Alexander Nash Albanian Studies Programme
Why SSEES holds the prestigious 'Nash Fellowship'
The Alexander Nash Albanian Studies Programme was initiated on 1 September
1997 after SSEES received a generous bequest
from Alexander Nash (formerly Naçi) who passed away in 1995 at the age
of 46. Nash obtained a French and Spanish degree
at Queens College, University of Oxford. He then worked as a university
lecturer, journalist and translator, collaborating amongst other things
with the European Commission. His father, Gjenco Naçi, an Albanian who
was born in Turkey (1907) and grew up in Greece, had been private
secretary of the former Albanian King Zog. Together with his Belgian
wife and the Albanian monarch he fled the country in 1939 after the
Italians invaded Albania. They first took refuge in France, and when
Germany occupied Paris in 1940 they settled in the UK. With his bequest to SSEES, Alexander Nash
honoured the wishes of his father (who had died in 1992) to establish a
centre for Albanian studies in the UK. He also left his father's and
family's archive to SSEES (the Naçi collection),
which includes Gjenco Naçi's correspondence as
private secretary of King Zog, photographs and memorabilia of the
Albanian royal family and the Naçi family.
The Alexander Nash Fellow
On the basis of the conditions of the bequest, SSEES has created the
Alexander Nash Fellowship in Albanian Studies. The Alexander Nash Fellow
is appointed for a limited period on a fixed-term contract, currently
for a maximum of two years.
The Alexander Nash Programme
The research interests of the Albanian Studies Programme primarily reflect those of the Alexander Nash Fellow. Since 2007, the main focus of the Fellowship has shifted to post-doctoral research, to be carried out by the Nash Fellow during his or her Fellowship.
Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers focused her research on migration, as well as changes in Albanian village life, including conflict regulation, political and social order, the village value system and economy.
Enkeleida Tahiraj's research focus was on social policy and anti-poverty programmes in Albania after 1991. As such, Enkeleida Tahiraj was also part of a research group on East European cities initiated by Dr Ger Duijzings
Rigels Halili carried out anthropological research on the Albanian-Greek border region. In addition he started a research project on the making of the borders of the Republic of Kosovo in collaboration with Dr Eric Gordy.
The Alexander Nash Programme in Albanian Studies also aims to support scholars and researchers in their research on issues related to Albania or Albanians. They may apply to come to SSEES as visiting scholars. Examples are Bernd Fisher of Indiana University who conducted research on British Albanophile movements and their influence during the Second World War, Mark Clarke who undertook research on Margaret Hasluck, and Bülent Bilmes of Yeditepe University (Istanbul) who carried out research on Sami Frasheri.
The Alexander Nash Programme in Albanian Studies also aims to attract and support MPhil and PhD students to research Albanian-related topics. Questions about MPhil or PhD research and research supervision should be directed to the Head of Postgraduate Research, Dr Felix Ciuta. For practical questions about the application process, please contact Felicity Ward (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Postgraduate Administrator.
As part of the Alexander Nash Programme in Albanian Studies, the Nash Fellows have developed teaching modules and contributed individual sessions related to Albania and Albanians on a wide number of established BA and MA courses at SSEES, such as:
- BA Nations and Nationalism in the Balkans
- BA Introduction to East European Literature in Translation
- BA Cinema in Eastern Europe
- BA Culture in Eastern Europe: Anthropological Approaches
- BA Introduction to Politics
- BA Introduction to Sociology
- BA Principles of Sociology
- BA Politics and Societies of Southeast Europe
- MA Cultural Anthropology of Southeastern Europe
- MA Conflict, Violence and Reconciliation in the Balkans
- MA Poverty and Social Exclusion in the Western Balkans
- MA All Quiet on the Eastern Front: Culture, Politics, and Everyday Life in Central and Eastern Europe from Stalin to the Present
- MA Ethnopolitical Conflict in Central and Eastern Europe
- MA Qualitative Methods
- MA Advanced Qualitative Methods.
Screening of the Albanian film ‘SkaNdal’
On Tuesday 22 March 2016 the Alexander Nash Albanian Studies Programme in co-operation with the Anglo-Albanian Association organised the first showing in the UK of the pioneering Albanian film SkaNdal.
A selection of past events, organised or co-organised by Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers (1997-2003) and Enkeleida Tahiraj (2004-2007):
- Kosovo After the Status Talks: Long-term Policies for Socio-Economic Development - March 2006
- Gheg Studies Day - May 2003
- Albanian Migration and New Transnationalism - September 2002 (The New Albanian Migration, Edited by Russell King, Nicola Mai and Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers)
- Balkan Masculinities
- Macedonia / Macedonians? Changing Contexts in the Changing Balkans - June 2001
- Perspectives on Reconciliation in the Post-Kosovo Balkans - March 2000
- Balkan Security: Visions for the Future - June 2000. (International Intervention in the Balkans since 1995, Edited by Peter Siani-Davies)
- The Role of Myth in Albanian history and Development - June 1998 (Albanian Identities: Myth and History, Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers and Bernd Jürgen Fischer)
- Second Workshop of Young Scholars in Albanian Studies - March 2007
- Western Balkans and the EU (roundtable discussion) - January 2006
- Albanian Studies Postgraduate Conference - May 2005
- Custom and Law in Albania (UCL SSEES Studies Day) - February 1999