Introduction

The Forum for Czech and Slovak Studies in the UK is a network devoted to supporting and coordinating UK-based academic research related to the Czech and Slovak region in any of its past or present incarnations. Our primary focus lies in the arts, humanities and social sciences, notably history, literature, linguistics, film, music, art and architecture, philosophy, politics and cultural studies.

 The Forum is the successor to the Forum of British, Czech and Slovak Historians (2000-14), established by the then Czech Ambassador to the UK, Dr Pavel Seifter, and Professor Robert Evans, which during its dozen or so years of existence built up an international network with Czech and Slovak historians and helped organize five conferences (two in the UK). The Forum has now been revised in order to reflect the rich range of interdisciplinary research in Czech and Slovak studies in the UK and to meet the needs of UK-based academics working in these fields.

The Forum is coordinated by a steering committee of about 12 members, chosen to reflect adequately the interdisciplinary diversity of Czech/Slovak research as well as a range of senior and junior scholars. Its current chair and secretary are Professor Mark Cornwall (Southampton) and Dr Rajendra Chitnis (Bristol).

 

Aims

·      The Forum acts as a key hub of support and coordination for those working on Czech or Slovak studies, whether professional academics or graduate students. It assists in connecting researchers, whether for quick enquiries or longer-term collaboration, and providing information for those beginning study of the region, planning research trips, or seeking language training or support. It also seeks to develop and foster ties, for research collaboration, with comparable networks and academics abroad, especially in the Czech and Slovak Republics, elsewhere in Central Europe, and North America.

·      The updated Forum website provides details of departments and individuals working in Czech or Slovak studies in the UK, current research projects, funding opportunities and counterpart networks. It also publicises forthcoming events, news about visiting scholars to the UK and other information likely to be of interest to members.

·      The Forum acts as an important point of contact for those involved in the wider support and promotion of Czech- and Slovak-related topics. It works closely with the Czech and Slovak Embassies in London, which both regularly host the Masaryk Lecture.

·      The Forum creates opportunity for direct research dissemination and interaction and public engagement through a number of activities and events.

 

Activities

·      Annual Study Day (January): The Forum study day, hosted annually at a UK institution by a Forum member, brings together emerging and established researchers to discuss their current projects in an informal, workshop format, designed to encourage interaction, disseminate interim findings, share methodologies, highlight connections and stimulate future collaboration.

·      BASEES Conference (March): The Forum has an active presence at the BASEES annual conference, and aims to organise at least one panel each year.

·      Masaryk Lecture (November): Through the Masaryk Lecture, distinguished speakers bring their research in Czech- or Slovak-related areas to a wider public audience.

·      SSEES Czech and Slovak Studies Seminar: Seminars take place mainly during the autumn and spring terms at SSEES, UCL. For more information, please contact Dr Peter Zusi: p.zusi@ucl.ac.uk

 

Contact Details

For further information or to join the Forum mailing list, please contact Mark Cornwall (J.M.Cornwall@soton.ac.uk) or Rajendra Chitnis (R.A.Chitnis@bris.ac.uk).