Workshop Themes

The format for each workshop will be interactive. The moderator, along with the selected discussants, will frame the discussion and later invite conference participants to join in. These sessions may include visual mapping, videotaping, blogging, Skype participation, etc. The sessions will be several hours long  with the goal of summarizing outcomes at their completion.

For the long version of each workshop theme, please click on the respective theme under ‘Workshop Themes’ at ‘CFP and Guidelines’ Menu.

If you would like to be a discussant for any of the proposed workshop themes, please follow this link:

For instructions on submissions/applications, please go to ‘CFP and Guidelines’

Theme 1: Local Identity, Global Crisis
Keywords: industrial modernization, local identity, design method, visual culture

Moderator: Fedja Vukić

(short abstract)

Local identity is a social and intellectual construct associated both with local cultural values and global influences. This hybrid formation has been at play in the Balkans from the modernization efforts of the 19th century to the contemporary global conditions of social and ecological crisis. This workshop aims at reflecting on the relations between the centers and the peripheries of modernization from the point of view of the Balkans. It will focus on the creation, usage and meaning of visual imagery, as it is associated both with the production of industrial/post-industrial culture and its consumption. This topic will be discussed through a historical analysis, focusing from the period of industrial modernization in the 19th century to the contemporary condition of globalization. As contemporary global economic crisis changes even the identity of the centers of industrial modernization, the need of redefining peripheral identity within a de-scaled industrial culture rises. Therefore, how should we understand the notion of local identity in the current era? What are the viewpoints that will help reconsider local identity?


Theme 2: Visuality and Identity
Keywords: identity, nationalism, visuality, historicism, modernity

Moderator: Bratislav Pantelić

(short abstract)

This session is concerned with issues surrounding the overbearing bond between ethnicity, religion and historical affiliations that has defined Balkan nationalities over the past century and a half. It will examine how visuality was used by ideologies of exclusion to establish ethnic loyalties and foment interethnic mistrust and separation from the Balkan wars to the recent Yugoslav wars. One primary goal of this session is to establish patterns of equivalence between the separate ‘national’ strands of visual communication and inquire into the possibilities of shaping new models that would promote inclusion rather than exclusionist identities and policies.


Theme 3: Visualizing Histories / Overcoming Boundaries: New Methods in Design History Research
Keywords: methods of historical research, post-national, mapping, visualization, regionalism, encounter

Moderator: Jilly Traganou

(short abstract)

Are the “Balkans” a legitimate cultural designation, and what do we gain by introducing a regional perspective in the study of design history? The regional perspective that is advocated in this symposium, that of the Balkans, is interpreted here through the prism of postnationalism: an attempt to rethink national identity, and to overcome the limitations that are installed through the exclusionist nature of the nation-state and its selective historical narratives.

This workshop will try to reframe the histories of communication design in the Balkans by looking at encounters, analogies, intersections, hybridism and transnationalism. It will also aim to nurture relations between historians and practitioners, and to inspire new collective research projects based on visualization and mapping.