The dynamics of cultural transformation in contemporary world is associated with the phenomenon of multiculturalism, a symptom of the present day Europe. The latter gives rise to serious dilemmas among its citizens, with regard to their identity and cultural origins, the resulting benefits as well as the actual and envisaged threats. This is particularly evident on the junctures of various cultural domains, on their borderlines, seen both literally and symbolically. The extraordinary cultural diffusion which takes place before our eyes, excites interest and elicits reflection from the representatives of numerous scientific disciplines, such as cultural anthropologists, ethnologists, historians, cultural studies experts, philosophers, linguists, literature experts and others. At the same time, this demonstrates that the description and diagnosis of contemporary culture are not feasible without interdisciplinary research, which sets out to analyze phenomena of the contemporary era and the ages past. . Studia Europaea Gnesnensia is a scientific periodical established on the initiative of researchers from the Institute of European Culture of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, located in Gniezno.
Ex definitione, the Institute stipulates the need of interdisciplinarity, the research carried out therein concerns European culture in the broad understanding, without the constraints of chronology and thematic scope. Nevertheless, these studies all share a common denominator: the conviction that European culture, in its remarkable diversity, is a definable notion. Gniezno, the first capital of Poland, is an apposite symbolic motivation for such research orientation: here, in the year 1000, Otton III, German emperor, and Bolesław Chrobry, the then ruler of Poland, met at the tomb of St. Adalbert, the patron of Unified Europe. They were driven by the idea of common Europe, rooted in the culture of antiquity and the attainments of Christianity, with due respect retained for the achievements of the “barbarian world”. We would like the Gniezno European Studies to provide a territory for reflection on the legacy of history and the spiritual condition of the present day Europe, on the place of such of its constituents, which in the past were either negated (Jewish culture) or underestimated (culture of the Arabic world), or those that appeared in the course of the last century (culture of the African and Asian countries) and which are frequently treated as alien. This obviously encompasses all sorts of ethnic minorities, whose culture and the right to its self-determination have been “suppressed” by more powerful neighbours. We are interested in the development and the transformations of the contemporary European culture, its condition, character and its shades on all its planes.
This means that we assume a very broad formula of the periodical. It remains open not only to researchers from Gniezno and the Greater Poland area, but also from across Poland, Europe and the world. We wish that it becomes a forum of assiduous scientific debate on the state of European culture and its impact on the culture of the world, in other words, on its place in globalization processes as well as on the place of each nation, each ethnic group in the making of a superordinate value, which we tend to term “European culture”. We hope that the subjects discussed in the papers published in Studia Europaea Gnesnensia will become an inspiration to scientific polemics and further research for many Readers.
Institute of European Culture Adam Mickiewicz University