The Viennese Vormärz-Slavica-Project

 

The purpose of the Viennese Vormärz Slavica Project is to compile an inventory and critical presentation of material concerning Slavic countries and cultures in popular periodicals and scholarly journals published in Vienna during the first half of the 19th century (Vormärz). The project thus makes available source material which makes it possible to reconstruct the historical shared space of cross-cultural communication in Central Europe. The fifth volume of this comparative series covers the Bohemian lands, in 4 parts and an index.


The comparative project in question, which has been funded over many years by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), provides source material which can be evaluated as evidence of ongoing cross-communication processes in Central Europe. Cultural processes in Central Europe are intimately connected to the evolution of literary language, national literatures and the preservation of national identity (Poland) in the Vormärz period. Traumatic collective experiences of wars, totalitarianism and economic compulsion the young nation states were forced to cope with in the 20th century, triggered mechanisms of cultural exclusion and dissociation. The commemoration of shared cultural communalities was neglected or even suppressed, and strategies for constructing national identity were pursued. Self-proclaimed “non-political” popular periodicals and scholarly journals published during the first half of the 19th century in Vienna controlled by Count Metternich’s severe censorship regime were allowed to entertain and educate their readership. These periodicals also continuously dealt with Central Europe in treatises, correspondents' reports, notes about and reviews of books as well as short fiction. They generated knowledge about the history of Central Europe through the news items and information about societal events in these parts of the Habsburg Empire. The project evaluates these sources compiling a critical survey and inventory of the relevant material.