Drago Rotar (born in Sarajevo in 1942) is Professor at the University of Koper, Slovenia, at the Faculty of Humanities, since 2006. After graduating in History of Art and Archaeology, in 1975 he received a PhD in Sociology from the University of Ljubljana, where he taught from 1970 until 2006. He has been Visiting Professor at the EPHE and the EHESS, Paris. In 1985-1987, he was the initiator and principal leader of the publishing house Studia humanitatis, publishing basic works in humanities and social sciences. Between 1988 and 1990, he was Dean of the Department of Sociology at the Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana. He founded the research centre Institutum studiorum humanitatis(Graduate School of the Humanities); from 1995 until 2003, he was Dean of the ISH – Ljubljana, and cooperated with EHESS (Centre de recherches historiques, Centre Louis-Gernet de recherches comparées sur les sociétés anciennes).
The principal objects of the proposed research are currents of cultural exchanges between Central Europe and France in second half of 19th century and first decades of the 20th century. That is the final period of Biedermaier after 1848 and also the period of the “cultural explosion” in Vienna – until its decline between 1910 and 1920. This timeframe in France corresponds to the Second Empire with its specific features on the one hand and with complex developments of the Third Republic (la Belle Époque) on the other hand. The starting point is the fact that in every symbolical circulation, more or less important losses and transformations are produced. But they are produced neither by a coincidence of personal qualities of agents nor by technical difficulties, they are consequences of a defence system, which has for its goal the maintenance of cultural environments outside the reach of overly violent attacks. Some of these techniques/skills are rather well known (adaptations, remakings in perspective of local reception, simplifications, selections, orientational interpretations). To my knowledge, they belong for the most part to the strategies of defence intended (spontaneously or not) for the preservation of the status quo in milieus exposed to the imperative cultural imports. It is obvious that nothing happens without social interests and social enjeux, concerning struggles for control over people and values and for social hierarchies. To detect these topics and analyse them is the purpose of my research.Key words: Central Europe, France, monarchism, republicanism, stasis, cultural exchanges, adaptations, Belle Époque.