The Vilnius-Erfurt Project


Under Eastern/Western Eyes
Interfaces of Cultural Exchange - Internet Teaching Database


Izolda Geniene (Vilnius)
Fritz-Wilhelm Neumann (Erfurt)


Advisory Board: to be appointed


 I want to take my stand on the shifting margins of cultural displacement - that confounds any profound or 'authentic' sense of a 'national' culture or an 'organic' intellectual - and ask what the function of a committed theoretical perspective might be, once the cultural and historical hybridity of the postcolonial world is taken as the paradigmatic place of departure. (Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture, 1994)


Call for Papers

The Vilnius-Erfurt Project sponsored by Erfurt Electronic Studies in English (EESE) has the purpose to elucidate the process of cultural exchange going on in Europe since the fall of the iron curtain. Due the global media industry, Europe is permeated by Anglo-Saxon culture. Its impact on Europe both in the West and in the East will be an ongoing concern for scholars focussing, however, on the common roots and tradtions of Europe in the age of unification. We are aware of assimilation and refusal, of patterns of hybridity as a fusion of East and West. Many scholars will share both a feeling of identity, otherness, and bewilderment. We invite you to join our research and teaching initiative and to comment upon and to contribute papers.

The VEP database is a peer-reviewed electronic publication archived at Erfurt University, Germany. VEP is to collect scholarly work in cultural studies at three different levels:

A. Cultural theory
B. Comprehensive field studies and survey articles
C. Cultural studies self-teaching units (addressees: highschool students/undergraduates)

LEVEL A: Cultural Theory

  • The Concept of Cultural Studies - Europe
  • Migration and Culture
  • Cultural Expansionism
  • Globalization in Theory
  • Technology in Culture (Control Revolution)
  • Mass Media and Culture
  • Psychoanalysis as Cultural Analysis
  • Secularization of Religion in East and West
  • Culture as Intertext and Discourse

  LEVEL B: Comprehensive Field Studies and Surveys

  • Englishness and the British Empire
  • Cultural Interchanges: East Meets West
  • Industrial Revolutions
  • The Progress of 20th-Century Consumer Culture
  • A Short History of the Pictorial Media (Cinema/TV)
  • A Short History of Feminism
  • The Rise of the Screenplay
  • Football as Mass Culture


LEVEL C: Self-Teaching Units

The unit should be modelled on the time-honoured literary history of France by A. Lagarde and L. Michard written in the 1960ies. Their principle was the 'explication de texte' proceeding in four steps:

1. Introduction and background information
2. Extracts from relevant texts (copyright problems to be considered)
3. Annotation, analysis, commentary, close-reading
4. Questionnaire (multiple choice) for immediate feedback to student from server

Suggested topics

  • Multiculturalism in H. Kureishi's My Beautiful Laundrette
  • Multiculturalism in contemporary British Poetry
  • Englishness and late 20th-Century Nostalgia: Graham Swift's Last Orders
  • American Dreams: Alienation in A. Miller's Death of a Salesman
  • American Dreams: American Psycho and Narcissism
  • Liberal Humanism and Technology: Matrix
  • American Culture in Eastern Europe: English in Lithuanian
  • Anglo-Saxon Culture in Eastern Europe: Lithuanian and Western Literature
  • American Culture: the Supermarket and Consumer Style
  • The Swansong of Middle-Class Culture: T.S. Eliot's Wasteland
  • Population Movements in the East after the Fall of the Soviet Union
  • A Brief History of Lithuanian Basketball: Interface West - East ?
  • The Cult of English Soccer: Arsenal and ManU
  • Shakespearean Screenplay: Romeo and Juliet
  • The 1968 Cultural Revolution in Great Britain
  • Non-American Connections between East and West (German/French?)
  • The Potter Craze - a European Phenomenon?

Further proposals are required continuing roughly on this line. Some of the above topics might be split up into smaller units. If VEP is heading towards a project sponsored by the EU, the common roots and traditions of European culture should be brought to the fore in the majority of the contributions.

A number of samples for teaching units will be on the Net by the end of August. Accordingly, a style sheet for the teaching units and other contribution will be available on the website.

If you feel encouraged to contribute to our initiative, please do not hesitate to contact one of the directors of the Vilnius-Erfurt Project.
prof. dr. Izolda Geniene
Prof. Dr. Fritz-Wilhelm Neumann