SEELECTS

SEELECTS or 'Slavic and East-European lectures' is a series of lectures, interviews and discussion panels, organized by the Research Group 'Slavonic and East European Studies'. This series is a forum for national and international scholars and public figures. All presentations cover East and Southeast Europe, but are not restricted to Slavic topics alone. The talks are rather broad and exploratory, than all too narrow or specific. Every presentation will be followed by an informal reception.

SEELECTS of 'Slavic and East-European Lectures' is een reeks van lezingen, interviews en discussieronden, georganiseerd door de Onderzoeksgroep Slavistiek en Oost-Europakunde. De reeks biedt een forum aan nationale en internationale onderzoekers en publieke personen. De thema’s die aan bod komen hebben alle betrekking op Oost- en Zuidoost-Europa, maar beperken zich niet tot Slavische topics alleen. De thema’s zijn eerder breed explorerend dan eng toegespitst. De evenementen vinden telkens plaats op donderdagavond en worden gevolgd door een kleine borrel.

The program for the academic year 2017-2018 is as follows:

De kalender voor 2017-2018 ziet er als volgt uit:

OCTOBER 19, 2017, 18u00, Campus Boekentoren, Blandijnberg 2, room/lokaal 110.022 (1st floor/1te verdieping)

Simeon Dekker (Universität Bern)

Oud-Russische berkenbastbrieven: Een pragmatische benadering

Het Oud-Russische corpus van brieven geschreven op stukjes berkenbast dateert uit de vroege 11e tot de late 15e eeuw. Deze unieke teksten uit Novgorod en omgeving verschaffen ons een uitzonderlijke impressie van het alledaagse leven in de middeleeuwse Russische samenleving. Het organische materiaal is in de grond bewaard gebleven, en ieder jaar worden bij opgravingen in Novgorod nieuwe berkenbastbrieven gevonden.

Het berkenbastcorpus kan door zijn relatief lange periode van attestaties als ideaal bronmateriaal dienen om ontwikkelingen in het gebruik van de geschreven taal na te gaan.

Aan de hand van enkele case studies zal worden ingegaan op taalkundige fenomenen in de berkenbastbrieven die licht werpen op de mate waarin geletterdheid zich had geworteld in de communicatieve processen in de genoemde periode.

Ik zal aantonen dat de berkenbastbrieven een middenpositie innemen tussen oraliteit en geletterdheid. Aan de ene kant bestonden er nog de oude mondelinge communicatiepatronen, die worden weerspiegeld in de wijze waarop de berkenbastbrieven zijn geformuleerd; aan de andere kant ontstonden er geleidelijk nieuwe, geletterde uitdrukkingswijzen, wat we kunnen zien aan de ontwikkeling van normatieve conventies en formules in de schrijftaal.

 

NOVEMBER 16, 2017, 18u00, Campus Boekentoren, Blandijnberg 2, room/lokaal 110.022 (1st floor/1te verdieping)

Amber Ivanov (Universiteit Gent)

De metafrastische martelaarsakte van de heilige Thekla

Deze lezing is geïnspireerd door de recente ontwikkelingen rond een uniek manuscript (hier: “Hilandar Metafrast °2”), dat tot op de dag van vandaag nog geen naam kent en als een van de enige handschriften binnen de Slavia Orthodoxa enkel metafrastische levens en martelaarsakten in het Oudkerkslavisch vertegenwoordigt. Dit metafrastisch menologion, waarin de hagiografische teksten zijn opgenomen voor de viering van heiligen uit de tweede helft van september, is in een 14e eeuws manuscript bewaard, dat hoogstwaarschijnlijk werd opgemaakt in het Hilandar klooster op de Athosberg. Samen met het manuscript ZIIIb20 – ook bekend als de “Hilandar Metafrast”, waarin teksten zijn opgenomen voor de viering van feestdagen tijdens de eerste helft van de maand september – representeren zij het complete menologion voor de maand september. Er wordt dan ook gesuggereerd dat deze twee manuscripten eens één geheel vormden. Aangezien “Hilandar Metafrast °2” tot dit jaar deel was van de privé-collectie van een anonieme verzamelaar, is nog geen onderzoek verricht omtrent dit verbluffende manuscript.

Elke tekst binnen dit manuscript is een suo generis tekstgetuige, aangezien geen van de teksten, zelfs niet in een andere redactie dan de 14e eeuwse Athon-redactie, teruggevonden is in andere manuscripten. Hetzelfde geldt voor de martelaarsakte van de heilige Thekla, die tot nu toe nog steeds de enige kopie is van de metafrastische versie van dit verhaal. In deze lezing zal ik het hebben over de eerste resultaten van mijn linguïstische analyse van de tekst en over de zoektocht naar het origineel en de verhouding van de tekst met dat Griekse origineel.

 

DECEMBER 14, 2017, 18u00, Campus Boekentoren, Blandijnberg 2, room/lokaal 110.022 (1st floor/1te verdieping)

Diana Atanasova (Universitet im. Kliment Ohridski, Sofia)

The Power of the Written Words: Textual Amulets in Pre-Modern Bulgaria

The presentation focusses on textual amulets, a specific type of texts spread in the Medieval and Pre-Modern Bulgarian tradition. These are texts written or engraved on different material – lead, parchment, paper – with the intention to be worn on the body. It was commonly believed that, if one obtained such a text, written on anything, and carried it with him, the text would provide enough protection against diseases and evil powers. It was sufficient to own these texts, while reading them was not required.

The texts found on amulets comprise spells, incantations, lists of names, magical prayers, but also narratives – shorter and expanded. The main issue of my presentation is to discuss the meaning and the principle of selection of these narratives, known also as historiola. What kind of stories did they tell and were they reproduced only on such apotropaic objects?          

 

FEBRUARY 22, 2018, 18u00, Campus Boekentoren, Blandijnberg 2, room/lokaal 160.015 (6th floor/6te verdieping)

Jan Fellerer (University of Oxford)

From ‘prosta mova’ to ‘jazyčie’: Linguistic legacies of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569-1795) was ethnically and linguistically highly diverse. Many were East Slavs who spoke Belarusian and Ukrainian dialects. Besides Church Slavonic for religious writing, they used an unstable amalgam of vernacular Ukrainian and Belarusian, Church Slavonic and Polish for administrative purposes. The beginnings of this so-called prosta mova, often referred to as ‘Ruthenian’ in English, date back to the 14th c., but its usage and linguistic profile changed and developed considerably since the 16th c., to include many new domains, such as religious writing and literary prose. It is usually assumed that the prosta mova was falling out of use over the 18th c. due to the increasing dominance of Polish throughout the Commonwealth.

After sketching the trajectory and linguistic profile of the prosta mova during its early modern heyday, I shall argue that it did, however, not disappear together with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Its legacies continued well into the 19th c., in particular in texts by Ukrainians from Galicia, the part of the former Commonwealth that was annexed by the Habsburgs. By then, their mixed written language was labelled jazyčie, ‘gibberish’. Its ultimate demise was only towards the end of the 19th c., when the new, vernacular-based Ukrainian written language gained general acceptance throughout all Ukrainian lands, including Galicia. To what extent the prosta mova played a role in the inception of new written Ukrainian too, remains a question for further research.

 

MARCH 22, 2018, 18u00, Campus Boekentoren, Blandijnberg 2, room/lokaal 160.015 (6th floor/6te verdieping)

Maria Grazia Bartolini (Università degli studi di Milano)

Judging a book by its cover – Meditation, memory, and invention in 17th-century Ukrainian title pages

This study concerns the use of visual paratexts in seventeenth-century Ukraine, and of illustrated title pages in particular. The books under analysis represent three crucial monuments of seventeenth-century Ukrainian sacred oratory. These are: Lazar Baranovych’s Truby sloves propovidnykh na narochityia dni prazdnikov (Kyiv, 1674), Antonii Radyvylovs'kyi’s Ohorodok Marii Bohorodytsy (Kyiv, 1676) and his Vinets Khrystov (Kyiv, 1688). I concentrate on the “cognitive” aspect of their titular pages, dealing with them as a rhetorical process that emphasizes meditation, invention, and memory. More specifically, I investigate the correlation between the visual and the written as a specific literary-figurative “mode of thought” that stands in a long Christian tradition of expounding images as meditational tools. I will show how Baranovych and Radyvylovs’kyi interact with this tradition, arguing that their title pages provide readers-viewers with both a machina meditativa, a meditative apparatus for reflecting upon the mystery of the Incarnation, and a machina rhetorica, a repertory of images that the users of the books, often themselves preachers, could use to compose new texts.

 

APRIL 19, 2018, 18u00, Campus Boekentoren, Blandijnberg 2, room/lokaal 160.015 (6th floor/6te verdieping)

Aneta Dimitrova (Universitet im. Kliment Ohridski, Sofia)

Select, Translate, Adapt: the Old Bulgarian Collection Zlatostruy, Its Creators and Its Readers

Zlatostruy (“Golden Stream”) is a renowned collection of sermons translated from Greek into Old Church Slavonic in Bulgaria in the 10th century. It is believed that the Bulgarian Tsar Symeon (893–927) himself selected the texts to be translated – he singled out some of the best sermons from the works of St. John Chrysostom (c. 347–407) on topics such as sin and penitence, good and evil, prayer, vigilance, almsgiving, etc. After that (anonymous) translators and editors rendered the sermons into Old Church Slavonic and grouped them more or less thematically. Several generations of professionally trained scribes copied and sometimes edited the translations. The Zlatostruy Collection was widely spread among the Slavs and was modified according to its audience – the sermons were sometimes revised, rearranged, or abridged. This was the path of many literary works in the medieval Slavonic literature – selection, translation, adaptation to the audience.

In my lecture I will present the Zlatostruy Collection as one of the best examples of translated patristic literature in medieval Bulgaria. I will discuss briefly its history, contents, and its most interesting features, and I will try to answer the following questions: What was interesting and what was unfamiliar to the Slavonic audience? How did the original texts change due to revisions and mistakes? What was Zlatostruy’s influence in the following centuries? The most interesting cases of adaptation and incorrectly translated passages in Zlatostruy will be given as illustration.

 

MAY 17, 2018, 18u00, Campus Boekentoren, Blandijnberg 2, room/lokaal 160.015 (6th floor/6te verdieping)

Matija Ogrin (Slovenska Akademija Znanosti in Umetnosti, Ljubljana)

Early Modern Slovenian Manuscripts and methods of Digital Humanities

The greater part of Slovenian literature has come into existence during the Early Modern and Modern period, i.e. in the era of printed books. But, surprisingly, many Slovenian texts of Early Modern time never succeeded to enter the medium of what we now call the print culture – for several historical reasons, ranging from material to ideological. Nevertheless, these texts had their own public and reception, their own ways of reproduction and dissemination – by means of what we call the manuscript culture. In this way, numerous manuscripts of hymnals, meditative prose and other devotional literature (Erbauungsliteratur), and even Jesuit drama in Slovenian language, were not supported by the printing press and the book market. Instead, they continued to fulfill their cultural mission and function in the medium of manuscript culture – as a separate, manuscript layer of literature. In some areas of the Slovenian literary system, this was the case as long as until the mid 19th century.

These manuscript literature is an ideal object for research approaches, using the methods of Digital Humanities. The lecture gives an outline of the analysis and description of manuscripts for the Register of Early Modern Slovenian Manuscripts that rely on Text Encoding Initiative Guidelines (TEI).

Organizers 2017-2018: Amber Ivanov & Dieter Stern