The aim of this department is to examine medieval and early modern literature in the Czech lands with emphasis on its linguistic, cultural, and religious plurality. In the context of older literature, department research also focuses on the way texts are transformed as they are brought into the Czech context from other linguistic and cultural spheres, and from one medium to another (particularly from manuscript to print).
Members of the department (which was founded at the beginning of 2011) are currently working within their individual fields to prepare the groundwork for an explanatory dictionary dealing with older works of literature, to be followed by a synthesis of the oldest period of Czech literary history.
Within the broader scope of its activities, the department provides a space for ongoing interdisciplinary discussion among domestic and foreign scholars (with the organisation of international conferences and cross-institutional projects). Public outreach organised by the Department of Medieval and Early Modern Literature includes professional lectures (a regular series under the title Staročeský dýchánek [Old Czech tea party]), as well as exhibitions, radio programmes, and the preparation of various publications (Hájek’s Czech Chronicle, Jesuit and early modern theatre, and the Czech Library book series). Members of the department also teach at universities (Faculty of Arts, Charles University; and Faculty of Arts, Palacký University of Olomouc).