Conference: Oriental Studies and Research (not only) in Central Europe

Datum konání: 
5. 9. 2022, 0:00 to 7. 9. 2022, 0:00

bedrich_hrozny_v_kultepe_mua_av_cr_f._hrozny.jpg?itok=gp53Bbtx The conference is organized to commemorate the centenary of the Oriental Institute in Prague. Since its inception, this institution has reflected the interconnection of cultural and economic circles, both in practice and research, which has contributed to the establishment of Orientalist disciplines (not only) at the Charles University in Prague. The beginnings of research in Oriental Studies in Europe came to the forefront of scientific circles rather slowly. The great syntheses that arose in the Western European environment drew attention to the specific development of individual disciplines and their gradual establishment, from the interest in biblical languages to comprehensive studies of Oriental countries in its broadest sense.

Oriental Studies has been established in European universities since the end of the 19th century, and in connection with the growing economic interest in the Middle East and Asia, Oriental societies and institutes were founded. Middle East and Asia-focused scholarship have had a long tradition in the Czech lands since the 19th century. After the division of the university into its Czech and German factions in 1882, lectures were held at both universities, and in the interwar period, there was a wide range of disciplines from Hebrew and Arabic Studies to Turkology, Iranian Studies, Indology, Hittite Studies, and Egyptology. The Oriental Institute in Czechoslovakia was founded in 1922 and, despite numerous regime changes, the hardships of World War II, and the reconstruction of academic infrastructure after the war, it has been carrying out its mission for a hundred years.



Dr. Adéla Jůnová Macková (Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences)

Dr. Tomáš Petrů (Oriental Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences)



DAY 1 – Monday, 5 September

The main building of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Hall 206, Národní 3, Praha 1


13:00 Opening ceremony and welcome remarks

13:30-15:00 Session 1: Orientalist Events – Exhibitions, Collections, and Conferences

Chair: Jakub Hrubý

  • Markéta Hánová – A Path to the East: The Oriental Institute as a Promoter of Asian Art and Cultural Politics
  • Olga Lomová – The Oriental Institute after World War II as a Laboratory of New Ways of Doing Research
  • Gabriel Pirický – Celebrating Twenty Years of the International Vámbéry Conference in Slovakia

15:00–17:00 Guided tour of the exhibition Czechoslovakia in the Orient, the Orient in Czechoslovakia, refreshments and informal discussion


DAY 2 – Tuesday, 6 September

Villa Lanna, V Sadech 1/1, Praha 6


9:00-10:30 Session 2: The Development of Near and Middle Eastern Studies

Chair: Hana Navrátilová

  • Šárka Velhartická – The Establishment of Czechoslovak Ancient Near Eastern Studies
  • Luděk Vacín – Josef Klíma and Czech Assyriology
  • Barış Yılmaz – Hungarian Turkology Tradition and Altaic Studies Department at the University of Szeged

10:30-11:00 Coffee break

11:00-12:30 Session 3: Arts and the Orient

Chair: Markéta Hánová

  • Grzegorz First – Searching for New Light and Histories. Artistic Voyages to the Orient as a Source of Knowledge and Inspiration in Art.
  • Mary Kelly – Socio-Political Signifiers and Orientalist Aesthetics: European Women Artists’ Rendering of Objects and Figures in Space
  • Vesna Kamin Kajfež – Josef Schwegel, the Organizer and Curator of the Oriental Pavilion at the Vienna International Exhibition in 1873


12:30-14:00 Lunch


14:00-15:30 Session 4: Orientalists´ Correspondence – Databases

Chair: Adéla Jůnová Macková

  • Ronald Ruzicka and Petra Aigner – All about Eduard Glaser – Glaser Virtual World (GlaViWo)
  • Adéla Jůnová Macková – Science Policy and Oriental Studies in Interwar Czechoslovakia – the Database of Alois Musil's Correspondence
  • Hana Navrátilová – Challenges of Correspondence: Jaroslav Černý in the Griffith Institute Archive


15:30-16:00 Coffee break


16:00-17:30 Session 5: Southeast Asia within Oriental Studies in Europe: Concepts, Scholars, Collections

Chair: Miroslav Nožina

  • Martin Slama – Heine-Geldern and Southeast Asian Concepts of Power: The Birth and Life of a Research Tradition
  • Tomáš Petrů – Key Researchers of Indonesian Studies at the Oriental Institute: Miroslav Oplt and Rudolf Mrázek
  • Awang Azman Awang Pawi – The Malay Manuscripts’ Acquisition in the Era of Empire in Great Britain and the Netherlands


18:00 Dinner/reception – Villa Lanna


DAY 3 – Wednesday, 7 September

Villa Lanna


9:00-10:30 Session 6: Tibetan Studies

Chair: Jarmila Ptáčková

  • Luboš Bělka – An Update of the Visual Reconstruction of the Most Sacred Space in Tibet: Jokhang through the Eyes of the First Czechoslovak Visitors
  • Rachael M. Griffiths and Daniel Wojahn – The Development of a Discipline: Tibetan Studies in Europe
  • Jana Valtrová – Perspectives on Tibetan Buddhism in the works of Vincenc Lesný (1882–1953)


10:30-11:00 Coffee break


11:00-12:30 Session 7: Various Orientalist Discourses

Chair: Tomáš Petrů

  • Martin Hříbek Indo-Czech Entanglements in 1918–1938: the Indian Perspective
  • Majid Bahrevar – Mapping Jan Rypka's Stay and Activities in Iran, 1934–1935
  • Lukáš Větrovec – Othering Bosniaks. Shades of Orientalism towards Balkan Muslims


12:30-12:45 Closing remarks


12:45-14:00 Farewell lunch


A note for the public attending the conference:

The public and non-presenting academics alike are cordially invited to attend the conference, there is no conference fee. For logistical reasons, we kindly ask you to register with Tomáš Petrů, by 1 September.


Programme (PDF)

Call for Papers (PDF)