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Department of General History

Major research areas

The Department of General History covers general history from the early Middle Ages until the present day, with a special focus on European history in the world context. Our academic staff specialize in political, economic, social and cultural history of various regions and states in – and outside – Europe, making the Department the only academic institution in the Czech Republic with such a wide spectrum of specializations.

The Department is composed of four seminars – Medieval History, Modern History, Contemporary History, and General and Comparative History. Members of the Medieval History Seminar specialize in the medieval civilizations of the Latin West and the Greek Orthodox East as well as in medieval religious history; research in the Modern History Seminar revolves around the history of international relations and diplomacy between 1500–1914/18; the Contemporary History Seminar investigates international relations in the 20th and 21st centuries, transatlantic relations and the European integration process; the main aim of the General and Comparative History Seminar is the research and teaching of comparative history in the early modern and modern periods.

The Department is in charge of two major regular publications; the first one is Dvacáté století – The Twentieth Century, a journal published in partnership with other institutes and departments at the Faculty of Arts, especially the Centre for Ibero-American Studies and Department of South Slavonic and Balkan Studies; the other journal is called Prague Papers on the History of International Relations, published in cooperation with Institut für Osteuropäische Geschichte Universität Wien.

Members of the Department participate in or cooperate with many international historical societies, such as the European Association for Urban History, Gesellschaft für Überseegeschichte (Bayreuth), Grupo de investigación Estudios Interdisciplinares en Historia General (Medellín, Colombia) etc.

Profiling Projects

Apart from individual projects (GAČR, GAUK) and cooperation in the GRAINES Steering Committee, members of the Department concentrate mainly on a research initiative entitled PRVOUK 12 – History in an Interdisciplinary Perspective – Europe and (versus) the World: Intercontinental and Intracontinental Political, Economic, Social, Cultural and Intellectual Transfers and their Consequences.

Major Publication Projects

The Department is responsible for two major regular publications; the first one is Dvacáté století – The Twentieth Century, a journal with contributions mostly from our Contemporary History Seminar members and published in partnership with other institutes and departments at the Faculty of Arts, especially the Centre for Ibero-American Studies and Department of South Slavonic and Balkan Studies; the other journal is called Prague Papers on the History of International Relations, with contributions mostly from our Early Modern History Seminar and published in partnership with Institut für Osteuropäische Geschichte Universität Wien. Both journals feature articles written by members of our Department as well as by scholars from other Czech and international universities, mostly based in Western Europe. Furthermore, our academic staff pursue their own publishing activities, with monographs appearing in the Faculty series such as Opera Facultatis Philosophicae and Fontes (including outstanding Ph.D. dissertations), and other academic publishing houses.

National and International Partner Institutions

Locally, the Department pursues partnerships in academic and organization matters with some of the Faculty institutes and departments; in addition to two history-oriented institutes – the Department of Czech History and the Institute of Economic and Social History – our partners include the Centre for Ibero-American Studies, the Department of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures, the Czech Institute of Egyptology, the Institute of Art History, the Institute of East Asian Studies, the Department of East European Studies, and Department of South Slavonic and Balkan Studies. Outside the Faculty of Arts, our partners include the Department of Economic History at the Faculty of Economics, the University of Economics in Prague, and other academic institutions involved in history research (co-organization of conferences, colloquia, and workshops). Internationally, the Department has gone into partnership with such prominent institutions as Universität Wien (our cooperation involves, among other initiatives, publishing the above-mentioned journal), Universität Hamburg (our partner in annual colloquia mentioned below), Universität Bayreuth (partnership in the Jahrbuch für Europäische Überseegeschichte initiative), Universität Heidelberg, Leopold-Franzens Universität Innsbruck, Universität Passau, Liechtenstein Institut (Bendern, Liechtenstein), Uniwersytet Warszawski, University of St Andrews, Boston University (USA), George Washington University (USA), Université de Toulouse 2 – Jean Jaurès, École des Hautes Études en Science Sociales, Tampere University, Universidad de Burgos (Spain), Universidad de Antioquía (Medellín, Colombia), and others.

Major Conferences and Events

The Department of General History has held a huge number of conferences, colloquia, seminars and workshops in recent years, often in partnership with leading international institutions; for instance, October 2010 saw a conference entitled Central European Nobility Under 20th Century Totalitarian Regimes (in partnership with the Czech Republic’s Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes), or Deutsch Russische Beziehungen. Politische, wirtschaftliche und kulturelle Aspekte von der frühen Neuzeit bis zum 20. Jahrhundert (held in November 2007 in cooperation with the Department of Economic History at the Faculty of Economics, the University of Economics in Prague, with Aktion Österreich-Tschechische Republik and with the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung Foundation); international colloquia entitled Die Wirkung der Eliten in der Diplomatie, Politik und Wirtschaft des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts (May 2007), Auf dem Weg zum Ersten Weltkrieg (May 2008) and Unruhige dreißiger Jahre. Auf dem Weg zum Zweiten Weltkrieg (May 2010), all held in partnership with Fakultät für Geisteswissenschaften, Universität Hamburg; other events include a colloquium entitled Film and History – History in Film (in partnership with Centro de Estudios, Ciudad de la Luz – Alicante; May 2010) and Latin America in History, Today and its Identity (in cooperation with Facultad de Ciencias de la Seguridad, Buenos Aires; May 2010). Members of the Department have co-organized the 9th World Shakespeare Congress (Prague, July 2011), conferences Cities & Societies in Comparative Perspective – the 11th Conference of European Association for Urban History (August – September 2012), Deutsch-tschechische und bayerisch-böhmische Erinnerungsorte (together with Universität Passau, November 2013) and Altösterreichischer Adel zwischen Nation – Nationalismus – Faschismus/Nationalsozialismus (together with Universität Wien, December 2014).