German Language and Culture

in Romania (1918-1933).

“Post-Imperial” Realities, Public Discourse and Cultural Fields

The project “German Language and Culture in Romania (1918-1933). ‘Post-Imperial’ Realities, Public Discourse and Cultural Fields” is based on a close collaboration between philologists and historians from Iaşi, hosted by Institutul de Cercetări Socio-Umane from Sibiu of the Romanian Academy and philologists and historians from Cluj-Napoca, hosted by „Babeș-Bolyai“ University, Cluj-Napoca and it aims to create a multi- inter- and transdisciplinary model of the interaction types and varieties that the set of communicative codes and systems, social relations, “symbolic goods” (discourses, texts, works of art), institutions, practices, traditions etc., constitutive at a given time for what is known as Romanian cultural “identity”, has developed in its specific manifestation areal, determinable from a geographic and historical point of view through its natural intersection in the common social and historical space of the European civilisation with that indentitary set that is regarded part of the broader concept of “German language and culture”. Starting from two key concepts of the cultural studies: “intercultural communication” and “contact between cultures”, we conceived the project not as a “case study”, illustrating a theoretical construct, but as an analysis of the relations established and cultivated by the Romanian culture with the German, relations that build a “subject matter” which has to be fully exploited in the horizon of concrete “historical facts”. In order to examine the multitude of connections between the elements of the two cultural “identities”, we opted in favour of a temporal disconnection that covers the time of democratic consolidation and cultural openness towards Otherness for the Romanian society after World War I: between 1918, when Romania rounds with provinces inhabited by a majority Romanian population, but also by important minority German speaking communities, and 1933, when the instauration of Hitler’s regime will have affected also the equilibrium between the socio-cultural fields in Romania.

 

“German Language and Culture in Romania (1918-1933). ‘Post-Imperial’ Realities, Public Discourse and Cultural Fields” is a national project financed by UEFISCID within the program „P4: Basic and frontier research” whose main objectives are: the development of fundamental research in different areas; an increased quality of performance and the improvement of international visibility of scientific results in areas where Romania has research potential, increasing Romania's contribution to the development of the European Research Area (ERA); the development of emerging areas; the adoption of international standards for assessing projects of fundamental research. As financing instruments, the present project is part of the subcategory: Complex research projects (section: humanities) which aims to support and promote advanced scientific research, multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinary and substantial progress at the frontiers of knowledge and to encourage new methods and techniques, including unconventional approaches and investigations at the interface between disciplines already established.

The competition was launched on the 27th of May 2016, with a deadline for submitting proposals (1st stage) on the 15th of July 2016, a competition that registered 177 submitted projects and that accepted only 20 of them. The project “German Language and Culture in Romania (1918-1933). ‘Post-Imperial’ Realities, Public Discourse and Cultural Fields” underwent two peer-reviews with internationals experts; at the second, the decisive one, obtaining a score of 91,25 points and occupying the second position in the humanities’ category, being admitted for financing on the 10th of October 2018 through Order of Research and Innovation Minister  (code PN-III-P4-ID-PCCF-2016- 0131) and receiving on the 17th of December 2018 the final signatures that authorizes the beginning of the project with a total budget of  8,500,000.00 RON.

 

Within the implementation procedure after the 10th of October 2018, the “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iaşi refused, despite of the written engagements from 2016 and 2017, to administratively host the project (in collaboration with „Babeș-Bolyai“ University) under the initially established terms. For this reason, with the express approval of the National Centre for Research (CNCS), the project has been “ported”, from an administrative point of view, at Institutul de Cercetări Socio-Umane from Sibiu of the Romanian Academy, that took over the bilateral collaboration with „Babeș-Bolyai“ University.

 

The collaboration between the two teams: Iaşi / Sibiu, and Cluj-Napoca is planned for a period of four years, between the 1st of January 2019 and the 31st of December 2022, a period in which a transdisciplinary team of specialists will draw up a “moving” image of all domains in which, in the new political, social and cultural configuration of “Greater” Romania, the respective intercultural dimension will manifest. A volume with a historical-encyclopedic character will turn into good account this complex. The proposed “frontier” project takes into consideration the registering, deepening, ordering and interrelating by interdisciplinary teams of historians – including of historians of Romanian law and education –, Germanists, specialists in cultural studies of (as much as possible) all the elements which make up the so varied mosaic of the presence of the German language and culture in the territories of the Romanian state after 1918. The goal is to assemble a complete and at the same time differential image of all the domains in which, in the new political, social and cultural configuration of “Greater” Romania, these elements manifested themselves actively and relevant for the evolutions at that time.

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