Cultural Saints and Romantic Nationalism in Europe

Presentation of a Slovenian and a European Project with a Round Table

Basic Info

September 6, 2017 at 10:00 to September 6, 2017 at 13:00
Atrij ZRC, Novi trg 2, 1000 Ljubljana

Cultural Saints and Romantic Nationalism in Europe:

Presentation of a Slovenian and a European Project with a Round Table

10:00–10:15 Marko Juvan, Head of the Institute of Slovenian literature and Literary Studies, ZRC SAZU: Welcome address

10:15–11:00 Marijan Dović, Principal Investigator of “National Poets and Cultural Saints of Europe”: Presentation of project results and a new website (in Slovenian)

11:00–12:00 Joep Leerssen, Editor of the Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe: Presentation of ERNiE and its interactive website (in English)

12:00–13:00 Round table and discussion (with Joep Leerssen, project team members, and authors of Slovenian entries to ERNiE; in English)

The research project “National Poets and Cultural Saints of Europe: Commemorative Cults, Canonization, and Cultural Memory,” funded by the Slovenian Research Agency, has used a comparative approach to identify and describe the patterns of commemoration and canonization of national poets and other artists as a specific set of practices that spread across Europe like a wave, starting around the 1840s in the context of cultural nationalism. These practices have been studied in terms of canonization, where textual practices such as critical edition, exegesis, appropriation, and indoctrination have ben studies alongside ritual practices, relics, monumental networks, the educational apparatus, etc. All these practices have been treated in the context of the establishment of modern, national imagined communities. In this way, the project’s aim has been to reappraise the role of continuous veneration of certain individuals in the process of forming European nations—especially smaller nations, where the emphasis on literature and language was especially strong. As this three-year long project is drawing to a close, the principal investigator will present its main results: the edited collection Kulturni svetniki in kanonizacija (ZRC SAZU, 2016), the thematic section of Arcadia titled “National Poets and Romantic (Be) Longing” (2017), the book National Poets, Cultural Saints (Brill, 2017), the book Prešeren po Prešernu (LUD Literatura, 2017), and the bilingual website “National Poets and Cultural Saints of Europe,” which will be launched on this occasion.

An important achievement of the project is also the team’s contribution to the Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe, edited by Joep Leerssen from the University of Amsterdam, who is a leading scholar of cultural nationalism (especially the nationalism of the “long nineteenth century”). This monumental encyclopedia was created in the framework of SPIN (Study Platform on Interlocking Nationalism) and has gathered contributions by hundreds of scholars from more than fifty cultural communities all over Europe (from Armenia to Iceland, from Portugal to Russia). Among them, several Slovenian scholars have contributed entries associated with Slovene literary culture. In his presentation, Professor Leerssen will briefly outline the long genesis of this project and present the complex universe of European romantic nationalism through the interactive website of ERNiE. This website is in itself a major achievement in digital humanities (both in terms of contents and technology) and certainly a powerful tool for comparative research on European literary cultures and national movements.