Centre for German Moravian Literature
The composer Gustav Mahler, the philosopher Edmund Husserl, and the writer Robert Musil have two important things in common – the German language and Moravia. That is, their native language and the place where they lived in a certain period of their lives and where their extraordinary works were created. German intellectuals have always distinctly influenced Czech and Moravian culture, and these influences are mapped by the experts working in the Research Centre for German Moravian Literature. Their activity illuminates the multilayered character and diversity of the cultural history of Central Europe.
The anti-German Czechs and German-speaking Moravia
After the Second World War, German-written literature was taboo in the lands of Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia. Its academic recognition was displaced to the periphery of attention, held beyond the reach of official academia and the media. The German element in Czech history was supposed to be obliterated. However, thanks to scholars from the Olomouc university, this did not happen. The research team is made up of globally acknowledged scientists as well as adepts in literary criticism and theory, young PhDs, and postgraduate students. Students have the opportunity to participate in research and tracking down obscure sources.
Blank areas on the literary maps
Olomouc academics have prepared a database of Moravian German-language authors – currently listing more than 2000 German-language authors associated with Moravia. In the years 2003 and 2006, they published two volumes of Lexicon of German Moravian Authors (Lexikon deutschmährischer Autoren), drawing from the abundant resources of the Centre.
The research activities are not restricted to research and archiving. The researchers also organise conferences on German-language literature and culture from Moravia and Bohemia, regional literature, and more. These meetings are attended by both domestic and foreign experts. The German history of Moravia is also presented to the lay public in the form of expositions, literary readings, and public debates. Centre researchers collaborate with the radio, translate noteworthy plays into Czech, and publish books for the lay public.