Plzeňské sympozia

Václav Petrbok

Introduction

pp. 7–8 (Czech), pp. Summary 9–10 (English)

Loyalty is a concept that, to date, has not been frequently addressed by the Czech historical community, unlike in Germany, it has become a standard component of work in social and political (and, to a lesser extent, cultural and art) history. Historical and critical reflections on the term ‘loyalty’ across its range of meanings, however, offer a new and innovative way of interpreting nineteenth-century Bohemia and Moravia. Although the contributions collected in this anthology come from different research backgrounds and use different methodology and materials, they all seek to provide a new reading of the spaces and social practices in which the viewpoints, strategies, and values of actors from diverse social backgrounds in the Czech lands took shape and affirmed themselves over the long course of the nineteenth century, and how they related to both traditional (for exemple the crown and the church) and new (most notably language and the nation) authorities of identity. This explosive subject, which continues to have relevance to today’s global world and our individual experiences, is one that deserves consideration across a range of scholarly fields. The studies in this anthology pave the way (if necessarily incompletely) for further questions about the cultural, political, and social construction of individual and collective identity (identities) of the nineteenth century, which is now in the distant past, but in many ways remains mentally and materially present.

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