Reading group


Spring semestr 2022

The Reading Group is organized for colleagues and PHD students of the Department of Art History. We meet on Wednesdays at 13.00 for an hour.


The topic this semester is Decolonizing, in which consider critical accounts of the intertwining of European culture and colonialism from the 19th century to the present, and consider the challenges they present for art historical practice today. Each session is devoted to specific themes, ranging from broad concepts such as orientalism, nationalism, the racial legacies of modern architecture, and socialism to questions of method as well as individual case studies, such as Roma in visual culture, interwar Ruthenia, exhibitions in Habsburg Prague, and Czech artists in Iran.

As the above may indicate, we pay particular attention to Czech examples and recent literature by Czech scholars as well as international authors, and we are interested in the ways that debates about decolonization have relevance in the Czech context and in central Europe more widely.


You can find the readings as well as the schedule here: TEXTS

1. Orientalism and its Critics – 12 January 2022

Jitka Malečková, ‘Civilising the Slavic Muslims of Bosnia-Hercegovina’ in The Turk in the Czech Imagination (1870s – 1932) (Leiden, 2021) pp. 118-58

(Robert Young, ‘Disorienting Orientalism,’ in White Mythologies: Writing History and the West (London, 2004) pp. 158-80)

2. Epistemologies – 9 February 2022

Aníbal Quijano, ‘Coloniality and Modernity / Rationality’ Cultural Studies 21.1 (2007) p. 168-78

Walter Mignolo, ‘Epistemic Disobedience, Independent Thought and Decolonial Freedom,’ Theory, Culture and Society 26.7-8 (2009) pp. 159-81

3. Nations, Empire and Anti-Colonialism – 23 February 2022

Franz Fanon, ‘On National Culture’ in The Wretched of the Earth pp. 145-69.

Anne McClintock, ‘No Longer in a Future Heaven: Nationalism, Gender and Race’ in Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Imperial Contest (London, 1995) pp. 352-90


4. Colonialism: Within and Without – 2 March 2022

 Veronika Rollová, ‘The Relationship between Center and Periphery: The Transformation of Slovakia and Subcarpathian Ruthenia’ in Vendula Hnídková, ed, Duch který pracuje; architektura a česká politika 1918-1945 / A Spirit at Work: Architecture and Czech Politics 1918-1945 (Prague: VŠUP, 2020) pp. 222-65.

Filip Herza, ‘Black Don Juan and the Ashanti from Ash: Representations of Africans in Prague and Vienna, 1892-99’ in Adéla Jůnová Macková, Lucie Storchová, Libor Jůn, Eds, Visualizing The Orient: Central Europe And The Near East In The 19th And 20th Centuries (Prague, 2016) pp. 95-106.

 6. Socialism and Postcoloniality – 16 March 2022

James Mark, Artemy M. Kalinovsky, and Steffi Marung, ‘Introduction’ to Alternative Globalizations: Eastern Europe and the Postcolonial World (Indiana, 2020) pp. 1-34

Daniela Kramerová, ‘‘We sell dreams’ Work Commissioned by the Shah of Iran from Czech Artists in the 1970s,’ Umění LXI.4 (2013) pp. 341-55

 7. Decolonizing Architecture – 30 March 2022

Irene Chang, ‘Introduction’ and ‘Structural Racism in Modern Architectural Theory’ in Chang, Charles Davis II and Mabel O. Wilson, Race and Modern Architecture (Pittsburgh, 2020) pp. 3-20 and 134-52

8. Feminism and De/postcolonial – 13 April 2022

Chandra Mohanty, ‘Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses’ in Reina Lewis and Sara Mills, eds, Feminist Postcolonial Theory (London, 2003) pp. 49-74

9. Roma Identities – 27 April 2022

Éva Kovács, ‘Black Bodies, White Bodies – ‘Gypsy’ Images in Central Europe at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (1880–1920),’ Critical Romani Studies, Vol. 3 No. 2 (2020), 72-94.

Mike Sell, ‘Bohemianism, the Cultural Turn of the Avantgarde, and Forgetting the Roma,’ TDR Vol. 51, No. 2 (Summer, 2007), pp. 41-59