Making and Re-Making Europe:

The Czech and Slovak Contribution

In honour of the celebration in 2018 of the founding of Czechoslovakia and remembering fifty years since the Warsaw Pact invasion in 1968, the Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (CERES) at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy will hold a two-day conference to mark these important anniversaries and give visibility to the contribution of Czechs and Slovaks in Europe and North America. The conference combines academic panels, films and a graduate student conference.

November 7 - 5:30 PM Evening Cultural Event

Location: The Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility, 1 Devonshire Place

Havel and Underground Culture. Michael Kilburn, Endicott College, Beverly, Massachusetts. Paul Wilson, Writer and Translator.

Michael Žantovský, Václav Havel Library, Prague, Czechia.

Dramatic Readings from Tom Stoppard‘s „Rock and Roll“ and Vaclav Havel‘s „Protest“

„For Your Freedom and Ours“ Exhibit Opening and Reception

In cooperation with the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes in Prague and the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Toronto, we are pleased to present a photographic exhibit depicting protests against the occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968 within the struggle for freedom in the Communist states of Europe.

Introductory remarks by Ivan Počuch, Consul General of the Czech Republic in Toronto.


November 8 - 9:00 AM

Opening Remarks: Randall Hansen, Interim Director, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy,

H.E. Pavel Hrnčíř, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Canada.

H.E. Andrej Droba, Ambassador of Slovakia to Canada.

9:15 — 11:00 Panel One:

The Founding of Czechoslovakia:

Was this a Harbinger of the Shaping of Twenty First Century Europe?

• Hugh Agnew, The George Washington University, Washington, DC.

• Jiří Přibáň — Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom.

• Daniel Pratt, McGill University, Montreal.

11:00 — 12:30 Panel Two:

The Interwar Years: Moving Away Multiculturalism?

• Nadya Nedelsky, Macalester College, St Paul, Minnesota.

• Melissa Feinberg, Rutgers, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

• James Felak, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Lunch 12:30 — 1:30

1:30-3:15 Panel Three:

The Legacy of Communism: Is it too Early to Assess?

• Muriel Blaive, Eurias Senior Fellow, Institut fur die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, Vienna, Austria.

• James Krapfl, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec.

• Barbara J. Falk, Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario.

• Libor Žídek, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.

3:15 — 3:30 Coffee Break

3:30 — 17:00 Panel Four:

Czechs and Slovaks as a Diaspora — Their Impact on the Evolution of Czechoslovakia and/or the Countries Which They Adopted

• Jan Raska —Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

• Veronika Ambros, University of Toronto, Toronto.

• Xavier Galmiche, Sorbonne University, Paris, France.

• Marketa Goetz-Stankiewicz, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

17:00 — 19:00 Reception

19:00 — Film Screening. FILM TBA


November 9 — Student Conference and Roundtable on the Post-Communist Experience


Panel 1: Consolidation of States and Ideology

Panelists are asked to explore the factors that led to the emergence of Austro-Hungarian successor states, and the issues of transition faced by these newly formed states, as well as to the movements that promoted independence during World War I. Additionally,

panelists will discuss how the success or failure of these states related to the larger European political scene in the inter-war period, particularly regarding the merits and failings of democracy in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the emergence and impact of fascist and communist ideologies.

Panel 2: The Evolution of the Nation-State in „Wilsonian“ Central Europe

Panelists will discuss the impact of World War II and Nazi occupation and hegemony in Central Europe, and how the war altered Central European nationalism domestically and internationally into the post-war period.


Panel 3: Understanding Socialism and its Legacies

In regard to the failed revolts against socialist regimes in Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, and Poland in 1956, 1968, and 1970, Milan Kundera wrote that each of these regimes „could not have defended itself for more than three hours if it had not been

backed by Russia.“ (Milan Kundera, „The Tragedy of Central Europe,“ The New York Review of Books vol. 31 no. 7 (April 1984).) Panelists are asked to debate whether socialism truly could have been reformed in Central Europe had the Warsaw Pact and the

Soviet Union not intervened? How does this recent socialist past affect contemporary Central European politics?

Panel 4: Central European Communities Abroad

Panelists will outline how Central and Eastern Central European immigrants and diasporas have influenced North America and North American culture, and how the new environment and reasons for emigrating, in turn, influenced their cultures.

The event would conclude with a conversation with a select group of our panelists on Central Europe since 1968 with an emphasis on events that happened after 1989.

If you are attending a Munk School event and require accommodation(s), please email the event contact listed above to make appropriate arrangements. If you have any questions please get in touch with ouroffice at or 416-946-8900.

Contact: Robert Austin ( 416-946-8942

Main Sponsor Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies