Workshop: Towards a social history of Albanians in Socialist Yugoslavia (Graz, 9-10 February 2024)

Photo: Prishtina, 1984 (Croatian State Archives, f.2031, Kosovo)

About the workshop: Jointly organised by the Institute for Habsburg and Balkan Studies at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna (ÖAW), and the Centre for Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz, the event seeks to assess the state of the art regarding the social history of Albanians in Yugoslav socialism (1945-1991). Organised as the concluding event for a research project investigating the intra-Yugoslav labour migration of Albanians to Croatia and Slovenia, are pleased to gather diverse contributions that engage with the social history of Albanian citizens of Yugoslavia and are informed by original, empirical research conducted by the authors. The final plenary panel will discuss the contributions and the state-of-the-art more broadly. The workshop is generously supported by the Austrian Science Fund through grant FWF P32345.

Practicalities: The workshop takes place in Room LS.15.01 of the RESOWI building (located on the ground floor of Section C of the RESOWI building, Universitätsstraße 15). Please note that this is an in-person event only.

For further details, contact


Friday 9 February 2024

09.15-10:45 Panel 1: Language and place

  • Mehdi Sejdiu, University of Heidelberg, Albanian name-giving and identity in Kosova during Socialist Yugoslavia.
  • Nardi Gjata, University of Prishtina/Central European University, Vienna, Home becoming a “foreign” place: Bilingualism and Slavic Exodus from Kosovo.
  • Chair: Rory Archer, University of Graz.

10:45-11:00 Coffee Break

11:00-13:15 Panel 2: Transnational entanglements of (Yugoslav) Albanians

  • Francesca Rolandi, University of Florence, Refugees from Albania and Yugoslavia’s ambivalent refugee policies: A mirror for wider societal developments?
  • Tahir Latifi, University of Prishtina, Kosova-Albanian diaspora and political mobilization.
  • Noela Mahmutaj, University of Tirana, “Establishing socialism” in Albania under tutelage of Yugoslavia.
  • Chair: Mladen Zobec, University of Graz.

13:15-14:15 Lunch

14:15-15:45 Panel 3: Yugoslav Albanians in the context of local cultural and educational institutions

  • Atdhe Hetemi, University of Prishtina, The political and national character of institutions of higher education and the University of Prishtina in Kosovo (1958–1980).
  • Besnik Emini, Institute of Spiritual and Cultural Heritage of the Albanians, The publication of “Flaka e vëllazërimit”, Albanian newspaper in Socialist Republic of Macedonia.
  • Chair: Zsófia Lóránd, University of Vienna.

15:45-16:00 Coffee Break

16:00-18:15 Panel 4: Kosovo Albanians between society and the Party

  • Isabel Ströhle, Independent researcher, Speaking about vendetta in the century of the atom: The anti-feuding campaign in late socialist Kosovo.
  • Matvey Lomonosov, Nazarbayev University, The Works and Days of Saviors of the Nation: Antagonistic Yugoslavism and Routine Production of National Narratives among Kosovar Albanian Intellectuals.
  • Rory Archer, University of Graz, Socialist entrepreneurs: Intra-Yugoslav Albanian labour migration in Croatia.
  • Chair: Robert Pichler, ÖAW, Vienna.

Saturday 10 February 2024

9:30-11:45 Panel 5: Ambivalent belonging: Exclusion as Albanians, inclusion as Yugoslavs

  • Mladen Zobec, University of Graz, Embracing tradition, negotiating modernity: Polog craftsmen in Socialist Slovenia.
  • Tanja Petrović, ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana, Albanians in the JNA: Military service, Yugoslav citizenship, and dynamics between inclusion and exclusion.
  • Elife Krasniqi, Independent researcher, Albanians in Socialist Yugoslavia: Post-colonial reflections.
  • Chair: Pieter Troch, University of Ghent.

11:45-12:15 Coffee Break

12:15-13:30 Plenary panel

  • Robert Pichler, ÖAW, Vienna.
  • Tanja Petrović, ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana.
  • Pieter Troch, University of Ghent.
  • Chair: Rory Archer, University of Graz.