CALL FOR PAPERS: Czech Historical Avant-garde in the European Context

30 Apr 2020

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 CALL FOR PAPERS: Czech Historical Avant-garde in the European Context 

Term: May/June 2020 – Masaryk University Brno, Czech Republic

The international symposium BRNO THEATRALIA CONFERENCE 2020, hosted by the Department of Theatre Studies, Masaryk University (Brno, Czech Republic), is dedicated to historical avant-gardes and their development in Czechoslovakia and in Europe. It will be held on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the foundation of the association of Czech avant-garde artists Devětsil.

Founded in October 1920 in Prague, Devětsil (”butterbur”), the most influential Czech avant-garde circle, linked artists across a very wide range of fields, from architecture to performance, from aesthetics to sociology. Its members, e.g. Karel Teige, Vítězslav Nezval, Toyen, Jindřich Štyrský, Adolf Hoffmeister, Josef Chochol, Jiří Frejka, Jindřich Honzl, Emil František Burian, Jiří Voskovec, and Jan Werich, were constantly following  European avant-garde trends.

Only limited attention has been paid to the position and specificities of the Czech avant-garde in the European context. Hence, this is the main question the conference shall seek to answer. The aim is to present the Czech interwar theatre milieu as a crossroads of the European avant-gardes. This aim is closely related to the topic of the particularities of the avant-garde theatre in Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia,...). A separate section of the conference will be dedicated to this topic.


We welcome proposals focusing on historical avant-gardes in all their artistic forms (theatre studies, performing arts, literature, translation, art history, cinema, photography,...) related to theatre. We propose the following topics:

  • new results of research concerning the European avant-gardes
  • new results of research concerning the Czech avant-gardes
  • the legacy of the Czech avant-garde theatre theory
  • contacts among the members of the Czech theatre avant-garde with the European avant-garde; cooperation projects
  • reception of the Czech theatre avant-garde in Europe
  • reception of the European avant-garde in the Czech milieu
  • translation (from or into Czech)


Further suggestions contributing to the dialogue are welcome and will be considered.

Scholars from different fields as well as theatre practitioners, translators, historians of art, stage designers and theatre critics are warmly invited to join us and participate in the event either as speakers or as an audience.

Selected contributions from the conference will be published in a special issue of THEATRALIA (vol. 2022/1; the deadline for submission of the paper is April 30, 2021).


Paper proposals should include:


  • the title of the paper
  • an abstract of 250-300 words
  • the name(s) of the author(s)
  • contact address
  • telephone number
  • email address
  • institutional affiliation
  • short biographical note (maximum 300 words)

Please send the proposed title of the paper, abstract, biographical note, and other relevant information to the conference organizers (all three addresses below) no later than on December 15, 2019.

Conference Organisers:     

1) Šárka Havlíčková Kysová (Masaryk University Brno):

2) Andrea Jochmanová (Janáček Academy of Performing Arts Brno, Moravian Museum Brno):

3) Mariana Kunešová (University of Ostrava):



Conference fee for speakers: will be specified

On Behalf of the Project Organising Committee:

Pavel Drábek (University of Hull, Masaryk University)

David Drozd (Masaryk University)

Šárka Havlíčková Kysová (Masaryk University)

Andrea Jochmanová (Janáček Academy of Performing Arts, Moravian Museum)

Mariana Kunešová (University of Ostrava)


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