Intellectual Horizons

The Intellectual Horizons research area covers a wide spectrum, concentrating, for instance, on the elite history as influenced by the social and conceptual history of intellectuals as a group, the relationship between intellectuals and politics, and their stance on the various social homogenization projects of the twentieth century. The history of literature and images, and the role and development of religion in assigning meaning and defining interpretive approaches also fall in this area, as well as interpretations of the diverse connections between East Central European intellectuals and the rest of the world.
In addition to survey-like presentations of these central issues, the focus lies in researching new, more specific topics. Areas of research include the main actors, influential circles, the most important currents, and significant works of the intelligentsia of Eastern Europe. Intellectual controversies and debates in the region will be examined, as well as fundamental, mutual boundaries between the different groups.
The Intellectual Horizons research area pursues neither a regional approach that would portray national examples as fundamentally similar, nor a nationalistic one, in which the particularism of the individual national affairs determine the structure of the material and the research approach. Instead, a transnational and comparative approach of the aforementioned subjects will be followed. This is a special challenge in a region with such a wide range of differences and without any strict institutional mechanism of integration.
The project as a whole not only offers the opportunity to research the often underestimated diversity of local intellectual cultures, but will also serve to correct the present underrepresentation of East Central European traditions in the pan- European perception.