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Dr Sarah Czerny, Luka Paušić and Bernard Koludrović, University of Rijeka, Croatia

'Blocked spaces: (Re)considering the staff-student relation from the perspective of the blokada in Rijeka'

At our workshop we will firstly offer an ethnographic account of the student blokada [blockade] at the University of Rijeka in the spring and autumn of 2009, where students blocked the faculty buildings in protest over the payment of tuition fees. It is here where we will, in light of the ethnographic evidence we present, make the suggestion that the flow and exchange of knowledge around the faculty was more ‘open’ when it was blocked. We will then offer a brief analysis of this point from three different perspectives, in order to provide a starting point for an open discussion with participants at the workshop about how the organisation, and re-organisation, of university spaces alters the flow and exchange of knowledge in the academic context.

Photo of Sarah Czerny, Luka Pausic and Bernard Koldrovic
Left to right: Sarah Czerny, Luka Paušić and Bernard Koludrović

Sarah Czerny studied social anthropology [MA, MSc and PhD] at the University of Edinburgh. Her PhD examined everyday relations of ethnic identity in Croatia, and was supervised by Dr. I. Jean-Klein and Prof. Janet Carsten. It was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. Sarah is now working at the Department of Cultural Studies at the University of Rijeka, where she teaches a number of courses [Myth and Culture, Cultural Geography and Introduction to Social Anthropology]. This transition from an anthropological setting to an inter-disciplinary one has made Sarah very interested in how knowledge is organised into academic disciplines, which includes considering the role of space in the way knowledge is organised. She is also currently involved in a project to open a Disability Office at the University of Rijeka.

Luka Paušić is an undergraduate student in the Department for Cultural Studies in the Faculty of Humanities and Arts, University of Rijeka, Croatia. His academic interests include ideas/concepts of space/time, from angles/perspectives such as architecture, engineering, psychology, sociology and anthropology, posthumanist/transhumanist concepts, and the various reflections of contemporary social structures/constructs in the under-studied media such as comic books.

Bernard Koludrović's career started at the end of high school, where he studied the connection between the architecture of Rijeka’s high schools and educational strategies. During his undergraduate education at the Department of Cultural Studies, Bernard worked in different fields ranging from identification practices to the textuality of everyday practices and textuality of literature. Published works: Architecture of Rijeka’s High Schools, (Neo)Nationalism in contemporary Croatia, Creation of Hindu Identities in a non Hindu cultural context, Discoursivity of G.Orwell’s 1984, Religion and Culture – positions of power.
Bernard is currently a member of the University Student Council and President of the student's organization IKS (Initiative of Cultural Studies). In 2004, he started debating in national debating tournaments. Between 2007 and 2010, Bernard volunteered as a coach for debating teams in four high schools and elementary schools in Rijeka. In 2008, he started debating in the Croatian academic debating league and international tournaments, reaching the EUDC 2008. In 2010, he was credited as a chair judge in British parliamentary debate. From 2006 until 2008 Bernard was an active member in GONG – a civil society organization for the supervision of national and regional elections.