9th Anatomy of Islands - Lastovo 2021

Symposium invitation


9th Anatomy of Islands, Lastovo 2021

Lastovo, 27 to 29 September 2021

We invite you to the 9th Anatomy of Islands symposium. Uncertainty about the COVID-19 pandemic caused a delay in sending out this invitation. Nevertheless, we hope that we will gather again on the farthest inhabited Croatian island, Lastovo, from 27 to 29 September 2021. The topic that we propose is undoubtedly relevant: Islands and Crises. This topic was designed to bear in mind, particularly, deinsularization and islandness in jeopardy. However, mindful of the current global state, this topic is also proposed with discourse towards island crises caused by the mainland and island pandemic and anti-epidemic measures. These measures have insularized many and led many to ask how to live our “new” everyday lives. Here, islands may again lead us from dialogue to answers.

Island communities are separated from the mainland and have learned to live by themselves and with the risks and crises that accompany island livelihood. The island identity is enduring and has been shaped over time by the demand of sustainability within a detached, finite space with limited resources. As such, the determinants of island life have an enduring resilience, and create and influence islandness, a term that nissologists use to unite the singularities that emerge when surrounded by the sea. However, islandness is weakening, particularly on larger islands. They are ever better connected, some have also been overcome and almost all of them are caught within infrastructural networks, while new islanders come from the mainland, unable to change their mainland identity and way of life with the island one overnight. Despite their separation at sea, islands are becoming similar to the mainland, as a result of purposeful deinsularization. Shadowed by that process, islandness  is  quietly disappearing, and the very island differentia specifica is undergoing a crisis.

Gradually removing insularity threatens to turn islands into mere extensions of the mainland. Interest in this topic is growing throughout island research and studies, particularly those focused on islandness and those critically dealing with island development policy. The latter considers island living, working, and business conditions as an “island handicap” and has been crafting and deliberating on deinsularization measures for decades. The ongoing pandemic has brought yet another topic and a new irony to the centre of nissological interest; while being exposed to developmental measures of deinsularization for decades, islanders have suddenly found themselves under anti-epidemic measures that require strict insularization.

Both long-term deinsularization and ad hoc (re)-insularization call for a multidisciplinary deliberation upon island communities regarding all of their practical and conceptual (self)-realisations. Such deliberation invariably results in island particularities but does not neglect the networking of island worlds in broader social, cultural, political, economic, and demographical processes that surpass the territorial limitations of islands.

This symposium is also envisioned as a forum to expand the etymology of crisis as a short-lived state of “abnormality” towards designating a permanent uncertainty. Questions of sustainability and resilience will be complemented by exchanging diverse “crisis” experiences. We will also ask several fundamental questions: are deinsularization and islandness mutually exclusive? Can islands be innovative and distinct enough to resist the (disguised) de-insularization policy? Concurrently, we must remember that questions of island economic and social sustainability and resilience have been asked for centuries and that the islanders, regardless of the crisis, have always managed to find answers. Therefore, we land on an overarching question: are we traditional enough when asking questions and innovative enough in looking for answers? 

There will be more questions as we remain open to other “eternal” island topics: 

Nissological research in Croatia and possible academic institutionalisation (comparison with the EU and other inter-university initiatives for creating nissological knowledge)

Migration and islands - island as a stopover or the goal of migrants, digital nomads, temporary population

Diversity of identification processes - dynamics of identification processes in local, trans-local and virtual contexts; creating and rallying the sense of island community belonging to different generations that have diverse experiences of island living.

Collision of tradition and modernity - managing island development in the context of strategic plans and local practices

Crises as seen through a historical perspective - historical experiences of island communities going through tough times

Seasonal nature of life on the islands - from island life defined by seasonal rhythms towards a seasonality defined by tourism; tourism capacities; abandoned residential and manufacturing properties; advantages and disadvantages of touristification for the life of islanders; the relationship of facilities for occasional and permanent use.

Deinsularization of island worlds - connection to the mainland; mainland infrastructural systems on islands; the identity of new islanders; mainland models of healthcare and education on smaller and larger islands; island economy: self-sufficiency vs. specialisation.

Islandness in jeopardy- problems with (mis)-understanding islandness in scientific, literary, and popular perceptions; islandness of the 21st century; reactive vs. proactive island development policy; smart islands?

Island ecosystem in times of crisis - protected areas on islands; consequences of climate change; biodiversity and island agriculture; managing natural resources; populating with allochthonous animal species.

Taking into consideration the modern fluidity of locality and, therefore, the unpredictability of levels on which islands are represented, the 9th Anatomy of Islands invites all  interested island thinkers of expert, activist, and scientific provenance to join in the discussion.


City of Lastovo, Cultural Centre, 27 to 29 September 2021


The official languages of the symposium are Croatian and English. The organiser of the gathering shall ensure simultaneous interpretation.


Please send your applications in the Croatian or English language by e-mail to the following address: info@anatomija-otoka.com.

Application deadline: 28 June 2021


§ Lecturer’s name and surname

§ Institution (optional)

§ Webpage (personal or the institution’s - optional)

§ Telephone/mobile phone number

§ E-mail

§ Lecture type (individual, panel)

§ Title

§ Required technical equipment (PC or Mac, projector, audio)

§ Lecture language

§ Summary of the lecture in the Croatian or English language (up to 300 words)

§ Short CV in the Croatian or English language (up to 150 words)

Individual lectures will be integrated into sessions connected by topic that will last for an hour and a half. For each of the submitted lectures, 20 minutes are foreseen for the lecture and 10 minutes for the discussion following it.


We encourage you to submit lectures that are connected by topics as panels. Individual panels can last for up to two hours and cover three to five lectures, after which a discussion will follow. Applications of panel lecturers should also have up to 300 words and should be sent together with the panel title and a short brief of the panel itself (up to 300 words).

The programme and organisation board will notify the applicants of the acceptance of their lectures by 5 July 2021.


The participation fee per person is 300 HRK, while it is 150 HRK for students. The participation fee includes the organisation of the symposium, a summaries book, an excursion, and a final dinner.


The costs of transportation and accommodation are borne by the participants themselves.

The members of the Association “Anatomy of Islands - Centre for Research and Development” are entitled to a 20% discount on the participation fee.

All interested inhabitants of Lastovo, particularly members of the local organiser, the Association “Dobra Dobričević”, are invited to the symposium.


Marina Blagaić Bergman, PhD

Anica Čuka, PhD

Sanja Klempić Bogadi, PhD

Ivana Marčeta Frlan, mag. educ.

Tomislav Oroz, PhD

Ana Perinić Lewis, PhD

Sonja Podgorelec, PhD

Nenad Starc, PhD

Sean Turner, M. Sc.


Association “Anatomy of Islands - Centre for Research and Development”, Vis

Association for Culture and Art Promotion “Dobre Dobričević”, Lastovo


Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, Zagreb

Ethnology and Anthropology Department of the University of Zadar



Financial support