The role of the Vilnius and Lviv press in the first half of the 19th century in shaping the national identity and civic consciousness of Poles

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The role of the Vilnius and Lviv press in the first half of the 19th century in shaping the national identity and civic consciousness of Poles


Principal investigator - dr hab. Jolanta Kowal, prof. UR

Duration of the project - 1.03.2024 - 1.03.2027

The project was partially financed from the government budget
Financing institution - Ministry of Science and Higher Education / National Programme for the Development of Humanities

Project value - 321 589,00 PLN
Funding value - 321 589,00 PLN

Project description
The primary aim of the project is to highlight the vital role of the Vilnius and Lviv press in shaping the national identity and civic consciousness of Poles during the first half of the 19th century. This matter most definitely deserves an in-depth research reflection, as the press did not give up on its fundamental mission to educate Polish society despite facing strict censorship during the partitions of Poland. Even a superficial examination of the content published in the most popular periodicals of the time (in Vilnius: “Dziennik Wileński” 1805-1806 and 1815-1830, “Tygodnik Wileński” 1804 and 1815-1822, “Wiadomości Brukowe” 1816-1822, “Dzieje Dobroczynności Krajowej i Zagranicznej” 1820-1824, “Wizerunki i Roztrząsania Naukowe” 1834-1843, “Athenaeum” 1841-1851; in Lviv: “Pamiętnik Lwowski” 1816-1819, “Lwowianin” 1835-1842, “Gazeta Lwowska” 1810-1850, “Rozmaitości. Dodatek do Gazety Lwowskiej” 1817-1848, “Dziennik Mód Paryskich” 1840-1848, “Tygodnik Polski” 1848-1849) reveals a wealth of texts dedicated to molding national identity and fostering patriotic sentiments among Poles. These articles addressed various topics crucial for the preservation of Polish identity, including the need to maintain the purity and integrity of the Polish language, the empowerment of women through civic education, the exploration of folk traditions as a source of originality and national character in literary works, the significance of theater in nurturing national culture, the promotion of cultural heritage through presenting profiles of eminent Poles, the compilation of supplements and bibliographic notes pertaining to the history of Polish literature, the promotion of new literary works, and advocacy for Polish freedom in the Legislative Sejm of the Second Polish Republic. The proposed research endeavor adheres to the requirements specified in the Foundations module of a project announced by NPRH (13th edition, theme: “Naród – Państwo – Terytorium”). The project meets the funding criteria for grant applications; it is an entirely original research endeavor of significant scientific value, creates new research avenues for various disciplines in the field of humanities and social sciences, is useful for didactic purposes, uses appropriate methodology, and involves the formation of a specialized research team. Additionally, it fosters the engagement and professional development of young researchers, allowing them to gain valuable experience. Most importantly, the project involves publishing a research monograph titled “W kręgu prasy dawnej. Rola prasy wileńskiej i lwowskiej I połowy XIX wieku w kształtowaniu tożsamości narodowej i postaw obywatelskich Polaków”. The monograph will be published in 2026 and will comprise five interdisciplinary dissertations prepared by the project participants, illustrating the profound impact of the press published in the Russian and Austrian partitions on the development and preservation of Polish national identity and the promotion of civic engagement. The monograph will be a continuation of a previously published volume dedicated to the study of press (“W kręgu prasy dawnej i współczesnej. Wybrane zagadnienia”, edited by Jolanta Kowal, Magdalena Patro-Kucab, and Paulina Podolska, UR Publishing House, 2021). It will also be accessible online via the UR Repository, which archives the academic and educational achievements of the local academic community. To enhance the visibility of the project, the findings will be presented at a selected academic conference. Additionally, the project involves the organization of an international conference at the University of Rzeszow dedicated to the study of the old press. The project’s leadership intends to disseminate the results at two foreign academic institutions, including Vilnius (University of Vilnius, Centre for Polish Studies) and Lviv (University of Lviv), fostering enduring scientific collaboration with a specific focus on exploring the significance of the Vilnius and Lviv press from the first half of the 19th century.