|Trans||Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften||8. Nr.||September 2000|
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1. Statement on work executed by INST
2. On Transnationality
3. On the INST Research Programme
4. On Future Capacities
When worldwide cultural processes are the subject matter of a research institute, as in the case of INST, it appears that in this field of analysis, the formations of transnational structures are the most interesting elements and the most important factors for a peaceful future (a "Culture of Peace"). The 20th century was marked world-wide by destruction and (mass) murders, which, ideologically, are based on divisions.(2) That racism, nationalism, militarism, and, fascism lead to violence and war, can, therefore, be expected to form part of public understanding today. This insight of how to create an environment of togetherness is, however, not so distinct. This may be also due to existing scientific and research structures (and, thus, not lastly, due to the politics applied in the field of science and research). INST, on the other hand, which was founded on 14.11.1994 by a group of scientists from all continents, dedicates its research to the existing ties between cultures. And, not only the hitherto INST history has shown, that, whatever is important and carries future potential, merely begins to exist. Currently, almost 57 000 queries have been made on the INST-Homepage-Information by more than 5.300 hosts from approximately 100 countries per month. This fact proves that there obviously is interest in INST and its activities. Worldwide efforts to set up new cooperations, institutes etc. prove that intensification and deepening of the INST work is desired.
The following short profile of INST could be noted: INST has always considered
itself to be a research institution, which is (an active) part of a presently
worldwide process of change. Insights gained through research are applied on
INST itself. INST orients itself towards potentialities, using the most modern
of technologies, and looks towards the public. The title of INST (in German:
"Institut zur Erforschung und Förderung österreichischer und internationaler
Literaturprozesse") reflects a specific programme: i.e. to examine regional
and transnational processes in interaction and to implement the insights of
research gained thereby. (3)
My contribution examines the following aspects in these terms: 1. Statement on five years of executed work, 2. Defining important aspects, especially in the context of transnationality, 3. Present and intended work areas of INST and 4. Assessment of the future capacity of proposals.
The first five years were marked by, the setting up of a network (presently 350 members from 50 countries from around three dozen disciplines, who speak more than 40 languages). Through the use of the Internet, the developing of efficient scientific and research communication in order to build up an information service (among them the Internet Journal on Cultural Studies called TRANS), was achievd. Furthermore, a methodology (transdisciplinarity) was developed. Publicity was gained (around 80 reports on all continents). Processing scientific suggestions for political institutions (among them European Commission, European Parliament, and UNESCO) and contributing towards a change of existing information, scientific and research structures were some of its achievements during this period. In this context, INST has executed during the years 1995 to 1999, over 100 presentations, seminars, symposiums and conferences in fifteen (15) countries. A brochure, an electronic journal and 15 books have been published. The INST Information Service in the World Wide Web (WWW) comprises 10.000 pages in print. INST is in contact with approximately 10.000 scientists from over 100 countries. The most recent processing of two main topics in connection with the EOLSS Project of the UNESCO are "Culture, Civilisation and Human Society" and "Literature and the Fine Arts". However, all this is a humble beginning in a world of increasing military budgets, in which racists are back in governments (including in some countries, in which INST members are operational) and to a certain extent again openly advocate war. Also, the framework conditions for INST have not yet been decided. The breakthrough, which seemed possible in the year 1999, could have receded into a dim distance (especially in the case of financing Austria-related projects). Currently, there is, in any case, a communication boycott(5) by the concerned officials, responsible for allotting a basic subsidy. On the other hand, worldwide recognition of INST has grown in the past years. Research goals of various institutions seem to enable the survival or else even the setting up of worldwide research in this direction.
Not only INST has through its activity displayed, that transnationality can be realised. But it has also shown, that transnationality can not be constituted as a form of "World Nation" (see 2.5.). Rather, entirely new structures are crystallising, which can facilitate both diversity and cooperation in terms of free associations. The basis for this development is a new form of surplus value creation, which is mainly based on Knowledge. With this type of work structure, changes take places in all areas of expenditure for funds. This has potential effects in all countries on the increase of wealth, but also on causing conflicts, destruction, and, (virtual) wars. Keeping in mind the existing ties between cultures, the focus of INST activities lies on defining possibilities and concrete developments in this field. It is not a matter of formulated scientific thesis, instead, rather, briefly described catchwords of a new area of research are required. In terms of an approach these would allow themselves to be sharply defined only during the process of research. In parts, provisional results have been obtained. I would like to refer to the following aspects in this context:
Already in connection with the virtual exhibition "Cultural
Studies and Europe", the central theme focussed on "Cultural Studies - the
Productive Force of the 21st Century". This differs in principle, for example,
from the programme of the Austrian Science Ministry, which introduces it under
the title "Die Notwendigkeit des Überflüssigen" (The Necessarity for the Unnecessarity).
(6) Such a programme stands in contradiction to international
documents as published by the European Parliament (7)
and the UNESCO(8).
However, the new government programme in Austria also does not consider culture as a basic component of social development, but as a peripheral phenomenon. Thereby, aspects of humanisation are not only ignored, the strategy concentrates on forms of production represented by strong interest groups, who no longer play a major role, i.e. no longer can play a major role.
Migration is not a feature of the 20th century, but a reality since thousands of years. Especially, under present day conditions it gains importance, in terms of the development of societies. This ranges from the transfer of knowledge to securing pensions. The problem is, however, that the access to information on migration, as a productivity factor, is hardly provided. The major problem in this connection, is the one-sided orientation of information systems, the national, i.e. nationalistic structuring of educational and scientific institutions, as well as the unequal possibilities for the dissemination of information.
No Culture is a "pure" Culture. All cultures (also those, that placed the question of nationality in its centre in the course of its modern formation as in the case of France, Germany etc.) are mixed cultures, a fact, which, however, is thrust aside by nation-state-orientation of politics. The major problem in this context is that the reality of the political sphere of influence is seen as a factor of historical processes. In fact, it is the other way around. And the major problem is that alternative structures are hardly permitted. The histories of Greece and India not only show, that these alternatives can exist, but are even productive. For the present day, for example, I name the USA and South Africa, who acknowledge the mixed character of their cultures and which are immensely benefited thereby.
Transnationality exists today in many forms: in cultures of food consumption, air borne traffic, in large business undertakings, in finance, in structures of communication, in political organisations. What is most often forgotten, is that religions, scientific systems too, etc. partially have a very distinct transnational character. The same is the case with several organisations, whereby the UN, the UNESCO, the European Parliament display a mixed character, as they are compiled of nation states. This mixed character corresponds to present processes, and, in this manner, is, to a certain degree, reflected programmatically in the title of INST. Since it is a matter concerning both Austrian and international processes. Deviating from a union of nation states, is the term "Austrian", because in a metaphorical sense, it is used for multi-linguality, multiculturality, mixed culturality etc. This usage of the term does not necessarily correspond to the politics of diverse governments in the 20th Century, and is even diametrically opposite to various government policies. It is in accordance with a daily culture in Austria, which now and then is reflected in scientific concepts, artistic practice and even government policies.
Transnational structures therefore do not seem to constitute themselves as they seemed to in the case of old nation states - with one language, one culture and most of all one territory (and very important in this: one enemy). Transnationality rather constitutes itself in a multilingual manner and with the development of multiple identities (which is not unsimilar to the formation of nation states, but stands in contradiction to their ideology). There are a few (historical) examples for this, such as the Habsburg Monarchy, the Soviet Union, the old Yugoslavia, Spain, India, South Africa etc. Repeatedly, nationalists threatened their transnational structures. The productivity of togetherness is questioned through projection of enemy-images. (9) The economy, the police, the military prove to be too weak to maintain these structures. Only a cultural policy adapted to this kind of a situation (or a threat from out side) can obviously bring about the required unifying bond.
Transnationality can therefore not be implemented through "force" (or as in the case of the Habsburg Monarchy, the Soviet Union and other countries - only for a certain period of time). A violence, in the name of transnationality, can again only produce violence and can lead to basically questioning common structures. The important element of a Cultural Policy, which is concerned with common issues, must be a democracy in terms of a balance of interests. Whatever had to be "enforced", did not prove feasible and was counterproductive. This is to be observed in various European countries, but, especially today, also has to be taken into consideration in other continents.
The productive developments and possibilities are closely connected with the development of technology. They are the actual "fountain springs" of wealth. They are the basis for new possibilities of mobility and communication. They are the basis for new information systems etc. As concretised knowledge they reach their highest point of productivity but only under consideration of cultural conditions. Only in this way, can an optimised value increasing production be ensued. Technologies, which are developed apart from cultural processes, can also be turned against their inventors.
As in the case of the hitherto thesis, that "men make history", which is more than just questionable, it is today, if anything, absurd in a highly work divided society. Individuals (or even groups of these), who steer capabilities of peoples (to express this in patriarchal terms), cannot live up to the complex demands of tasks, irrespectively whether they are men, women, scholars "makers" or ‚"leaders" etc. What would be required, is a consolidation of a civil society, in which the individual parts interact in a new way. For this, a basic re-structuring of research would be required. "Private" research is oriented towards specific interests that supports it, and state subsidised research (especially in the field of Cultural Studies) very often still orients itself on guidelines of the 19th century.
This term is used here in the sense that knowledge is a primary factor of social development and social wealth. Not all other forms of work etc. would "disappear" through this. Rather, it is a probable that they could exist side by side, in which the future will group around new forms of scientific production and scientific implementation. Connected to this are great chances for such persons and states, which dispose of little or no capital at all. In contrast to the consolidation of basic industries, the publishing of newspapers etc. in this area (especially areas supported by the Internet) great effects can be achieved with little efforts. A further development of transnationality is therefore connected to new forms of scientific production and dissemination of knowledge.
With reference to the statement and outline of the research orientation (transnationality
as an important structural element of the unifying aspect of cultures), the
most important points of the INST work schedule are introduced, as follows:
On the basis of existing INST expansion, new research forms (Cyber Space), terminology
(Encyclopaedia), information exchange systems (information pools), insights
on regional and transnatonal processes (research clusters on research, art forms,
societies) are being developed and expanded. Improvements too, are being made
on the efficiency of public presentation (especially via Internet).(10)
The following outline, on the one hand, displays the complexity of the programme. On the other hand, this opens possibilities for contributions by researchers through concrete definitions, which still were not and i.e. are not being activised within the framework of INST, i.e. (additional references may be accessed through activating the given links, i.e. or may be taken from the INST publication). The most important priorities of INST, in the next few years, will be:
All INST research is cultural research. On the basis of the open INST structure, there is no need to demarcate oneself from the other, since demarcations in this sense of the term is giving expression to specific interests only. (11) Instead, INST orients itself upon research processes within the framework of the European Parliament and the UNESCO and tries to consider the aspect of diversity.
3.1.1. The Concept of Culture
On the basis of this approach, which is also reflected in the personnel structure of INST and its board the concept of culture is a very open and wide one. Nevertheless, it is not arbitrary, As in other cases too - in epistemological terms - an approximation is attempted. Diverse forms are applied for such an approach. One of these forms is an etymological-empirical approach, as in the context of the development of the "Encyclopaedia of Multilingual Cultural Studies" (s. 3.3.). Another form is the approach through projects, which explore other sub-projects i.e. attempting generalisations.
3.1.2. Exhibition "Cultural Studies and Europe"
For the first time a generalised definition of the concept within the framework of a virtual exhibition "Cultural Studies and Europe" was attempted.(12) It has proved very effective and is being re-examined within the project "Encyclopaedia of Multilingual Cultural Studies" and will perhaps be revised.
3.1.3. Core Programmes
The INST core programmes, which take up culture in a concrete (empirical) manner, comprise projects on scientific and research processes, languages, art forms, information and documentation processes as well as social developments, i.e. possibilities (Culture of Peace, Knowledge Society etc.)
3.1.4. Farmers, Mountains, Cities and Leisure Time
Further results of research programmes are introduced within the framework of Cultural Seminars for the wider public. In the background of processes of radical change, they are trying to create space for discourse. Examples for this are the artistic analysis with farmers, mountains, cities and leisure time. What have not yet been finalised are plans for Cultural Seminars worldwide, because the infrastructural resources were not available. The first project in this context is a cultural seminar in Bergen (Norway), which was organised 1999 by Knut Ove Amtzen and which was financed by the City of Bergen. A further similar Cultural Seminar will follow from 4 to 11 February 2001 in Yaounde (Cameroon) (in which a conference is also incorporated; s. 3.5.1.).
Furthermore, the fields of discussion are to be expanded on these topics. An example for this, is the conference "Multiculturality, Municipalities, Tourism Concepts" from 18 to 20.5.2001 in Trins in Tirol.
Cyber Science its not understood as an end in itself within INST activities.
It is a process of work, which was developed, to facilitate an efficient worldwide
co-ordination and co-operation (whereas the work in the INST headquarters takes
place online) the focal point in this case too remains the human being. The
Internet is only understood as a tool eventhough a very effective one.
Although INST uses existing technologies, it has extensively examined new technologies in connection with software (languages), Computer-structures (usage of field characters instead of bipolarity of electrical current).
The use of technologies is however only efficient, when the working process has been reflected. A central concept of such a scientific work process, is Polylog. In its encompassing meaning of regional and worldwide interactions, it was introduced by Anil Bhatti to the INST-discourse.(13)
A subject orientation in INST terms is not possible without transdiciplinarity; this stands as an example of orienting oneself towards the future when developing new terminology. At the same time, it contains the term (discipline), which points towards traditional scientific achievements. This term, on the one hand, creates an environment of togetherness connecting a concrete point of departure, which today in most cases is still disciplinary, with a new kind of task, which analyses complex fields, that no longer are be limited to the subjects of one discipline. In this sense transdisciplinarity also comprises a dynamic, as the methods etc. have to be developed repeatedly.
3.2.4. Co-operation structures
Co-operation structures used by INST have throughout corresponded to older models, which certainly have brought about changes through the implementation of modern technologies. Thus, the text database remains a text database. Through structures of Online Research Cooperation (ORC), diversities, conformities, supplements etc. can be accessed and made more efficient. Co-operation experiences an acceleration, which can have extremely high qualitative results, because a research group is in a position to incorporate more subject matter, more reflections etc.
The Internet Journal for Cultural Studies TRANS has proved its worth since 1997. In particular, the interaction between authors and readers in this connection is to be highlighted, as well as the increasing utilisation, which in parts has quantitatively taken place in leaps and bounds. The following priority areas are being planned in the next one to two years: "Processes in Theatre, Art and Literature", "European Studies in Independent India", "International Cultural Studies" (long versions will appear in their original language) as well as focus-based special editions on other conferences.
The ORC (Online Research Corporation) "International Cultural Studies" was developed in 1999. During the conference "International Cultural Studies" from 15 to 19 September, 1999 in Paris, it was discovered that the use of three working languages brought about a phenomenon of co-existence, but also a similar experience among the respective languages (German, English and French). A continuation of language application which is now attempted within the project "Encyclopaedia of Multilingual Cultural Studies" became necessary. In the year 2001, the ORC, after certain additions and translations in the worldwide web (WWW) and after the publication of the long text versions in TRANS will be brought out as a book as well. (s. also 3.7.2.).
3.2.7. "Knowledge Networking in Cultural Studies" (Reichenau, 25.-27.5.2001)
In connection with the Symposium "Knowledge Networking in Cultural Studies" in Reichenau near Vienna online projects will be introduced and conclusions will be drawn from online work of the last years - i.e. in the context of regional and transnational research.
The development of an "Encyclopaedia
of Multilingual Cultural Studies" may be seen within the context of these
new processes and new research-based organisational and communication forms.
A Polylog demands the need for a language. Already when implementing language, mostly, explanations are required (not only because all languages are mixed languages). It is quite different, however, in the case of applying two or three working languages, whereby in fact 40 or more languages form a cultural context. In existing cultural processes encyclopaedias have proved the leading factors in a productive force. They could serve as a centre, of what is termed as a scientific society. More so, this applies to research in Cultural Studies. Without clarity of terminology, basic information would be especially excluded in the case of using only one working language (or else, if the number of working languages remains limited to three, as in the case of INST, as was the case of the conference at the UNESCO Centre in Paris. An aim of such an encyclopaedia of a new kind ought to therefore reflect the multilinguality, which forms part of the background of the working languages.
3.3.2. Structure Proposal for the Encyclopaedia
Already, a basic foundation exists, which can serve as a device for the preparation of a new starting point. This means that a simple orientation should be possible as well as easy and quick corrections and additions.
3.3.3. "European Cultural Processes and Cultural Scientific Terminologies" (Kusadasi, 8.-10.12.2000)
In the context of this conference, the basic structure of this encyclopaedia is to be worked out. Its basis would comprise contributions, which would have to be sent in, especially, the virtual exhibition and the ORC (whereas the INST search engine can greatly facilitate the search work). Basic papers on the encyclopaedia, and its utilisation are planned as well as reports of hitherto proposed concepts, which are to be significantly expanded in the coming years.
3.3.4. "Multilinguality, Transnationality and Cultural Studies" (Strasbourg/Saverne 2001)
During this large conference, a general reflection obtained on the basis of etymological and empirical contributions, which would by this time be incorporated into the encyclopaedia as well, could be crystallised, which would then screen both the context as well as the structural offer etc., critically.
3.3.5. "Multilinguality, Neologisms and Transnational Research" (New Delhi 2002)
If an encyclopaedia of a new kind is not only to be understood as an encyclopaedia with new technological representations, but also subject oriented development, the incorporation of its own terminology is a necessity. As transnational research - this has shown itself in the existing practice - demands very often its own terminology. The multitude of cultural contacts should be reflected within it. New Delhi is the capital of a multilingual country with a rich cultural heritage. It is also a place with future oriented research and certainly an ideal place for the further development of this kind of research.
Other elements of cultural processes are closely connected to terminology.
To familiarise oneself with these, i.e. forms of research, a new further development
of information structures would be required. In the first phase INST would only
be able to provide marginal information. One step beyond this would be an information
pool. About the plans for development some reflections:
Many queries pertain to the announcement of events. For this there is a clear regulation: INST-pages only announce events, which are organised by INST, i.e., where INST appears as a co-organiser. Information on other events of INST-partners could only be accessed through the INST search machine or the homepages of the partners in the World Wide Web (WWW). Upon general request of its members, a newsletter for INST-members is to be installed, which informs them on events organised by other INST-members.
3.4.2. Basic Structure
The information pool, however, by itself should always remain in the web (as in the case of other information offers). At the end of the year 2000 or by beginning of 2001 it will be initially installed it with a focus on a few topics. The installation will be announced also via Update- Info on the INST homepage.
3.4.3. World wide Information Pool
The completion of the information pool would proceed according to the availability of financial support. It is based, like many other things, on the scientific insights, which INST has gained and should facilitate information access to research in, more than forty languages.
The centre point of research work on transnational processes in the years
2001/2002 will be languages and literature in cultural processes. This is not
only a matter of comparing (comparistics), but in terms of the question of a
unifying, a transnational aspect, also a matter of new or old elements arranged
within new concepts and new perspectives. The following events are currently
being planned in this connection (which - as in other cases - may be allotted
to other aspects as well):
3.5.1. "Nation, Language, Literature: European and African experiences and positions" (Yaounde, 8.-10.2.2001)
This conference, on the one hand, serves the purpose of expanding cooperations with Africa. On the other hand, it serves the purpose of introducing research on multilingual literature within the INST-framework, as until now only theoretical approaches have been developed. In this context, a sub-programme for multilingual literatures could be developed - as in the case of the project "Encyclopaedia of Multilingual Cultural Studies".
3.5.2. "Multilinguality, Transnationality, Cultural Studies" (Strasbourg/Saverne, Dezember 2001)
Although regionality is not contained within the title and multilinguality does not, necessarily, require aspects of regionality, a sub-project will take up these relations as well. Those artists would be considered who live in this multilingual region in France.
3.5.3. "Myths in European and Arabic Cultures" (2002)
This project has been planned and is waiting to be concretely implemented. The goal, in this case, would be, to develop an area of discourse under consideration of artists and scientists, which in connection with INST research on languages and literature, definitely, has strategic meaning.
3.5.4. "Multilinguality, Neologisms and Transnational Research" (New Delhi 2002)
Multilinguality on one country is not equal to multilinguality in another country. Rather, there are great differences, as noted in the case of India, USA and Europe, for example how multilinguality is dealt with - also in areas of scientific research on culture. The transnational components of this communication are hardly reflected upon in this connection.
Arts reconstitutes itself in a new manner. Even if thereby old art forms are
not "extinguished"; representatives of such forms of expression etc. loose their
dominance. Since years, INST has already turned to these new areas of research.
Now, for the first time, systematic programmes are to be designed for the exploration
of research and the constituing of the arts in the WWW.
3.6.1. Arts in the WWW
A basic programme on arts is to be taken up in the conference "Processes in Theatre, Art and Literature" from 22 to 24 September 2000 in Bergen (Norway) and i.e. in the Section IV ("Arts in the World Wide Web").
3.6.2. Cultural Studies as Cyber Science
The research activity on the WWW also needs to be systematised. For this, a conference is planned from 25 to 27 May 2001 in Reichenau near Vienna serving the topic "Knowledge Networking in Cultural Studies".
3.6.3. Constituting Austrian Literature world-wide
The implementation of research programmes on Austrian literature in its complexity still remains far removed from its goal. On the one hand, this is due to the interest lacking among Austrian authorities; on the other hand, such research would demand a large amount of basic research work. Nevertheless, a new attempt is being made in the coming months to create ideal conditions for further activities of research on this plain, in order to come closer to the goal, which had been formulated since long.
This document in itself is an example of what importance is given by INST
to the public. And how publicly work is applied. The basis for this is the INST
formulation, that without involvement of the public, science can only be productive
in a very limited sense. To look for the public, therefore, always means to
open oneself towards discussion. This is being done by INST in various ways
Despite Internet Information it is important to be able to avail of printed material at hand. The brochure "Cultural Studies and Europe" has in this connection proved to be successful. It had been elaborated upon, among other things, for the virtual exhibition "Cultural Studies and Europe" in the European Parliament, in November 1998. New brochures (German, English, and French) will contain the INST Strategy for the next few years.
3.7.2. Book Series
Until now 15 volumes have appeared. The most important goal would be to bring out these book series, independent of subsidies, by the end of 2001. The chances for this prove to be good due to the large interest which has been expressed for these publications. It seems possible, that this form of dissemination of scientific information has reached a broad spectrum, as facilitated through the Internet (even though, not in the same quantity and quality of utilisation). Twenty volumes are planned to be published from 2001 to 2003, in order to document Austrian literature worldwide. The content pages of most of these volumes already exist. Some (in parts) already exist as manuscripts. Furthermore, ORC is to be published in the three working languages (structured as it already exists in the WWW, under inclusion of a CD-ROM) as well as several other books.
Already at an early stage plans were made to produce CD ROMs, which, however, had to be left behind as, there is no better distribution possible of texts and data bases, than through the internet. This media form should only be used to introduce - as in the case of ORC (Online Research Co-operation) - TRANS etc. and other extensive materials (for example, as documentation of Internet-Projects as a supplement of book publications).
This form of public relations has stood to test. The actual reception of INST Information offers is already partially more extensive than comparisons that could be made to daily print media. The interactive possibilities, are, however, of greater importance, which this form of information access has opened.
As before events will be organised: presentations, cultural seminars etc. Not lastly, because personal encounters are considered most important.
How science and research can influence social processes, is closely connected to the question as to how far civil societies (Knowledge Societies) allow themselves to be develop. The more complex social production gets, the greater, the need, but also the capability expressed for participation. This has been understood today, but also recognised, but hardly implemented in strategically important areas. Already there are signs for the end of the "thaw", so that one needs to fear that despite expansion of scientific and research budgets the social possibilities for research are narrowed down.
The 350 INST Members speak more than forty languages and come from approximately
36 disciplines from over fifty countries. Eventhough the main task is to strengthen
the infrastructure; several projects could so far be realised, in which the
advantages of multiperspectivity can be seen.
The basis for collaboration of INST is the use of the most modern of technologies. Not everywhere is this accessible as easily. As before, the task remains to improve the general accessibility in a qualitative way.
3.9.2. Status quo
Hitherto development of INST has been based on an open process. This has considerably contributed to the speed of the INST expansion. The point of departure was one discipline and research on one author, i.e. Jura Soyfer.(14) In this context many contacts were made, which formed the base for expanding the INST network. Close examination of Jura Soyfer, but also the constituting worldwide research on Austrian literature called for a basic restructuring of thought processes in almost all questions related to current research on literature and culture. The main problem presently, that one cannot transfer from an extensive to an intensive work process. The large number of interactive contacts can be availed of only marginally, if they cannot be realised in terms of projects. Many project proposals have emerged from these premises (encyclopaedia, information pool etc.) but their realisation requires an adequate and long-term financing of an infrastructure. This remains an open question with the formation of the new government.
Although not all projects could be realised in the past, we can observe, that this fate not only affects INST projects alone. The realisation of an archive on Austrian Literature lasted over 100 years. The research structure for a multilingual History of Literature still waits financing since approximately 100 years. Transnational research exists in contrast much longer. Although much remains to be done in this field as well. This concept, based on its founding resolutions, considers itself in this sense, to be a concretely applicable programme. It, however, also understands itself as a starting point to look out for further possibilities for realisation, also pointing towards requirements to change conditions. It should offer a base for co-operation of researchers, a platform for further research possibilities, but also serve as an offer, to implement financial support.
For Austria, which sees itself as a place of dialogue, Vienna seemed the ideal location for INST research. Now the city's funds are being cut. Austria is isolated worldwide. But even though INST continues to receive international recognition, its location is doubtful, under present circumstances.
The most important and essential condition for INST activity today, is the adequate financing of an infrastructure. But the officials in charge of allotting subsidies in the Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture have declared a boycott of any form of dialogue with INST. What one has been criticising the EU Governments for, is being practised in one's own country.
Of course, there are other forms of financing of research activity. As long as the subsidy structure in Europe is as it is, one should take note of the fact, that non-financing of Austria projects show that the government obviously does not have an interest in Austria. Not merely INST has been affected by this, but also a number of institutions - from alternative satirical cabarets to regional theatres, from Vienna's House for Literature to the Austrian National Library, from small research-based organisations to universities. The transnational projects, in contrast, can, however, be realised. INST work in the past years have borne fruit. Transnationality, in this sense of the term is not only a possibility for INST, i.e. a partial reality, but it could become the true reality for INST as well.
© Herbert Arlt (Vienna)
Translation: Jamila Baier-Mathews (Vienna)
Inhalt: Nr. 8
(1) Basic revised and expanded edition of the contribution on the INST Anniversary Event on 15.11.1999 in the Old City Council in Vienna. This contribution is based on decisions of the board of directors of INST (among them the strategy paper "Central Focus of the INST Research Activity 2000 to 2005"). By 31.8.2000 this contribution was declared as a basis for orientation of the further INST activity by the board (and by 16.9.2000 by the General Assembly of INST).
(2) In the "Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation" of 16 November 1945, it has been declared: "That since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that defences of peace must be constructed." An ideology, which contributes to dividing factors, which encourages these, is therefore also responsible for its consequences. A connection which was, for example given in the brochure "Europe 2000" of the European Parliament (Cologne 1996, p.6)
(3) Compare the paragraph "Regionality, Nationality, Multi-, Inter-, Intra-, Cross- and Transculturality" in, Herbert Arlt (Ed.): Cultural Studies - transdisciplinary, transnational, online. On five years INST work and perspectives of cultural research (German), St. Ingbert: Röhrig Universitätsverlag 1999 (=INST-Book), p. 40ff.
(4) The INST book contains the following chapters: Introduction (Summary of INST History), conditions, major concepts, documentation (Research projects, World Wide Web, Conferences, Events, Print Publications, Documents, Committees, Members, Communication Network).
(5) Recognition has definitely also been acquired from the Austrian authorities: Thus, the scientific Director of INST was named by the present Federal Minister for Education, Science and Research was appointed member of the Austrian UNESCO Commission especially under consideration of its scientific achievements in the year 1998. Now as before their are several officials in Austria who appreciate the efforts of INST and support it.
(6) Nestroy has written a play "Das Notwendige und das Überflüssige", the unnecessary is there, where the removal of an exterior is called for and it is especially that exteriors dominate this programme: closing towards the inner through anonymous examiners, closing towards the outer through a lack of disclosure of a programme.
(7) Compare e.g.: Raymond Weber/Guiseppe Vitiello. In: Jura Soyfer. Internationale Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften. 9. Jg., Nr. 1/2000, S. 3-5.
(8) Compare e.g.: Our Creative Diversity. Report of the World Commission on Culture and Development (1995).
(9) Comparison to important aspects for the development of such enemy images: Katerina Stenou: Image de l'Autre.La Differénce du Mythe au Préjugé. Seuil-Editions: UNESCO 1998.
(10) Currently the following areas of information are being offered at the INST-homepage: extensive support systems (devices) for cultural scientific research, TRANS, a search engine for the INST information offer as well as for its partners (presently a total figure of one Gigabyte), the virtual exhibition "Cultural Studies and Europe", the Online Research Cooperation International Cultural Studies, Austrian Literature in WWW, and the radio play data bank of the ORF (compiled and supervised by Konrad Zobel) as well as INST information in the narrow sense of the term (dates for conferences, seminars, presentations, institute board, partners, documents, book series, collaborators).
(11) Compare contributions in: Cultural Studies in Austria. Conference Report (in German). Symposion in Graz 12.-13. 3. 2000. Private Publisher. Limitations on terms correspond with the selection of participants of the conference.
(12) Anil Bhatti/Birbaumer/Budin/Rosenauer: Cultural Studies and Europe. Vienna 1998, p. 8/9.
(13) On these terms see Herbert Arlt (ed.): Kulturwissenschaft - transdisziplinär, transnational, online. Zu fünf Jahren INST-Arbeit und Perspektiven kulturwissenschaftlicher Forschungen. St. Ingbert: Röhrig Universitätsverlag 1999, S. 27ff. On the term Polylog compare also : Anil Bhatti: Internationalisierung der Kulturwissenschaften und Perspektivenwechsel in der Forschung. In: Internationale Kulturwissenschaften - International Cultural Studies - Études culturelles internationales (ORC) WWW: http://www.inst.at/studies/l_04_e.htm as well as Franz Wimmer: Polylog der Traditionen im philosophischen Denken. In: Ethik und Politik aus interkultureller Sicht, hrsg. Von R.A. Mall und N. Schneider, Studien zur internationalen Philosophie, Bd. 5, 1996, p. 39-54.
(14) Also see WWW: http://www.soyfer.at/
Webmeisterin: Angelika Czipin
last change 03.11.2000