Department of Slavonic Studies of the Vienna University

Since the opening of the borders of the Eastern European countries in 1989/90 the Department of Slavonic Studies at the Vienna University has grown: More courses are being offered and more students attend them.

Czech and Polish languages are among the favourites. Slovak, Bulgarian and Ukrainian were added in 2002. There are students from the neighbouring countries, but also second-generation immigrants who want to discover the language of their parents and grandparents. With the enlargement of the EU the importance of Eastern European languages has increased, especially in the border regions of Austria.

Exchange and cooperations with Eastern Europe
The Department offers a wide range of opportunities for the exchange of students and teachers in cooperation with Slav countries. Jointly with the Departments of Dutch Studies and of Finno-Ugrian Studies a CEEPUS network is being operated. Participants are the universities of Zagreb, Ljubljana, Brno, Praha, Olomouc, Bratislava, Warsaw, Cracov, Wrocław and Budapest. ERASMUS Programmes are maintained with Ljubljana, Warsaw, Brno and, in future, also with Praha. A research cooperation was, for example, the Czech-Austrian project "Comparative Cultural Studies in Central Europe", which was carried out together with the Department of Slavonic Studies of the Brno University, dealing with the concept of Central Europe.

Cultural events
Univ.-Prof. Gero Fischer tries to include the media into the research and teaching plans. He is the founder of the gallery "Galerie auf der Pawlatsche" at the Department of Slavonic Studies, destined to serve as a platform for Eastern European and trans-border photo projects. A photo expedition, carried out jointly with Petr Baran and Petr Francán of JAMU Brno, was concerned with the Czech linguistic enclaves in Banat, Romania: Sv. Helena, Gerník, Šumice, Eibental, Bígr, Rovensko. This area is characterised by poverty, emigration and a lack of perspectives. An exhibition of the three authors Petr Baran, Gero Fischer and Petr Francán was shown at the Czech villages in Romanian Banat in 2002.
The cultural programme of the Department of Slavonic Studies also covers the medium film: The series "Czech and Slovak Flms" and "Russian Films" are highly frequented by the public.


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