International Society for Iberian-Slavonic Studies was established in Lisbon on 15 January 2007, and has to the objective of promoting Iberian-Slavonic Studies in Portugal and around the world.
CompaRes is a think-thank institution, coordinated from the University of Lisbon, having members from all Slavonic and Iberian Countries, as well a considerable group of the members recruiting from the other countries of Europe and other continents (USA; South America, Australia, Canada, Africa). Applying the comparative formula ‘contact and comparison’, the Association recognises contacts and points of comparison between the Iberian and Slavonic cultures, situated at the distant poles of Europe but nevertheless coming ever closer. The recognition and deconstruction of the Iberian-Slavonic research area is a response to the new political and cultural dimensions of Europe and the world, which are struggling between affirming and questioning (or announcing the end of) multiculturalism.
Thus, the Iberian-Slavonic project of CompaRes tends to respond to the new methodological directions of the post-modern comparativism, the one based on “likeness and difference in the world of difference”. One important determinant of Iberian-Slavonic Studies is the approximation between the Iberian Peninsula and the former “Eastern Bloc” countries, as well as Yugoslavia (of the crucial Slavonic component), extension of the European Union by the Slavs, new waves of immigrants. In the new Europe, therefore, it is important to promote meeting points between cultural macrostructures, in our case, between those of Slavs and Iberians.
Promoting the meeting of those two European cultures - traditionally seen as distant and even opposed, CompaRes shows benefits of finding the new and deepening the old perspectives for both comparative research and cultural experience.
Establishing of the Society
The formula Contacts and Comparison was first applied during the Iberian-Slavonic conference at the Faculty of Letters, University of Lisbon, 18-20 May, 2006. The purpose of that Conference was to recognise the diversity of contemporary research interests in Iberian-Slavonic contacts through the centuries, and to discuss points of comparison. There were papers on all areas of Iberian-Slavonic studies, but especially in literature, history, art and linguistics.
The Conference brought many ‘revelations’ about Iberian-Slavonic issues, and showed the need for an institutional base from which to promote Iberian-Slavonic Studies in Portugal and in the world. There was also a need for a platform for particular groups of interests, linked and willing to undertake various research within the Iberian-Slavonic area. This inspired the creation of CompaRes – International Society for Iberian-Slavonic Studies, that became the first organization dedicated to such studies in Portugal and in the world.
Name and Logo
The founders of the Association came up with the name ‘CompaRes’, which combines two Latin words: the substantial res and the verb comparare. The latter, in addition to ‘compare’, indicates the other significant - ‘to accompany and embrace’. This meaning inspired the new Society for Iberian-Slavonic Studies. The logo of CompaRes refers to the seal of the Templar Knights, substituting, however, by a book, the coats of arms of two knights sharing there the same horse.
That shared horse, symbolising the same destiny, expresses the determination to bridge the Spanish and the Portuguese, and all of the Slavonic cultures.
Aims and goals of CompaRes
The Society is dedicated to establish, coordinate and promote Iberian-Slavonic Studies and intercultural dialogue in Portugal and Europe. CompaRes founded its International Sections working on the more specific areas of the Iberian-Slavonic research field called “the CompaRes research tree”.
CompaRes main activity concentrates on founding and reviewing the Iberian-Slavonic research field in the series entitled: Iberian and Slavonic Cultures in Contact and Comparison. It also inspires wide debates reflecting Iberians and Slavs in Europe, accompanied by various cultural events. The Society has as central objective the pursuit of initiatives of scientific, cultural and pedagogic character, to support and to promote the Iberian-Slavonic studies in Portugal and in the world. We want to support and develop the comparative investigation, in an interdisciplinary perspective, especially in the areas of social, human and natural sciences.
CompaRes is to inspire the Iberian-Slavonic comparativism to cross geographical and methodological boundaries, seeking the Iberian-Slavonic dimensions of the contemporary cultural production and, at the same time, its European and worldwide connections.
CompaRes promotes the development of academic studies, such as: the Slavonic in Iberian countries and the Iberian in the Slavonic countries, searching the aggregation and support of national and international institutions. We would like, for instance, to offer courses and scholarships in the areas of cultural sciences, in partnership with other academic and cultural institutions.
CompaRes' aim is to create conditions for the direct translation of works by Iberian and Slavonic authors based in the original languages and to foment editions, reeditions and respective studies.
With the perspective of Iberian and Slavonic countries CompaRes introduces the possibility of looking at contemporary Europe through its extreme points, what may contribute to its new image as cultures no longer peripheral but in every case more central.
CompRes pledge is also to promote a deepened reflection on the social, cultural and political identities of Slavic and Iberian countries, as well as on their relationships with Europe and the world. Besides, we will try to promote diversified cultural actions, such as: conferences and exhibitions, always in a strict partnership with other entities that share our ideary.
CompaRes is to be a base for smaller, disciplinary sections, which are the branches of the 'CompaRes research tree’. According to that structure, the Association has established two complementary lines of conferences, meant to cross each section’s achievement with the general directions of Iberian-Slavonic comparative research. The main CompaRes meetings will concentrate on crossing borders and reviewing the Iberian-Slavonic research in the series entitled Iberian and Slavonic Cultures in Contact and Comparison. The second line will inspire molecular conferences, on themes to be determined by the study groups.
The Society publishes its annual publication in cooperation with the Research Group CLEPUL5 and CISCR-ICS – Yearbook IberoSlavica.
CompaRes welcomes contributions from all areas of Iberian-Slavonic Comparative Research for its different lines of post-conference books, and for its Yearbook.