Palacký University

Research

Moravia and the World

The Philosophical Faculty of Palacký University has a long tradition in researching the cultural history of Moravia. This is a natural consequence of the role that Olomouc has played in this historical region.

At present, the Philosophical Faculty is the recipient of the institutional research grant “Moravia and the World – Art in the open multicultural space” (principal investigator Ladislav Daniel, 2007–2013), which is based on an interdisciplinary approach to long-unsolved, yet fundamental issues concerning the complex of artistic and cultural stimuli entering the Moravian space for more than a thousand years, from European centres and the whole world. The research also reflects the aspect of the multicultural space of Moravia in the coexistence of Czech, German, Latin and Jewish art and culture with a number of other European and world artistic and cultural ingredients. The project brings together dozens of researchers from five departments of the faculty. Currently, the project’s results include seven monographs (in Czech, German and Italian) and a number of articles published in the Czech Republic and abroad (for example in Österreichische Zeitschrift für Kunst und Denkmalpflege, Ars, Arte Cristiana). The research plan is followed by individual researchers in sub-sections of the research with smaller grant projects, such as J. Zapletalová and her projects for the Czech Science Foundation, dedicated to the activity of Italian artists in Moravia.

One of the most important outcomes of the research plan is the participation by the members of the team on a three-volume set of essays: The Olomouc Baroque – Visual Culture 1620–1780 [Olomoucké baroko – Výtvarná kultura 1620–1780], published from 2010 to 2011 by the Olomouc Museum of Art, on the occasion of a monumental exhibition of the same name. This research topic was motivated by the fact that the Baroque left the most distinctive traces on the character of history and visual arts in Olomouc. The research dealt with the quality and also with historic and social background of artistic life, especially the influence of the local arts patronage: after moving the provincial authorities to Brno, the loss of the political prestige of Olomouc was compensated by its ecclesiastical institutions (its Chapter, its Jesuit University, the Premonstratensians at Hradisko Monastery, and other numerous religious orders and their monasteries), the presence of the aristocracy and the military. The burgher culture was also examined. The research results show that handicrafts with their separate guilds of sculptors, painters and goldsmiths underwent the greatest flowering in the late 17th century. The exhibition documents the high level of guild production with fine products by town’s tinsmiths, gunsmiths and clockmakers. Another large publication project is The History of Olomouc [Dějiny Olomouce, 2009], created at the Department of History with the patronage of the City of Olomouc. The result of this ten-year effort is a splendidly produced two-volume work. More than sixty authors, under the guidance of senior editor Jindřich Schulz, worked on the book. It presents the history of Olomouc from prehistory to the present day, including the very latest scholarship.

The Department of Musicology is preparing a collective monograph entitled Music in Olomouc 1945–2010 [Hudba v Olomouci v letech 1945–2010]. The research maps the development of music culture in Olomouc after World War II to the present day. Its focus is on the development of music institutions, ensembles, companies, music education, the heritage of prominent figures in music, and the position of music at the university. Regionalistic music research has given birth to a number of monographs at the Department of Musicology (J. Sehnal: Pavel Vejvanovský and the Kroměříž music collection, P. Lyko: Die Orgel im Gebiet von Jeseník, Olomouc, Prostějov und Šumperk in den Jahren 1860-1960). Investigations by Jan Vičar, focused on Czech music and aesthetics, such as the monograph Imprints: Essays on Czech Music and Aesthetics, have a broader scope.

A grant project approved by the Czech Science Foundation, dedicated to the German music theatre in Olomouc in the 19th century, is on the border between musicology and theatre. The Department of Theatre, Film and Media Studies under the guidance of J. Štefanides deals with the history of the theatre in Olomouc and Moravia. The department has been mapping the coexistence of the German and Czech theatres from the earliest times to 1944, with a focus on the German theatre in Moravia, only little explored to-date. In a broader context, the research team deals with other influences, especially the influences of Polish, Slovak and Russian theatre in the area of Moravia, and annually organises an international Theatre Studies conference “O divadle na Moravě a ve Slezsku” [Theatre in Moravia and Silesia]. The team also publishes the book series Divadlo [Theatre], in which a comprehensive, three-volume work, Německojazyčné divadlo na Moravě a ve Slezsku / Deutschsprachiges Theater in Mähren und Schlesien [German-language Theatre in Moravia and Silesia], will appear. Theatrical life in Moravia and Silesia is also a subject for the Department of Romance Studies, which deals with the reception of French and Italian drama. Previous publications in this field have been followed by a monograph by M. Voždová, French Vaudeville: Genesis and Transformations of the Genre [Francouzský vaudeville: Geneze a proměny žánru, 2009].

The Department of German Studies is conducting extensive institutional research of the Moravian German-language literature and culture at their workplace “Arbeitsstelle für deutschmährische Literatur” [Centre for Moravian German Literature]. They are providing a counterweight to the research of the German literature of Prague, enriching the Austrian and German literary canon with new discoveries, and filling gaps in the memory of the Czech public of the common Czech-German history of their homeland. The research has been supported by many grants in the past, such as the Czech Science Foundation, the Czech-German Future Fund, AKTION Austria–Czech Republic, and Franz Werfel Scholarships for doctoral students engaged in the research. It is worth mentioning the extensive monographs Edice míšeňské právní knihy a její jazykový rozbor [The Edition of the Meissen Law Book and its Linguistic Analysis], Lexikon regionálních dějin literatury německého středověku na českém území [A Lexicon of the Regional History of the German Medieval Literature in the Czech Lands], and Koncepty moderny v moravské německé kultuře 1871-1939 [Concepts of Modernism in Moravian German Culture 1871-1939]. The Arbeitsstelle has published more than ten books concerning the history of German-language literature in Moravia, and it filled the entire annual volume of the peer-reviewed journal Brücken (18/2010) with essays on this topic. For its activities in the field of popularisation of German language and culture, the Arbeitsstelle was awarded in 2010 with the prestigious prize “Kulturpreis Deutsche Sprache”—German Language Culture Award—by the Society for the German Language and Eberhard-Schöck-Stiftung.

The Centre of Jewish Studies focuses on the study of Moravian Hebrew manuscripts. The research is part of the research project “Books within Books: Hebrew Fragments in European Libraries”, coordinated by the École pratique des hautes études in Paris. So far, the researchers form Olomouc have identified about a hundred fragments of Hebrew texts in Moravia, which are now deposited in the international database of the project. The members of the research team of the Centre of Jewish Studies presented the interim results of their work in July 2011 at the project workshop at Wolfson College, Oxford.

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Man and Society

The main research topic of the Department of Politics and European Studies is elections, electoral systems, election campaigns, political communication and electoral behaviour. The research teams under the guidance of Tomáš Lebeda and Pavel Šaradín have already realised a number of investigations in this area of the politic science. One of the most prominent is “Česká volební studie 2010” [Czech Election Study 2010]. It was conducted in cooperation with the Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and it investigated electoral behaviour in the Czech Republic. In its framework, a narrowly focused research on preferential voting was conducted: “Olomoucká volební studie 2010” [Olomouc Election Study 2010], dealing with the specific patterns of electoral behaviour in the Olomouc Region. Among the other investigations, there is in particular “Vliv médií na vytváření politických postojů a na volební chování české veřejnosti” [The Influence of the Media on the Formation of Political Positions and the Electoral Behaviour of the Czech Public]. Using a unique data set of all the declarations in the main news programmes of the three most prominent media over three years, this research tested the relations between the media image of politics in the news and the public opinion. Another project, “Vliv volebních kampaní na stranickou polarizaci v České republice” [The Influence of Election Campaigns on Partisan Polarisation in the Czech Republic] deals with the question as to what extent election campaigns and the rising negativism during election battles can contribute to increasing polarisation of the political parties, party elites and voters.

Another important line of research is represented by the activity in the area of European Studies, which resulted in works published in prominent scientific journals. The biggest success so far has been the monograph by Dan Marek and Michael Baun: The Czech Republic and the European Union (London–New York: Routledge, 2010), dealing with the relations between the Czech Republic and the European Union.

Political scientists closely cooperate with the Department of Sociology, Andragogy and Cultural Anthropology. For example, they worked together on the project “Proměny městských zastupitelstev v evropské perspektivě” [Changes of Municipal Councils in the European Perspective, Czech Science Foundation, 2008–2010]. The output of this project was the publication Zastupitelé českých měst a obcí v evropské perspektivě [Representatives of Czech Towns and Communities in the European Perspective. Prague: Sociologické nakladatelství, 2011] by Dan Ryšavý and Pavel Šaradín. It is the first Czech monograph working with international quantitative research, based on polling representatives of communities. The authors detail the profile of Czech local politicians, analyse the willingness of the members to stand for election again, deal with the political careers of the representatives, etc. The project team also contributes to publications in prominent social science journals, such as Local Government Studies, Lex Localis, Sociologický časopis [Czech Sociological Review], Contemporary European Studies, and more.

Among the important research fields in Sociology and Andragogy is the issue of lifestyle and social stratification, migration and the sociology of religion, in which both researchers and doctoral students are taking part in the work of the Department of Sociology of Religion at the Masaryk Czech Sociological Association. The most significant achievements of the researchers in recent years are focused on the history of andragogic philosophy. This topic covered the Czech part of the international project “Advocacies for frail and incompetent elderly in Europe” (VolkswagenStiftung, 2008–2010).

The Department of Applied Economics contributes with research in the field of virtual identities, teamwork in the virtual environment, and the use of the virtual environment in the area of Education.

The Department of Applied Linguistics deals with the issue of management of working groups. In 2009, the department took part in the organisation of the international conference “Leadership for Transformation” in Prague.

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Man, Culture and Media • Psychology

Matters of the media’s influence on democracy, society and popular culture are researched mostly by journalists. There is the Centre for Cultural, Media and Communication Studies at the Department of Journalism, which has been publishing the journal Culture-Media-Communication (Kultura–Média–Komunikace) since 2009. One result of their research is also The Dictionary of Media Theory (Slovník teorie médií, 2011), a lexicographic publication dealing with media theory, the development of the scientific reflection of media and the changes in scientific paradigms concerning the methodology of media research. Another long-term research topic is the journalism from the times of Czech “Normalisation” (post-1968) and journalism from Czechs in exile. One of the results of this interest is the department’s participation in the book A History of the Czech Media of the 20th Century (Dějiny českých médií 20. století), the first book on media history in the Czech Republic after the Velvet Revolution. Media research also includes some minor projects, e.g. “The History of Obraz národohospodářský Magazine 1896–1949”.

The Centre for Intercultural Studies, a prominent international and interdisciplinary institute, not only introduces the most significant world trends into the Czech sphere but has also received acclaim for its conferences (e.g. “Consumer Culture: Between Aesthetics, Social Distinction and Ecological Activism,” 2010), important monographs (Aesthetics at the Turn of the Millennium, 2011) and research projects (“Sociological Critique of Aesthetic Autonomy,” Czech Science Foundation, 2011–2013).

The Department of Psychology is dealing with current problems concerning family life and behaviour of youth, but also with the history of Czechoslovak psychology and with matters of qualitative research in the social sciences. One of the most important recent projects is a project entitled “Work and Family – Links Between Coping with the Work and Family Life and Life Satisfaction,” which is focusing on the functionality and resilience of families, on coping with stress in families and on the field of work motivation and stress. Another project, called “Biologic and Foster Family: The View of Adults Who Were Raised Outside Their Own Families” reflects changes in the foster family approach by researching the way adults raised in foster families look back on their upbringing and its subsequent importance in their lives. The project “Cyberbullying and its Psychosocial Consequences for College Students” (2011–2012) responds to a serious problem: cyberbullying. It records the ways of its manifestation and its most common psychological consequences. An informative web page was created for this topic and an international conference has been held on the subject by the department.

One of the projects was directly connected to research of the academic environment (“Personality of a Scientist”, 2010). Its goal was to look for personality traits relating to creativity of the representatives of various scientific fields. “The Conditions of Work of School Psychologists in the Olomouc and Moravian-Silesian Regions” was a project aimed at lower education levels.

A Manual for Traffic Psychology Testing in the field of traffic psychology (funded from a Ministry of Transport grant) has been written, and also the monograph Aggressivity on the Road, which contains analyses of the effects and impulses of “road rage”, including the possibilities of its diagnostics.

The Department of Psychology also deals with the matter of qualitative approach in research in the Social Sciences. Each year, international conferences are held on this topic and specialised publications are published. The qualitative approach is methodologically used by Olomouc psychologists in the research of risk behaviour, drug use, and in economic and managerial psychology. The Department of Psychology also contributed to the history of Czechoslovak psychology by their project “The Life and Work of Vladimír Tardy” (Czech Science Foundation, 2008–2010), which was concerned with the work of this prominent twentieth-century Czech psychologist and signatory of Charter 77. In his unique life story within the context of two waves of political repression, it is possible to track the complicated development of Czechoslovak psychology as a whole.

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The Legacy of Classical Antiquity in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

The Philosophical Faculty is a top research workplace, preparing Czech translations with commentary of basic works in Latin from Classical antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. This activity, formerly under the auspices of The Centre for Patristic, Medieval and Renaissance Texts (founded at the Sts Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology, 2005–2011), now has been transferred to the Centre for Renaissance Texts (OP EC project, 2012–2014), whose aim is to place the Renaissance research in Olomouc into an international research network. Four departments are cooperating on the project and it is also being supported by renowned international guests, such as P. R. Blum and E. Blum from Loyola University, USA and other significant experts. The results of these projects are a series of lectures, an international conference, workshops and annotated publications of classic works of philosophy and literature. Distinct themes in this line are the Classical tradition in Renaissance culture, reflections of Plotinus’s impact in the Renaissance, and the works of the Renaissance philosophers Francesco Patrizi and Georgios Gemistos Plethon. The project is also working on the first Latin–Czech electronic dictionary.

Among the most valuable editorial achievements in the field of Classical literature done by researchers from the Department of Classical Philology is the publication of a key work by Cicero on political science, De re publica/On the Commonwealth (Prague: OIKOMENH, 2010). Olomouc Latin philologists also took part in the translation of early Christian martyr texts (Stories of Early Christian Martyrs I, II. Prague: Vyšehrad 2009–2011). The monograph The Classical Tradition in the Latin Baroque Literature of the Czech Lands (2011) by Libor Kysučan is aimed at the seldom explored field of Latin Baroque Literature. It traces the adoption of Classical historical and mythological life and institutions, Classical literary theories, genres, forms and the presence of citations from Classical authors as well as aesthetic and philosophical philosophy. Also, the forms and ways of adoption and borrowing the Classical tradition are analysed as well as the cultural context of the entire process and the transformation of the perception of Classical antiquity in Baroque literature and culture in general.

The history of Classical antiquity’s legacy in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance is also studied at other departments. Jan Stejskal from the Department of History published a monograph, The Greek Legacy in the West. Monasticism, Missions and Central Europe in the Middle Ages, within the auspices of a project approved by the Czech Science Foundation. The aim of this work is the Classical Greek tradition, and especially Byzantine culture, in the European West, mainly in Italy. The Byzantine tradition influenced the development of monastic life, which is observed on the history of the Camaldolese order. The author is following this topic by preparing an annotated edition of the travel diary of the Humanistic monk and translator from Greek, Ambrogio Traversari.

The Middle Ages and Humanist periods are also being continually explored by Olomouc’s Romance Studies Department. It observes the forms of the Medieval and humanistic dialogue and it prepares the works of Italian humanists for publication in the Czech Republic and the USA. However, its main research topic is the literary and philosophical work of Francesco Petrarch. Jiří Špička in particular shows that this key poet was not just a lyricist, but also an influential philologist, a moral philosopher, and as well, an example of the authentic relationship between the intellectual and political power. The results of his research have been published in the most prestigious Romance Studies journals (Lettere italiane, Studi petrarcheschi, Italian Quarterly, and others). The monograph Petrarca: Homo Politicus (Prague: Argo, 2010) by Jiří Špička has been awarded the Premio Flaiano Internazionale prize in 2011 for the best Italian monograph in the world published outside Italy.

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Urban History • Historical Book Funds

Top international recognition has been credited to the Centre of Urban History under the Department of History, which was established as one of the main centres of the comparative historical research of urban structures and urban societies within the Czech Republic. The Centre closely cooperates with international academic workplaces, mainly with the Institut für vergleichende Städtegeschichte in Münster (Germany) and the Centre for Urban History (Great Britain).

Research in this field has been made with the help of several academic projects funded by the Czech Science Foundation, such as “Comparative Research of Urban Societies of East-Central Europe in the Early Modern Era” and “A List of the Literary Monuments of the Urban Historiography of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia before 1800.” For this project, an internet database of narrative sources of urban provenience in Moravia, which also contains dozens of editions of urban chronicles and memoirs has been established. The electronic database is currently continually being supplemented, but it is fully functional nevertheless, and can be found at the web address www.urbanhistoriography.cz. Within the projects in the field of urban history, a series of studies has been published in prestigious international journals (Austrian History Yearbook, Urban History, Parergon, Historický časopis) and several monographs have been published abroad as well as in the Czech Republic. Urban Societies in East-Central Europe, 1500 – 1700 (Aldershot–New York: Ashgate, 2008) by Jaroslav Miller, a specialised publication, was awarded as the best monograph in the field of urban history in 2008. An article by the same author, “Early Modern Urban Immigration in East-Central Europe: a Macroanalysis,” Austrian History Yearbook 36 (2005), 3–39, won the R. John Rath Prize for Best Article in Habsburg Studies, awarded by the Centre for Austrian Studies. As a prominent historian in the field of urban history, Jaroslav Miller was chosen as speaker for the prestigious The Masaryk Lecture 2012, which is annually held by the British–Czech and Slovak Commission of Historians and the Embassy of the Czech Republic in the United Kingdom. Another significant publication of the Centre for Urban History worth noting is the monograph Closed Society and Its Enemies: The City of East-Central Europe (1500–1700) (Prague: NLN, 2006), and Friars, Nobles and BurghersSermons, Images and Prints: Studies in Culture and Society in Early Modern Europe (New York–Budapest: CEU Press, 2010).

Part of the Modern Era culture research is the research of historical book funds, which were established mostly from the 17th century until the 19th century, and the reception of some foreign literatures in the Czech lands. Olomouc Romance scholars have made several research projects in the Archbishop’s Palace Library in Kroměříž, Czech Republic. The results of this research describe the characteristics and form an analysis of a set of French historical prints (mostly from the 17th century until the beginning of the 20th century) in the Archbishop’s Palace Library in the fields of “social science and other didactic literature” (history, political science, diplomacy and law, philosophy, ethics, linguistics, architecture and civil engineering), “popular contemporary genres” (lives, memoirs, letters and travels), “fiction” and “literature with spiritual themes”. These genres have been devoted attention in separate monographs published by the Palacký University Press, Olomouc in 2011–2012.

The Department of Dutch Studies has been researching the reception of Dutch and Flemish culture in Central Europe for the past decade. Among the most important projects is the mapping of the Dutch cultural heritage in Central Europe in the form of old prints of Dutch origin from the 16th to 18th century. An international project was launched in 2003, in cooperation with Dutch Studies students from Wrocław, Poland and from Charles University in Prague. The first phase of the project, between the years 2003–2009, focused on pilot studies of the academic research libraries in Brno, Olomouc, Prague and Wrocław. The results of this research were published in a collective monograph, Nederlandse oude drukken in Bohemen, Moravië en Silezië (1500–1800) / Netherlandish Old Prints in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia (1500–1800) (Wrocław: ATUT, 2010). Since 2010, the project has been continued by means of cataloguing and photo-copying old books of Netherlandish origin in the Clementinum Library (Prague), Academic Research Library (Olomouc) and the Biblioteka Uniwersytecka (Wrocław).

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Linguistics

In January 2012, the OP EC project entitled “Language Diversity and Communication” was begun. It brings together a team of linguists, lead by a renowned American linguist, Prof. Joseph E. Emonds. The collaboration among linguists with various specialisations contributes to a complex perception of the investigated phenomena from various perspectives (Generative Grammar, Psycholinguistics, Sociolinguistics, Cognitive Linguistics, Diachronic Studies, Corpus Linguistics, etc.).

In the same year, an interdisciplinary research project, “Linguistic and Lexicostatistic Analysis in Cooperation with Linguistics, Mathematics, Biology and Psychology”, was also launched. Olomouc researchers thus joined an international research network on the application of lexicostatistical methods in the fields of natural language development, psycholinguistic research, and biology. Methods for the psycholinguistic verification of mental representation of specific units selected for text segmentation will be developed in the course of the project. The lexicostatistical research will provide testing of texts written by patients with specific illnesses, and the results will be used to suggest a method of their prediction.

Further linguistic researches are focussed on the Czech language. A new Modern Czech Grammar is being written under the supervision of Oldřich Uličný in an OP EC project, with the participation of 30 authors from several Czech universities and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. The Department of Bohemian Studies is the organiser of important annual conferences, including the meeting of Czech paleoslavonic scholars and particularly the International Congress of Young Linguists (since 2001), regularly attended by more than 60 scholars from Poland, Slovenia, Hungary, and other countries. Themes in past years have been dedicated to the irregularity and ambiguity in non/verbal communication and its description, or to intercultural communication and linguistics. Since 2011, the congress has also hosted the national academic competition “Student and Science, Section: Linguistics”.

Since 2003, Petr Pořízka has led the continuous project “Olomouc Corpus of Spoken Czech”, focused on the collection and analysis of authentic language data from various dialectal regions of Bohemia and Moravia. A number of experts from various international academic institutions, such as universities in Bonn, Hamburg, and Mannheim, participate in the project. The partial results of the Corpus project include the development of a special transcription format called SVIFT and software tools (MorphCon, XML parser, etc.). A part of the project will be incorporated into the Czech National Corpus.

Since 2005, The Department of Bohemian Studies has been one of the three institutes participating in the project “Centre of the Research on the Development of Old and Medieval Czech (from Proto-Slavonic Roots to its Current State)” under the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic. This Centre coordinates systemic research in the area of Czech vocabulary development. Among the most acclaimed results were the monographs Localised Names in Czech Translations of the Old Testament (Místní jména v českých překladech Starého zákona, 2009) by Robert Dittmann and Miroslav Vepřek’s Czech Redaction of Old Church Slavonic in Terms of Lexical Analysis (Česká redakce církevní slovanštiny z hlediska lexikální analýzy, 2006).

Lexicographic research has also been conducted at the Department of Slavonic Studies, where the project Czech and Polish Centre for Lexicography was founded in 2012 and where the research team of Ludmila Stepanova, Alla Arkhanhelska, and Zdeňka Vychodilová has operated on a long-term basis. This team closely collaborates with the Phraseological Commission of the International Committee of Slavists, has broad international contacts, and participates in international research projects (e.g. a grant by the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation). Team members have published a dozen dictionaries (for instance, their Russian-Czech Phraseological Dictionary was highly acclaimed at the Moscow International Book Fair in 2010). The Romance scholar Jiří Černý prepared the Spanish-Czech Dictionary of Americanisms (Španělsko-český slovník amerikanismů, Vol. 1, 2012), where he addresses the trend of the polycentric concept of Spanish language norms and takes into consideration the Latin American variations of Spanish.

The Department of English and American Studies has been building their Translation and Interpreting section for several years, and since 2011 also organising the conference “Translation and Interpreting Forum Olomouc”. It has become a platform for discussion of current research in the area of translation and interpreting.

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Languages and Literatures of America, Asia, and Australia

Several teams at the Philosophical Faculty are working on projects concerned with the impact of cultural identity on cinematography and literature of various languages. The areas of research include, among others, the theme of authors writing in Spanish, French, and Portuguese with the focus on finding and defining their identity, and the theme of French authors writing outside their region or homeland and the reflection of contemporary political context in their work (researchers Daniel Nemrava, Zuzana Burianová and Marie Voždová).

Lenka Zajícová from the Department of Romance Philology has conducted a long-term study of indigenous Guaraní, one of the official languages in Paraguay. In her sociolinguistic research with 2600 respondents, she focused on the usage of its language, its instruction, and the development of its standardisation. The first result has been the monograph El bilingüismo paraguayo. Usos y actitudes hacia el guaraní y el castellano (2009), published by the publishing house Iberoamericana/Vervuert in the prestigious edition Lengua y Sociedad en el Mundo Hispánico. The sociolinguistic philological research of Jaromír Kadlec and Jan Holeš focuses on the non-metropolitan variants of French and on language policies in the bilingual and multilingual communities of Africa and Canada.

A few projects view the phenomenon of Czech exile from several perspectives. In the very first research ever conducted on this theme, Lenka Zajícová examines the community of Czech exiles in Paraguay and the assimilation their language has undergone. The history of Czech exile is also researched by the Centre for Czechoslovak Exile Studies at the Department of History. It is a documentary project whose purpose is to build an archive and a library of literature of exile; at the same time, the researchers are involved in other academic and research projects on the theme of exile, under the Czech Science Foundation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. In 2012, the project “Czech Exile in Australia and its culture, 1948–1989” was launched.

Olomouc scholars in American Studies have participated in an international project mapping the work of an Olomouc native, the American film director Edgar G. Ulmer. Professor Marcel Arbeit has established a strong tradition in studies of contemporary American Southern Literature and has been taking part in the international projects of the Center for the Study of the American South. An extraordinary achievement is the essay by Prof. Josef Jařab in the prestigious publication A New Literary History of America, one of the most globally used resources for the academic study of American literature. The Department of English and American Studies also organises important meetings of the Colloquium of American Studies, attended by prominent authors, contributing to the great reception of Colloquium publications abroad.

The Department of Asian Studies is examining the cultural and social anthropology of East Asia. Since 2006, this has also been expressed in the theme of their annual international thematic interdisciplinary conferences (The “Disadvantaged” in South and East Asia; Integration of East Asian Minorities in the Czech Republic; etc.). Since 2011, the department has been publishing their academic journal Far East, offering space for publication ranging from the research of classical Asian cultures to the current social and political situations. As for applied research, the department specialises in writing textbooks. Under the supervision of David Uher, A Textbook of Chinese Conversation was published, a unique project in the Czech context, later followed by further specialised handbooks on Business Chinese.

Empirical research conducted directly in Japan resulted in the publication of an original monograph by Ivona Barešová and Halina Zawiszová, The Spoken Language of Contemporary Japanese Youth (Současná hovorová řeč mladých Japonců, 2012). Philosophical Faculty researchers have also been active in the general theory of literature, especially Narratology, which is not related to a specific language. The last outcomes of this endeavour have been Jiří Hrabal’s Focalization: An Analysis of a Narratological Category (Fokalizace. Analýza naratologické kategorie, 2011) and a collective monograph, The Unreliable Narrator (Nespolehlivý vypravěč, 2012).

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Last update: 17. 01. 2014, Daniel Agnew