The Critical Balkan Studies RIW at the University of Michigan is a community of graduate students whose research deals with the region of the Balkans. While research interests and methodologies are varied, all of our work questions mainstream constructions of the region and seeks to make academic inquiry beyond existing ones, such as the narrow confines of national or ethnic boundaries. We start from an understanding of the Balkans as having a complex position geographically, politically, historically, and discursively. This position—colored by historical processes like the long rule of the Ottoman and Hapsburg empires, involvement in the two World Wars, rise and break up of Socialist systems, and current processes of neo-liberalization—creates conditions and subjectivities that are not easily understood through the dichotomous paradigm of West/East or North/South. Our group aims to critically scrutinize the category of “the Balkans” and tackle old and new issues related to the region.