Our new monograph titled Cizí i blízcí. Židé, literatura, kultura v českých zemích ve 20. století (Close and Foreign: Jews, Literature, and Culture in the Czech Lands in the Twentieth Century) was published by Akropolis publishing house in 2016.
The Centre was established in 2010 at the Institute of Czech Literature and Literary Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University. Its aim is to study the literature related to the Shoah/the Holocaust and Jewish culture in the Czech Lands and Central Europe. The members of the Centre have been systematically engaged with this topic for the past several years. The first result of their collaboration was an international symposium in 2005 that resulted in the publication Holocaust – Šoa – Zagłada v české, slovenské a polské literatuře (Holocaust – Shoah – Zagłada in Czech, Slovak and Polish Literature; ed. J. Holý, Prague, Karolinum 2007). The second book was a collectively authored monograph edited by Jiří Holý, Petr Málek, Michael Špirit and Filip Tomáš: Šoa v české literatuře a v kulturní paměti (The Shoah in Czech Literature and Cultural Memory, Prague, Akropolis 2011).
The Centre cooperates with several international partners, including Justus Liebig University in Gießen, Germany (Institut für Slavistik, Arbeitsstelle Holocaustliteratur) and the University of Łódż in Poland (Instytut Teorii Literatury, Teatru i Sztuk Audiowizualnych, Pracownia Języka i Kultury Żydowskiej). The main partners in the Czech Republic are the Institute of Czech Literature (Ústav pro českou literaturu AV ČR) at Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, the Jewish Museum in Prague, the Centre for Judaic Studies at Palacký University in Olomouc and the Department of Jewish Studies at the Institute for Contemporary History (Ústav soudobých dějin) at Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Since 2010 we have organized a series of workshops with our German and Polish colleagues focusing on fiction and documentary literature devoted to the Holocaust in Central Europe. The first workshop was held in May 2010 in Gießen (book publication Ausgewählte Probleme der polnischen und tschechischen Holocaustliteratur und -kultur, ed. by R. Ibler, München/Berlin 2012) and the second in May 2011 in Łódż. The third workshop took place in November 2011 in Prague. The fourth was held in the spring of 2012 again in Prague (June, 21st and 22nd). The fifth will take place in the autumn/the fall of 2012 back in Gießen. Each of the workshops, which also involve postgraduate students and doctoral candidates, will result in the publication of an anthology.
The Centre is involved in pedagogical as well as scholarly work. Several theses on Jewish literature and the Holocaust have been defended at the Institute of Czech Literature and Literary Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University. Three doctoral dissertations, several master’s theses and bachelor’s degrees are currently in progress. In addition to our existing courses (“The Theme of the Holocaust/the Shoah in Central European Literature” and “Jewish Themes in Czech Literature”) the establishment of an interdisciplinary program of study has been planned. The newly founded Prague Centre for Jewish Studies at the Faculty of Arts in collaboration with the study od Hebrew, Religion, German, History, History of Art and Culturology can be used.