EAST CENTRAL EUROPE, a refereed international journal of the social sciences and humanities with a focus on the region ‘between the Baltic and the Adriatic’, established in 1974 and published since 2009 by Brill, invites the submission of high-quality articles (in English, French or German) of approximately 8,000 to 10,000 words for its forthcoming issue on Baroque Culture in East Central Europe.
Although Baroque art and culture steadily gained popularity in the last decades, Eastern and Central European Baroque still lingers behind. Since the pioneering synthesis of Endre Angyal, almost half a century ago, no attempt has been made to construct a synthetic regional picture of Baroque culture. Is such generalized picture at all possible? If so, what would be the features of such a “peripheral” Baroque? How did the interaction with Muslim and Orthodox cultures shape 17th century life in the Habsburg Lands and in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth? Was there an “Orthodox Baroque” as a distinct cultural phenomenon?
In France or Spain the Baroque pomp seems to have strengthened the centralized monarchy: was it the case in East Central Europe too, or perhaps was the Baroque culture, with its stress on diversity, a factor in strengthening the estate institutions in Poland-Lithuania or in Hungary vis-à-vis the central power? To what degree did Baroque cultural frameworks serve the conservation of old social, political and economic structures, and in what cases could they act as a modernizing factor (e.g. reshaping the visual culture of the masses, creating the images that could be instrumental in later nation-building, e.g. the cult of St. John Nepomuk)? Did Baroque religiosity, through its pomp and ceremonial character, strengthen the collective emotions or, on the contrary – via Pascal-type doubts and mysticism – did it contribute to the emergence of an individualist religious experience?
The image of the Baroque has been contested throughout the last centuries in numerous ways, starting with the disdain of Enlightenment thinkers for the epoch of “superstition” and “Jesuit style”, and ending with various mutually contradictory evaluations both in the interwar period and during the socialist decades. While some of the interwar regimes tried to exploit Baroque spirituality as a resource of legitimization, communist historiography often contrasted progressive Renaissance and reactionary Baroque. At the same time, the notion of neo-Baroque could also carry critical overtones in the interwar period while certain elements of “national Baroque” were integrated into the patriotic narratives of socialist patriotism. In connection to this, we also invite contributions on the changes of the historiographical image of Baroque culture and Weltanschauung in the 20th century, focusing on such authors as Z. Kalista, Gy. Szekfű, R. Wellek or D. H. Mazilu.
We encourage interdisciplinary dialogues between historians, anthropologists, art and literary historians, cultural sociologists and others working on different aspects of the topic. We will consider for publication scholarly contributions reaching us via electronic mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 30 November 2009. For additional information please visit our website https://ece.ceu.edu or contact us at the aforementioned email address.
Maciej Janowski, Editor,
Constantin Iordachi, Associate Editor,
Balázs Trencsényi, Associate Editor,
Emily Gioielli, Book Review Editor
Markian Prokopovych, Book Review Editor