The Sorbian Institute and TU Dresden take their cooperation to the next level
Small Disciplines: The Volkswagen Foundation endows Sorbian Studies with 1 million euros.
“Integrated Digital Sorbian Studies” (IDSS) is the name of the new cooperation project between the Sorbian Institute in Bautzen/Cottbus and TU Dresden. The six-year project, which is due to start in May 2022, will significantly increase both the visibility of Sorbian Studies at TU Dresden as well as the integration and networking of the small discipline.
The joint strategy concept, which is being funded with almost one million euros by the Volkswagen Foundation as part of the funding line “World Knowledge – Structural Strengthening of ‘Small Disciplines’”, will cover several staff positions at both institutions, including two early-career researchers. The project has a total financial backing of around 1.6 million euros.
IDSS uses the potential of the advancing digitalization in the humanities (digital humanities) to strengthen Sorbian Studies and develop this discipline in an interdisciplinary way alongside related, larger subjects such as German and Slavonic Studies. In this way, the interests of early-career researchers should be directed towards current, socially highly relevant research topics in Sorbian Studies.
In the coming years, not only the Sorbian language courses at TUD will be consolidated, among other things with the jointly developed app “Sorbian Online Learning”, but also Sorbian study materials will be integrated into the degree programs at the Faculty of Linguistics, Literature and Cultural Studies as well as into the new master’s program “Digital Humanities” at TUD. To this end, digital corpora of Sorbian and German language regional post-war journalism are one of the many things being added – i.e. large text collections that facilitate access to Sorbian texts and resources. A pilot digital edition of the works of Kito Lorenc is also in the making.
The project builds on the digitalization efforts already underway at the Sorbian Institute, such as the digital Sorbian Knowledge Portal Sorabicon or the Lower Sorbian Language Portal. In addition, it can draw on digitalization expertise from German Studies in Dresden and the Saxon State and University Library Dresden (SLUB). IDSS therefore consciously pursues goals in line with TUD’s Excellence Strategy, in which digitalization plays a central role.
Science Minister Sebastian Gemkow adds: “Thanks to the commitment of the Sorbian Institute/Serbski Institute at TU Dresden, and not least the strong, financial support from the Volkswagen Foundation, another important contribution is now being made to preserving and strengthening Sorbian culture and language. As a result of this project, I am pleased that several disciplines of TU Dresden, the Saxon State and University Library Dresden (SLUB) and the Sorbian Institute are working together in digitalization, research and teaching. IDSS will develop a beacon for the cultural heritage of the Sorbs in a number of ways.”
Serbski institut / Sorbian Institute Bautzen
Prof. Christian Prunitsch
Chair of Western Slavic Literatures and Cultural Studies