Who We Are

Katarina Kušić is an ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University. Her research thus far explored how those ‘being improved’ by development, statebuilding, and peacebuilding efforts experience these processes and what their experiences can tell us about international politics. Her new project focuses on land politics and political ecologies in the Balkans. She is particularly interested in fieldwork-based methods, conversations between studies of South East Europe and postcolonial and decolonial thought, and liberalism as politics of improvement.

Philipp Lottholz is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Collaborative Research Centre/Transregio 138 “Dynamics of Security” and the Institute for Sociology, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany.His current research inquires the role of social mobilisation and ‘people as infrastructures’ in contexts of urban non-development and overarching patterns of economisation and securitisation in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) and Plovdiv (Bulgaria). Wider research interests political and social change in post-Socialist Central Asia and Eastern Europe, and in particular evolving trajectories of peacebuilding and security practices. Philipp’s research has been published in International Peacekeeping, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding and Central Asian Survey, as well as a in the edited collections Interrogating Illiberal Peace in Eurasia – Critical Perspectives on Peace and Conflict (Rowman & Littlefield) and Hybridity: Law, Culture and Development (Routledge).

Polina Manolova is a Fellow at the Centre for Anthropological and Ethnosociological Studies, Plovdiv University (Bulgaria). Her current research centres around the pathways of incorporation of East European EU migrants in Germany and the internal bureaucratic border work that produces their (ir)regularisation and encapsulation in migrant economies and informal labour markets. Her previous work has focused on the role of hegemonic Western imaginaries in migration motivations and imaginations and the formation of class-based collective identities through everyday Orientalisation. She is interested in exploring the convergences of postsocialist and post-/decolonial thought and practice in relation to migration, collective identities and political narratives of the past. She is currently working on her monograph ‘The Imaginary West and the Realities of Migration: Dreams, Disillusionments, and Determination due to come out in 2020 with Routledge: London (British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies book series).

Christina Novakov-Ritchey is a Teaching Fellow in the Department of World Arts and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she is a Ph.D. Candidate in Culture and Performance. Her research deals primarily with peasant epistemologies, rural ecologies, coloniality, and socialist modernity in the Yugoslav region. She has most recently written for the journals About Performance, KAJET Journal, and Anthropology of East Europe Review. Related to the interests of Dialoguing Between the Posts, Christina also co-organized the “Symposium on Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Empire in Southeast Europe” at the University of Toronto in 2019, along with Miglena Todorova and Sunnie Rucker Chang.

Špela Drnovšek Zorko is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick. She is an ethnographer and migration scholar interested in both the material and epistemic genealogies of contemporary migrant encounters. Her current research investigates East European migrants’ articulations of race and geopolitical coevalness in Britain, foregrounding the legacies of state socialism and post/colonialism that mediate their translations between differently racialized and classed geographies. She obtained her PhD in Anthropology at SOAS, University of London, where she explored intergenerational constructions of diasporic postsocialist identities amongst migrants from former Yugoslavia as part of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network ‘Diasporic Constructions of Home and Belonging’.

Zoltán Ginelli is a geographer and historian of science, PhD Candidate in Geography at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary. His research is in the geographies of knowledge, the history of geography, and global and transnational history. His main focus is on the historical relations between Eastern Europe and the Global South/Third World in the 19th and 20th centuries, including topics such as development and regional planning, (post)colonialism and racism, Cold War foreign policy, and travel writing. He lectured at various universities and colleges, and worked as an assistant researcher in the 1989 After 1989 and Socialism Goes Global projects at the University of Exeter (2015–2019). His current project, Postcolonial Hungary explores Hungarian semiperipheral colonial history from a world-systemic perspective. He is curating the exhibition Transperiphery Movement: Global Eastern Europe and Global South, and finishing his book based on 7 years of research about the global history of the quantitative revolution in geography. His personal blog is available at: https://kritikaifoldrajz.hu/blog

Nikolay Karkov, Philosophy Department, SUNY Cortland

Mithilesh Kumar is Assistant Professor at Department of English Studies, Christ (Deemed to be University), Bangalore India. He earned his PhD from Western Sydney University for his thesis titled Infrastructure, Labor, and Government: A Study of Delhi Airport. He worked at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Patna Centre as a Research Fellow (2016-18) and Assistant Professor (2018-19) where his research work revolved around issues of border, labour, and migration. Before that, he was a Research Associate at the Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (2011-12 and 2015-16), working in diverse areas of migration, logistics and popular movements. Currently, his research interests are around the issues of migration, justice, labour, and intersections of postcolonial and postsocialist theories.

Danijela Majstorović, Humboldt Experienced Researcher at Justus Liebig Universitaet Giessen, Humboldt and Professor of English and Cultural Studies, University of Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Sanja Petkovska holds a doctoral degree in cultural studies awarded by the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Belgrade in November 2017. For a doctoral dissertation she worked on a topic of the influence of the process of globalization on research policy in Serbia. During PhD project she was supported by the Serbian Ministry of Education and Science and by the Erasmus Mundus scholarship. Previously she obtained a bachelor’s degree in continuing education and a master’s degree in sociology. Recently she was associated to OSCE Mission to Serbia’s project. Her research is focused on social, political, economic and cultural aspects of knowledge production and distribution. Furthermore, she extensively has been working on the problems of gender and feminist studies, and is extending her research into social epistemology and critical political economy. She is author of the book The Idea of University and Bologna Process (2010) and numerous other articles, essays and contributions in Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS) and English. Besides the academic work and work in non-profit sector, she took part in several artistic initiatives, activities and publications and shared her literary work occasionally with a wider audience in publications and festivals.