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The Institute for Balkan Studies (IBS) of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Art is a leading scholarly institution for multidisciplinary humanities studies of the Balkans and a host of European and international research projects. The origin of the Institute goes back to the Institut des Études balkaniques founded in Belgrade in 1934 as the only of its kind in the Balkans. Its work was banned by the occupation authorities in 1941. The institute was restarted only in 1969 under its present-day name and under the auspices of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. It assembled a team of scholars to cover the Balkans from prehistory to the modern age and in a range of different fields of study such as archaeology, ethnography, anthropology, history, culture, art, literature, law. This multidisciplinary approach has remained its long-term orientation as the numerous publications of the IBS show. The series Publications of the Institute for Balkan Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Art has been founded to present in English to an international readership: outstanding monographs, edited volumes and important key texts on the history and culture of the Balkans
This first English publication of Vladimir Ćorović’s study is a culmination of efforts that had started long before this book saw the light of day. The origin of this work goes back to the late 1920s when Yugoslav officials and intellectuals decided to provide a competent, scholarly work of international reputation on the question of the origins of the World War I. The publication of the book planned for 1936 could not be realized as the Yugoslav government complied with a request from the Third Reich to cancel it. A work that was likely to delve into the responsibility of not just Austria-Hungary, but also of the German Empire for the outbreak of the Great War was not welcome to Nazi Germany. Even today Ćorović’s book is worth reading to check the state of discussion in the aftermath of more recent publications on the outbreak of World War I.
What was life like in the territories annexed by Russia in the 19th century? What were the views and attitudes of the Poles living in lands belonging to the Russian Empire? How did people arrange their lives when they did not take up revolutionary action and foreswore an open struggle with the Tsarist regime? Could one be a Polish patriot without fighting gun in hand for independence? The Russians believed that Poles were genetically preordained to be anti-Russian. Even in the west of Europe this charge of morbid Russophobia was taken to be the rule. It seems that this was one of the greatest falsehoods that Russian imperial propaganda managed to implement in the West. Leszek Zasztowt unfolds in this fascinating biography a much more complex reality through the life story of the medical scientist, academic and political activist Józef Mianowski (1804-1879), a man who served Russia and loved Poland.
Politics and Culture, Textual Production
The study of the Rus and its religious shaping has been an on-going discussion from the time of the emergence of this field of study in the 19th century. These volumes bring to light, and to a wider readership, cutting edge research on the religious culture and politics of the Rus and at its periphery, as well as interdisciplinary approaches to the early production of Slavonic texts during and immediately after Christianisation. One of the two volumes is dedicated to the textual production and sources of the period. By highlighting work by scholars from and working in Eastern Europe, this publication is an invitation to a global academic dialogue by making new research on Rus culture and letters available in English.