Conference “Societies and Spaces in Contact”
As part of the National Research Program “Areas of Cultural Contact in Integration Processes” (Head: Prof. Milan Bufon, PhD)
»Societies and Spaces in Contact: Between Convergence and Divergence«
from 16 to 20 September 2019
The conference, which will be attended by researchers and lecturers from Slovenia, Italy, Europe and other parts of the world, will be held – in collaboration with the Institute for Ethnic Studies in Ljubljana, the Slovenian Research Institute in Trieste and the Union of Italians for Slovenia and Croatia – from Monday 16 until Wednesday 18 at the Grand Hotel Bernardin in Portorož. On Thursday 19 the participants will go on a full-day field trip exploring the development and current position of the Italian community and the general social situation in Istria with a visit to the Italian Center for Historical Research in Rovinj and the “truffle capital” of Motovun. To conclude, on Friday 20, in the morning, an expert discussion on minorities in the Alps-Adriatic region at the Tessitori conference room in Trieste will be held, followed by a tour of some of the key cultural institutions of Slovenes in the city centre, the active participation in the Slofest – the Festival which presents the Slovenian minority in Italy every two years – and a dinner at the premises of the Slovenian Sirena Sailing Society in Barkovlje/Barcola, near Trieste.
The conference will host a number of different thematic discussions on language and education, borders and literature, language policies, migrants and cultural borders, identity and perception of the “other”, cultural and linguistic landscapes, and introductory lectures by distinguished experts on minority issues, prof. Tove Malloy, Director of the European Center for Minority Issues in Flensburg (Germany), and Colin Williams, Professor Emeritus at the University of Cardiff (Wales, UK).
The conference organizers intend to deepen the issues of intercultural communication and social integration in Europe, which seems especially pressing now that populist nationalism is re-establishing itself on our continent, and at the same time to present to the international public the research results of the staff of the Science and Research Center in Koper. The conference is devoted to the issues of coexistence and integration in ethnically mixed and border areas, with particular emphasis on the Upper Adriatic region, which has been and remains an important “model” for studying the simultaneous processes of social convergence and divergence in Europe.