Research activities and projects

Principal Areas

English Studies at Charles University has developed since the 1880s and has had an international reputation since the 1920s as a result of the flourishing of Prague Structuralism. Developing the legacy of the Prague Structuralist School, the Department of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures focuses on contemporary theoretical and interdisciplinary approaches. The academic staff members are active in a number of specialised research areas, including Shakespeare and Romantic studies, contemporary poetics, critical and cultural theory, performativity, drama and theatre, as well as in Irish, Scottish, Canadian and Australian Studies.

Major Projects

The research is organized in the framework of the Charles University Programme of Research Development (Literature and Art in Intercultural Contexts – PRVOUK 09) under the heading “Transformations in the Cultural History of Anglophone Countries: Identities, Periods and Canons.” The project is focused on the changes in the conception and interpretations of the cultural history of Anglophone countries, on the comparative study of individual cultures, the research of great cultural epochs (the Renaissance, Romanticism and Modernism), the study of contemporary poetics and of the relationships between literature and other arts (theatre and film). Theoretical questions include the problems of cultural identities, multiculturalism, canons, utopias and relations between literature and technology.

Publications

The Department publishes an international peer-reviewed interdisciplinary academic journal, Litteraria Pragensia: Studies in Literature and Culture http://litteraria-pragensia.ff.cuni.cz/. Special issues on modern literatures, cultures and critical theory appear twice a year and the journal is listed in the ERIH database. By the end of 2014, 24 volumes and 47 issues had been published.

The international series Litteraria Pragensia Books http://litterariapragensia.wordpress.com/ publishes monographs on contemporary poetics, literary theory and cultural studies (more than 40 volumes by the end of 2014). The series also includes the international literature and art review VLAK http://vlakmagazine2.wordpress.com/ .

The Department research project has supported the publication of the complete works of William Shakespeare in Martin Hilský’s translation (William Shakespeare, Dílo, Prague: Academia Publishers, 2011), awarded the Order of Merit of the Czech Republic. The academic staff have published books and book chapters in important international academic presses including Oxford University Press, Blackwood Publishing, John Wiley, Methuen, Northwestern University Press, Rowman and Littlefield, Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht and Wilhelm Fink.

Cooperation with International Institutions

The Department participates in the second international PhD programme Erasmus Mundus (Erasmus+ from 2014) in the human sciences Text and Event in Early Modern Europe (TEEME) http://www.teemeurope.eu/. It cooperates closely with the University of Kent at Canterbury, the University of Porto in Portugal and the Free University Berlin; the programme includes the organization of international conferences and seminars.

In the Erasmus IP Programme Staging Early Modern Europe (2012-14) http://staging-europe.ff.cuni.cz/ coordinated by the Department, 8 European Universities (Porto, Murcia, Utrecht, Montpellier, Ferrara, Prague, Berlin and Krakow) cooperate not only in graduate teaching but also in academic publication (special issues of the academic journal Litteraria Pragensia).

The Department is a member in the international network of PhD programmes HERMES, organizing seminars and summer schools in comparative literature and cultural studies for academics and PhD students from 10 European and U.S. universities.

In the past, the Department co-coordinated two important European Thematic Network Projects (ETNP), ACUME and ACUME 2 – Interfacing the Sciences and the Humanities. Department members also worked in the EU project TUNING, focused on the coordination of study programmes in the humanities.  

Further Cooperating Institutions:
International Shakespeare Association, European Association for the Study of English, International Association of Byron Societies, Deutsche Gesellschaft für die Englische Romantik, European Association of American Studies, International Society for Utopian Studies, International Association of Literature and Philosophy, International Federation for Theatre Research, German Society for Contemporary Drama in English, International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures, European Federation of Centres and Associations of Irish Studies, Irish Society for Theatre Research, International James Joyce Foundation, and 25 universities in Europe, Asia, North America and Australia;
Czech Association for the Study of English, Czech and Slovak Association of American Studies, Czech Association of Canadian Studies, Czech Academy of Science, Palacký University in Olomouc, Masaryk University in Brno, University of the West Bohemia, University of South Bohemia, Metropolitan University Prague, J. M. W. Fulbright Commission Czech Republic.

Recent Conferences

  1. Annual Conference of the International Society for Utopian Studies – approximately 100 participants from Europe and North America – 2014.
  2. 2nd Annual Conference of the Erasmus Mundus Doctoral Programme TEEME – 60 participants from Europe, Asia and both Americas – 2013.
  3. 22nd International Conference of the German Society for Contemporary Theatre and Drama in English – approximately 60 participants from Europe and North America – 2013.
  4. 9th World Shakespeare Congress – in cooperation with the International Shakespeare Association – 670 participants from Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and Australia – 2011.
  5. 23rd International James Joyce Symposium – approximately 300 participants from Europe, Asia and North America – 2010.
  6. Robert Burns in Global Culture, in cooperation with the University of Glasgow and AHRC – approximately 150 participants from Europe and North America – 2009.
  7. The Prague School and Theories of Structure, European Thematic Network Project (ETNP) ACUME – approximately 200 participants from Europe, North America, New Zealand – 2007.

Other research activities of the Department are conducted within the framework of individual Sections and Centres, whose profiles provide comprehensive information on specific projects, conferences and research areas.

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CONTACT

Dept. of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures
Faculty of Arts
Charles University
Palachovo nám. 2
116 38 Praha 1