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Intro

The Department of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies (University of Macedonia-Thessaloniki) in collaboration with Via Egnatia Foundation organized on the 24th, 25th and 26th of February 2011, an International Conference titled “Myths of the Other in the Balkans. Representations, social practices and performances” within the premises of the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki.

The Conference offered the opportunity to explore past and present myths constructed and performed by the Balkan people in their attempt to confront otherness within and beyond their familiar environment.
In other words, within the context of the specific relations between power and leadership, our primary interest is otherness and its relation to national identity or the ethnic condition, as well as otherness engendered by religious, cultural and gender differentiation. We are also interested in practices related to otherness in the premodern world; such practices were negotiated within traditional structures and by historical minorities, but can also be identified in the contemporary, post-cold-war period, as well as the era of globalization and economic migration. A central question that rises is how difference is represented and managed as a feeling of otherness through the myth histories, folk tales and folk songs, legends and oral traditions, literary works, films and the media, in jokes and comic strips, generally speaking in every form of verbal or non verbal narration.

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