CRAFTING ACADEMIC HERITAGE IN LUND, WROCLAW, LVIV AND KALININGRAD. CULTURAL-HISTORICAL DIVERSITY OF UNIVERSITIES IN EUROPEAN BORDERLAND REGIONS

Project: Research

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Humanities

Keywords

Layman's description

Project summary
As the academy is undergoing profound changes, it is necessary to look at what has been conveyed from its past. For centuries, universities have been “the conscience of Europe”, a place of diversity, reflection, humanistic values and intellectual autonomy. However, over the last decades their unique position has been undermined by political and social trends that distort boundaries between “town” and “gown”. The key issue in this connection is how the universities responded to such homogenization, how their institutional heritages have been crafted, and how cultural (historical, ethnical, regional, urban) diversity comes into the picture. The suggested humanist-oriented research formulates a cutting-edge perspective on multilayered cultural legacies of the university. The concrete task of this project is to explore public spaces of the academy (e.g., university museums, architecture, official celebrations, commemorative initiatives, digital fora) as arenas of cultural diversity, where co-operation emerges despite different standpoints of the participants, but also where memory-based conflicts over interpretations and uses of academic heritage are long-standing. Theoretically, the study is located at the intersection between heritage studies, organization studies, elite studies and urban studies. In particular, it analyzes how several older European universities have addressed cultural/historical diversity on public occasions and crafted institutional heritage from the second half of the 20th century up to the present days. To achieve this goal, the case study methodology will be applied. The research will namely focus on qualitative comparison of several older universities, all of them located in borderland regions where composition of the urban population changed as a result of redrawing of the political map of Europe (Lund, Wroclaw, Lviv and Kaliningrad). The core methodological procedure that will allow a systematic comparison of the cases is focus groups organized in the four cities. The project will also involve participant observation and work with archival and media sources.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date2019/02/012020/02/01

Participants