1. Persons responsible for project
Teresa Pinheiro (Chemnitz UT) and Natascha Ueckmann (University of Bremen)
2. Project description
The term "globalisation" not only denotes the rapid developments which have been changing our world over the course of two decades. Globalisation has also evolved into a new paradigm which is used in an attempt to explain the world in the arenas of science, the media or politics. In the case of such attempts to make sense of the world in relation to globalisation, it is postulated with relative consensus that, over the last 20 years, the world has fundamentally changed with the liberalisation of the financial markets, with the global spread of environmental hazards and illnesses and with the propagation of new means of communication.
This research project analyses a double issue: Is globalisation new; is it global? However, the focus is not on globalisation as an economic, media or cultural phenomena; instead it is viewed as a discursive phenomenon. If the economic, media and technical prerequisites for what is now coined "globalisation" were already given in the 16th or 19th century, one may suspect that those living in those times developed forms of representation and patterns of interpretation of global processes, and it would appear to be worth examining these forms of representation and patterns of interpretation in terms of similarities and differences in comparison with today's globalisation discourse.
Travel literature provides a particularly generous collection of information to pursue this issue. Travel literature in the broadest sense of the term includes all kinds of texts which treat the theme of travel and the experience of cultural otherness. Texts on the subject of travelling to foreign regions often describe passing geographical and cultural boundaries using concepts, with rhetorical means and motifs, which have something in common with the globalisation discourse. They contain a great many concepts from the semantic field of motion, of novelty, of acceleration (as well as new words created on this theme), the metaphor of the world as a ball, relevant motifs such as "the global village", the contrast of "global player vs. globalisation loser", the idea of the "decline of tradition" or of the loss of national and individual identity. Similarly, we find attempts to discover a common denominator for the diversity of the world so as to comprehend the Earth and mankind as a whole.
In selected examples of travel literature, forms of the linguistic treatment of experiences and of worldviews were analysed within the scope of the research project; similar forms can also be found in present-day reflections on the globalisation process. Moreover, these forms of the linguistic treatment of global worldviews are shown in their historical-societal contexts. These steps allowed for the formulation of hypotheses which are favourable to the emergence of globalisation discourses.
A section called „Travel literature and globalisation“ at the XVIIIth Deutscher Romanistentag 2003 was part of this project.
4. Funding provided by
Pinheiro, Teresa / Natascha Ueckmann (ed.) (2005): Globalisierung avant la lettre. Reiseliteratur vom 16. bis zum 21. Jahrhundert. Münster: LIT-Verlag (FOLIES 3), ISBN 3-8258-8749-9, 272 pp.
Portugal and Spain have been part of the EU for 20 years. Over the course of these two decades, the Iberian nations have completed the shift from dictatorships to democratic systems, have recovered from their economic backwardness – a consequence of Franco's and Salazar's autarkic policies – and have turned once again to Europe.
During this time of great change, questions have been raised which are worth pursuing. How are new concepts of national identity "negotiated" in the two countries? What is the role of Europe as a supranational structure which is a source of identity, the regions in latent or open competition with the nation and the colonial past as a valuable myth of once hegemonic imperia?
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2011): „Iberian Identities Between the Colonial Past and the European Present” in: Teresa Pinheiro, Beata Cieszynska, Eduardo Franco (ed.), Peripheral Identities: Iberia and Eastern Europe Between the Dictatorial Past and the European Present. Warschau u.a.: PearlBooks, ISBN 978-989-973-280-3, 299-312.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (ed.) (2009): „Iberische Europa-Konzepte.“ Nation und Europa in Spanien und Portugal seit dem 19. Jahrhundert. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot (Chemnitzer Europastudien 10), ISBN 978-3-428-83110-4, 189 S.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2009): „Die Erfindung Europas auf der Iberischen Halbinsel“ In: ibid. (ed.), Iberische Europa-Konzepte. Nation und Europa in Spanien und Portugal seit dem 19. Jahrhundert. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot (Chemnitzer Europastudien 10), ISBN 978-3-428-83110-4, 7-17.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2008): „La desconstrucción de España en relatos de viajes portugueses de finales del siglo XIX” in: Tobias Brandenberger / Elisabeth Hasse / Lydia Schmuck (ed.), A Construção do Outro: Espanha e Portugal frente a frente. Tübingen: Calepinus, ISBN: 987-3-9810911-4-4, 197-218.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2008): „Iberische Sichten der EU-Osterweiterung” in: Mathias Niedobitek / Peter Jurczek (ed.), Europäische Forschungsperspektiven – Elemente einer Europawissenschaft. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot (Chemnitzer Europa-Studien 1), ISBN 978-3-428-12714-6, 385-408.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2007): „¿Paraíso ibérico en tiempos de guerra? Visiones de España y Portugal en Cuadros de un viaje por España y Portugalde Willy Andreas y La noche de Lisboa de Erich Maria Remarque” in: Itinerários – Revista de estudios lingüísticos, literarios, históricos y antropológicos, ISSN 1507-7241, 6/2007, 235-254.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2005): „Die Rückkehr der Karavellen. Brasilien, die Indianer und die Inszenierung nationaler Identität“ in: Tobias Brandenberger, Henry Thorau (ed.), Portugal und Spanien. Probleme (k)einer Beziehung. Portugal e Espanha: Encontros e Desencontros. Frankfurt a.M. u.a.: Peter Lang (Trierer Studien zur Literatur 45), S. 323-336, ISBN 3-631-53841-3, pp. 323-336.
There is a longstanding tradition of migration in Portugal and Spain. While the Portuguese and Spanish emigrated to national regions abroad during colonial times, the economic and political situation on the Iberian Peninsula in the 60s of the 20th century drove people to move to Central European countries (especially France, Germany, Switzerland and Luxemburg). Today, the two countries of emigration of past generations have become countries of immigration (a phenomenon which, upon closer examination, is not as new as it may seem).
With regard to Portuguese and Spanish emigrants to European countries, the issue will be discussed as to whether their self-image has changed over the course of the process of European integration. With regard to the situation in Portugal und in Spain, an analysis should be made of the treatment of cultural otherness in the two countries, in the present and in the past.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2012): „Museos, migración e identidad europea“ In: Enrique Banús / Cristina Branea (ed.), X Conference European Culture. Barcelona: Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, ISBN 978-84-695-0576-2, 222-229.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2011): „Musealização da migração: memória ou esquecimento?“ in: Letras comVida - Revista do Centro de Literaturas e Culturas Lusófonas e Europeias da Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa, 2, ISSN 1647-8088, 94-99.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (ed.) (2010): Portugiesische Migrationen. Geschichte, Repräsentation und Erinnerungskultur. Wiesbaden: VS-Verlag (Beiträge zur Regional- und Migrationsforschung), 978-3-531-17075-6, 273 p. 30 fig.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2010): „Vernetzte Identitäten: Repräsentationen portugiesischer Emigration im deutschsprachigen virtuellen Raum“ In: ibid. (ed.), Portugiesische Migrationen. Geschichte, Repräsentation und Cultures of memory. Wiesbaden: VS-Verlag (Regional- und Migrationsforschung), 978-3-531-17075-6, 175-196.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2010): „Einleitung: Deutschland, Portugal und die europäische Migrationsgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts“ In: ibid. (ed.), Portugiesische Migrationen. Geschichte, Repräsentation und Cultures of memory. Wiesbaden: VS-Verlag (Regional- und Migrationsforschung), 978-3-531-17075-6, 9-19.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2008): „Emigration, Immigration and Interculturality: The Meaning of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue in Portugal“ in: Eurolimes –Journal of the Institute for Euroregional Studies Oradea-Debrecen Jean Monnet European Center of Excellence, ISSN 1841-9259, 63-73.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2007): „Eine neue Migrantenliteratur? Zur Überwindung des interkulturellen Dilemmas in den Gedichten einer deutschsprachigen portugiesischen Autorin“ in:>Henry Thorau (ed.), Heimat in der Fremde – Pátria em terra alheia. 7. Deutsch-Portugiesische Arbeitsgespräche / Actas do VII Encontro Luso-Alemão, Berlin: Walter Frey, ISBN 978-3-938944-06, S. 148-159.
The present wave of memory sweeping through Europe does not stop at the Pyrenees. The dictatorships of the 20th century in Spain as well as in Portugal and the wars associated with them are the subject of current debates and are part of numerous partial societal and public discourses. Although the current coming to terms with civil war and Franquism is reflected in German-language scientific study, there is little known about the treatment of the Estado Novo and the colonial war in Portugal.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2010): „Facetten des erinnerungskulturellen Umgangs mit dem Estado Novo in Portugal“ in: Neue Politische Literatur, 55, 1/2010, ISSN: 0028-3320, 7-22
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2008): „Das ‚Verstummen’ des portugiesischen Tonfilms im Estado Novo“ in: Gisela Febel, Natascha Ueckmann (ed.), Europäischer Film im Kontext der Romania: Geschichte und Innovation (Akten der gleichnamigen Sektion des XXIX. Deutschen Romanistentages vom 25.9.-29.9.2005 in Saarbrücken). Münster: LIT-Verlag (FOLIES – Forum Literaturen Europas 5), ISBN 978-3-03735-971-6, 45-65.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2008): „Memória histórica no Portugal contemporâneo” in: Anna Kalewska (ed.), Diálogos com a Lusofonia. Colóquio comemorativo dos 30 anos do Instituto de Estudos Ibéricos e Ibero-americanos da Universidade de Varsóvia. Warschau: Instituto de Estudos Ibéricos e Ibero-americanos da Universidade de Varsóvia, ISBN 978-83-60875-40-7, 299-314.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (ed.) (2007): Ehrendes Gedenken, Schatten der Vergangenheit: portugiesische Cultures of memory. URL: http://www.tu-chemnitz.de/phil/europastudien/swandel/erinnerung
The 16th century is a particularly enlightening epoch in the analysis of alterity in the European context. After Columbus landed in the Antilles in 1494 and Pedro Ãlvares Cabral reached the coast of Brazil in 1500, Europeans had an opportunity, practically without parallel in history, to encounter people who were a complete novelty to them, and for whose depiction and description there were no experiences or templates available. The problems associated with this in terms of depiction come to light in real terms in the writings of eyewitnesses who spent time in the New World in those initial decades after discovery. These writings, penned by authors of various national origins, are therefore especially suited for the analysis of European forms of the construction of otherness.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2010): „Kulturübersetzung in den Schriften jesuitischer Missionare im Brasilien des 16. Jahrhunderts” in: Wibke Röber de Alencar Xavier, Ulrike Zeuch (ed.), Das Achtzehnte Jahrhundert. Zeitschrift der Deutschen Gesellschaft für die Erforschung des achtzehnten Jahrhunderts. Kulturelle übersetzung: Das Beispiel Brasilien, 4.2, 978-3835306554, 163-170.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2009): „Encontros discursivos no Brasil quinhentista” in: Fernando Clara (ed.), Outros Horizontes. Encontros luso-alemães em contextos coloniais. Lisboa: Colibri, ISBN: 978-972-772-953-1, 111-130.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2008): „Die Gefangenschaftsberichte von Hans Staden und José de Anchieta zwischen Märtyrertum und Suspense“ in: Franz Obermeier / Wolfgang Schiffner (ed.), Die Wahrhaftige Historia – Das erste Brasilienbuch. Akten des Wolfhager Kongresses zu 450 Jahren Hans-Staden-Rezeption. Kiel: Westensee-Verlag (Fontes Americanae 2), ISBN 3-931368-68-8, 101-119.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2008): „Iberian Jesuits worldwide. The influence of communication on the spread of Jesuit missions in the 16th century" in: Reiner Anderl, Bruno Arich-Gerz, Rudi Schmiede (ed.), Technologies of Globalization. Darmstadt: Technische Universität Darmstadt, ISBN 978-3-88607-155-5, pp. 235-248.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2007): „Monolithische und rissige Indianerbilder: José de Anchietas Indianerdarstellung zwischen Ethnologie und Mission“ in: Sociologus - Zeitschrift für empirische Ethnosoziologie und Ethnopsychologie / Journal for Empirical Social Anthropology 2/2007, ISSN 0038-0377, 207-226.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2007): „Anchieta“ in: Friedrich-Wilhelm Bautz (ed.), Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon, Bd. XVII. Nordhausen: Traugott Bautz 2007, ISBN: 9783883093932, pp. 41-49.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2006): „Alteridade cultural e reflexão antropológica nos escritos de Manuel da Nóbrega S.J.“ in: Brotéria 163/4 (Oktober), ISSN 0870-7618, pp. 263-278.
- Pinheiro, Teresa (2005): Aneignung und Erstarrung. Die Konstruktion Brasiliens und seiner Bewohner in portugiesischen Augenzeugenberichten 1500-1595. Stuttgart: Steiner. 2004 (Beiträge zur Kolonial- und Überseegeschichte Band 89), ISBN 3-515-08326-X, 355 S. publisher's entry
- Pinheiro, Teresa / Fernando Amado Aymoré (2005): „Global denken, lokal handeln: Grundlagen und Praxis des frühneuzeitlichen Jesuitenordens“ in: Teresa Pinheiro, Natascha Ueckmann (ed.), Reiseliteratur und Globalisierung. Reiseliteratur vom 16. bis zum 21. Jahrhundert. Münster: LIT-Verlag (FOLIES – Forum Literaturen Europas 3), ISBN 3-8258-8749-9, pp. 21-34.
1. Persons responsible for project
Eduardo Franco (Universität Lissabon, Universität Aveiro),
Teresa Pinheiro (Technische Universität Chemnitz),
Beata Cieszynska (Universidade de Lisboa)
2. Project description
With the fall of the East Bloc, the "Old Europe" of the European Communities and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe drew closer together. This drawing together was institutionally consolidated in the last enlargements of the European Union in May 2004 and January 2007. The gradual amalgamation of the Europe of the 15 and the new Union member states has proceeded in an asymmetrical process: investments may be currently flowing from west to east, but migratory movements are in the opposite direction. In the New Europe as well, an old centre asserts itself in which attention remains concentrated, both in the past and in the present. The triangle represented by Berlin, Paris and London constitutes a pole of political and economic attraction in its centre for new members and candidate countries; conversely, the new EU states enrich Europe with the addition of new peripheries which make discourse with the centre a priority, but which also establish and maintain contacts and networks with other peripheries – a point which receives little consideration.
The presence of Central and Eastern Europe is not the same throughout the established 15 EU states. On account of historical interactions and its geographic location, Germany pursues active relations with the Eastern European region, also in the capacity of major investor, and this in the economic, cultural and scientific arenas as well as in day-to-day encounters among the people. In contrast, on the western edges of Europe – in Ireland or Portugal – relations with Eastern Europe are not as intensive; at the same time, the increasing presence of migrants from Eastern European countries influences the collective perception of the new EU members.
This is the point of departure for the congress Peripheral identities: Iberia and Eastern Europe between dictatorial past and European present. If, in the process of Europe's enlargement, relations between the "centre" and the "periphery" as well as the policies and the public perception of the historical process dominate to this day, insight into the direct relations of the periphery and near-periphery make it possible to see another dimension of the dynamics of European integration. These relations must be analysed in greater detail in terms of the joint perceptions of the Iberian and Central and Easter European countries and in terms of comparisons of the evolution of their national identity.
The focus of the analysis will be on the relations of Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic to Portugal and Spain as representative of the Central and Eastern European countries which joined the EU in 2004 and 2007. In addition, papers on the relations between the Iberian and additional former East Bloc states are to be integrated. The historical analysis of Portuguese and Spanish discourses on alterity about Central and Eastern Europe makes it impossible to avoid considering the Soviet Union, as the leading power of the East Bloc, and the GDR, as a politically relevant player.
The choice of focus of Portugal and Spain on the one hand and Poland, Romania, Russia and the Czech Republic on the other is especially well suited to the subject of periphery-periphery relations for various reasons:
1. Portuguese and Spanish history of the 20th century and especially the respective European policies portray a course which, in some regards, is similar even if phase-shifted and a mirror image of that of the selected East European countries: decades of uninterrupted right-wing dictatorships followed their dissolution and a more or less consensual transition to a democratic system; the new political order and the market economy structures were supported by the orientation to Europe, resulting in the entry of Portugal and Spain into the EEC in 1986 as well as the 10 Central and Eastern European countries which joined the EU in 2004 / 2007.
2. With Portugal's and Spain's joining the EEC, the then ten member states were confronted for the first time with the challenge of undertaking efforts to further European economic and social cohesion. If Greece's entry in 1981 indicated that progressive European integration implied supporting "structurally weak" countries, then the foundation of the cohesion fund and European regional policies in long-term political measures and institutions with the entry of the Iberian states can be seen as implementations of this insight. The EU enlargements of 2004 and 2007 posed similar challenges to the EU to integrate economies in need of reform. The size of the population and the strength and structure of the economy of the Czech Republic are comparable to that of Portugal; Poland and Spain occupy similar (semi-peripheral) positions in Europe as a result of their geographical location, number of inhabitants and economic structure. Romania serves as a contrast to the new members of the 80s on account of its highly subsidised structures and its current emigration movements (to Portugal and Spain, among other places). These parallels make for interesting comparisons which analyse the course of entry and mutual perceptions which can extend from cool standoffishness to warm solidarity.
3. Along with entry into the EU and consequent growth in terms of economic power and the standard of living, Portugal and Spain, traditionally countries with high emigration, gradually changed into countries of immigration. Immigration primarily from Romania, Moldavia, Russia and the Ukraine has risen considerably since the late 90s. Consequently, Eastern Europe has become a day-to-day reality in Portugal and Spain in the form of Eastern European people. Immigrants from former "East Bloc" countries confront Iberian societies with social and cultural realities which were subsumed within the scope of Portuguese and Spanish mental mapping under the collective term "the Soviet Union".
4. All these countries have one thing in common: the fact that the formation of their identities is influenced by long-term authoritarian regimes in the 20th century and by a subsequent phase of orientation towards a once "distant", even hostile Europe. In contrast, however, to Portugal and Spain, where the dictatorship was established from the inside, in Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania, it was forced upon them by a hegemonic power, and the restoration to democracy was achieved with an inherent restoration of political sovereignty. Consequently, rough drafts of national identity in Eastern European countries today seem to be more greatly influenced by a distancing vis-à-vis the era of dictatorship than is the case on the Iberian Peninsula – at least an assumption is made along these lines. At the same time, Europe appears to play a more important role as a scope of reference for the formation of national identity in the EU states of Eastern Central Europe than it does in Portugal and Spain since the Western orientation associated with it simultaneously means a separation from the "East", which is still perceived as a threat.
The new political, economic and societal circumstances affect the drafts of national identity in Iberian and Central and Eastern European countries, and they also affect mutual perceptions and representations. The definition of national identity is based on self-perception as well as on distinguishing one's own identity from other collectives. Therefore, on the one hand, an examination is made of the mutual representations of the countries considered. On the other hand, references to recent history as well as relations to Europe are compared as inherent parts of constructs of national identity in the countries mentioned.
Objective 1: Mutual representations
Little is known about the current image of Portugal and Spain in Poland, Romania, Russia or the Czech Republic; there are only isolated publications available in the national language (cf. Appendix 4: Bibliography). Present-day representations of Portugal and Spain in Central and Eastern European countries are evidently marked by talks conducted in the run-up to EU entry, the wearisome or alarming example of Portuguese or Spanish developments as EU members and experiences made with the Iberian states as host countries of their own emigrant diaspora. Insufficient examinations have been completed and so only few details are known. The contributions of the congress are intended to help fill these gaps.
Similarly, the perception of central and Eastern European countries today in Portugal and Spain is an open research field (cf. individual studies, Appendix 4: Bibliography). The entry of these countries into the European Union not only changed the position of Portugal and Spain in the EU, but also their direct relations to these countries beyond the former "Iron Curtain". The scientific and political discourse in Portugal and Spain on the EU's Eastern Enlargement bewails the consequences for the respective economies and political positions in the EU, and is nevertheless free of "jealousy" which could be levelled against the candidate countries. The presence of Eastern European migrants simultaneously means that the new members are also visible in day-to-day Portuguese and Spanish life. However, it remains unclear as to how these new social and cultural circumstances will be reflected in the Portuguese and Spanish media – in some respects comparable to the "traditional" Lusophone immigration from Africa and Brazil to Portugal and to the "traditional" Spanish-speaking immigrants from Latin America to Spain.
Not only are images of the other influenced by current interactions, at the same time, they are associated with earlier discourses. For this reason, the focus is to be not only on the present but also on a historical perspective. The entire 20th century offers a wealth of mutual representations which can be suspected of influencing present-day perceptions. Statements about Franquism, about the Portuguese Estado Novo, about Salazar's colonial policies and about the Portuguese colonial war which were made in the media and in literature in the former East Bloc serve as a good basis for historiographical explorations, just like the propagandistic debasement of the communist East in the ideological position taken by the Iberian dictatorships. Representations in the political and public discourse during the Spanish transición and the Portuguese Revolution of the Carnations in 1974 are significant, as are the protest and reform efforts in Romania, Poland or Czechoslovakia.
A large proportion of the contributions on mutual representations are presented in the form of case studies of material which is for the most part unknown.
Objective 2: Constructions of national identity
Over the past few years, the subject of collective memory has grown in significance in Europe. As the last of the witnesses who lived through the Second World War and the Shoa pass away, and with the media revolution of the past few years, we now observe a shift from interpersonal "communicative" memory to institution-driven "cultural" memory (Assmann 1992). This gives rise to public discourse about the forms and modalities of publicly generated memory. In Germany, discussions concerning the Holocaust memorial in Berlin have shown that a society's collective self-reassurance is only possible if their memory is culturally anchored.
In an entirely comparable manner – anchored in public discussion, and simultaneously in scientific discourse – debates are taking place in Portugal, Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania on the subject of dealing with recent history. They are an important part of the construction of national identity. The experience of the lengthy totalitarian regimes as well as the orientation towards the European Union that set in immediately following the end of their dictatorships play a role in today's attempts to establish national identity.
European integration in particular is a special component of national identity. Since the dictatorships in all countries considered here were accompanied by an inherent "isolation from Europe" joining the European Union is equivalent to "returning" or "rediscovering" Europe. It is associated with an attempt to pick up on past concepts of Europe. Another subject of the congress looks into the way Europe is "perceived" in the individual countries, which traditions of the idea of Europe such drafts of Europe pick up on, and which role they play in the current definition of national identity.
So far a series of examinations have been carried out on individual countries; these examinations serve as a good basis for further deliberations. However, there is a scarcity of comparative studies of cultures of memory in Iberian and Central and Eastern European countries (for a Polish-Spanish comparison, please refer to Troebst 2003, 2004). Therefore, a research group is to be created to treat this subject which is to comprise scientists from Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain and the Czech Republic. Within the scope of a project, comparative studies are to be conducted on the respective cultures of memory and drafts of identity.
Congress: Peripheral identities: Iberia and Eastern Europe between dictatorial past and European present
The Peripheral identities congress is to serve as an interdisciplinary forum for discussions of the topic of identity constructions in the peripheries of Europe and promote the exchange across national borders and fields of study. The contributions submitted so far cover the disciplines of Law, Political Science, Cultural Studies and Historical Science as well as Linguistics and Iberian and Slavic Philology. Furthermore, the congress is aimed at all subjects relating to Social Science and Cultural Studies which may contribute to this theme.
4. Funding provided by
Calouste Gulbenkian Fundation
- Pinheiro, Teresa, Beata Cieszynska, Eduardo Franco, ed. (2011): Peripheral Identities: Iberia and Eastern Europe Between the Dictatorial Past and the European Present. Warschau u.a.: PearlBooks, ISBN 978-989-973-280-3, 352 pp.
- Pinheiro, Teresa, Beata Cieszynska, Eduardo Franco (2011): "Mapping National and European Identities. Eastern Europe and Iberia between Centres and Peripheries" in: Teresa Pinheiro, Beata Cieszynska, Eduardo Franco (ed.), Peripheral Identities: Iberia and Eastern Europe Between the Dictatorial Past and the European Present. Warschau u.a.: PearlBooks, ISBN 978-989-973280-3, 9-21.
- Pinheiro, Teresa, Beata Cieszynska, Eduardo Franco, ed. (2010): Europa de Leste e Portugal. Realidades, relações e representações. Lisboa: Esfera do Caos, ISBN 978-989-8025-98-2, 262 pp.
1. Persons responsible for project
Eduardo Franco (Universität Lissabon, Universität Aveiro),
Teresa Pinheiro (Technische Universität Chemnitz),
Beata Cieszynska (Universidade de Lisboa)
2. Project description
On 29 September 1953, José Ortega y Gasset gave a talk in Munich entitled "Is there a European consciousness?". This question did not appear out of thin air: a group of European states showed their determination to further the process of European unity amid the rubble of the Second World War. On 9 May 1950, Robert Schuman laid the cornerstone for European integration with the plan to create a European community for coal and steel. During this initial period of the political project of Europe, Ortega y Gasset was of the opinion that European unity without a basis, a binding idea, would not be possible. "This capital stock," according to the Spanish philosopher, "can only consist of a shared cultural consciousness which must exist," (Ortega y Gasset 1954: 6).
About forty years later, at another pivotal moment for European integration, namely in February 1992 after the signing of the European Union treaty in Maastricht, the then President of the EU Commission Jacques Delors used the following words to comment on the future of Europe: "If in the ten years ahead of us we do not succeed in giving Europe its soul, a spiritual dimension, true significance, then we will have been wasting our time [...] The potential of the Maastricht Treaty will not be realized without some form of inspiration" (Delors 1992). Jacques Delors was of a similar opinion as Ortega y Gasset: the project of Europe could not be reduced to a political and economic administrative association, but instead required spiritual solidarity and would not be viable unless on the basis of a shared European identity. In addition, it was not enough for this "soul of Europe" to simply "exist"; it also had to meet with the acceptance of the political players and the inspiration, as it were, of the European institutions.
The present times are conducive to another intensified treatment of the questions pertaining to European identity. At the beginning of the 21st century, the European Union achieved unprecedented levels of integration. The enlargement of the union by twelve new members within three years while at the same time creating a legal and institutional new order on the basis of the Lisbon Treaty and the prospect of further critical memberships mark the earliest stage of the unification process, while some believed that Europe had reached its limits geographically as well as organisationally.
The lack of acceptance of the proposed constitutional order of Europe among the population, apparent from surveys and polls, is now interpreted as a sign of low levels of identification with the project of Europe on the part of Europeans. The rejection of the Constitution for Europe in France and the Netherlands in 2005 as well as the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty by the people of Ireland in the summer of 2008 triggered a wish among the supporters of the integration process to promote with greater fervour the development and consolidation of a European identity. After fifty years of European institutions, there is much indication that there is a lack of a European consciousness which might be able to support the further development of common institutions. With the help of these institutions and the development of a common will, this kind of European consciousness is a prerequisite which enables Europeans to cope with global challenges such as climate change, changes in the international distribution of labour, turbulent financial markets and shifts in demographics, and to defend the global position of Europe.
The political construction of Europe is thus accompanied by a special interest in a collective identity which turns Europe into an "imagined community" (cf. Anderson 1983). In 2007 Italian political scientist Gian Enrico Rusconi called for the active construction of a European identity since, similar to national identities, this would not come into being on its own, but was nevertheless necessary for the consolidation of the European Union (cf. Rusconi 2007). The initiative "A Soul for Europe", founded in 2007 by the Berliner Konferenz (cf. Berliner Initiative 2008), and Erhard Busek's book Eine Seele für Europa of 2008 (cf. Busek 2008) are further initiatives which viewed the creation of a common European identity as a prerequisite for the future of the European Union.
a) Scientific objective
The objective of the congress Ideas of Europe / Ideas for Europe is an insight-orientated discussion of the concepts of a united Europe which arose out of the tension between political integration and cultural identity in various eras. The focus is on semantic fields of the name or concept of "Europe" as well as on iconographic representations at specific points in time over the course of European history. The discourse is to consider links to related or competing concepts such as "Old Europe", "the Occident", "the Western World", "Nation" and "Christianity".
Embedding the discourses on Europe in their respective historical context alone is not sufficient to permit identification of the historicity of the images of Europe. Pan-European wars, cultural and religious antitheses and comparison/contrast with alterity outside of Europe had an impact on the creation and the characteristics of ideas of Europe. Historical concepts of Europe, originally founded on religion, lost their religious basis over the course of time, which raises the question as to which values, if any, replaced the religious ones in the context of secularised ideas of Europe. Images of Europe also came into being beyond Europe's borders – the task was to find out what circumstances had led to their emergence and to analyse their nature. Ultimately, the current discourses on Europe also beg clarification of what characterises them and how the political context determines their profile.
The chosen ideas of Europe are to be examined from a historical perspective, a non-European perspective or a prospective perspective.
Conceptions of a unified Europe being much older than the European Community, one focus of the congress is on the retrospective aspect in which historical concepts of Europe are represented and discussed. These may range from ancient times right up to the most recent history. The historical comparison makes it possible to discover differences as well as parallels among diverse concepts, while at the same time embedding them in the historical context provides a look at possible cycles or constants. Historical backdrops can help make it possible to recognise the outlines and profiles of today's concepts for a European identity.
A view of Europe from the outside – from the past or the present – may reveal characteristics which cannot be perceived from the inside. Montesquieu's Lettres persanes of 1721 were a rhetorical attempt to see Europe's merits and problems by looking at them from an external perspective. Yet references exist which were written by African, American or Asian travellers and Arab observers as well as by people who came into the centres of Europe from the periphery and documented their experiences. The ideas of Europe appearing in this mirror are of an unfamiliar cast, which considerably adds to the view from the inside.
Reflections on the future of Europe are the third focus of the event. These reflections are not mere prognoses of political and economic developments. The question as to the identification on the part of EU citizens with the political project of Europe is one of special import. Prospective drafts of European identity emerging in the European Commission, in national political institutions, in the media or within the context of citizens' initiatives are to be analysed, compared and discussed.
For chronological and heuristic purposes, five sections were defined to which contributions are assigned. This structure is not cast in stone can still be adapted.
(i) Europa avant la lettre
The abduction of Europa or the biblical Table of Nations seemingly attribute mythical origins to Europe, albeit from later interpretations of the ancient and biblical myths. In ancient times and in the Middle Ages, the term Europe was applied only in the context of geography or religious semantics (cf. Baumgärtner/Sick 2007: 494). Time and again, however, conflicts such as the Persian Wars and the expansion of the Ottoman Empire appear to have triggered culturally-driven concepts of Europe. The first main theme aims to show the concepts of Europe which can be found in ancient and medieval sources and the geographical and imaginary concept of Europe formed in the context of various times. The question as to how a pan-European identity evolved out of the confrontation with cultural and religious adversaries is one which merits special attention.
(ii) Europa at the dawn of modern times
The concentration on national values and the religious wars in early modern times hindered the further development of pan-European conceptions. Religion was a binding element in the Middle Ages, but became a bone of contention among the European nobility in the 16th century. At the same time, however, European expansion not only contributed to a revolution in terms of the European worldview, but also confronted the European intelligentsia with non-European cultures and their remarkable otherness. This raises the question as to what the "founding fathers" of the Modern Age thought about their own European identity. In addition, historical events such as the Siege of Vienna in 1529 by the Ottoman army mark this period and must be analysed in terms of their impact on the evolution of a European consciousness.
(iii) Europe between Enlightenment and Holocaust
Research on concepts of Europe often treats the Enlightenment as the epoch in which ideas of Europe separated themselves from Christian patterns of thought (cf. Durchhardt 1992: 121). The idea of European unity boomed during the Enlightenment era. Enlightenment philosophers criticised the lack of unity among the peoples of Europe during this time of reason and secularisation. Yet European disunity remained politically dominant during the era of the nation-states and finally culminated in two world wars. Many visions and projects in connection with European identity, as well as very real nightmares, mark the time between the Enlightenment and the Holocaust. Concepts of a federal Europe seem to be a counterbalance to growing national fragmentation, a subject which should be studied and reflected on in greater detail.
(iv) Europe in the eyes of others
Over the course of centuries, Europeans were special in that they spread out all over the world. However, after the first voyages of discovery, European expansion also brought representatives of non-European cultures to Europe. Their references and writings allow for the reconstruction of representations of Europe encountered by peoples of other continents. Especially in the European colonies in Africa and Asia, rich sources of the image of the white European (cf. e.g. Riesz 2003) emerged in the 19th and 20th centuries which were marked by asymmetrical colonial conditions. A similar case applies to the Arab world or to regions on the periphery of Europe, e.g. the Inuit of Greenland and their perceptions of (urban) European civilisation (cf. Harbsmeier 2001). A view from the American subcontinents allows for the discovery of the role of Europe in the evolution of Latin and North American collective identities; those affected still remain moved by the question whether these identities are based on a European heritage or can be viewed as being distinct from it.
(v) Europe and its future
Proponents of continued European integration consider the development of Europe to be blocked by the failure of draft constitutions and are afraid that national claims may slow down the joint project even further. They pose the question about the future of Europe in a world of global hopes and even greater risks, and call for a new vision which includes citizens in their understanding of themselves as Europeans. The search for a common European cultural and historical consciousness on the part of political elites and their call for a common culture of memory can be viewed initially as location-specific constructs in the process of European integration. Semantically, however, they are a more or less marked continuation of older concepts of Europe.
Congress Ideas of | for Europe, Chemnitz UT, 6-9 May 2009.
4. Funding provided by
Calouste Gulbenkian Fundation
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- Teresa Pinheiro / Eduardo Franco, ed. (2013): De face a cauda da Europa. A ideia da Europa na cultura portuguesa. In: Teresa Pinheiro / Beata Cieszynska/ Eduardo Franco, ed. (2013): Repensar a Europa. Europa de Longe, Europa de Perto. Lissabon 2013.
- Teresa Pinheiro / Beata Cieszynska / Eduardo Franco, ed. (2012): Ideas of | for Europe – An Interdisciplinary Approach to European Identity. Frankfurt a.M. u.a.: Peter Lang, ISBN 978-3-631-61974-2, 724 pp.
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- Pinheiro, Teresa (2009): "Die Erfindung Europas auf der Iberischen Halbinsel" in: ibid. (ed.), Iberische Europa-Konzepte. Nation und Europa in Spanien und Portugal seit dem 19. Jahrhundert. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot (Chemnitzer Europastudien 10), ISBN 978-3-428-83110-4, 7-17.