Vladimir Bubrin and Vinko Grubišić are the editors of the Journal of Croatian Studies, the English language annual publication of the Croatian Academy of America covering topics in the domain of the humanities and societal issues. The journal was launched in 1960 by Croatian intellectual émigrés in the United States of America.
The jubilee 50th volume of the Journal of Croatian Studies, the annual publication of the Croatian Academy of America, was recently received by the Croatian Heritage Foundation. The wealth of scholarly content is edited by Canadian Croatians Vladimir Bubrin PhD and Vinko Grubišić PhD. This unique English language scholarly journal treating topics in the domain of the humanities and societal issues was launched in 1960 by Croatian intellectual émigrés in the United States of America during a time when the world was divided along Cold War lines. Having for decades maintained an enviably respectable level of academic excellence the journal has ensured a sustained rhythm of volume releases to this day in spite of the changes in circumstances that have seen the resolution of the “Croatian question” both in émigré circles in the West and in the land of origin following the fall of communism in Europe and the birth of an independent Croatia. The period saw most of the émigré periodicals shut down, with editors of a dissident bent either moving back to Croatia in the wake of the first multi-party elections, held in 1990, or relinquishing to the institutions and publishers of the nascent Croatian state the critical, and financially demanding, role of communicating through foreign language journals and magazines. The latter has yet to come to fruition. Notwithstanding, the Journal of Croatian Studies and its publisher the Croatian Academy of America have with firmness of purpose survived these societal transformations, staying true to the original mission as laid out by charismatic editors Karlo Mirth and Jere (Jerome) Jareb, inspired by the visionary objective to have scholarly papers written in the English language appear on the global academic stage, with the role of the journal in the information age proving to be of even greater significance in the affirmation of contemporary Croatian history, culture and distinct societal character in the international community of nations. It is, then, logical that the fiftieth issue of the journal is dedicated to the legendary president of the Croatian Academy of America Karlo Mirth (Otočac, 15 July 1917 – Farmington, 21 December 2013) whose many decades of work as editor and publicist with this serial publication undoubtably earned it a privileged place in the Croatian cultural history of the twentieth and early twenty-first century. The online edition of the JCS is available at the Philosophy Documentation Center (follow the link: https://www.pdcnet.org/jcroatstud/Journal-of-Croatian-Studies).
An encouraging reflection on this serial publication is offered in the introduction to the jubilee volume by the current president of the Croatian Academy of America John P. Kraljic. On the pages of the JCS we meet prominent figures in our diaspora communities and from the homeland, joined by numerous foreign pundits. The entire journal series presents a profusion of excellent texts on Croatian history, art, culture and science, with intriguing sociological, political science, religious, legal, economic and linguistic analyses. The journal is well read in all the major public and university libraries, including Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Berkeley, Toronto, London, Melbourne, Sydney and Zagreb.
The contents of the fiftieth volume of the JCS offers four original scientific papers by authors in Croatia and Canada and eleven reviews of recent Croatian literary production in multiple domains of the humanities and the arts penned by PhD level authors from Croatia, the USA, Canada and Australia, including Ellen Elias-Bursać, Marko Vrančić, Vinko Grubišić, Marijan Gubić, Mishka Góra, Jelena Šesnić, Mirna Čudić Žgela, Andriana Ciprić and Ivo Šoljan. The journal ends with two biographical bibliographies that lay out the immeasurable cultural, scientific and specialist contributions of Croatian-American authors that lived half a century in the USA: historian Jure George Prpić (1920–2009) and publisher/publicist Karlo Mirth, compiled by John Miletić, Josip Turkalj and John P. Kraljic. Along with these touching demonstrations of piety to those who passed away as émigrés, readers will also discover a true lexicographical fountain in eleven obituaries of prominent Croatians, members of the Croatian Academy of America, who achieved academic careers of note in the diaspora: Branko Franolić, Joseph T. Bombelles, Ivan Tuškan, Častimir Majić, Josip Gjuran, Anne L. Pavlich, Fedor Maestro Kabalin, Vinko Kužina, Vlado Petranović, Bruno Kolega and Jere (Jerome) Jareb.
The first one hundred pages of this volume (pp. 10–110) of the journal are dedicated to a paper by leading Croatian philologist Stjepan Damjanović and Zorislav Lukić of Zagreb about Matrix Croatica, our oldest culture institution, in the period from 1842 to 2017. The five-part paper showcases the achievement of Matrix Croatica, and the multiple instances in the twentieth century in which attempts were made to quash the activities of this Croatian culture institution, which only further emboldened our intellectuals in promoting creative freedoms. The two authors highlight the key figures in the membership of Matrix Croatica over the past 175 years. From the mid-twentieth century Matrix Croatica began establishing local chapters, some of which published their own magazines/reviews (Mogućnosti/”Opportunities” in Split; Riječka revija/”The Rijeka Review” and Dometi/”Achievements” in Rijeka; Zadarska revija/”The Zadar Rreview” in Zadar; Dubrovnik in Dubrovnik; Revija/”The Review” in Osijek; Svjetlo/”Light” in Karlovac and others). Matrix Croatica also publishes its own bimonthly Vijenac society, culture, arts and science magazine, now in its third series, and the literary and academic magazine Kolo. Since the 1960s Matrix Croatica has been publishing editions of the “Five Centuries of Croatian Literature” series. In short, the Matrix Croatica and its various chapters have published several thousand books, and some twenty serial publications cited at the end of the paper.
Linguist Tomislav Galović writes of the distinct nature of Croatian culture in the early medieval period in relation to neighbouring regions and Europe as a whole as characterised by the use of three literary standards and three writing systems (scripts). This refers to the use of three languages: Croatian, medieval Latin and Old (Church) Slavonic, and the use of three scripts: Latin, Glagolitic and Cyrillic across the Croatian social and political landscape.
Cvijeta Pavlović writes of the concept of sleep in our literary and cultural history, focusing on Renaissance writer Petar Zoranić, celebrated as the first Croatian novelist. Srebrenka Bogović, an art historian and long-time resident of the Canadian city of Toronto, writes of the Croatian Apoxyomenos, one of the rare preserved ancient statutes that once graced ancient Greek shrines and athletic facilities. The statue was raised from the seabed off the islet of Vele Orjule in 1999 and is now, following comprehensive conservation-restoration work, exhibited in a unique museum on the nearby island of Lošinj with this statue as its only exhibit. Assisting the editors with the graphic design of this volume of the journal were Sonja Pastuović and Katia Grubisic. The jubilee fiftieth volume, although published recently, is in fact the 2018 volume: the late publication date is due to the lack of funding perennially impacting this publication.
Editors Vladimir Bubrin and Vinko Grubišić, both from Canada, are eminent and long-standing members of the CAA with respectable careers of their own. For their work on the previous volume of the JCS this editorial duo received the Croatian Writers’ Association Davidias Prize and, judging by the excellent content of the jubilee volume the continued recognition of readers and the specialist community is to be expected. Vinko Grubišić is a writer and emeritus professor with the University of Waterloo. An expert in the fields of Slavic and Croatian studies, comparative literature and Latin studies, he has published a number of books and papers in Croatian linguistics, literature and has translated from multiple languages into Croatian and from Croatian into English. The polyglot publicist and translator Vladimir Bubrin earned his doctorate at the University of Toronto’s department of Slavic languages and literatures and has seen his work published in respected American Slavic studies journals. He has translated a number of Croatian books into English. Both have, along with their family and professional duties and activities in the folds of parish communities, always found time to work and campaign in the Croatian diaspora communities in Canada and America to the benefit of the Croatian people and the Croatian homeland, for which we sincerely thank them.
The president of the Croatian Academy of America, the publisher of the JCS, is John P. Kraljic. The CAA was founded in New York in 1953. Other members of the leadership include vice president Michael Young, executive secretary Mladen Lolich, treasurer Emily Erceg, recorder Dr Maria Tuskan, and Suzanne Grimm of the committee of control.
The members of the executive council are: Dr Aida Vidan (Cambridge, Massachusetts), Dr Zlatko Bacic (West Windsor, New Jersey), Denis Butkovic (Morganville, New Jersey), Dr Ante Čuvalo (Ljubuški, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Chicago), Dr Marija Dalbello (New Brunswick, New Jersey), Dr Mia Mestrovic Deyrup (Glen Rock, New Jersey), Dr Vinko Grubišić (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada), Vesna Juresko Herman (Westport, Connecticut), Mladen Lolich (Hicksville, New York), Vedran Joseph Nazor (Riverdale, NY), Anne Pavlich (Bethesda, Maryland), Dr Maria Kroeker-Tuskan (Cincinnati, Ohio), and Lillian Zakarija (Chicago, Illinois).
By: Vesna Kukavica