Ladislav Holy Lecture 2021 – 4. 11. 2021






Maynooth University

Predicaments of Cultural Intimacy:

The Little Czech vs. the Covid-19 Pandemic

4. November 2021 from 17.00

The lecture will be broadcast online via ZOOM.


The lecture is in part inspired by Ladislav Holy’s cultural analyses of the Czech national identity and its role in the Post-Communist Social Transformation (The Little Czech and the Great Czech Nation, 1996). While Holy asked about the role of national culture in and after the sociopolitical transformation of 1989, this lecture will focus on a more recent moment in Czech history – the Covid-19 pandemic. Drawing on Michael Herzfeld’s intriguing argument that „state ideologies and the intimacy of everyday social life are revealingly similar,“ (Cultural Intimacy, 2004), I will use anthropological lens to attempt to show how politics and poetics of everyday life interplayed in the production of an epidemiological disaster.


Hana Cervinkova is a Professor of Anthropology at Maynooth University (since 2019). In her early publications, she built on ethnographic research in the Czech military focusing on the cultural and political paradoxes of postsocialist transformation in the liminal period of intensive post-Cold War civil-military restructuring. Her current work highlights issues of nationalism, racism and memory as they emerge in the everyday educational and political discourses and practices in Central Europe. The politics of memory and history figure prominently in her educational and urban research and pedagogical practice, much of which she has dedicated to exploring and making public the silenced heritage of the formerly multicultural societies of Central Europe. Cervinkova also published on anthropology of post-socialism and postcolonialism and participatory and action research methodologies.

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