Czech and Slovak Studies Workshop Keynote Address

Friday, April 20 at 5:30pm
Bohemian National Hall
321 E 73 St, 3rd Fl
New York City

beckerman noty
Prof. Michael Beckerman, New York University, will deliver the keynote address “My Little Czech Fakebook” for the 2018 Czech and Slovak Studies Workshop.

Since the year 2000, the Czech (and Slovak) Studies Workshop has brought together scholars from the United States and abroad to explore Czech- and Slovak-themed topics from such diverse fields as anthropology, architecture and art history, economics, education, film, geography, history, Jewish studies, literature, music, philosophy, politics, religion, sociology, and theater.
In cooperation with the Harriman Institute and East Central European Center at Columbia University.

Contact: Christopher Harwood, cwh4 at
Slavic Department – Columbia University
708 Hamilton Hall – MC 2839
1130 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10026

The Melting Pot of Eastern Slovakia: Slovaks and Rusyns

A presentation by John Righetti
In cooperation with Carpatho-Rusyn Society New York Chapter

Saturday, May 19th
at 5:00 PM

For centuries, Slovaks and Carpatho-Rusyns have lived alongside one another in the Central Carpathians, causing many to not be able to clearly define these groups
culturally. What do they have in common –and what makes them culturally distinct?
Enjoy a fascinating journey into the two ethnic group’s history, language, food, dance and their identities.

John Righetti is the national president of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society, North America’s largest Rusyn cultural organization.  He has studied Carpatho-Rusyn history and culture extensively in both the United States and Europe and has served in numerous leadership roles in the international Carpatho-Rusyn community, including recently as North American representative to the World Council of Rusyns.



Monday, May 7, 2012 at 7:00 PM

American Diplomats and Spies in Postwar Prague:
Was the 1948 Communist Takeover Inevitable?

A lecture by Professor Igor Lukes, PhD.

In cooperation with the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York.

Professor Lukes will explore the communist conquest of Czechoslovakia from the perspective of American diplomats and intelligence officers who served in the U.S. Embassy from the spring of 1945 to 1949, as presented in his latest book On the Edge of the Cold War: American Diplomats and Spies in Postwar Prague, just published by Oxford University Press. The book will be available for purchase at the event.

Dr. Igor Lukes teaches history and international relations at Boston University.  He has written about Europe between the world wars, the Cold War, intelligence, and contemporary developments in East Central Europe and Russia.  His publications include Rudolf Slansky: His Trial and Trials and Czechoslovakia, Between Stalin and Hitler: The Diplomacy of Edvard Benes in the 1930s. Lukes is also a frequent political commentator on Radio Prague and Czech Television.


Latest News from the Pyramids: Czech research in Abusir

Monday, April 30, 2012 at 6:30 PM

A slide lecture by Prof. Miroslav Bárta, PhD.

In cooperation with the Czech Consulate NY

Abusir is one of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt. The Czech Institute of Egyptology worked here for more than 50 years. It contains royal tombs from the 5th dynasty (Old Kingdom), mastabas (tombs) of high officials, as well as shaft tombs from the Saite-Persian period.

Prof. Barta teaches at the Institute of Egyptology at Charles University in Prague. He led the first satellite mapping of the pyramid fields of Abusir, Saqqara and Dahshur in 2002. In the years 2003-2004, he taught at University of Pennsylvania, and since 2010 he is the head of the Czech Archaeological concession at Abusir.



Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 6:30 PM

A slide lecture by Prof. Eugen Strouhal, PhD, DrSc.

In cooperation with the Czech Consulate in New York

This lecture explored the beginnings of scientific medicine in ancient Egyptian civilization. Thirteen ancient medical papyri recorded the level of the empiric knowledge of anatomy, patho-physiology and therapy. Prof. Strouhal presented the amazingly advanced surgical practices in ancient Egypt while the internal medicine and gynecology still relied mostly on religious rituals and remedies of plant, animal and mineral origin.

Prof. Strouhal is a leading expert on Egyptian medicine. He has degrees in medicine, archaeology and anthropology. He worked for 24 years at the Náprstek Museum in Prague and taught anthropology at West Bohemian University in Pilsen. He lectures paleo-pathology and history of medicine at Charles University Medical School in Prague.



Sat, Dec 3 at 6PM

Download the InvitationPhotographs of Prague from 1932-1965 by renowned photographer Jan Lukas, and by his daughter Helena Lukas Martemucci from 1993-2011. Photos from Martemucci’s series Art, Citizenship, Healing, taken during her Fulbright Scholarship in 1998-1999, will also be presented. Exhibition open Dec 3 – 23, 2011
at the Bohemian National Hall

Followed by a Fullbright Alumni concert at 7:30 PM.


SVU Recommends: GOLEM. A play by Vít Hořejš

Nov 17 – Dec 4, 2011

Czechoslovak American Marionette Theater at La MaMa Theater, 66 East Fourth Street (Ellen Stewart Theater), NYC

Century-old and contemporary life-size wooden Czech marionettes interact with puppeteers, klezmer musicians and dancers.

Special Benefit Performance and Reception was held on November 18, 2011, under the Auspices of Ambassador Petr Gandalovič and Consul General Eliška Žigová.


Recreating the GOLEM: From Prague to the Simpsons

Tuesday, November 8 at 7PM
A slide lecture by Mark Podwal on how succeeding generations have recreated the golem legend to suit the times. The lecture will touch on the first mention of golems in Biblical and Talmudic sources, the origins of Prague’s golem legend, the transformed image of the Prague golem from servant to protector in the early 20th century, and numerous depictions of golems in book illustration, fine art, and film, including the Simpsons TV episode You Gotta Know When to Golem.

Mark Podwal is the author and illustrator of numerous books. Most of these works – Podwal’s own as well as those he has illustrated for others – typically focus on Jewish legend, history and tradition. Podwal illustrated Elie Wiesel’s retelling of the Golem legend, as well as his own children’s book “Golem: A Giant Made of Mud.” He is currently designing new embroidered textiles for Prague’s Altneuschul.


Czech Archeological Discoveries in Egypt

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 7PM
A slide lecture by Sylva Pavlasová, Czech Egyptologist and Consul of the Czech Republic

Sylva Pavlasová studied Egyptology and Prehistoric and Early Historic Archaeology at Charles University in Prague. As a curator of the Egyptology Department of the Náprstek Ethnic History Museum in Prague, she produced several exhibitions on Ancient Egypt, including a special exhibition for the blind which was also shown in Slovakia, Egypt, Australia and the United States. She served as cultural attaché in Egypt (1999- 2003), deputy chief of mission and chargé d´affaires at the Czech Embassy in Lebanon (2003-2006), a specialist at Middle East Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affaires in Prague (2006-2009).



Saturday, October 29 at 3PM
(The Emperor and The Golem),1951. Directed by Martin Fric
In two parts, with refreshments served at the intermission. Czech with English subtitles.

A film comedy based on the Prague Golem legend about a man-made clay “robot” that almost toppled the Prague court of Rudolph II in the late 16th century. The beloved Czech actor and writer Jan Werich, an icon of the Czech intellectual humor, stars in the double title roles of Emperor Rudolf II and his imperial baker Matthew. The two men decide to switch identities to search for Golem, and have a wonderful time indulging in their respective new lifestyles. Costume design by famed Czech animator Jiri­ Trnka.

Fun for the whole family! (recommended for children 7 and older)
Come in your Halloween costume, ideally period dress from the time of Rudolf II.
Intro by Chris Harwood (Columbia University). Organized in cooperation with the Czech Center.


Director MARTIN FRIC Read More …

How Did Cities Evolve?

an illustrated lecture by SVU member

Edward A. Toran

THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 2011 @ 6:30 PM

6th Floor, Mid-Manhattan Library,
40th Street and 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10016

Edward Toran’s illustrated presentation points out the many intertwined influences where changes in production, business dealings, technology, warfare, communication and information could lead from minor inventions to major changes in urban landscapes. In all these obervations, recognizing present life procedures helps to clarify historic events; and knowing history always can help to understand future developments.