Centre for Research in Communication and Culture


12 May 2017

Central European universities in the early 20th century: The migration of scientists, students and institutions

Presented By Dr Artur Bajerski (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań)
  • 1-2pm (part of the CRCC seminar series)
  • Brockington U1.22

About this event

The nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century were of key importance for the development of universities and tertiary education in Central Europe. On the one hand, the existing, already ”old” universities were reorganised according to the ideas of the Humboldtian university model; on the other hand—especially after the end of World War I and along with the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire—, numerous new universities emerged in the countries that had gained independence, resulting in a dynamic growth of student numbers.

This lecture aims to complement historical research on the development of Central European universities by stressing the fundamental importance of a geographical perspective for achieving a fuller understanding of how tertiary education in Central Europe evolved in the first decades of the twentieth century. Based on a case study of interwar Poland, I will discuss (1) directions and dynamics in the migration of academics to the newly established universities; (2) changes in the rank of individual universities associated with the above; (3) the development of academic regions, related to the migration of students; and (4) the migration of institutions, perceived from two perspectives, namely ideas for the reorganization of science and tertiary education and the relocation of universities themselves (i.e. their relocation between cities and countries following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire).

The theoretical background will be provided by two concepts: Braudelian longue durée and Progogine's dissipative structures. These ideas allow for a research focus on ‘sustainability’ and ‘change’, and to answer the following key question: in what dimensions of tertiary education was the influence of Braudelian long duration structures visible and what was their impact on the discussed changes in the first decades of the twentieth century?

This event is part of the CRCC seminar series.