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Seminarreihe des Arbeitsbereichs Ökonomie am IOS

Zeit: Dienstag, 13.30–15.00 Uhr
Ort: Leibniz-Institut für Ost-und Südosteuropaforschung (IOS); vorerst online via Zoom, Link wird mit den Einladungen verschickt!

Forschungslabor: „Geschichte und Sozialanthropologie Südost‐ und Osteuropas“

Zeit: Donnerstag, 14–16 Uhr (Lehrstuhl) oder 16–18 Uhr (Graduiertenschule und Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus)
Ort: WiOS, Landshuter Str. 4 (Raum 017)

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Donauwörth – Zurich – Aarau – Kazan’: Dissatisfaction with Life as a Reason for Migration? The Case of Franz Xaver Bronner

Researcher: Hermann Beyer-Thoma

In 1809 the former Benedictinian monk Franz Xaver Bronner (1758–1850) from the Bavarian borough of Höchstädt successfully applied for the tenure of Physics at the newly founded University of Kazan’ in Russia. Past him was a life of successive flights and permanent wandering, starting from a monastery in the Imperial city of Donauwörth and extending to Basel, Zurich, and Berne; some happy years as a poet of idylls and writer of memoirs, followed by stormy years as a high official of the revolutionary Helvetian Republic and as a revolutionary himself, which aborted in a sort of exile as an educator and teacher in the capital town of the newly founded Swiss canton Aargau.

Sources used: Bronner’s biography is very well documented, inter alia by an extensive, three-volume autobiography extending to the middle of the 1790ies and by a huge personal archive focusing on the decision to go to Kazan and on the voyage there. The papers also contain a lot of historical writings which tell about personal experiences.

Methodology: A transdisciplinary conspectus of the economic, sociological, psychological and historical methodologies of migration research, often cross-referencing with one another, is being used. The converge in the systemic method.

Research interest: The decision to migrate made by an individual shall exemplarily be reconstructed. The various methodologies used allow to widen the horizon of questions, ranging e.g. from positive experiences with migration and flight as a problem solver over the question how long a decision to migrate is latent to the complex interrelation of, on the one hand, personal aims and ideals and social norms, and, on the other hand, the perception of restrictions and chances in real life.

Provisional results: The systemic approach in combination with the transdisciplinary methodology produce more deepened insights in the motives of migration. The suggestion that there are substantial unspoken and even concealed reasons to migrate, sometimes forwarded by psychologists, cannot be validated with a man who was used to write and to reflect his life.