Doctus Perfectus, Homo Applicandus and Professor Fortuna

When the future or, more specifically, a redirection of South-East European studies is discussed in a series of essays in this journal, one has to have in mind that this is not the first discussion of this kind – and for sure not the concluding one. In an increasingly globalizing world, area studies are under permanent critical observation. What can particular findings related to an area contribute to the understanding of the whole, the global, and how is the global represented in the particularities of an area? However, this kind of critical self-reflection that can sometimes result in self-deprecation was not always the case in the long history of the study of South-East Europe.

Karl Kaser

Karl Kaser

Karl Kaser is a full professor of Southeastern European history and anthropology at the University of Graz, Austria, since 1996. His research focuses on historical-anthropological issues and encompasses topics such as the history of family, kinship, and clientelism, gender relations and historical visual cultures of the Balkans. His most recent monograph is: “Hollywood auf dem Balkan. Die visuelle Moderne an der europäischen Peripherie (1900–1970)” (2018). Currently he is working on the monographic book project “Conflicting Femininities and Masculinities in the Digital Age: Realia and Utopia in the Balkans and South Caucasus”. He has conducted numerous research projects. Currently, he is coordinator of the research and exchange project “Knowledge Exchange and Academic Cultures in the Humanities: Europe and the Black Sea Region, late 18th – 21st Centuries”, funded by the European Commission. The author is doctor h. c. of the Universities of Batumi (Georgia) and Blagoevgrad (Bulgaria), honorary professor of University of Shkodra (Albania), and honorary member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences (ZRC SAZU).

Abel, Richard. 1993. In the belly of the beast: The early years of Pathé-Frères. Film History 5, 363–385.
Charney, Leo. 1995. Introduction, in Cinema and the Invention of Modern Life, edited by Charney, Leo and Vanessa R. Schwartz. Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1–12.
Kirby, Lynne. 1997. Parallel Tracks: The Railroad and Silent Cinema. Durham: Duke University Press.
Stoil, Michael J. 1982. Balkan cinema: Evolution after the revolution. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press.

Kaser, Karl: Hollywood auf dem Balkan. Die visuelle Moderne an der europäischen Peripherie (1900-1970). Vienna-Cologne-Weimar: Böhlau 2018.
Kaser, Karl: Andere Blicke. Religion und visuelle Kulturen auf dem Balkan und im Nahen Osten. Vienna-Cologne-Weimar: Böhlau 2013.
Kaser, Karl: The Balkans And The Near East. Introduction To A Shared History. Vienna-Berlin: Lit 2011.
Kaser, Karl: Patriarchy after Patriarchy. Gender Relations in Turkey and in the Balkans, 1500-2000. Vienna-Berlin: Lit 2008.

1. Why could the French company Pathé dominate cinema business?

2. Why was movie production in the Balkans only little developed?

3. What was the interrelation between cinema and industrial modernity? 4. How can we best characterize cinema balkanica in its formative years?

1. Why does it make sense to compare the Balkans and Caucasus?
2. Are visual representations independent from written discourses?
3. If there are boundaries for visual representations of femininities and masculinities – were should they be set?


Southeastern Europe