Upcoming Symposium: ‘Small Nations and Global Identities: Czech Questions’

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Image: “Inauguration of a statue to the first Czechoslovak President, T. G. Masaryk on 28 October 1926 in Hradec Králové,” Pestrý týden, 2 Nov 1926.

 

On Thursday 5 July 2018, the Centre is co-sponsoring a one-day symposium, which considers the formation of modern Czech identity in the arts, politics and the media, focusing on key global events of the 20th century. It responds to various celebrations in the Czech Republic and the UK, including the centenary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia in 1918 and fiftieth anniversary of the Prague Spring and Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

In addressing the relationship between the small nation and its global identity, the programme explores three themes: the mythic portrayal of interwar Czechoslovakia as a Western oriented state and of the Czech people as passive victims of global events; the cyclical gain and loss of state sovereignty, covering the separation of the Czech and Slovak Republics in 1993; the construction of Czechs identity in relation to ‘others’, including German, Slovak and Roma diasporas.

Organised by Dr. Marta Filipová and Prof. Matthew Rampley, University of Birmingham, the symposium includes an exhibition tour with Czech artist Vladimír Kokolia, curator Miroslav Ambroz and Ikon Director Jonathan Watkins.  Leading historians and theorists participating at the symposium include

  • Dr Jakub Beneš, University of Birmingham
  • Dr Rajendra Chitnis, University of Bristol
  • Prof Mark Cornwall, University of Southampton
  • Dr Tom Dickins, University of Wolverhampton
  • Dr Celia Donert, University of Liverpool
  • Prof Mary Heimann, Cardiff University
  • Dr Kelly Hignett, Leeds Beckett University
  • Dr Monika Metyková, University of Sussex
  • Dr James Partridge, University of Oxford
  • Prof Jiří Přibáň, Cardiff University
  • Dr Peter Zusi, University College London

Small Nations and Global Identities: Czech Questionsis supported by Ikon, the Birmingham Centre for Modern and Contemporary History, the Birmingham Research Institute for History and Cultures and Public Engagement Office, University of Birmingham, Czech Club Birmingham CIC and the Embassy of the Czech Republic in London.

Further details:

Thursday 5 July 2018
10-6pm – FREE
Ikon Gallery, Brindleyplace, Birmingham, B1 2HS

Register here: https://www.ikon-gallery.org/event/symposium-small-nations-and-global-identities-czech-questions

SESSION TIME ACTIVITY
Admin 9.30 – 10.10 Registration
Tour 10 – 10.45 Exhibition tour with artist Vladimir Kokolia, curator Miroslav Ambroz and Ikon Director Jonathan Watkins
Welcome 10.45 – 11.00 HE Libor Sečka, Embassy of the Czech Republic in London, Linzi Stauvers, Ikon Gallery  and Marta Filipová, University of Birmingham
Morning:

Czech sovereignty

11.00 – 12.30
Chair: Matthew Rampley
Jiří Přibáň, The history of Czech statehood and national identity
Mary Heimann, The State that Failed
Jakub Beneš, Populist nationalism between 1918 and 1948
Lunch 12.30 – 13.30 Own arrangements

Afternoon:
Czech myths
13.30 –  15.30

Chair: Klaus Richter

Rajendra Chitnis, The Czech Myth of Resistance: Silence as a Response to the German Occupation
Peter Zusi, On the Fringes of History: Richard Weiner Observes the Foundation of the Republic
Kelly Hignett, Constructing Czech Identity ‘From the Margins’
Tom Dickins, The influence of the past, as reflected in the slogans and counter slogans of the socialist era
Tea break 15.30 – 16.00 All welcome
Evening:

Czech others

16.00 –  17.30

Chair: TBC

Mark Cornwall,  Mapping a Queer Geography of Interwar Czechoslovakia in Europe
Celia Donert, The Rights of the Roma: The Struggle for Citizenship in Postwar Czechoslovakia
Monika Metyková,  Brno 1918-2018: The City of Czechs, Germans and Jews
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