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„Wir — die Kinder des odsun“ LENKA ŘEZNÍKOVÁ Kniha Václava Smyčky zpracovává obtížné a stále do jisté míry kontroverzní téma poválečného odsunu Němců,...
Všichni mluví, ale je to tak nějak jedno JIŘÍ JELÍNEK Jak hovořit o historické próze ve světě, který (oprávněně) zpochybnil možnost objektivního poznání historie a...
Podnětná výzva teorii i interpretaci VERONIKA KOŠNAROVÁ Jako sedmý svazek edice Theoretica & historica, vydávané Ústavem pro českou literaturu AV ČR, vyšla...

Projects under way

The autonomization of Czech art: how the process unfolded in the critical reception of 1860s-1880s literary, artistic and musical output (M. Hrdina, M. Fránek, M. Charypar, L. Futtera, E. Bendová, J. Kopecký, Czech Science Foundation 2020–2022)

The main aim of this research is to illustrate how the Czech artistic sphere became increasingly independent from the 1860s to the 1880s. This interdisciplinary-based project will follow the process in the critical reflections of contemporary Czech literature, art and music – not only in traditionally excerpted newspapers and journals, but also in neglected areas on the cultural periphery. The authors of this research will focus on the argument over the position of artists in society and identify the works that inspired the debates and helped to raise awareness of the autonomy of art. Findings from individual areas of criticism will be compared in the primary research output – a monograph mapping out the course of the Czech version of the negotiations over the freedom of artistic creativity. The project also includes an interdisciplinary colloquium, whose participants will examine the issue under review from a supranational perspective within the historical context of the emergence of modern schools of art.


Semantics and Intonation of Early 20th Century Czech Verse (R. Kolár, P. Plecháč, J. Volín, T. Bořil, Kseniia Tverianovich, Artjoms Šela, Czech Science Foundation 2020–2022)

This project focuses on early 20th century Czech poetry, and deals specifically with poets classified as post-symbolists (K. Toman, V. Dyk, F. Šrámek a F. Gellner). The project will analyze the verse semantics of these authors’ texts together with the intonation of read-aloud performances. Verse semantics will be studied using the method of topic-modelling, accompanied throughout by close consideration of individual texts, namely their history and specific context. Verse intonation will be analyzed experimentally on a corpus of speech recordings compiled for this project. Modern statistical methods will be used. The project is supported by the collaboration with prominent local and international colleagues (the Institute of Phonetics at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University; university departments in St. Petersburg and Tartu).


The life of One Novel: Ludvík Vaculík's Český snář (Czech Dream Book) within Literary Communication (Petr Šámal; Michal Kosák, Daniela Iwashita a Hana Kosáková, Czech Science Foundation 2020–2022)

In this project, the way in which unofficial literary communication functioned in the 1970s and 1980s will be studied through the example of Ludvík Vaculík’s novel Český snář. Through an indepth study analyzing the genesis and social “life” of a single work, this project will contribute to knowledge of the forms of existence of a specific circle of writers and will cover the questions that lie at the center of attention within current research into the literary samizdat (the shapes of literary exchange, transnationality, and materiality, among other research). The main outputs will be: (1) a critical annotated edition of the novel Český snář accompanied digital application; (2) a monograph that situates this novel within a variety of historical, cultural, and literary contexts and interprets it with a view to the circumstances of its production; (3) a series of studies expounding on broader issues within the literary samizdat against the backdrop of a particular work.


Czech Popular Literature 1918-1939 in Outline: Works and Contexts (Pavel Kořínek; Pavel Janáček, Michal Jareš, Stefan Segi, Markéta Ř. Holanová, Czech Science Foundation 2020–2022)

Despite the existence of other excursions into individual texts, book series, areas, or (sub) genres, domestic literary studies lack, to date, even a perfunctory treatise on Czech popular literature from the 1918–1939 period. The goal of the collective monograph that will be the main output from the project, is to offer the first steps towards a future synthesis. Inspired by the reader-friendly yet meticulously researched and relevant “handbooks” and “companions” available in the English-speaking world, it will provide general, summarizing, and topic-oriented introduction to the field and interpretive case studies built up from the perspective of single work. Czech popular literature – and its texts – will be viewed here in a variety of contexts and relationships: within the coordinates of genre, of translation and cultural transfer, of mediality, and of materiality. The monograph will be supplemented by articles in academic journals, a colloquium, and teaching materials.


Original Czech Protectorate-Era Radio Plays as Autonomization Projects (Lenka Jungmannová, Czech Science Foundation 2020–2022)

This project takes as its subject an important phenomenon of Protectorate culture—original Czech radio plays, which bolstered the national self-conscience and were also crucial in the development of radio plays as a genre. From a literary-historical perspective, the applicant will analyze these original plays in the historical context of their original broadcasting, describe their autonomization tendencies, and draw connections to radio play and production theory.


Global Trajectories of Czech Literature since 1945 (Ondřej Vimr, Czech Science Foundation 2020–2022)

By combining large-scale Big Data informed analysis and qualitative methods of translation sociology and history, this project aims to map the global circulation of Czech literature in book form since 1945. To analyse literary flows, we will develop concepts of translation channels and individual trajectories and challenge the binary opposition of official vs. non-official Czech literature during the Cold War era. We will propose a more balanced, dynamic and multi-layered model that will account for individual experiences and decisions as well as the diversity of Czech literature and its international circulation patterns in turbulent post-WWII Europe, including the Cold War, the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, globalisation and the ongoing European integration. Qualitative studies will explore the links between "distant reading" and agency-based or text-based analyses of translation. This project will provide a new and comprehensive understanding of the recent history of Czech literature in translation and explore innovative methods of investigating global literary flows and systems.


Czech Literary Bibliography (2020–2022)

The Czech Literary Bibliography is a basic research infrastructure for Czech literary studies and associated humanities disciplines. Its objective on an ongoing basis is to process, edit, update and present online a unique set of bibliographical and other knowledge databases, consistently mapping out literary activities and literary studies in the Czech lands and the circulation of Czech literature abroad from the origins of the National Revival to the most recent present-day events, regardless of language, format and medium. All CLB data is free online, at the disposal of all users in open access mode via the internet. CLB activities today go far beyond elementary database processing. They also include a very broad portfolio of activities extending from development and adaptation of software tools presenting and analysing bibliographical data, and its own research whether bibliographical, or involving research into digital humanities and in recently established bibliographical data science, as well as other forms of scholarly communication (publication, organization of lectures and workshops and so forth), tuition and tutorials for students, particularly at universities, digitization (particularly card index digitization) and PR activities and interaction with user communities.


Transformations of Narrative Modes in Czech Fiction I (Alice Jedličková; Jiří Koten, Pavel Šidák, Stanislava Fedrová, Zdeněk Hrbata, Kateřina Piorecká, Michal Charypar, Daniel Kubec, Zuzana Fonioková, Czech Science Foundation 2018–2020)

The project represents the first phase of a plan to create a methodologic basis for systematic diachronic research of poetics of fiction. The devised method draws on current knowledge of international narratology and combines it with the Czech model of historical poetics. Its innovative traits consist in analyzing a set of parameters of narrative in a diachronic perspective and evaluating their developmental validity. The aim is to outline a trajectory of Czech narrative fiction from the 1830s to the 1880s. The delimitation of the period results from the presumption that due to the competition of representational functions of narrative, there is a salient dynamics between explicit representation and suppression of narrative mediation. Diachronic application of narrative systematics means filling in a persistent gap in international narratology while providing an image of artistic development complementary to the current Czech literary research. The output will be a collective monograph presenting a synthesis of the trends, structured according to the individual narrative modes.


Literature under the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (1939-1945) (Pavel Janoušek, Czech Science Foundation 2018–2020)

Collective literary-historical work dedicated to literary life and literary production on the territory of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in 19391945, that is, in the period when the political and cultural life in the Czech lands was defined by German occupation and the World War. The research focuses on the newly emerging Czech literature in the region known as the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Attention will also be paid to Czech exile literature, as well as Czech German and German literature, which is related to this area. An important part of the research is the analysis of the period literary life and more general circumstances influencing not only the literary production and publication, but also its reception, including the so called secondary life of literature in the theatre, radio or film. 


READ-IT (2018-2021)

READ-IT (Reading Europe Advanced Data Investigation Tool) is a transnational, interdisciplinary R D project funded by the Joint Programming Initiative for Cultural Heritage that will build a unique large-scale, user-friendly, open access, semantically-enriched investigation tool to identify and share groundbreaking evidence about 18th-21st century Cultural Heritage of reading in Europe.


INDIHU - development of the tools and infrastructure for the digital humanities (2017–2021)

The main goal of the project is to develop the tools and necessary infrastructure for the digital humanities, such as software for the virtual exhibitions, virtual knowledge register, online accessible OCR interface and central database solution.


Czech Literary Internet: data, analysis, research (2017–2021)

This project aims to research Czech literature on the internet and to create a primary information infrastructure for this dynamically growing field. The project will be dealt with along three basic key-activity axes, i.e. (a) compiling an analytical bibliography of the Czech literary internet; (b) developing software tools for analysing this data; (c) scholarly research into this material with the stress on the relationship between literature and new media, as well as on the internet and readership.


The origins of modern-era literary criticism in the Czech lands 1770–1805 (D. Dobiáš, V. Petrbok, O. Podavka, V. Smyčka, Czech Science Foundation 2017–2019)

The project aims to examine in a collective monograph and four studies the supranational origins of modern-era literary criticism in the Czech lands between 1770 and 1805 as a key factor in the creation of Czech literature. The project places the crystallizing institution of literary criticism within the broader framework of internally disparate Enlightenment criticism, thus charting the canonization of Czech literature as polyvalent, conflictual process involving the new funcionalization of the Czech cultural heritage in the light of contemporary far-reaching changes in collective identities in Europe. The project is based on German-Czech studies, which highlighted, together with the relation of the period German- and Czech-language literature in the Czech lands, the importance of contemporary sociocultural processes for the future development of the Habsburg Empire and Europe. Therefore, it also presents the subject of Enlightenment era Czech criticism as a contribution to the ongoing discussion on the role of the Enlightenment in the intellectual history of Europe.


Stylometric Analysis of Poetic Texts (Petr Plecháč; Robert Kolár, David Birnbaum, Klemens Bobenhausen, Benjamin Hammerich, Artjoms Šela, Michal Kosák, Czech Science Foundation 2017–2019)

The project is focused on possibilities of authorship attribution of poetic texts based on extensive set of rhythmical characteristics. It aims (1) to develop a reliable model for authorship attribution of Czech poetic texts, (2) to analyze selected Czech poetic texts whose authorship is unknown or has been doubted, (3) to examine the possibilities of how stylometric analysis of verse may be used in research on literary history (e.g. periodization, other authors' influence), (4) to examine (in cooperation with foreign experts) the possibilities of analogous models in Russian, English, and German poetry.


From the source towards the edition. Making access to selected representative archive funds of the Czech literature and their application for editing (J. Flaišman, L. Kořínková, M. Kosák, J. Říha, MK ČR 2016–2020)

This project has two major aims. First, processing and giving internet access to a representative compilation of literary archive funds (writers of the 19th and 20th century). Second, establishing a department which will continuously carry out and publish digitalised copies of important archives. This department aimed to closely cooperate with a specialised textologic team and on the basis of a newly developed communication platform and procedures proved during the creation of the project will guarantee a continuous supply of support materials in order to ensure preparation of volumes of the Critical hybride edition. Apart from giving access to an important part of unique cultural values to wide public interested in them (especially through websites and, the project will also considerably enhance scientific editorial preparation of the key literary texts and collections. Before the process of digitalisation of each archive item, its state will be examined. Damaged items or parts of collections will be put into programmes focusing on treatments such as deacification or restoration of the paper materials. One of the key outputs of the project will be a certified set of procedures regulating classification and description of archives of the Czech literature of the given period. It will also give an insight to the process of preparation of the sources necessary to give editorial access to the priority parts of archives (mainly correspondence and manuscripts). A new software will be developed as a part of  the project in order to enable a mutual communication and exchange of data between the archiving and textological departments. Another software application will deal with the process of preparation of critical electronic editions. There will be completed within the project two editions of this kind and  four scientific research articles covering the up-to-date state of the topic and continuously presenting results of the project.


Hybrid Scholarly Edition of Karel Hynek Mácha´s Máj (M. Charypar, J. Flaišman, M. Kosák, P. Píša, Czech Science Foundation 2016–2019)

The objective is to create a new critical edition of Karel Hynek Mácha´s poem Máj, a key work in modern Czech literature, as part of the Hybrid Scholarly Edition series (i.e. a reader’s book edition + a scholarly electronic edition) and to improve the methodology for this series. This is based on examination of the history of the poem’s text, primarily the manuscript of Máj, which the last critical edition (in 1959) did not undertake, as it was based on an old facsimile. The manuscript needs to undergo paleographic analysis for the crossed-out text to be deciphered, for the origins and purpose of the text to be determined, and for editological relevance of the manuscript to be considered. Commentaries and separate studies will provide fresh information on the so-called Náčrt Máje (Draught of Máj), Mácha’s language, Prague publishing practice at that time and the editorial history of Mácha’s text, carrying on an interrupted research line that is of fundamental importance for the development of Czech textology. The electronic edition will include complete editorial documentation.


Literary Communication in the Light of "Medium" (Richard Müller; Tomáš Chudý, Josef Šebek, Pavel Šidák, Alice Jedličková, Stanislava Fedrová, Josef Vojvodík, Miroslav Petříček, Martin Ritter, Czech Science Foundation 2016–2018)

The project aims to to clarify the position and stratification of the medium concept in literary theory. The first step is a mapping of the absence of the medium concept in the older philosophical conceptions of communication and representation since the early modern to the end of the 19th century. Next, the significance of the implicit presence of the medium concept in the semiotics of literature and culture or deconstructionist philosophy will be assessed, where notions of communication, representation and meaning play a key role (Mukařovský, Derrida, Lotman). With this reconstruction in mind, those 20th century theories will be interrelated that connect literature with media explicitly, integrating various media in larger social and cultural frameworks (Benjamin, Williams, Luhmann, Mersch). The project will also explain the transformation of fundamental categories of literary analysis (time, space, fictionality) in the intermedial perspective. Our goal is to develop a comprehensive, historically qualified medial theory of literature. The main result: a collective monograph.


The Encyclopaedia of Czech Samizdat I – Literary Samizdat (Michal Přibáň, Czech Science Foundation 2015–2019)

The aim of the project is to create an Encyclopedia of Czech Literary Samizdat as a first step towards a general Encyclopedia of Czech Samizdat. By means of individual entries, the authors intend to map and characterize both fundamental and marginal samizdat editions, journals, periodicals and anthologies, as well as to introduce key figures who helped create and maintain the samizdat subculture. The core of the list of entries is from the period 1948-1989, although many entries will refer to a wider context, overlapping the main period and pointing out connections between Czech samizdat and similar activities in the Central Europe of the time; in justified cases they also cross the border from samizdat towards independent culture in general.


Scholarly Editing: From Plan to Publication (J. Flaišman, M. Kosák, Czech Science Foundation 2014–2018)

The proposed project is oriented to problems of method in editorial work. The topics that will be considered include the attributing of works to a given period or authorship, imprimatur and censorship, choice of primary text, editorial practice, types of edition, all in connection with conceptions, as represented by the manuals Editor a text (1971) and Textologie (1993), with of course the changed perspective after developments in thinking about textual criticism in the Czech Republic and also in contact with the concept of genetic criticism and theories that consider the social functions of the text. The subject of analysis will be the material of P. Bezruč’s Songs of Silesia, chosen for the demands it places on textual criticism and the opportunity to juxtapose it with the approaches of the chief representatives of the Czech tradition of scholarly editing. The result of the project will be a well-arranged monograph, proposing a system of coherent approaches to editing and putting awareness of the interdependence of the proposed concepts into the wider field of literary theory.