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Organized Panels

Submitting an Abstract to an Organized Panel

Please send your abstract of no more than 250 words and indicate whether this is a submission to a particular panel. All abstracts will be peer-reviewed by the academic program committee, which includes representatives of the Gypsy Lore Society Board of Directors and local organisers. If your paper is submitted to a panel, the convenors of the particular panel also will review the abstract. Deadline: March 31, 2018.


Please send your abstracts in plain text format (no tables or charts) in the body of an e-mail message (not as an attachment) in English to the academic program committee,, subject line 2018 GLS Annual Meeting and Conference.


All abstracts will be peer-reviewed by the academic program committee. Submissions should include the paper title, abstract, subject keywords, author’s name, institutional affiliation (if relevant), address, daytime telephone and e-mail address. The deadline for receipt of abstracts is March 31, 2018 and you will be notified if your paper has been accepted by April 30, 2018.

Organized Panel Abstracts

Applied Romani Linguistics

Organizers: Hristo Kyuchukov ( and William New (

The panel is concerned with the social challenges in Europe which the Romani speakers are facing nowadays: linguistic integration, acquisition of Romani and second language, educational problems of the Romani language speakers. Experience has led to understand that this is a challenge for academia, language teaching institutes, public authorities and society in large in whole Europe.  At the same time the negative attitudes towards Romani speakers in European countries increase, and what will be the future of Romani language it is not clear.


Since we are dealing with a Europe-wide current language policy challenge, the panel will serve to present, compare and discuss findings from several European countries. The panel is open for experts interested in the field of applied Romani Linguistics – specialists in sociolinguistics (languages in contacts), psycholinguistics (language acquisition, language learning and teaching) cognitive linguistics (oral and written language processing), pragmatics (use of Romani in different context) dialectology (descriptive dialectology, dialects in contact) and all other applied areas of Romani language. The panel aims to bring together experts who will present their new research findings and will give a possibility for discussions of large number of topics in the field of Romani. The candidate participants for the panel are invited to submit abstract with clear methodology of research and indicate what is new in their findings.

The Bayash. New insights into an old issue

Organizers: Biljana Sikimić ( and Annemarie Sorescu Marinković (

The Bayash (also known as Rudari or Karavlasi) are an ethnic community speaking different varieties of Romanian as their first language and inhabiting today most of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. A minimal definition of the group takes their mother tongue as the central element, which is coupled with their traditional vocation, woodwork, and the fact that the majority population considers them Roma, even if their self-identification greatly varies, according to the country they live in. The belonging of the Bayash to the Roma meta-group has been fiercely contested over time, and the dispute is far from being settled today.
The first scholarly accounts on this community belong to Romanian historians and ethnographers and date from the beginning of the 20th century. However, the last 20 years saw an explosion of scientific papers on this community, mainly penned by authors from Croatia, Hungary, Romania and Serbia, which granted a specific profile to this new discipline, the Bayash studies. At the crossroads between Romani and Romanian studies, the Bayash studies are an interdisciplinary field concerned with the experiences of the Bayash over time, which mainly draws on aspects of sociology, anthropology and linguistics, and offer an overarching arena to scientists interested in this group.
This panel aims at marking a century of Bayash studies by bringing together researchers from different fields (anthropologists, historians, linguists, ethnographers, demographers, sociologists, folklorists etc.), dedicated to the study of this group. With the goal of deepening the knowledge about the Bayash in the 21st century and summing up the existing information in the area, the panel welcomes contributions which address questions such as (but are not limited to) the following:
  • - the language of the Bayash in and outside Romania;
  • - the multilingualism of the Bayash;
  • - education and language policies for the Bayash in the 21st century;
  • - Bayash / Rudari / Karavlasi – the avatars of a term;
  • - settlement types and housing practices of the Bayash in the past and today;
  • - Bayash customs and traditions – what was lost and what has been gained;
  • - (new) religions of the Bayash;
  • - (oral) history of / and the Bayash;
  • - inclusion and exclusion of the Bayash in present day Europe;
  • - the Bayash and the Holocaust;
  • - Bayash labour migrations;
  • - the seminomadism of the Bayash;
  • - the Bayash in Western Europe and the USA.

From Romani genocide to intercultural education

Organizers: William New ( and Hristo Kyuchukov (

Over the past three decades, there has been extensive scholarship and documentation related to the Romani genocide that took place across Europe during the Nazi period. This has taken many forms: book-length histories, monographs and articles across many disciplines, memoirs, literature, visual arts, monuments and museums, music, and archival collections, just to name a few. Some countries have begun, after long delay, the kinds of ‘truth and reconciliation’ processes with respect for Romani victims that were initiated for other groups almost immediately at the close of World War II. In many countries, though -- particularly those with the largest present-day Romani populations -- that process has never really begun. There are good reasons to believe that this historical amnesia contributes to an intergenerational, post-traumatic stress experienced by many in the Romani community, and in some ways experienced by affected Romani communities as a whole. Likewise, there is reason to believe that not recognizing the genocide contributes to the legitimation of discriminatory practices against Roma, and their general social stigmatization, by protecting those in the majority from knowledge about their own cultural and political histories. At the level of states and intergovernmental associations like the EU, ‘forgetting’ helps perpetuate the racial thinking that fueled this genocide, and may contribute to discriminatory policies and practices, from education to health care to employment to housing. 

The purpose of this panel is to share ideas about how knowledge of the many forms of Romani genocide might be disseminated so as to constitute meaningful ‘intercultural education.’ We do not want to limit education to what happens in schools, not to diminish the importance of curriculum and pedagogy. The transformation of German consciousness, through explicit intervention in schools, with respect to anti-Semitism -- though not so much with respect to anti-Gypsyism -- is instructive in this regard. But there are many other ways in which intercultural education, as processes of increasing critical public awareness about the Romani genocides and their aftermath, can be approached. Children are important subjects of education, but no less so than their parents, other citizens, and their political representatives. We invite scholars, artists, activists, and others to consider ways in which knowledge about some aspect of the Romani genocide(s) -- in whatever form -- can be brought into the public light, where it might serve the purpose of educating. Proposals should specify the knowledge authors wish to bring to light, the audience they would like to reach, the modalities through which they would offer their intercultural education, the contexts in which this education would take place, and the changes they would like to effect.

Methodological challenges in the study of Roma

Organizers: Manuela Mendes ( and Olga Magano (

The practice of research in Roma Studies implies a holistic approach and theoretical-practical imagination and the flexible and complementary use of several techniques of data collection. On the one hand, what reciprocity in terms of benefits researcher / participants in research, what discussions are raised in terms of ethics? Can we advance with the notion of ethics situated in Roma studies? To what extent we can enter and leave the lives of the investigated, collect the information sought and leave them with immense expectations about our work when we know that pure research work is not primarily about social activism or the mission to intervene / interfere in people's lives?

On the other hand, the field studies generate tensions and conflicts, having a dissonance of expectations between investigators and investigated. The studies can also contribute to Roma empowerment, participation in society, sense of community to others and the concern for the common good. The use of participatory action research and the adoption of strategies of co-production in research aims at the empowerment; working "with" communities tends to provide the communities with greater control over the research process and is a mutual process of learning.

The objective of this panel is to provide a space for sharing and debate of methodologies and research techniques in the study of Roma, whether quantitative or qualitative, in different areas of social sciences and in different countries.

Subject: Methodological approaches on Roma Studies

Key words:  Roma studies, methodologies, co-production, participatory processes.

Queer(y)ing Romani Studies: from deconstruction to solidarity

Organizers: Jekatyerina Dunajeva (, Lucie Fremlova (, and Violeta Vayda (

This panel starts from the premise that Romani Studies finds itself at a watershed moment. Recently, Stewart (2017) issued an academic warning to the effect that the ‘Nothing about us without us’ paradigm in critical approaches to Romani Studies is ‘a close-society’ one and as such, is dangerous. While one may agree with the notion that ‘closed-society paradigms’ are prone to being problematic due to often being signs of conservatism, and even dogma, Romani Studies, which, until very recently, has been dominated by non-Romani (white), often male scholars, provides an example of such conservatism. Meanwhile, constituencies traditionally marginalized or not ‘normally’ at home in the Roma rights movement, Romani Studies and Roma communities such as LGBTQ, feminists, post-colonialists and activists have shown the way towards a wide platform of solidarity with movements that can propel Romani Studies forward in new and exciting ways. For example, the articles included in the 'Roma Rights Quarterly 2015/2: Nothing about us without us' ask for what has been long overdue: that is for Romani scholars to be included and to take part in knowledge production relating to Roma in the same way that non-Romani scholars have been accustomed to and have often taken for granted. Yet their ask is not exclusionary: theories and methodologies such as intersectionality, critical race theory, participatory action research and theories around reimagining power all enrich the field and aim to look critically at – or queer(y) – Romani Studies without excluding Romani scholars. 'Nothing about us without us' goes much further than that, though, in a partial response to the call for Romani Studies to transcend the 'ethnic frame of reference' (Stewart, 2010) by including Romani voices that are not necessarily ethnically-only identified; for instance, voices that may be identified on the basis of sexuality, gender/gender-identity etc. In this context, non-Romani identified researchers also have a place at the table by challenging, deconstructing, and reclaiming their identities – critical whiteness is very ‘queer’ by nature of being counter/non/anti-normative in relation to whiteness as a social norm (white-normativity). In practical terms, it means that researchers in traditionally dominant and/or oppressor roles towards Roma do not necessarily have to be Romani to be included in knowledge production on Romani communities; however, it is helpful if they can examine their own privilege and challenge it accordingly not only academically, but also politically and socially. (By the same token, a ‘queer’ researcher does not necessarily have to be LGBTIQ; however, if they are straight, they need to be able to critically examine their own straight/heteronormative/cis-normative privilege and challenge it accordingly at all levels: academically, politically and socially.) Our panel opens up a space for all those scholars who work on deconstructing, queer(y)ing and reclaiming identities in relation to Romani Studies.

Roma and public policies: what impacts the integration of Roma?

Organizers: Olga Magano (, Manuela Mendes (, and Stefania Toma (

Roma continue to be referred to as the poorest people, with the worst housing conditions, the least educated, and the main target of racism and discrimination in today's societies. In order to promote measures for the integration of Roma people States have implemented, in various countries, public policies that promote social welfare in accordance with the guidelines of the “modern and democratic” Social State.

Policies vary from country to country, for example in some there are specific policies for Roma and in others there are only universal policies. Knowledge about the impact of existing policies is still poorly publicized and sharing and discussion is urgently needed with the exchange of experiences and examples of good practice.

The aim of this panel is to bring together papers that reflect on the impact of national and international public policies which are in line with the European Strategy for Roma Integration in the European Union and the national strategies for the integration of Roma in each country as well as on projects and intervention strategies mobilized by non-governmental organizations which had decisive and little known effects on Roma individuals and families, and which promoted social change and greater equality of access to the effective exercise of citizenship as recommended by international bodies.

Key Words: Roma, public policies; integration; good practices

Roma in the period between WWI and WWII

Organizers: Elena Marushiakova ( and Vesselin Popov (

This panel aims at addressing one of the still under-researched topics in Romani Studies, namely the history of the Roma in the period between WWI and WWII. This period represented an era of significant changes worldwide, which encompassed numerous fields, such as, to list a few: the breakdowns of old Empires, re-drawing of borders, beginning of new world relations on a macro-level along with new inter-ethnic relations on micro-levels, huge movement of populations, the birth of new nation states, rise  of nationalism and internationalism, peace arrangements and exchange of populations, civil wars, important developments in interwar diplomacy and international relations, growth of economies , stagnation and depression, novel social, ideological and cultural trends and innovations, and others. This turnover not only marked the beginning of new stage in world history but also, on a micro level, it impacted the living strategies and visions about the future of Roma communities worldwide.

The point of departure of this panel is the fact that Roma in their history were never a hermetically isolated social and cultural system. They existed, and continue to exist nowadays, in two dimensions. On the one hand, as separate ethnic communities and on the other hand as part of the macro-societies in which they live within the respective nation-states. Along with the members of the macro-societies they experienced great changes and turbulences such as the breakdowns of old Empires, the establishment of nation states and processes of modernisation. In this time span, Roma started to be politically institutionalised, instrumentalised and subjected to a variety of controversial policy practices. At the same time, they started to develop their own visions for the development of their communities, both on local and international levels. 

This panel aims to bring together researchers from different disciplinary fields and it seeks to study of impact of the Interbellum period on Roma communities. Presentations reflecting any aspect of this broad theme are welcomed. The panel is specially interested to invite presentations that will look at Roma not only as passive recipients of policy measures but also as active architects (agents) of their own lives. The aim is together with papers studying evidences reflecting state policies in regard to Roma to include presentations which analyse the appearance and development of social and political projects proposed by Roma.

Romani language in South-Eastern Europe

Organizers: Kimmo Granqvist ( and Julieta Rotaru (

The Vlax and Balkan Romani dialects constitute the most important groups of Romani dialects, with regards to the number of speakers, geographical spread and the extent of documentation (cf. Matras 2002: 67). Large numbers of Roma speak these dialects even outside Europe in North and Latin America. There are speech communities of The Vlax dialects even in China, South and East Africa, Hong Kong and Singapore (Hancock 1995: 30).  

We invite to this panel papers dealing with Romani dialects used currently or historically in the Balkans, Romania and Greece. Papers on these dialects in their migrant settings are also welcome. We welcome papers dealing with any aspect of theoretical and applied Romani Linguistics and Philology. Multidisciplinary papers are particularly welcome, combining e.g. aspects of Linguistics with Migration Studies, Political Sciences or History. In addition to papers in English, contributors are invited to presented papers in Romani (all varieties welcome). Papers should be 20 minutes long with an additional 10 minutes allotted for discussion.