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08.12.23 Workshop: "The Energy of Language in Eastern European Modernism. Refractions of Religious and Philosophical Thinking"



The Energy of Language in Eastern European Modernism. Refractions of Religious and Philosophical Thinking.


International Workshop of the DFG Research Project “Energy: Key Concept of the Soviet Avant-garde”

December 8, 2023


Venue: Freie Universität Berlin, Peter Szondi Institute for Comparative Literature

Habelschwerdter Allee 45, Room JK 28/208


The comprehensive exploration of the history of the "energy" concept in the Avant-garde movement would be incomplete without considering the influence of intellectuals who, on the one hand, engaged in philosophy and theology, and, on the other hand, deliberated on the nature of language. Indeed, the idea of energy gained widespread usage and emerged as a fundamental concept not only in the realms of Avant-garde art and scientific (academic and public) discourse but also in philosophy, theology and early 20th-century language theories in pre-revolutionary Russia and the early Soviet Union.

Therefore, as a continuation of our preceding workshops dedicated to the discourse on energy in the Avant-Garde movement, this workshop will specifically focus on the impact of the concept of energy in philosophical and religious considerations on language in Slavic modernism (mainly in Russia, the USSR, and the Russian emigre circle) during the early 20th century. Particularly, we will explore the influence of Palamite "energetic" discourse and Wilhelm von Humboldt's teachings on energeia and ergon in language, as well as his concept of the inner form of the word, on the development of Eastern European modernist teachings about language.



9:00     Welcome and Introduction (Dmitry Biriukov & Susanne Strätling) 

Panel I (Chair: Susanne Strätling)

9:15     Inna Golubovych (I.I. Mechnikov National University, Odessa)

Терминология логики, математики и биологии в философии и богословии о. Георгия Флоровского 


10:00   Maria Candida Ghidini (Università degli Studi di Parma)

Размышления Вячеслава Иванова об установках современного духа. Энергия forma formans перед лицом кризиса Нового времени


10:45   Coffee break


Panel II (Chair: Werner Boschmann)

11:15   Giorgia Rimondi (Università per Stranieri di Siena)

Метаморфозы концепции слова между русской философией и литературой начала ХХ века


12:00   Alexander Dmitriev (EPFL, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)

Октябрь мысли": темы философии жизни и энергетизма в советском "академическом марксизме" 1920-х'


12:45   Lunch Break


Panel III (Chair: Clemens Günther)

14:00   Niklaus Largier (University of California, Berkeley)

Symbolic Energy and Defamiliarisation - From Philokalia to Shklovsky


14:45   Patrick Flack (Université de Fribourg)

The Energy of Russian Theory: Kandinskij and the Dynamic Composition of Intellectual Debates in the 1910-30s.


15:30   Coffee Break


Panel IV (Chair: Dmitry Biriukov)

16:00   Dennis Ioffe (Université libre de Bruxelles)

The Magic of Language or Language of Magic in Slavic Modernism as a challenge to Western Semiotics

16:45   Holger Kuße (Technische Universität Dresden) 

Approaches to Invariant Semantics in Russian Philosophy (Florensky, Bulgakov, Losev)


17:30   Closing Remarks