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In the broad field of cultural and intellectual contacts between Eastern and Western Europe there are some topics which we are particularly interested in at the moment. Not only since our excursion to Rome we are interested in the reception of classical antiquity in Slavonic culture. We looking at the role of classical rhetorics in our world (you might want to listen Gasan’s short lectures on postnauka) and at the reception of classical mythology in Eastern and Western Europe. Some of us have presented their work at the conference “Chasing Mythical Beasts” in May 2016.

We are interested in the humanist «république des lettres», i.e. the dialogue of humanists between East and West and the dialogue between the seven “Artes liberales”

We are working with colleagues from the field of Hebrew and Jewish studies to explore the Jewish literatures of Central and Eastern Europe as a phenomenon of European culture, for example in a block seminar on Hebrew-Russian-Polish cultural contexts during the summer term 2016.

Exploring cultural phenomena we are trying to work where ever possible with primary sources in the language of the original. We are therefore cooperating with the manuscript department of the Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IMLI RAN) where we have conducted a scholarly practice in autumn 2015. We offer the opportunity to transcribe and comment an unpublished manuscript in the frame of an M.A. thesis. 

One of first goals is to explore places, traditions, personalities and ideas in history that have achieved what we are aiming at—to create a space in which Western, Central and East European culture meet and interact. A personality of this kind was the philologist Sergei Averintsev to whom we have dedicated one of our informal reading circles. Your ideas for the next informal “kruzhok” are welcome!