Medieval and Neo-Latin Studies

New Ph.D. programme implemented in collaboration between the Institute of Greek and Latin Studies of the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University
and the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Application deadline is 30 April 2021, admission examinations take place on 14-16 June 2021.

Fellowship

Every student accepted for regular Ph.D program receives a fellowship of 13,000 CZK/month and may apply for further research and travel support and take part in paid research grants. This particular program offers also paid internships at the Academy of Sciences (see below).

Profile of the programme

The Ph.D. programme investigates the history of Latin literature and European culture that used Latin as its means of expression during the period between the fall of Rome, through transformation of the cultural legacy of antiquity during the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and the Baroque, and all the way into its rebirth into a subject of scientific investigation and part of cultural life of modern European nations. Latin texts are approached from the perspective of linguistics, palaeography, codicology, literary science, and cultural history, with special emphasis on developments in the Czech Lands. This programme is interdisciplinary and touches upon a number of other areas, including intellectual history, history of religion, and history of books. Doctoral students investigate the theoretical and practical aspects of publication of Latin texts written during the period this programme covers and familiarise themselves with the possibilities of digital humanities. This programme can be taken in Czech or in English. For further information, contact the program guarantor, Lucie Dolezalovâ lucie.dolezalova@ff.cuni.cz

Conditions of admission into the programme

Admission process into this doctoral programme follows the internal regulations of the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University. Candidates must meet, among others, the following conditions:

  • •    Graduation from a master’s programme in Medieval (Latin) Studies or another area of humanities, whereby candidates must demonstrate their knowledge of Latin and of the history of Latin literature.
  • •    Candidates ought to demonstrate suitability for scientific work, professional focus, and good orientation in specialised literature relevant to subjects of this programme. Knowledge of two major modern languages is viewed as an advantage.
  • •    Each candidate must present a project of dissertation thesis, a structured CV, a list of specialised books, and an overview of previous academic activities in accordance with a list of demands defined by the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University (available at phd-programmes: application-and- admission).

Ph.D. internships at the Institute of Philosophy of the CAS

Persons interested in taking the Latin Medieval and Neo-Latin Studies under the supervision of researchers of the Institute of Philosophy may apply for a paid internship at the Institute of Philosophy of the CAS. These internships are granted always for one year with a possibility of extension. Interns actively participate in research activities of the department they select and in other activities of the Institute of Philosophy. It is assumed that candidates will choose a dissertation subject relevant to projects currently conducted at the Institute of Philosophy:

  • •    For the area of Medieval Latin studies (supervisors from the Centre for Medieval Studies): analysis of sources reflecting the religious, cultural, and intellectual diversity of Central Europe in Late Middle Ages, conflicts stemming from this diversity and attempts at their solution;

• For the area of neo-Latin studies (supervisors from the Department of Comenius Studies and Early Modern Intellectual History): analysis of various communication media and textual legacy of Early Modern ‘republic of scholars’, including correspondence and various genres of printed production, with emphasis on relations between Latin and vernacular production.

In case you are interested in a Ph.D. internship at the Institute of Philosophy, contact Pavel Soukup (soukup@flu.cas.cz), coordinator of applications for the joint doctoral programme on behalf of the Institute of Philosophy. It is essential that you do so sufficiently in advance of application deadline. Application for doctoral internship should be accompanied by a letter of motivation specifying your idea regarding your work at the Institute of Philosophy and explaining the link between your dissertation thesis and research undertaken at the relevant department or centre. Selected candidates will be, on the day of admission examination, invited for a brief interview at the Institute of Philosophy.

Anyone interested in the program should contact their potential supervisor.

Supervisors at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague

Iva Adámková

I lead dissertations focused on medieval Latin literature (e.g. textual analysis, contextualization, translation). I work on monastic texts, hagiography, texts connected to medieval art. Contact: iva.adamkova@ ff.cuni.cz

Lucie Doležalová

I will happily supervise dissertations on medieval literature and manuscripts. Usual dissertation is an edition an analysis of a so far unedited text, or textual transmission and reception of a particular text. I am interested in obscure texts, but also memory, mnemonic aids, library history, Bible reception, parody, proverbs and digital humanities. Contact: lucie.dolezalova@ff.cuni.cz

Supervisor from the Faculty of Arts, University of Ostrava

Anna Pumprová

I focus on analysis of medieval Latin texts, especially from 12th-14th century Bohemia. I especially enjoy monastic writing – historiography, homiletics, biblical exegesis (commentary of the Song of Songs), or spiritual lyrics. I will happily supervise critical editions, literary-historical studies or translations of a text, e.g. from the Zbraslav monastery, a work of Jan of Jenstejn, ort he sermon collection of Robert of Olomouc. Contact: anna.pumprova@osu.cz.

Supervisors from the Institute of Philosophy, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic Centre for Classical Studies

Petr Kitzler

My main focus of interest is Late Classical and Early Christian literature written in Latin (including Czech translations), hagiographies, and intellectual currents in Early Church. Dissertations could therefore focus on any of the following subjects:

  1. 1)     Graeco-Roman cultural and intellectual context of Early Christian literature (e.g. the influence of Classical rhetoric or contemporary philosophical movements) and its literary and intellectual stylisation and reception;
  2. 2)     Latin apologists, especially Tertullian of Carthage;
  3. 3)     Hagiographic literature in Latin (vitae, acta, and passiones martyrum), its diversity in terms of genres, development, and gradual adaptation and reinterpretation in reaction to changing cultural and intellectual climate;
  4. 4)     Latin language in early Christian texts and changes in its semantics in reaction to new religious and cultural contexts;
  5. 5)     Translation of a Latin-written early Christian text with detailed commentary and an introductory study.

Barbora Kocánová

I would be happy to supervise theses in Middle Latin philology and educational/instructional literature on subjects such as:

  1. 1)     Various topics from Middle Latin lexicography and terminology. Theses could focus on e.g. analysis of some lexicographic text, including its edition, or characterisation and analysis of changes within some interesting terminological group;
  2. 2)     Subjects from educational medieval Latin literature. Such theses could deal with, for example, analysis and edition of some Bohemical source, the history of some natural science in the Middle Ages, or sources of academic provenance (e.g. texts based on Prague quodlibets);
  3. 3)     Topics related to the reception of Aristotle in the Middle Ages.

Pavel Nývlt (Centre for Classical Studies)

Dissertation theses I could supervise should focus on Latin Bohemical literature, especially historiography or dictionaries, eventual Latin vocabulary in the Middle Ages. The following are some suggestions of suitable subjects:

  1. 1)     Location of the work in time and space and construction of the person of narrator in select Bohemical chronicles;
  2. 2)     The importance of Velesin’s dictionary for textual criticism of Claretus’s Glossarius;
  3. 3)     Specific features of vocabulary of select Latin Bohemical texts with focus on, e.g., neologisms, occasionalisms, synonyms, or the use of particular works that lack a full semantic meaning.

Centre for Medieval Studies

Pavlína Cermanová

Supervision of dissertations in the area of intellectual history of the Middle Ages with focus on intellectual links and communication channels between centres of education in Central Europe. Theses could also deal with medieval apocalyptic thinking, its sources, spread, and impact on society. Possible subjects include the following:

  1. 1)     Medieval apocalyptic and prophetic literature, both in the vernacular and in Latin;
  2. 2)     Subjects related to the sources, manifestations, and identification strategies of medieval religious radicalism;
  3. 3)     Spread of writings on natural philosophy by manuscripts and their further reception; reconstruction of communication channels among scholars and other ways of sharing texts based on the above;
  4. 4)      Medieval alchemy, its records in writing, alchemistic constructs.

Dušan Coufal

I would be happy to take on doctoral projects on subjects from late medieval intellectual and ecclesiastical history, especially such that also touch upon contemporary political and social events. I feel especially close to work focused on the study of Latin manuscripts, eventually their publication in print. I offer supervision of theses on the following areas:

  1. 1)     Theological production of Central European universities, especially the Prague university (tractates, exegetical commentaries, testimonials);
  2. 2)     The history and written legacy of fifteenth-century councils, especially the Council of Basel;
  3. 3)     Biographies and social activities of university masters;
  4. 4)     Hussite and anti-Hussite thought;
  5. 5)     Controversies surrounding the reception of John Wyclef’s theological and political thought in Bohemia.

Pavel Soukup (Centre for Medieval Studies)

I would be happy to supervise doctoral theses on subjects from the intellectual and cultural history of Late Middle Ages with focus on Central Europe. I feel particularly attracted to the subject of heresies, especially Hussitism, as well as controversial theology and preaching. Given this focus, I would consider the following subjects of theses especially suitable:

  1. 1)     Analysis of handwritten collections of sermons with focus on their structure, the origin of particular pieces, and relations between the text and spoken rendition (for instance, the mystery of Hus’s sermones de primo anno, the so-called postil of Hus’s representatives from 1413, or collections of sermons from the period of formation of the Utraquist Church);
  2. 2)     Investigation of transmission and transformation of Latin texts in their intellectual and social context. Particular topics in this area include the vernacular reception of Wyclef’s Latin writings (comparison of Middle English and Old Czech adaptations); movements of people and texts between medieval universities using Prague and Leipzig as an example; the use and production of instructional texts for preachers in the Czech Lands (artes praedicandi, distinctiones, model sermons);
  3. 3)     An overview of treatment of particular questions in late medieval discussions, e.g. arguments against the freedom of speech in polemics with heresies; Czech ecclesiology during the period of legal coexistence of different Christian denominations; analysis and edition of a selected tractate from the area of anti-Hussite polemics.

Department of Comenius Studies and Early Modern Intellectual History

Marcela Slavíková

I would be happy to supervise dissertations focused on Bohemical literature in Early Modern Era, on subjects such as:

  1. 1)     Latin humanist poetry connected with activities of the Prague university prior to 1622, including poetry written in Classical Greek in the context of contemporary Latin production;
  2. 2)     Early Modern Bohemical editions of Classical and humanistic texts, e.g. school editions published for the needs of the university in Leipzig in late fifteenth and early sixteenth century;
  3. 3)     Latin correspondence of John Amos Comenius from editor’s perspective; preparation of a critical edition of a humanist Latin text based on work with manuscripts and old prints.

Lucie Storchova

Supervision of dissertations in the field of humanist literature in the Czech Lands and Central Europe in general, as well as intellectual history of the sixteenth and early seventeenth century. Theses could deal with, for instance, the following subjects:

  1. 1)     Literature as part of cultural exchange between Central Europe and other regions, including non-European ones;
  2. 2)     Humanistic literature as part of scholarly self-representation and communication of scholars in the sixteenth century (poetry, correspondence, etc.);
  3. 3)     Travel literature and representation of otherness during the period in question;
  4. 4)     Neo-Latin and vernacular historiography in the sixteenth century;
  5. 5)     Neo-Latin and vernacular literature through the prism of gender studies and queer studies.

Vladimír Urbánek (Department of Comenius Studies)

Supervision of dissertations in the area of intellectual history of Early Modern Era with focus on Bohemical subjects within a wider European context. Subjects may include:

  1. 1)     Research of networks of correspondence of Early Modern ‘republic of scholars’, e.g. subject analysis of correspondence of Comenius and his circle; popularity and changes of meaning of terms such as pansophia (using digital humanities); exile as a subject of scholarly correspondence;
  2. 2)     Prophesy as a literary genre and medium of communication in the seventeenth century: prophesies, visions, and revelations as a literary genre and their reception by readers; the relationship between vernacular and Latin versions of prophesies published by Comenius; textual transmission of prophesies from a vernacular manuscript, through a printed Latin version, and all the way to re-contextualisation in collections of prophesies.
  3. 3)     The influence of Early Modern neo-stoicism in Central European environment, e.g. a comparison of Lipsius’s De constantia and its contemporary translations (including Comenius’s Czech paraphrase in Truchlivy).

Department for the Study of Ancient and Medieval Thought

Pavel Blažek

I would be happy to supervise doctoral theses on subjects from late medieval philosophy and theology and, more generally, topics from the intellectual history of Late Medieval Era. Theses could focus on for instance the following subjects:

  1. 1)     Medieval Aristotelianism and late medieval reception of Aristotle. Particular topics include the use of Aristotle in medieval sacramental theology; reception and adaptation of Aristotle’s theories on the genesis of community, on virtues, and on friendship in medieval commentaries on the Politics and/or Nicomachean Ethics; Aristotelianism in medieval political discourses (e.g. in De regimine principum by Aegidius Romanus); transmission and adaptation of various medieval pseudo-Aristotelian writings;
  2. 2)     Family, marriage, and family relations in medieval philosophical, theological, and legal literature. Particular subjects include: relations between men and women or children and parents in medieval commentaries on the Politics, Nicomachean Ethics, and pseudo­Aristotelian Ethics; the concept of childhood and youth in medieval commentaries on the Rhetoric; ideals of Christian upbringing in medieval instructive texts on the upbringing of children (Vincent of Beauvais, Jean Gerson, etc.); on arranging marriage, inseparability of marriage, marital sexuality, and marriage of Mary and Joseph in medieval commentaries on the Sentences by Peter of Lombardy;
  3. 3)     Critical editions of previously unpublished medieval philosophical and theological writings.

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