Department for Modern Political and Intellectual History
The department focuses on research on the political and intellectual history of the Czech lands in the Central European context from the mid-19th century to 1948. In the field of political history, research is mainly conducted on the history of parliamentarism, political culture, state administration and social mobility of elites, both from a comparative perspective and in a longer time perspective, focusing on the conditions and forms of political transfers across historical milestones. Research on T.G. Masaryk focuses on his thought as well as his scientific and political activity, research is conducted on Masaryk’s foreign and domestic ties, specifically his relationship to the German and Austrian environment and the regional memory associated with his personality in the territory of the present-day Czech and Slovak Republics, and his domestic and foreign travels and the stories of his monuments are mapped through the web portal Following in the Footsteps of T.G. Masaryk. Other research focuses on a number of other important political figures as well as those actors who have remained rather in the shadows. Several projects on intellectual and literary history with intercultural emphases (thinkers of interwar Czechoslovakia, cultural mediators and translators) are addressed. An important component of the department's scientific work is the preparation of critical editions of historical sources (writings, memoirs, diaries, correspondence, official documents, etc.). The department uses the methods of digital humanities: a database of MPs and political and cultural elites, a database of monuments to T.G. Masaryk and presidential journeys is being developed, and the department is involved in the development of the Historical Correspondence on-line database. Popularisation of scientific results and cooperation with secondary schools is an obvious part of the department’s work (members of the department also participated in the creation of the Historylab application designed to improve the historical literacy of school pupils).