Publication details

Kalendárium Masarykovy univerzity 1919–2019



Year of publication 2019
Type Monograph
Description Masaryk University’s centenary encourages us to review its past. The team of authors – six historians – do so in a popular form, illustrating their narrative with unique photographs and other visual materials. They put the story of the university in the context of domestic developments in higher education, research and technology, as well as that of the fates of several generations over the politically turbulent twentieth century. The book reveals: • Why did the idea of founding the university cause demonstrations and bloodshed before 1918? • What linked the young university and the composer Leoš Janáček? • Why were so many of its professors involved in the resistance and what exactly went on in the faculties closed to staff and students under the Protectorate? • How did university celebrations and student festivities evolve, from graduations and May revelries to the First of May celebrations enforced by the Communists? • What was a student’s daily life really like under the First Republic (1918-38) and the Normalisation (post-1968)? • How did the first computers arrive at the university? • How did the university’s polar research station come to be established on the coast of James Ross Island in Antarctica? • How did academia deal with the legacy of 40 years of totalitarian rule and with the new trends that appeared after 1989? • How were new faculties established to reflect a changing world? • Why are you now likely to see children of school age as well as senior citizens in university teaching spaces? • Which of the university’s research successes have attracted the greatest media attention? Readers might be surprised to learn about the humble beginnings and the struggle for existence of a university that has since developed into a great institution, featuring a unique modern campus, attended by tens of thousands of students and exerting a huge positive influence not just on its city and the South Moravian region, but indeed on the whole country. The authors present the second Czech university in its setting of the city of Brno, as well as in the context of ‘great history’. Universities have always been a focus of politicians’ attention, and members of Masaryk University have often become involved in the twentieth century’s reversals. Thanks to this fact, Masaryk University Timeline can also be read as a Czech history of the past century on a small scale; indeed, the story of this one extraordinary institution can serve as a mirror for the whole of society.

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