Congress website: http://www.18thcenturycongress-graz2011.at/
The Congress was organised by ISECS, the University of Graz and the University for Music and Dramatic Arts of Graz
Graz is situated in South Eastern Austria which is in Central Europe. Travellers can reach the town by aeroplane (from Vienna, Frankfurt and other destinations), by train or by car. Graz is the historical centre of the unique region in Europe where Latin, Germanic and Slavic elements come together to form a common heritage. There are three universities with about 50.000 students.
I. Time in the Age of Enlightenment: Situating the Present, Imagining the Future
In the age of Enlightenment man did not only think systematically and continuously about his life, but began to manage and change it. So it is necessary to focus on this change in perception of time and to ask: In which manner did man esteem his time? What were the reasons for turning his attention to the future? What did the visions about the future contain? For instance: How did man intend to organise the future? What did the idea of prevention mean for him? Since the 18th century served as foundation for today's world - which of the contemporary visions are still prevalent and which ones are not and why not?
II. Central and Eastern Europe in the Age of Enlightenment
Although Central and Eastern Europe represent a considerable part of the European continent, this area does not have the same characteristics in the 18th century as the Western world: The political order was based on large Empires (Russia, Turkey, Austria), similar colonial processes as in the occident did not exist, the cultural situation was influenced by three major religions (Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Islam) and by a dominant rural world. The most important questions are: What was the social and cultural profile of the countries in this space in the 18thcentury? How did the Enlightenment from the West enter into the area between the Baltic and the Black Seas? What signals did this region give to the West? Are there any effects which have remained as problems till the present?