Plzeňské sympozia

Man and Machine in the 19th Century Bohemian Culture

Proceedings of the 32th annual symposium on 19th-century issues has come out in the Academia publishing house. 

Unvisible Loyalty, Pilsen 2015

On 26-28 February 2015 an international conference will take place in Pilsen entitled “The Unvisible Loyalty”. This three-day meeting of specialists is the 35th year of interdisciplinary conferenc held in Pilsen, focusses on the problem of the fidelty, the oath and the loyalty in the Austrian-German-Czech society in the 19th century.

Venue: Západočeské muzeum (Westbohemian Museum), Kopeckého sady 2,  4A, Pilsen.

Plzeň 2015: Invisible Loyalty? Austrians, Germans and Czechs in 19th-Century Czech Culture

The organisers of the 35th Plzeň Symposium on 19th-Century Issues have announced that the theme for the Symposium on 26-28 February 2015 will be “Invisible Loyalty? Austrians, Germans and Czechs in 19th-Century Czech Culture”.

 The concept of loyalty is used by psychologists, sociologists, writers on religion, lawyers, cultural and social historians, political economists, and contemporary theorists on management, in connection with slightly ambivalent terms such as loyalty oaths, patriotism, professional loyalty, and personal integrity.

Since the classical description in the philosopher Josiah Royce’s book The Philosophy of Loyalty (1908), the interpretation of loyalty has developed as that of duty that places non-personal (or impersonal) duty above the feeling of personal responsibility. Loyalty, the manifestation of inner confidence and commitment, can be displayed towards an individual, a group, or society. The key question can be considered to be that of the forms in which it is displayed and the value ambivalence of its implementation. Recently this analytical category has been used, for example, as a productive concept in the historical works of German experts on Czech history (e.g. M. Schulze-Wessel (ed.), Loyalitäten in der Tschechoslowakischen Republik 1918-1938. Politische, nationale und kulturelle Zugehörigkeiten, 2004; Volker Zimmermann, Peter Haslinger and Tomáš Nigrin (edd.), Loyalitäten im Staatssozialismus: DDR, Tschechoslowakei, Polen, 2010), but it had already been developed earlier, for example in American sociolinguistic studies (e.g. Joshua Fishman, Language loyalty in the United States, 1966). The relevance of the issue of loyalty in Czech society today is testified to by the continuing debates on the relationships between the Czechs and the Habsburgs, the Catholic Church, the political institutions of the Austrian monarchy, and the aristocracy (and of course in the opposite direction as well). However, these debates do not work with the concept of loyalty at all, although an awareness of its existence would clarify the position of its adherents and opponents.

The 35th Plzeň Interdisciplinary Symposium which is being prepared will be devoted to the historical roots and development of the multinational Czech-German-Jewish society in the Austrian monarchy during the “long” 19th century. Questions will be raised about the motives and forms of action of both those who stabilised and supported, and those who disturbed and destroyed the political, confessional, military, social, and cultural system of the Czech lands in the “long” 19th century, processes that took place through the interventions of various actors in various contexts, defined by linguistic, local and time-related criteria. We intend to pay particular attention to an analysis of the loyalty of the inhabitants of the Czech lands towards the Habsburg dynasty, towards Czech culture (whether defined geographically or linguistically), and towards the “supranational” institutions of the Monarchy (the Church, the army, and the school system). We will of course also take an interest in the positions of those who for various reasons refused to maintain a position of loyalty.

This contentious theme, posing questions that are relevant to today’s global but by no means harmonious world, needs to be reflected on in a broader framework – both across individual disciplines, and in a debate with colleagues from other countries, especially the German-speaking ones. The date chosen for holding the symposium – in 2015, when Plzeň will be a European Capital of Culture – thus underlines the relevance and importance (not only for experts in the field) of the theme we have outlined.

The Symposium will be organised by the Institute of Art History, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, and the Institute of Czech Literature, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

Papers together with a summary (100 characters) can be submitted up until 30 September 2014. The selection of papers for inclusion in the programme will be made by a broader organisational committee.

More information about the Symposium programme is available from:

 

Pavla Machalíková: machalikova@udu.cas.cz

Václav Petrbok: petrbok@ucl.cas.cz

Taťána Petrasová: petrasova@udu.cas.cz

 

25. 8. 2014

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