Call for Papers


Department of Ethnology and Anthropology, University of Zadar, Croatia and Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory University of Belgrade, Serbia are co-organizing a conference

In the Frictions: Fragments of Care, Health, and Wellbeing in the Balkans

Care has been broadly defined as“everything that we do to maintain, continue, and repair our ‘world’ so that we can live in it as well as possible” (Fisher and Tronto 1991, p. 40). Complex relations of care sustain our lives and are necessary not only for the survival of humans and nonhumans alike, but also for their flourishing. Structured through various mechanisms and institutions, from kinships to states, care produces various forms of intimacy and relatedness.

In the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic, there has been a resurgence of interest in care, health, and wellbeing across various disciplines. We are interested in how anthropology has responded to the urgent changes in the field of care and in identifying the aftermath of Covid-19 and post-Covid-19 realities in the Balkans.

We recognize, however, that the pandemic has been only one of the most recent disruptions in relations of care and acknowledge that the real-world programs of neoliberal restructuring are not linear paths that converge but are forged in frictions of situated encounters with earlier social and cultural landscapes. While the term “Balkans” is fraught with ambivalent meanings and associations, this conference aims to move away from Balkanism (Todorova, 2009) and dichotomous frameworks to rethink the Balkans as a site of knowledge production that has more to offer than just “catching up” with the West. What theoretical and methodological issues do anthropologists face in their research in the Balkans? How do people in the Balkans relate to one another within caring relationships themselves? What does care look like in practice and what does it entail? How are caring relationships shaped and changed? How do these experiences and relationships inform or challenge broader theoretical concerns?

We see this conference as a step towards building a network of anthropologists working on the issues of care in the Balkans.  Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Structural violence and care
  • Gendering care
  • Racializing care
  • Solidarity and care
  • Narratives of (health)care
  • Spirituality and care
  • Public and private health/care
  • Humanitarianism and care
  • Care and the commons
  • Ecology, ecofeminist care
  • Care and social class
  • Care and mobility
  • Care and the economy
  • Care and the state


We invite submissions for presentations of up to 15 minutes. Please send proposals of no more than 300 words and a brief biographical note (100 words) to by November 1th, 2022. All applicants will be notified of their submission status within four weeks of the application deadline.

Applications should be sent in a single Word document. The file name should include the author’s name. The application should include:

* an abstract (max. 300 words)

* a short biographical note including your institutional affiliation, contact information, and major publications (100 words)

The conference will be held at the University of Zadar, Croatia between the 27 and 30 April 2023.

For additional information, please contact Jelena Kupsjak at or Ljiljana Pantović at


Conference fees (which will cover a conference package, coffee breaks and a welcome reception) are:

70 Euros for scholars who are attached to institutions outside of the Balkans

60 Euros for scholars who are attached to institutions in the Balkans

50 Euros for PhD students who are attached to institutions outside of Balkans

40 Euros for PhD students who are attached to institutions from the Balkans



Wenner-Gren Foundation is sponsoring the conference and will be covering expenses of travel and accommodation for early career/ young scholars participating in the conference. Participants will be able to apply for travel and accommodation grant. Upon selection of participants, we will issue an instruction on how to apply for the grant. Decisions about travel grant allocation will be made based on self-reported institutional status and income.