I believe I owe greatest part of my professional development to the BAN. Back in student days, this academic news list allowed me to apply to several summer schools where I was able to deepen my interest in human rights. I learned about the master course I attended in Sarajevo originally because call for application was advertised at the BAN and then through a professor who convened a summer school, I also learned about at the BAN. After finishing the master course, I applied for two posts in research institutes advertised at the BAN. Indeed, for the following two years I worked in one of those institutes. Later I used BAN to advertise research outcomes, to inform about books, paper series, conferences...
I am convinced that actually this private initiative has done much more to the development of the Balkan academic filed that EU funded framework programs for research and development. Because this news list has provided us, particularly young, emerging researchers and academics, with information on additional education possibilities and helped us to expand our professional networks. This was particularly important since our academic systems throughout 1990s have remained isolated and sometimes even corrupted. For sure greatest portion of us, the BAN members, by attending or working at foreign universities, by cooperating with colleagues from other countries in projects, summer schools etc. learned to appreciate transparency, hard-working ethics, and truthfulness in academic work. As a result of this, slowly but surely, we have started to change the academic systems in our countries of origin.
Needless to say, while developing professionally in the past fifteen years, I came across many interesting individuals, both from the Balkans and outside of it. Some of them became my close friends and people that inspire me personally. Because of this, my gratitude to the BAN is even greater. Thank you.
Antonija Petričušić, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb
The Balkan Academic News has provided me during past years and trough all cycles of higher education with information and news or scholarships/grants that I have used to participate in at least one summer school, conference, workshop etc, beneficial for internationalization of my education and professional development.
Today, this network in still the main and most valuable source of information on events, research, publications/opportunities to publish on the Balkans and the wider regions of Central and Eastern Europe that I continue to use on a daily basis.
My institution have also benefited from dissemination of news about own events and publication that have reached a broad audiences thanks to BAN.
In my opinion, the network serves the researchers from the Balkans equally as it serves the foreign researchers of the Balkan region, and has largely contributed in establishing and maintain contacts, and the very much needed cooperation among researchers in the region.
Aneta Cekik , Institute for sociological, political and juridical research, University Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje
As a member of the Balkan Academic Network for more than a decade, I can testify that the Network has contributed significantly-in fact more than any other electronic network-to the furtherance of research and co-operation in the Balkans and the whole world. The Balkan Academic Network has been especially valuable for the timely promotion and dissemination of the work of independent scholars and smaller research institutes, through the inclusion of new publications, book reviews, events, and other information of scholarly interest. The editorial management of the Balkan Academic Network can be considered exemplary in terms of fairness and objectivity.
William McKinney, Electronic Services Librarian, European Centre for Minority Issues, Germany
I have been a member of Balkan Academic News for a number of years and have followed with interest the call for papers, announcements of publications and event notifications in particular. As part of research for a PhD at University College London on the transnational networks of migrants from the former Yugoslavia to the UK, I issued a call for potential research participants via the BAN network during the data collection stage of the research. I was pleasantly surprised to receive a number of responses, not only from those originally from the former Yugoslavia who had made the UK their 'home' but also from a number of students/academics and others from the network currently residing in different countries across Europe and the US who offered to put me in touch with potential contacts for the research or who sent me relevant literature, some got in touch just to say they would be interested in being kept informed of progress and to wish me luck! These kind of contacts were both highly beneficial from the point of view of the research itself but also as a welcome reminder that I am indeed part of a 'network', however virtual that might be, helping to combat feelings of isolation.
As a steady member of BAN since its early years, I can testify that the Network has contributed uniquely to research and co-operation in the Balkans and beyond. It has thus helped accumulating and expanding academic knowledge about an area which 20 years ago was unknown to many academics and often inadequately explored by others. Moreover, BAN’s contribution to linking Europe’s and the world’s academics with the next generation in the Balkans is invaluable. It has created a platform for bringing new young Balkan scholars in touch with seasoned experts through the events and activities about which it has been disseminating. For independent scholars and smaller research institutions this service has been invaluable, and in a time of rapid expanding electronic means BAN has been an indispensable focal point. One often turns to BAN first for reliable info. Most importantly, BAN has stayed on course; it has remained independent, objective and fair in its editorial management.
Tove Malloy, Director, European Centre for Minority Issues, Germany
I wanted to write a testimonial for BAN, as I truly find it to be an exquisite listserv. I look at every BAN email because of not just the educational opportunities and possibilities for collaboration, but to know what's going on and what it says about changes in the social and academic realm of SE Europe. I've connected to many individuals, including yourself, and participated in conferences as a result of it, and when I see something of interest for host country friends in Balkan countries, I post it on Facebook for the sharing. BAN is doing a great job of connecting students to the civil society and academic opportunities out there.
Justin Otten, PhD Candidate, School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent
This year I was granted an important fellowship to carry out research and one of the requirements was to find researchers from the region in order to provide a comparative perspective, Balkans Academic News List helped me to find 2 excellent researchers and fulfill that requirement. In the many years that I have been part of it, this list has forward me thousand of notifications about great interesting conferences ahead, unique lectures and seminars , has provided me with publishing opportunities has let me contact thousand of others like me, researchers, academics, people interested in our region. Balkan Academic List has made it possible for the places I have worked, think tanks and non-for-profit organizations, to advertise their events and get contributions from scholars all over the world. I am very grateful for the existence and meticulous updating of the list. i would like to thank the administrator and wish the the best of luck with their future work.
Alba Cela, Deputy Director, House of Europe, Albania
The BAN has profoundly affected my career as a scholar. Apart from keeping me up-to-date on new books, research projects and general developments in the Balkans, it has also tangibly helped my career in many ways. The examples are endless: already as a first-year PhD student, BAN alerted me to the ASN conference in New York - the same conference that I have now attended annually for the past seven years, and by far my favorite and most useful conference globally; two articles I have currently in press are a direct product of communication through the BAN mailing list; it was through BAN that I learned about the UCLA search for a Balkans-expert professorship - a search I otherwise would have completely missed; and BAN has also expanded my knowledge and awareness of other research areas - for instance, through BAN I connected to a faculty member doing research on the influence of sports in reconcilliation, which sparked my interest and I am now engaged in a fascinating research project on sports hooliganism - otherwise completely unrelated to my research agenda. In addition to helping my own career, I have used annoucnements on BAN to send employment and other opportunities to colleagues working in the area who would otherwise never be aware of such opportunities - a great way to connect researchers with practitioners in the field. Whenever I have a student interested in the Balkans, the first thing I tell them to do is to join the BAN mailing list. BAN is simply *the* network connecting academics and professionals interested in the Balkans across the globe.
Tamara Pavasovic Trost
Balkan Academic News is an exceptionally important academic network, especially for countries such as the Republic of Macedonia where there are limited national funds for sciences. Through this network one can access the important academic information for free as well as some books, reviews and collections. For me the Balkan Academic News is my “window towards the world”. I am certain that this is also true for many of my colleagues - Macedonian historians.
Maria Pandevska, Head of Department at the Institute of National History, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
I have found the Balkan Academic News immensely useful in my work in several fields of work in the Balkans (particularly the Southern Balkans: Albania, Kosovo, Montnegro and Serbia). The News has put me in contact with a huge variety of people working in my fields both as specialists outside the area, and those more subjectively concerned within the area I have met many of the people with whom I made contact through the News, and have participated in many conferences thanks to the News. It is extremely useful also for keeping me in touch with new publications relevant to my research and work, and has helped to promote the cross-border Balkans Peace Park Project: www.balkanspeacepark.com (of which I am President since I stepped down from the Chair in 2008).
Antonia Young, President, Balkans Peace Park Project Committee, UK
BAN has been an invaluable tool for my reasearch in 19th-century Balkan History. There is no doubt that through the updated information it offers (it must be stressed free of charge) concerning publications, research projects, advertisement of academic posts, conferences, seminars and other events, BAN promotes our field internationally. It also provides students and scholars with a forum for the exchange of information and the communication of ideas, thus enhancing the quality of collaborative work. Indeed, BAN is an indispensable resource for scholarship.
Maria Litina, Research Associate, Centre for History and Palaeography, National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation, Athens, Greece
I do think that the continuous flow of information on meetings, publications etc., you kindly provide us, is like a window through enabling the reader to find opportunities for collaboration or information on new topics of research/debate, something which keeps the researcher vigilant.