Creativity and Adaptability as Conditions of the Success of Europe in an Interrelated World
A problem-oriented humanities research project focused on the potential of the European society to produce adequate responses to present-day dangers, to adapt to new social challenges (above all, globalization, mobility of people and ideas, and new technologies) and to search for creative solutions of problems involved in these challenges. The crises arising in confrontations with the other – different cultural and political models, migration or the consequences of global interconnectedness of the world – are not understood as threats, but as impulses towards building a future for Europe and its values.
This interdisciplinary project links the approaches of communication studies, linguistics, literary studies, history, archaeology, religion studies, psychology and philosophy. The research outputs will contribute towards the resolution of the conflicts and crises presently destabilizing both the EU and the Czech Republic. The intended audiences of the project are state institutions, local authorities and NGOs, but also creative businesses or ‘digital humanities’ centres.
Research programme 1 of the KREAS project, “Autopoiesis and Creativity”, is coordinated by Professor Martin Procházka. The Department guarantees Work Package 1.2 “Fiction, Play, and Performativity as Forms of Creativity and the Foundations of a Pragmatic Concept of Culture”. The team composed of 3 Key Researchers, 1 Senior and 3 Junior Researchers, 2 International Postdoctoral Researchers (from Croatia and Ireland) and 2 Early Stage Researchers (PhD candidates) focuses on:
1. case studies of movements and events in important historical eras and of profiling trends of modern culture: the Early Modern era (theatre as the origin of the creative industry), the Enlightenment and Romanticism (creativity, performativity, and the formation of social and cultural ideologies and emancipation movements), Modernism and contemporary culture (creativity, play, and performativity in avant-garde movements and in alternative, popular and pulp fiction and culture).
2. pragmatic concept of culture as an interface, performative theory of dialogue as a “functional approximation” and cybernetic concept of culture as an emergent phenomenon in relation to entropy. All these synthetic approaches are based on the data and conclusions of the case studies described above sub 1. Within this stage, current concepts of cultural identity will be reassessed with regard to the situation in countries considerably affected by migration.
An important part of the research and its dissemination are 5 international conferences organized by the DALC (Samuel Beckett and Technology – 9/2018; Performativity and Creativity in Modern Cultures – 11/2019; European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies (EFACIS) conference – 9/2021; Culture as Interface and Dialogue – 5/22; Third World Congress of Scottish Literatures: Transnationalism and Minor Cultures – 6/2022; Creativity and Cybernetic Concept of Culture – 9/2022).
The H2020, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, International Training Networks (MSCA-ITN) project, European Joint Doctorate (EJD) Migration and Modernity: Historical and Cultural Challenges
The chief objective of the project is to undertake a comparative study of the social and cultural roots of mass mobility, and provide the urgently needed historical analysis that can address the so-called migration crisis of the present through an understanding of the population movements of the past. The network has been set up as an interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers in the Humanities and the Social Sciences who will approach migration as both a condition of modernity and one of its greatest challenges, placing the systematic confrontation of past and present forms of migration at the centre of their activities.
The general coordinator of this Joint Doctorate is Professor Martin Procházka; the project team includes two other members of the Department. Through its innovative training programme, carried out in conjunction with 18 non-academic partners (including NGOs, charities, and the cultural and creative industries), MOVES will enable a new generation of experts gain the historical knowledge required to respond to future migration crises with innovative solutions. Moreover, the project will provide these future experts with conceptual tools required to avoid short-termism in migration management through its emphasis on enduring cultural patterns, historical context, and migration flows over the long term. The links between contemporary and historical migration that MOVES research will uncover can be used to improve educational provision, inform future policy, and counter the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment across the EU.
Q12 internal research programme of Charles University
The programme includes the research of most of the members of the Department. It is focused on the performative features of culture (literary, dramatic and cinematic) and the ways culture and art shape the environments of human life. This is demonstrated by research in a wide range of uses of fiction and play in literature, film and visual art. A particular focus of the project are the changing notions of cultural identity caused by the integration of Europe and increasing migration. Other major research areas include: 1) the relationship of orality and literacy and the expansion of its research to a wider range than that of the mainstream literature, and 2) cultural and geographical discontinuity in modern literatures and cultures (focusing on the comparison of Anglophone and Central European countries).
The Hermes Consortium for Literary and Cultural Studies is a collaboration of doctoral schools in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, France, and USA that seeks to further an understanding of the European presence in the fields of literature, art and culture in an era of globalization, to promote interdisciplinary thoughts in the fields of literary and cultural studies, to explore changes in European self-understanding and self-criticism across the cultures and disciplines in and beyond Europe, and to develop co-operation between European as well as between non-European research environments.
Facing Europe in Crisis: Shakespeare’s World and Present Challenges
An Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership (2016-19) that aims to promote historical understanding of the complexities of crises (cultural, linguistic, political, social, religious, economic) to help face a complex contemporary European context. The multidisciplinary approach traces similarities of the present developments to, and their differences from, the dynamics of the early modern period (16th-17th centuries). More specifically, the focus of the NEW FACES Strategic Partnership is on the cultural, political and economic functions of early modern theatre and its wider historical and literary context as global values and principal agents of cultural communication in relation to Europe in crisis. The salient feature of this perspective is the interaction of Shakespeare’s theatre with local and global contexts which has been significantly influencing popular and mass culture. The network is coordinated by the University Paul Valéry Montpellier III and includes, apart from the Department, English departments at the Universities of Utrecht, Porto, Ferrara, Krakow, Szeged and at the Free University Berlin.
Text and Event in Early Modern Europe
The second international PhD programme Erasmus Mundus (Erasmus+, 2014-18) in the human sciences Text and Event in Early Modern Europe (TEEME). The cooperation included the University of Kent at Canterbury, the University of Porto in Portugal and the Free University Berlin; the programme included also the organization of international conferences and seminars.
Charles University Programme of Research Development “Literature and Art in Intercultural Contexts – PRVOUK 09”, sub-programme “Transformations in the Cultural History of Anglophone Countries: Identities, Periods and Canons.” The project was 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 included the problems of cultural identities, multiculturalism, canons, utopias and relations between literature and technology.
Erasmus IP Programme Staging Early Modern Europe (2012-14) coordinated by the Department, in which 8 European universities (Porto, Murcia, Utrecht, Montpellier, Ferrara, Prague, Berlin and Krakow) cooperated not only in graduate teaching but also in academic publication (special issues of the academic journal Litteraria Pragensia).
The Department was 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.