Introducing myself

As I will be the one editing this blog, I guess it is not unappropriate that I begin by introducing myself.

The most relevant piece of information here I suppose, is that I am the director of sdvig press. Which considering we are a team of just three (my esteemed colleague Emanuel Landolt, a trusted IT-support and myself) is maybe not saying much. This does mean however that I will be able to faithfully report of all the minutiae and developments of the project. Plus, considering we are a collaboratively oriented entreprise, the team should grow soon enough. Until that happens,  I’ll probably still feel slightly embarassed when handing out my flashy business card.

Institutionally, I am a young researcher currently enjoying a generous post-doc stipend from the Swiss National Foundations to work on the intellectual context of Prague in the 1920s and 1930s. I was formed as a Slavist (Russian at MA level, then Czech for my PhD), but since neither my Russian nor my Czech are really any good (I never could be bothered with plural genitives and the accentuation of past participles) and that my interests have always lain more with technical stuff such as philosophy and the history of linguistics, I prefer to consider myself as a historian of ideas with a special focus on Central and Eastern Europe. You can take a peak at my work and my formal CV on my academia profile: cuni.academia.edu/PatrickFlack

I am still very much a newcomer to the digital humanities and discovering with a growing sense of awe the possibilities that are opening up right under my nose. The perspective that with sdvig press we could have reasonable shot at creating a tool that all at once enables us to publish and translate large corpora without excessive financial burden, to create a powerful online database that would enable a much more efficient, exhaustive and rigorous approach to the texts, to setup an entry point for communities of researchers on our favorite themes, give much greater visibility to the field of Eastern and Central European Studies and, miracles of miracles, funnel some money back directly into research, well… I find that rather exciting.

In case you were wondering, I am originally from Geneva, Switzerland. I have been living alternatively in Berlin and Prague for the last ten years, Prague and particularly the borough of Žižkov being home right now. On most days you will find me sitting at the top of the Klementinum (the Czech National Library) right next to Charles Bridge and (mentally) swearing at Russian tourist guides who insist on using Soviet-style megaphones whilst shepherding their customers through the library’s courtyard.


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