The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) announced five research projects in the natural sciences and the humanities selected for major funding under the Clusters of Excellence initiative "excellent=austria", including:
Faculty from CEU's Departments of History and Medieval Studies will join colleagues from the Austrian Academy of Sciences (host institution) and the universities of Vienna and Innsbruck to establish a research and training infrastructure for studying the rich and diverse textual, visual, and material resources created over the last 3000 years of Eurasian history. Engaging with the contested nature of “Eurasia” as both a geographic space and category for framing political, social and cultural developments, the Cluster adopts a deep historical perspective. It will explore different modes of transformation across the vast land stretch from Central Europe to Eastern Asia, focusing on the regions that escape the explanation patterns of European overseas colonization and de-colonization. With questions of both comparison and connectivity in mind, the research agenda will focus on various imperial formations and discourses (as well as resistances to them); dynamics between ecological and economic trends; cultural and linguistic diversity; mobility and communication; and constructions of identities. The Cluster brings together specialists in over twenty regional languages and scripts, historians, art historians, as well as experts in digital humanities. The chief intellectual goal is to reorient the study of Eurasia from a global history approach based largely on sources in Western languages, to the rich textual resources from the regions, thus setting the basis for greater diversity and appreciation of cultural heritage in both research and teaching curricula. 31 scholars from the four institutions will devote themselves to researching such topics in dialogue with international partners and to training a new generation of doctoral students and young researchers with a wide range of skills in research-driven teaching.
"Since we started working on the Cluster with our partners two years ago we have already learned so much about each other's research questions, methods and goals, and even began to realize first teaching and research cooperations. That has only made us more excited about what is to come," explains Tijana Krstić who serves on the Cluster’s Board of Directors and will lead CEU’s participation in EurAsian Transformations.
Photo: Tijana Krstić, CEU; Birgit Kellner, ÖAW; Walter Pohl, ÖAW; Claudia Rapp, ÖAW; Oliver Jens Schmitt, University of Vienna; Melanie Malzahn, University of Vienna; Robert Rollinger, University of Innsbruck (L-R, Photo by Daniel Novotny/FWF)