International conference organized by the Faculty of Philology

GeneralUniversity of Banja Luka

A two-day international conference titled ‘First World War: Reflection in literature, language and culture’ was held at the Faculty of Philology on October 13-14.

Before distinguished domestic and foreign scholars made their contribution to the event by delivering papers on the topic, the participants were welcomed by Prof. Mladenko Sadzak, Dean of the Faculty, Prof. Stanko Stanic, Rector of the University, Prof. Petar Penda, Vice-Dean for scientific research and Ms Radmila Kocic-Djudjic, Assistant Minister of Education, Government of the Republic of Srpska.

The Dean revealed some historical facts about the Faculty, its scholarly legacy and project portfolio, emphasizing the fact that the Faculty, so far, had organized 11 international conferences, featuring over 1,000 participants from over 30 countries.

In his speech, Prof. Sadzak made reference to some of the most renowned names in the field of philology, by saying the following: ‘This city was the home to famous Petar Kocic who, similar to his predecessors Gavro Vuckovic and Vaso Pelagic, suffered enormously in jail due to his attitudes. This was the case with many other writers, professors and educators, such as Jovo G. Popovic, Vaso Kondic, Kosta Majkic, Dr. Vaso Glusac and others. This conference, which reflects only a fragment of our endeavours to improve the overall situation in terms of education and enlightenment, is in itself an opportunity not only for a fight against ignorance and illiteracy, but also for a fight against any form of slavery, bans and exodus due to one’s language, name and ethnic designation’.

On behalf of the staff and students of the University of Banja Luka, the participants were welcomed by the Rector, who wished them successful work at the conference, congratulating the management of the Faculty on the way they organized the event and on the fact that they had managed to gather so many scholars on one place.

‘Dear guests, the theme of the conference is topical indeed, even though there is a centennial distance separating it from this historic conflict. However, the fact remains that wars and conflicts have always provided inspiration for writers and poets. It is my wish, regarding the message to be sent out from this conference, that writers and poets should find their inspiration in peace, love and harmony for the most part, and as little as possible in wars and conflicts.

The former should represent the guiding star of our scientific and artistic development’, pointed out the Rector, expressing his gratitude to the participants not coming from the University for having recognized its significance.

The participants were also welcomed by Assistant Minister of Education, wishing them pleasant stay in Banja Luka and successful sessions, while Prof. Penda, welcoming the participants on behalf of the Organizing Committee, emphasized the fact that the sheer number of presenters, the figures being 100 scholars from 10 countries, revealed the fact that the conference would offer productive and interesting discussions.

After the welcome addresses, academician Svetozar Koljevic delivered a plenary speech titled: Dobrica Cosic, ‘A Time of Death’ – First World War from the Serbian literary perspective, which was followed by panel sessions.