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A Comparative History of the Literatures of East Central Europe

Marcel Cornis-Pope, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond
George Grabowicz, Harvard University
Jolanta Jastrzebska, University of Groningen
John Neubauer, University of Amsterdam, Coordinator
Svetlana Slapšak, Institutum Studiorum Humanitatis, Ljubljana

At the beginning of the NIAS year in September 1999 the project had only about thirty-five contributors, and very few submitted texts. By the end of the stay at NIAS the number of contributors had risen to about eighty-five; about 60-70% of them have already submitted their pieces, and most of those submitted have already been edited. The work on the project at NIAS culminated in an international conference at NIAS on 28 June-1 July, which brought together for the first time almost half of the contributors from East-Central Europe, the Netherlands, the US, and Canada.
Great progress has been made on the final conceptualisation of the volume. In particular, we worked out powerful arguments for using the term East-Central Europe, and we developed a rationale for a paradigm shift from national to regional literary histories. Furthermore, we were able to identify the common features in the institutionalisation of literature that took place in East-Central Europe during the nineteenth and early twentieth century.
The project is now entering its final phase. It is expected that all of the needed and promised contributions will reach the editors by the end of this calendar year. The editors expect to be able to send on the edited manuscript sometime in the first half of 2001. We are very much looking forward to the publication of our work by Oxford University Press, but it seems more and more likely that our team will continue to function in various forms beyond the completion of the volume.



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