John Neubauer, born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1933. Ph.D. from Northwestern University, Evanston. Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Amsterdam. († 2015)
Fellow (1 September 1999 – 30 June 2000)
On a personal level, the original plan that I submitted for my research had to be revised, because of the increased responsibility I came to assume within the project. At the time of my application I was one of the five-member Editorial Board. In the course of the NIAS year Marcel Cornis-Pope and myself gradually took over the leadership of the project, which meant that we had to spend much more time on the final conceptualisation and the general organisation of the project than originally planned. As a recognition of our work, the editorial structure of the project was radically changed: Marcel and myself are now the to sole editors.
The work accomplished is not less, but different from what was planned. In short:
much more of my time had to be spent on recruiting, advising, and supervising the team of contributors and editing their submissions;
the core of my research and writing shifted from a section (Section II: Institutional and Generic Modes) to the central issues and problems of the project.
Concerning the first point: it was mostly due to my recruiting efforts that the original team of about thirty-five contributors rose by the end of the year to about eighty-five. By the time of our concluding conference about 70% of these contributors submitted their pieces, sometimes already in revised form.
Concerning the second point: the material for the originally proposed essay on the Literary Histories in East-Central Europe is now collected and largely integrated; my second topic, Literature and the Schools, has been shelved, however; instead I wrote a lengthy introductory essay for the volume as a whole and an important Introduction to the section on Institutional Nodes. In the former I give historical and theoretical reasons for chosing East-Central Europe as our geographical term, and I present and defend our chosen methodology, in the latter I develop a general scheme for what I call the nineteenth-century projects on national literature.
In addition to my work on the project I have completed four articles and I have edited an issue of the comparatist journal Arcadia, of which I am the editor, together with Prof. Jürgen Wertheimer (U. of Tübingen).