The Contemporary World
Due to migration and globalization, diverse cultures constantly meet, and societal changes shape new subcultures. In this unprecedented contemporary situation it is more difficult to meet the requirements necessary to transbound these groups in a way that could facilitate a mutual dialogue. In particular, it is necessary not only to respect cultural differences but to transcend them.
Transcultural way to dialoque
A transcultural path to dialogue by means of Transcultural Communication (TC) examines the conditions that make this crossing possible. Therefore “in spite of ” cultural differences we try to find universal features that would allow meetings and dialogue across the cultures.
The branch is concerned with not only the specifics of individual cultures such as studying cultural anthropology, but together with the necessary philosophical anthropology asks also for universal human traits.
Attention is paid to the theories of ethics and their applications, for example in various meetings and clashes of civilizations.
These three perspectives are practically supported through personality and communication development and language skills.
Since a long time ago, it's not about whether we will live together, but about how
The first graduates completed their studies in May 2013. In contrast to foreign universities of Central and Western Europe or the USA, the Czech transcultural study programme is rather recent. Though, it is based on long-term creative and scientific activities of its lecturers.
Today’s world faces new demands and Transcultural communication is our current challenge.
We are always trying to improve
In 2020-2021 we implement the Borders & Dialogue project supported by International Visegrad Fund. The project is focused on Czech-Polish relations in the Broumov region and southern Silesia.
Zdenka Sokolíčková, conducts a field research on climatic-economic-social changes in the town of Longyearbyen in Svalbard. The two-year boREALIFE project has the MSCA Seal of Excellence and is funded by the OP RDE, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic. The mentor of the project is Thomas Hylland Eriksen. Interview on the project available on Prague Radio International.
In 2019, Tomáš Petráček was the only one from the University of Hradec Králové to receive the best possible evaluation for his contribution to knowledge (according to the M17 + Methodology within Module 1). The university is excited and we are even more so! He was awarded for the book “Power and Exploitation in the Czech Lands in the 10th-12th Centuries: A Central European Perspective”, which was published in 2017 by the prestigious Dutch publishing house Brill.
Since 2018, David Bouma has been a member of the international team of the “Social cohesion in the context of migration” project (Erasmus+ program). In 2019 he actively participated in the project workshops in Vienna and Bolzano. In 2021 he will take part in a working meeting in Satu Mare, Romania, and Cologne, Germany.
A project called the “Innovation of Transcultural Communication and Implementation of Teaching in English” was implemented in the years 2012-2014. Our Department received funds from the ESF Operational Programme Education for Competitiveness. The project has organized trips, internships, teaching from foreign experts. It also developed a departmental library with publications in Czech and English etc. We are glad that thanks to European support we managed to move our study programme forward and ensure our students the highest quality education.
Looking back at 2020
Since 2020 we have been involved in the Borders & Dialogue Project focused on the Czech-Polish relations. The project is supported by the International Visegrad Fund, our Polish partner is the Department of Sociology at the University of Opole. Currently, we are more or less only in on-line contacts, but we are not giving in and we are improvising!
In January 2020, Van Anh Nguyen finished her bachelor’s degree studies and became the first graduate in the Transcultural Communication field of studies which is presented in English to international students. Being the members of the final state examination boards, we are equipped with battle shields and masks. Big thanks and congratulations to all our graduates on their courage!
In February we still managed to be presented “real” lectures by Associate Professor Marek Jakoubek, Director of the Institute of Ethnology of Faculty of Arts of Charles University, and at the beginning of March we were presented lectures by Associate Professor Vít Hušek from Sts Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology of Palacký University in Olomouc.
Big thanks to our student Lucie Rejlová for her pop art portraits of the transcultural teaching team!
And still something more to say...
The course “Importance of values in the changing world” was provided on-line by Professor Josef Freise from Katholische Hochschule Nordrhein-Westfalen in Koln. The existence of the possibility of virtual teaching was really advantageous – Doctor Zdenka Sokolíčková was able to provide her courses to Master students in spite of her being beyond the Arctic Circle.
Zdenka Sokolíčková, who received an award for science at the UHK, is finishing her two-year field research in the town of Longyearbyen in Svalbard. The documentary „Visitors“, which presents the boREALIFE project and her family´s life, is being currently shot (directed by Veronika Lišková). The Svalbard Science Forum awarded Zdenka Sokolíčková with a grant supporting her project “Teenagers without land: Offspring of economic migrants to Svalbard in an overheated world.”
The book “Kyber a eko: Digitální technologie v enviromentálních souvislostech” (Zdenka Sokolíčková (ed.), Manfred Spitzer, Václav Bělohradský, Martin Leskovjan, Jeremiáš Havranu, Jana Karlová, Martin Soukup, Jan D. Bláha, with the epilogue by Marek O. Vácha) was published with a slight delay in January.
Doctor David Bouma, who is involved in the international project “Social cohesion in the context of migration”, initiated his habilitation procedure.
Professor Tomáš Petráček was invited to a prestigious workshop held within the framework of the project “Roman Curia and the German Dispute over Integrism in the Early 20th Century” in Venice. The Vyšehrad publishing house published interviews with him under the title “Naděje v dějinách” (“Hopes in History”). The book was nearly immediately sold out and appeared, for example, on the list of the most prominent titles of 2020, which was made by editors of Respekt magazine.
Students are reacting to the current situation with a new format of group projects and they are making podcasts (The Impact of Social Networks on Adolescents, Fast Fashion and Sustainable Fashion, Minimalism, The Clash of Two Monotheistic Religions, How the Media Influence Us). In particular, we appreciate the fact that our students do not give in and face inconveniences of virtual learning. Despite the current situation, some of our students accomplished their student mobilities.
The “Jihlava” International Festival of Documentary Films presented the documentary made by our graduate Markéta Janků and entitled “Ve jménu bezpečnosti” (“In the Name of Safety”).
Looking back at 2019
In April 2019 we were given lectures by Professor Torsten Hylén from Dalarna University, the topic of the lectures was the Sunni-Shiite conflict in the Middle East.
On 24th and 25th April, Charles University in Prague hosted the ninth Conference “Our Common Presence”. We are a co-organizer of the Project.
From May 23rd till May 25th, all the students enrolled in Bachelor studies went on a field trip to Hejnice in the Frýdlant region.
In September, students and teachers gathered to start the winter term of the new academic year.
From October 21st till October 24th, the first year full-time students went on a field trip to Neratov in the Orlické Mountains, where they got more familiar with their field of studies, their teachers and their new university-mates.
On October 30th, Professor Tomáš Halík and Professor Joseph Freise from Katolische Hochschule in Köln were involved in the discussion ”Greta, Gott & Europe“. Additionally, from October 29th till November 1st 2019, Professor Freise was presenting his lectures to students of the follow-up Master´s degree programme of Transcultural Communication.
From November 6th till November 7th, some students of Transcultural Communication were nominated for taking part in the Broumov discussions held in the premises of the Benedictine monastery in Broumov. One of the key-note speakers was Tomáš Petráček (that time still “only” Associate Professor).
And still something more to say...
On November 18th and 19th, students were presented lectures by Associate Professor Ivan Foletti, an art historian and the head of the Centre for Early Medieval Studies at Masaryk University in Brno. / On December 5th, the third year students organized a lecture and video projection which was entitled “Monoxylon III – Journey beyond the boundaries of everyday life”; this lecture was inspired by the experimental archaeological expedition entitled in the same way. / Zdenka Sokolíčková is involved in a two-year field research in Svalbard. A documentary about this research and about her family’s life in Svalbard is being currently made. On November 22nd, the project was presented simultaneously on two continents: in Vancouver at “the CASCA-AAA Changing Climates” Conference and on-line at “the “APECS Sweden Workshop on Ethical and Sustainable Arctic Research” in Stockholm.
Based on the proposal made by Charles University, Tomáš Petráček was awarded the scientific degree of Professor. His book “Power and Exploitation in the Czech Lands in the 10th -12th Centuries” was the only one published by the UHK academics which received the best possible assessment for contribution to cognition (Methodology M17 + within Module 1). Apart from that, he has rippled the waters of the public media several times.
František Burda hosted and chaired the 16th workshop called Ars Poetica. / Jan Hojda was awarded the academic degree of Associate Professor of Theology by Palacký University in Olomouc. / Petr Macek published his dissertation focused on Metoděj Habáň, and he gave lectures at Hanshin University in Soul (South Korea). / Jana Karlová was invited to the panel focusing on digital addictions at IX Conference of the Neuropsychiatric Forum held at the French Institute in Prague.
Department of Studies in Culture and Religion
The Department falls under the Faculty of Education of the University of Hradec Králové. It provides two undergraduate courses (Transcultural Communication and Religious Education) and the follow-up Master’s degree of Transcultural Communication (currently in Czech only).
The teachers have interdisciplinary backgrounds. An emphasis is placed on the critical analysis of contemporary social and cultural phenomena, both in teaching and in scientific research and publication activities. The scientific publication outputs include the department of the best workplaces across the University. Given that the field of transcultural communication in the Czech Republic is exceptional and that its concept responds to the current need to study and learn, therefore the Department, together with various partners, annually organizes specialized conferences.
Professors Tomáš Halík, Pavel Barša, Jan Sokol, Umberto Galimberti, Josef Freise, Thomas H. Eriksen, Václav Bělohradský and Manfred Spitzer have all lectured here. For cooperation and support we have partnerships with universities in Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Norway and the Slovak Republic. As regards domestic partners, besides many Czech universities and research institutes, we can mention the Agency for the development of the Broumov region, the Diocesan and Regional Charity of Hradec Králové etc.