Strategic Regions

Research Program 3 reflects the current situation of Europe which – both as a continent and as a civilization entity – faces enormous challenges related to the movements of people and ideologies in an interconnected world. The key topic of the program is ‘encounters’ between cultures from the synchronic and diachronic perspective and from two viewpoints: global (Europe vs. non-European world) and local (various regionally or socially localized cultures in Europe). The research program consists of three mutually permeable thematic clusters:

  1. encounters with the other and the formation of identities;
  2. migration;
  3. interaction.

The program works with the notion of culture as a set of values, ideas, and practices shaped by the permanent process of reconfigurations and creative adaptations that occur during the encounters with and exchanges of various locally situated experiences. In this approach, the topic of encounters is complementary to the concept of autopoietic systems developed by RP1 Creative Laboratory. The issue is approached from a historical perspective and one of the lines of research follows the formation and transformation of identities during culturally formative encounters. In this respect, it also broadens the study of adaptation processes and their importance for the transformation of identities, pursued by RP2 Socio-Cultural Adaptation, by including the dimension of global interactions and the topic of the changes in the position of centers and peripheries. The topic is approached from a broad comparative perspective which connects historical, philological (language and literature), philosophical, and sociological methods. On various levels, the project takes into account the role of linguistic diversity (including languages such as Arabic, Chinese, and other Asian languages), both from the perspective of language mediation and construction of reality, and from the point of view of intercultural communication and intercultural translation. Applied research in the program focuses chiefly on recommendations and strategies for state institutions, state administration bodies, NGOs, schools and other institutions that to a different degree need to deal with the questions of global migration and cultural encounters and with the resulting problems, coexistence of cultures, and cultural and social transformations.

The results of the applied research will include activities that fulfill the public role of the university (popularization of research results by means of articles, lectures for the public, educational exhibitions, etc.). Similarly to RP1, one research aim focused on practical application in the area of digital humanities is the development of linguistic corpora and analyses of data from the internet, reflecting cultural changes and changes in the media and social behavior structures, with a specific focus on global contexts and current threats.
International conference Regions of strategic importance: geographic space, cultural and political construct, analytical tools. Introducing the Institute for the Study of Strategic Regions; formulating a methodological framework for further research. For the entire RP3 and in relation to RP1 and RP2 (12/2018).

WP3.1 Identity

Aim: Using historical examples in both global and European perspectives, the work package aims at capturing the processes of identity formation as a result of a culture clash (emergence of new identity paradigms). In this context, the problem of the provincialization of Europe will also be addressed. The objective is to advance the analysis of identity as such (on various scales, i.e. Czech, Central European, general European), including its proclaimed values.

People: Baloun Pavel, Barša Pavel, Bíba Jan, Binková Simona, Brenišínová Monika, Buben Radek, Crhák Ondřej, Hesová Zora, Kohoutková Kateřina, Koubek Martin, Křížová Markéta, Ort Jakub, Perutka Lukáš, Šima Karel, Slačálek Ondřej, Walach Václav

3.1.1 Tasks

T1.1 Building on the cooperation with other RP3 participants (WPs within RP3), the aim is to find new methodologies useful for trans-disciplinary area studies, with special regard to the methodology of the study of (regional) identities.

T1.2 Study of the relationship between the Czech milieu and the events outside Europe and the formation of collective identities in relationship to Others.

T1.3 In cooperation with WP3.3. (T3.4), research of theoretical topics related to the phenomenon of Orientalism in Central Europe and Bohemia from the 19th to the first half of the 20th century ‘Orientalism without colonies’, including regions other than Asia.

T1.4 Study of the broader area of the Caribbean, mainly Cuba and Venezuela, focusing on the history and context of the contemporary global political-economic processes.

T1.5 Study of colonization of the overseas regions and the formation of Europe.

T1.6 Research of the clash of different cultures, taking the perspective of the State, its rituals, and its political system.

T1.7 Study of the formation of the collective European identity and particularly Central European nations in relation to Other Europe and its Others.

T1.8 States, ideologies, and religions.

T1.9 Establishing the Ideology and Identity study group.

3.1.2 Results and Deliverables

The team members will build on the particulars of their fields of expertise and will produce several types of deliverables: monographs, including collective monographs prepared in collaboration with foreign contributors and published in foreign languages; articles published in international and, in part, domestic peer-reviewed journals included in major international databases; the minority of the deliverables will be published in journals with IF (over 50% of the publications will be published in peer-reviewed journals abroad). In addition, conferences, symposia, seminars, and workshops with international participation will be organized, research centers will be established, and, possibly, collaboration with the public sector will be initiated.

3.1.3 Milestones

M1.1 International conference Fifty Years of Center for Ibero-American Studies – Fifty Years of Complicated History of Latin America (02/2018)

M1.2 International conference Caribbean: Strategic Region of Global Importance (05/2019)

M1.3 Publication of the collective monograph Caribbean: Strategic Region of Global Importance (02/2021).

M1.4 Establishment of the Ideology and Identity study group, the workshop Tradition and modernity: religion, ideology, identity (09/2018).

M1.5 International workshop European Nations and Their Others (11/2019).

M1.6 Monograph Orientalism in Central Europe will map a hitherto neglected topic, following up on the recently revived discussion on the phenomenon of Orientalism, especially as seen from the perspective of nations without a colonial past; linked to WP3 and T1.11, in part to T1.12 (11/2021).

M1.7 Collective monograph European Nations and Their Others (09/2022).

WP3.2 Migration

Aim: This work package studies the effects of migration on human civilization from the historical perspective and from different analytic points of view. It involves the research of population movement and its impact on the society, as seen in ancient civilizations, and also the cultural and intellectual transfers in recent history, which shed light on the dynamics of the relationship between ‘cultural powers’ and small nations, as well as between different peripheral cultures. The goal is to consider the topic of migration as a natural component of human civilization since times immemorial, including migration as the precondition for cultural transfer and for creative adaptation of various stimuli which take part in the dynamic self-transformation and viability of cultures in both short- and long-term perspectives.

People: Bardoňová Martina, Bareš Ladislav, Bertolini Ludovica, Březinová Helena, Dlask Jan, Humpál Martin, Janák Jiří, Kovář Michal, Landgráfová Renata, Míčková Diana, Odler Martin, Peterková Hlouchová Marie, Sedláčková Lucie, Stahr Radka, Štěříková Hana, Zangani Federico

3.2.1 Tasks

T2.1 Discussion of the innovation of methodological procedures suitable for trans-disciplinary area studies.

T2.2 Professor Arnošt Kraus (1859-1943) and the beginnings of Czech Scandinavian studies from the perspective of the migration of cultural stimuli between two peripheral cultural environments.

T2.3 Scandinavian literature migrates to Europe –  1850-1920.

T2.4 The image of the North in the contemporary European and, by extension, Czech cultural consciousness and its roots.

T2.5 Cultural transit between Nordic and other European countries.

T2.6 Migration of the Northerners to other countries and linguistic borrowings (e.g. between Scandinavian languages and Russian or English).

T2.7 Distribution-of-Bond events during middle Holocene and their influence on the historical processes, with particular attention to migration.

T2.8 Mechanisms of the reaction to the first globalization of the world in 6th century BC and the role of the 26th dynasty in forging a new identity for the Ancient Egyptian civilization.

T2.9 History and diachrony of the cyclical and linear concepts of the meaning of history and their basis in interdisciplinary research.

T2.10 The mechanism of the first known great migration in the 12th century BC in the context of historical dynamics and specific adaptations to climate change.

T2.11 Migration-initiated processes within a particular community with migration taken in its broadest sense (of people, ideas, values).

T2.12 Study of the role of migrations and historical discontinuities in the historical process.

3.2.2  Results and Deliverables

The team members will draw on the specific aspects of their particular areas of expertise and will produce several types of deliverables: monographs, including collective monographs prepared in mutual cooperation as well as with foreign contributors and published in foreign languages; individual articles published in international and, partly, domestic peer-reviewed journals, which are indexed in major European or world databases; the minority of outputs can also be published in impacted journals (over 50% of deliverables will be published in publishing houses in scientific journals with IF abroad).

3.2.3 Milestones

M2.1 Northern Europe, migration, and the questions of identity. A collective monograph with a link to WP3.1 (12/2020).

M2.2 In place of clashes: strategies of understanding. A collective monograph with the participation of all WPs in RP3 and with a link to RP1 and RP2  (09/2022).

M2.3  Punctuated equilibria and the dynamics of historical processes. A monograph focused on the role of migration in long historical processes (08/2022).

M2.4 The role of migrations and discontinuous history. A closing workshop with international participation to discuss the preparation of a new project on the basis of the research results (04/2022).

M2.5 Interdisciplinary international conference on the processes within a particular community caused by migration in a broad sense (i.e. of people, thoughts, values) (01/2021).

WP3.3 Interactions

Aim: Using the analysis of texts and images, the aim of this work package is to track interactions of different cultures and communities and of centers and peripheries; to capture the ways, the means, and the limits of mutual understanding; and to analyze the circumstances of conflicts and finding ways to avoid them.

People: Akcasu Ayse Ebru, Barša Pavel, Hála Martin, Hudeček Jiří, Chaloupková Lenka, Jakoubek Marek, Koláček Jakub, Lomová Olga, Malečková Jitka, Milička Jiří, Sládek Pavel, Sovilj Milan, Suchomel Filip, Ťupek Pavel, Zádrapa Lukáš, Zemánek Petr

3.3.1 Tasks

T3.1 Discussion about the innovation of methodological procedures suitable for trans-disciplinary area studies.

T3.2 Institutional anchoring of the Strategic Regions Study Group in the form of a network of similarly oriented European Centers.

T3.3 Rudolf Dvořák (1860-1920) and the origins of Czech Oriental studies in historical and cultural contexts.

T3.4 Czech Orientalism in the 19th and 20th Century.

T3.5 Exploration of multicultural influences in Central European art and material culture, with special focus on the Far East from the early modern period to the 20th century.

T3.6 Traveling to exotic destinations, photographing, and collecting exotic objects in Bohemia at the end of the 19th century.

T3.7 Exploring the processes of identity formation and the image of the Other, of cultural transmission, adaptation, and transformation from the perspective of the Orient.

T3.8 The formation and persistence of cultural stereotypes and the ‘Orientalism without colonies’ in the period of building socialism with a shared anti-colonial ideology.

T3.9 The Circulation of Knowledge in the Early Modern Age as a source of mutual views of the majority and minority societies in Central Europe and the coexostence and conflicts between the majority and the minorities.

T3.10 Various forms of Islamic teachings and their reaction to the encounter with the West in modern times.

T3.11 The modernization process in the Far East from the perspective of the history of concepts, and from a comparative and historical perspective.

T3.12 Formulation of the general model of cultural conflicts with regard to the potential and limitations of universalism.

3.3.2 Results and Deliverables

Team members will draw on the specifics of their work in their specializations and will publish several types of deliverables: monographs, including collective monographs prepared in collaboration with each other and with international contributors and published in foreign languages; individual articles published in international and also domestic peer-reviewed magazines included in major global or European databases; some deliverables will also be available in impacted journals (over 50% of deliverables will be published with publishers and in peer-reviewed scientific journals abroad). Other deliverables will include the creation of linguistic databases, the organization of scientific conferences, symposia, seminars, and workshops with international participation, further development of the research center for the study of strategic regions, and various forms of collaboration in the public sphere, possibly museum-related activities.

3.3.3 Milestones

M3.1 Between the Orient and the Czech national awakening. An exhibition and eponymous monograph marking the 100th anniversary of Rudolf Dvořák’s death, reflecting the history of Czech Orientalism and the humanities at the Czech University at the turn of the 19th century; links T3.3, T3.4 and T1.11 (10/2022).

M3.2 Collective monograph Orientalism in Central Europe maps the previously neglected topic and follows up on the recently renewed discussion of the phenomenon of Orientalism, especially from the perspective of the experience of countries without a colonial past; links T3.4, T3.5, T3.6 and T3.8 and also relates to T1.11 and partly to T1.12 (04/2022).

M3.3 In place of clashes: strategies of understanding. A collective monograph in Czech. with the participation of all WPs within the RP3 and with a link to RP1 (09/2022).

M3.4 Establishment of an international working group for the study of strategic regions and the operation of an information portal (06/2018).