Plzeňské sympozia

Milan Ducháček

German Inspiration of the Founders of the journal Český Lid (The Czech Folk): Čeněk Zíbrt and Lubor Niederle in the Melting Pot of Academic Disciplines on the Individual, “the Common People” and Society

pp. 40–54 (Czech), Summary 54 (English)

The essay examines the German inspiration of the founders of the Czech journal Český Lid. Čeněk Zíbrt and Lubor Niederle decided to found the magazine in 1889 during their study program in Munich. While Zíbrt’s meeting with Wilhelm Heinrich Riehel pointed him in a more conservative direction, which comprised ethnocentric understanding in the spirit of the developing German Volkskunde, Niederele, who was more anthropologically inclined, found inspiration in the transnational comparative method of Johanness Ranke, a pupil of Rudolf Virchow at the Munich anthropological institute. The dichotomy between the national-conservative and the transnational-liberal understanding of the research in the thus-far tightly interwoven field of ethnology/anthropology (as part of the German “Volksforschung”) was the root of the Czech generational schism that finally led to the dissemination of Český Lid’s editorial staff between the 80s and the 90s. The magazine was under constant critique for its traditionalist tendencies and inadequate level of expertise under Zíbrt’s leadership.


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