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Department of Theatre Studies

Major Research Areas

The Department of Theatre Studies encompasses the study of and research into historical and theoretical disciplines related to theatre and drama. Our academic staff specializes in fields such as history of early and modern Czech theatre (theatre of the 19th-century National Revival; Czech theatre and drama between the two world wars; Czech theatre after 1945; contemporary Czech theatre and drama), history of world theatre (ancient theatre; medieval theatre; English, French, German theatre and drama; forms and transformations of 20th-century modern theatre) as well as theatre and drama theory (drawing on the Department’s structuralist tradition and also integrating modern theoretical and methodological concepts). More specifically, members of our Department explore theatre and drama criticism, conduct systematic investigations examining the function of theatre as socio-political vehicle in our society, study the interaction between theatre and society, and pursue individual careers as theatre reviewers, editors, and translators of both specialised literature in their fields and works of fiction.

Profiling Projects

The Department of Theatre studies participates in the interdisciplinary faculty project “Culture and Totality”, within which it focuses on the topics related to the various thematic areas (nation, war, revolution etc.) from the perspective of theatre studies. Apart from that, the department has implemented a project called “National Theatre and Normalization” which seeks to define the ambivalent role of the National Theatre during the 1970s and 1980s.

Major Publication Projects

Members of the department are editors of nation-wide academic theatre journal Theatre Review in which they also publish their academic papers. As part of the project “Culture and Totality” members of the department publish their essays in annual collective monographs. Over the last five years, Professor Vladimír Just published several books, including the seminal work Theatre in Totalitarian System, Faust as a State of Indebtedness, and others. In 2013 the department published a book of interviews with contemporary Czech playwrights Czech Drama Nowadays. Besides these activities, the members of the department are active reviewers and journalists who publish their work in various periodicals.

National and International Partner Institutions

The Department of Theatre Studies has established close academic and teaching collaboration with the Institute for Classical Studies at the Institute of Philosophy of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Furthermore, the Department is engaged in long-term cooperation concerning both research and organization of events with the Arts and Theatre Institute based in Prague. Every year, we are privileged to welcome several visiting lecturers from universities and other partner institutions from many countries including Slovakia, France, Greece, Turkey, China, Canada and Austria. Inter-institutional co-operation is connected with the mobility programs of EU (LLP/Erasmus).

Major Conferences and Events

Our department is a regular organizer and co-organizer of academic events, conferences and seminars. Our partnership with the Arts and Theatre Institute involves periodic co-organization of the International Federation for Theatre Research (F.I.R.T.) conference, held on the occasion of the Prague Quadrennial (2007, 2011). In 2014, the department organized, in co-operation with Václav Havel Library and Institute of Translation Studies, an international conference “Staging Havel: Translations, Stage Adaptations, Reception”, accompanied with an exhibition “Staging Havel: Set Designs of Václav Havel Plays”. In 2016, the department plans on to hold another conference which would focus on the work of Josef Topol.