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This page presents completed or ongoing projects concerning intellectual cooperation. Contact us if you want your project to appear here.

Current projects

Mapping Hispanic Modernity. Cross-border Literary Networks and Cultural Mediators (1908-1939)

Diana Roig Sanz (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, ES)

This project sets the grounds for a new approach exploring transnational processes of cultural transformation. To do so, we propose an innovative investigation in modernist studies: the impact of Hispanic cultural mediators in international modernity during the first half of the twentieth century. Our aim is to amend the fact that literature on aesthetic modernity tends to overlook Hispanic modernism and keeps locating it on the peripheries. However, from the 1900s onwards, Hispanic mediators participated in the cultural arena and took an active part in intercultural and multilingual networks. This project argues that these networks enabled Hispanic mediators to play a prominent role in the international scene, helping them revitalize both Europe and their local milieu. This project understands cultural mediators as agents who meet at least two main parameters: multilingualism, on the one hand, and the performance of numerous activities and roles across linguistic, artistic, and geographical borders on the other.

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Learning to be international: British children and the League of Nations

Susannah Wright (Oxford Brookes, UK) and Tomás Irish (Swansea University, UK)

This project explores the engagement of British children with international politics in the interwar years. It does so by focusing on the ways that the League of Nations sought to interest children in its work through formal education, pageantry, the establishment of junior branches and youth groups, and international travel. As we approach the centenary of its establishment in 1920, the League is being reassessed; however, little is known of its significant efforts to mobilize children to its cause, nor have many studies sought to investigate its activities at a ‘grass roots’ level. This project takes a number of regional case studies from around Britain to explore the interactions of children with internationalism.

Feeding the Mind: Humanitarianism and the Reconstruction of European Intellectual Life, 1919-1933

Tomás Irish (Swansea University, UK)

Tomás Irish is currently completing a monograph called Feeding the Mind: Humanitarianism and the Reconstruction of European Intellectual Life, 1919-1933, for Cambridge University Press. The book is about the rebuilding of European cultural and intellectual life following the violence of the First World War. The Great War and the conflicts that followed it in the early 1920s left intellectual life in ruins in many countries; sites of cultural value, such as libraries, schools, and churches, were destroyed in fighting; writers, teachers and artists were killed in battle and many others were displaced by rapidly shifting fronts; and the international exchange of people and ideas broke down. The conditions caused by warfare also posed a grave threat to life: famine and epidemic were rife in central and eastern Europe by 1919 and the Bolshevik Revolution and Russian Civil War led to a refugee crisis, while hyperinflation gripped countries like Germany and Austria. These events put millions of lives in Europe at risk and led to an unprecedented humanitarian effort to save lives. This book details how the reconstruction of intellectual life formed a conscious and crucial part of this broader effort. Feeding the Mind explores why, in the aftermath of the Great War, ideas and intellectuals were deemed to be worth saving, sometimes above or indeed instead of the general population. It focuses on the work of the League of Nations International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation, American foundations, humanitarian organisations and committees, and intellectual networks in exploring how and why intellectual life was rebuilt. The book argues that this process tells us much about not only who intellectuals were in inter-war Europe, but what function they were expected to perform in bolstering democracy and upholding peace and stability in the post-war era.

At the source of multilateralism: The birth of an international administration in the interwar period

Martin Grandjean (University of Lausanne, CH)

Swiss National Science Foundation 194909

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Past projects

The international scientific and intellectual cooperation during the interwar: the ICIC and the Davos university courses

François Vallotton (University of Lausanne, CH) and Martin Grandjean (University of Lausanne, CH)

Swiss National Science Foundation 144552

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