This one-day symposium considers the formation of modern Czech identity in the arts, politics and the media, focusing on key global events of the 20th century. It responds to various celebrations in the Czech Republic and the UK, including the centenary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia in 1918 and fiftieth anniversary of the Prague Spring and Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.
In addressing the relationship between the small nation and its global identity, the programme explores three themes: the mythic portrayal of interwar Czechoslovakia as a Western oriented state and of the Czech people as passive victims of global events; the cyclical gain and loss of state sovereignty, covering the separation of the Czech and Slovak Republics in 1993; the construction of Czechs identity in relation to ‘others’, including German, Slovak and Roma diasporas.
Organised by Dr. Marta Filipová and Prof. Matthew Rampley, University of Birmingham, the symposium includes an exhibition tour with Czech artist Vladimír Kokolia, curator Miroslav Ambroz and Ikon Director Jonathan Watkins. Leading historians and theorists participating at the symposium include
- Dr Jakub Beneš, University of Birmingham
- Dr Rajendra Chitnis, University of Bristol
- Prof Mark Corwall, University of Southampton
- Dr Tom Dickins, University of Wolverhampton
- Dr Celia Donert, University of Liverpool
- Prof Mary Heimann, University of Cardiff
- Dr Kelly Hignett, Leeds Beckett University
- Dr Monika Metyková, University of Sussex
- Dr James Partridge, University of Oxford
- Prof Jiří Přibáň, University of Cardiff
- Dr Peter Zusi, University College London
Small Nations and Global Identities: Czech Questions is supported by Ikon, the Birmingham Centre for Modern and Contemporary History, the Birmingham Research Institute for History and Cultures and Public Engagement Office, University of Birmingham, Czech Club Birmingham CIC and the Embassy of the Czech Republic in London.