Ústav pro českou literaturu AV ČR Institute of Czech literature of the CAS
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Czech-Slovak cooperation

The ICL has long-term working ties with the Institute of Slovak Literature of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava.

The resumption of this cooperation, which suffered temporary setbacks after the disintegration of the Czechoslovak Federation, picked up again at the beginning of the new millennium. Czech-Slovak ‘konfrontace/konfrontácie’ (confrontations) is the first common platform on which researchers and doctoral students of both institutes have met regularly since 2002. Other forms of cooperation between the two institutes and their journals, Czech Literature and Slovak Literature, have since grown out of these meetings.

ICL employees have also participated in Literary Critical Reflections on Slovak Literature, a regular seminar founded in 2006 at the Institute of Slovak Literature of the SAS, leading to the publication of academic papers in anthologies and literary journals (such as Romboid), and on specialised websites (the Platform for Literature and Research, online at plav.sk).

In 2007, in cooperation with the ICL, the symposium Literary Historiography: Context, Methodology, and Genre was organised in Bratislava (proceedings were published in Slovenská literatura 55, no. 2/3, 2008), and in 2008, the conference Inquiries at the Eights in 20th Century Literature 1918 – 1938 – 1948 – 1968 (1989) was held in Budmerice (proceedings were published as part of a special issue of Slovenská literatúra 56, No. 6, 2009).

In 2009–2013, the institutes jointly organised a series of interdisciplinary conferences dedicated to various genres of popular literature and culture, including detective fiction (Murder in the Boardroom: Forms of the Detective Genre, 2009, with proceedings published in Slovenská literatúra 56, No. 5-6, 2009), horror (Fear and Horror: Forms of the Horror Genre, 2010, proceedings published in 2011), utopian fiction (It Will Be Like It Was: Forms of the Utopian Genre, 2011, book 2012), romance (… And They Lived Happily Ever AfterThe Romance Novel, Its Forms and Adaptations , 2012), and the western (Once Upon a Time in the West, Once Upon a Time in the East: Forms of the Western Genre, 2013).

Michal Jareš, a member of the ICL Lexicography Department, prepared a comprehensive edition of Štefan Strážay’s poetic works (2011) for a series published by the Institute of Slovak Literature and the Kalligram Library of Slovak Literature, and co-authored the book Finding the Present: Slovak Literature at the Beginning of the 21st Century (Radoslav Passia and Ivana Taranenková eds., 2014), which represents the first comprehensive attempt to describe the development of Slovak literature at the beginning of the 21st century.

In 2012–2018, the Department of 19th Century Literature at the ICL was involved in the project Discursivity of 19th Century Literature in the Czech-Slovak Context, led by Prof. Dalibor Tureček from the Faculty of Arts of the University of South Bohemia and Prof. Peter Zajac from the Institute of Slovak Literature SAS.

In 2015, the Institute of Slovak Literature SAS co-organised the 5th Congress of World Literary Czech Studies in Prague, and in 2017, the ICL co-organised the 1st International Symposium of Slovak Literary Studies in Bratislava.

During the period 2017–2018, members of the Institute of Slovak Literature SAS collaborated with the ICL and the National Literature Memorial in Prague on the preparation of a representative pictorial-interpretative publication Literary Chronicle of the First Republic (Academia, 2018), for which they wrote all chapters dealing with Slovak literature.

Czech-Slovak ‘konfrontace/konfrontácie’

Czech-Slovak ‘konfrontace/konfrontácie’ is a series of panel discussions on the latest Slovak and Czech theoretical literature and fiction. In each case, representatives of each country select a title from their national literary, poetic, and prose production of the previous year. Selected texts are then discussed ‘reciprocally’. (In one case, a meeting followed a markedly narrower programme in which only literary novelties were discussed.) Contributions to the ‘konfrontace/konfrontácie’ discussions are then published in journals, typically as reviews or peer-reviewed studies.

The first four years of the regular workshop were coordinated by Tomáš Kubíček (ICL) and Vladimír Barborík (Institute of Slovak Literature), followed by Michal Jareš on behalf of Czech and Jana Pácalová, Ľubica Szomolayová, Radoslav Passia and Ivana Taranenková on behalf of Slovakian literary studies.

In 2016, the workshop model was modified: panel discussions on the latest Slovak and Czech fiction (omitting theoretical production) continue but are augmented by lectures for the public, where the Czech and Slovak audiences are introduced to Slovak and Czech literary works of the previous year.