Institutul de Cercetari Socio-Umane
„Gheorghe ªincai” al Academiei Române

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Code PN-II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0841

Contract no 220/2011

Crossing Borders: Insights into the Cultural and Intellectual History of Transylvania (1848-1948)/Dincolo de frontiere: Aspecte ale istoriei culturale si intelectuale a Transilvaniei (1848-1948)



INTRODUCTION The project proposes a multi- and interdisciplinary approach to Transylvania’s intellectual and cultural life in the 19th century and first half of the 20th century (1848-1948), at the border of intellectual history, cultural history, social history and political science. The epoch witnesses the redesign of frontiers, from the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the National Romanian State, and the configuration of national and confessional identities, owing to the intellectuals’ great efforts: they fought for national emancipation, making use of the cultural and ideological resources offered by the West, which they adapted to national interests and traditions. It is an epoch of disillusionment too, since great ideals turned into disappointment and, finally, into repression. In other words, 1848 and 1948 draw up the boundaries of the intellectual elite’s existence in Central and Eastern Europe, Transylvania included, from its birth to its temporary downfall. Owing to the complexity of this multicultural space and the multitude of perspectives from which aspects of the intellectual, cultural, social and political life can be discussed, we resort here to the key-concept of border. The accent is thus laid on its intermediality and in-betweenness, favouring communication, mobility, dialogism, polyphony, instead of conflictual difference. It may refer to concrete political and geographical borders, or to symbolical borders: interdisciplinary, intercultural (or identity borders), inter-institutional, interethnic, and international borders. The project takes into account both the external reality of the Transylvanian borders (national, cultural, social, ethnical, religious etc.) with their materialization into institutions, and the subjective, mental, preconceived realities of mutual representations. Transylvania itself can be defined as a space of cultural border, not only because of its diverse interethnic and intercultural relations, but also its location in a meeting space between the East/Orient and the West, tradition and modernity, European cultural influences and national values, centre and periphery, urbanity and rurality, at the boundaries of empires and political interests etc. The results of each year’s activities consist in the publication of 2 volumes based on theoretical and applied approaches to the project’s main concepts and methodologies in different contexts (Itineraries beyond Borders of Cultures, Identities and Disciplines (2012), In-between Difference and Diversity: Studies of Cultural and Intellectual History (2013)), and the final volume centred on the specific theme of the project: CrossinCrossing Borders: Insights into the Cultural and Intellectual History of Transylvania (1848-1948) (2014).


11 members: Carmen Andraº (Project leader), Cornel Sigmirean (Director of the “Gheorghe ªincai” Institute for Social and Human Researches), Corina Teodor (the “Petru Maior University, the “Gheorghe ªincai” Institute for Social and Human Researches), Iulian Boldea (the “Petru Maior University), Mariana Neþ (the “Iorgu Iordan-Al. Rosetti” Institute of Linguistics), Marian Zãloagã (the “Gheorghe ªincai” Institute for Social and Human Researches), Anca Maria ªincan (the “Gheorghe ªincai” Institute for Social and Human Researches), Novak Zoltan Csaba (the “Gheorghe ªincai” Institute for Social and Human Researches), Irina Nastasã-Matei (the University of Bucharest, the “Gheorghe ªincai” Institute for Social and Human Researches), Nicoarã Mihai Teodor (the “Gheorghe ªincai” Institute for Social and Human Researches), Ramona Pop (the Cluj Branch of the Romanian Academy).

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