-nature relationship in the Mediterranean and how this is reflected on the landscapes of Epirus.

Maxim Makartsev
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Maxim Makartsev is a senior research fellow in the Institute of Slavic Studies (Russian Academy of Sciences), Moscow; He is a senior assistant in the State Academy of Slavic Culture (Moscow) and a language instructor in the Superior Foreign Language School at the Foreign Department of Russian Federation. Studied Bulgarian philology in Lomonosov Moscow State Unviersity. He holds a Ph.D. in Slavic linguistics (2010, thesis title “Evidentiality in Balkan text space (on Bulgarian, Macedonian and Albanian data)”). His main publications and research interests focus on Slavic dialects and identities in South Albania, contrastive grammar of Balkan languages, contact linguistics and text structures in Balkan folklore. He has been awarded a medal of Russian Academy of Sciences (in the field of language and literature studies) in 2016. For more information see https://inslav.ru/people/makarcev-maksim-maksimovich

Sonja Pöllänen
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Sonja Pöllänen is a PhD student of cultural anthropology in the “social and cultural encounters” doctoral programme in the philosophical faculty at the University of Eastern Finland. Simultaneously she is working as a project researcher (2017-2021) in an ERC adv. grant (GA 694893) project SENSOTRA. The project aims at producing new understandings of the changes in people’s sensory environmental relationships in three European cities during a particular period in history, 1950–2020. Sonja’s post graduate studies belong to the field of cultural anthropology where she investigates processes that produce sensuous and nonsensuos likeness in two different case studies: in a live action role-playing game and in transgenerational pairs in ethnographical sensory walks. Her theoretical background uses methodologies from anthropological mimesis and the semblance theory. Sonja is also a member and an affiliated student ACT at the Concordia University. Her general research interests are in sensory anthropology, affect theory and in game studies. She is an author of An annotated bibliography of transgenerational research on environmental relationships and ageing (2003-2015), with Helmi Järviluoma-Mäkelä (2018), and Elämä on leikki [Life is a game] (2017).

Research Assistants


Falia Varelaki
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Falia Varelaki is a PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology in the Department of Social Anthropology and History at the University of the Aegean and a member of the Lab of Family and Kinship Studies of the University of the Aegean. She holds a master’s degree in Social and Historical Anthropology from the University of the Aegean and a bachelor’s degree from the Democritus University of Thrace. Her research interests and publications include medical anthropology, biopolitics, kinship, gender, body, memory, social space and place, and identity politics.

Georgia Rina
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Georgia Rina is a PhD candidate in Social Anthropology in the department of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies at the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki. She holds a master’s degree in Women and Gender, Anthropological and Historical Approaches from the University of Aegean and a bachelor’s degree in Social Anthropology from the Panteion University. Her research interests and publications include business anthropology, anthropology of labor, economic anthropology, gender, identities, and immigration.

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