Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for European History and Public Spheres, Nussdorfer Strasse 64, 4th floor, 1090 Wien
15.05.2012 – 15:00
The Czech underground movement peaked around Ivan Martin Jirous’s (Magor) project in the 1970s. Throughout the country, artists and intellectuals progressively came to identify with his intently apolitical movement. For instance, the jail sentences given to the underground musicians of the band Plastic People of the Universe (1976) prompted the drafting of the Charter 77 manifesto. Furthermore, Magor drafted different programs for the underground and thus kept defining it as a movement. But did he create this movement or did he just become its spokesperson? When did it appear? When did it disappear, and what was it replaced with? What role did literary movements, bands, samizdats and other social institutions play in the defining of this identity? Nicolas Maslowski’s lecture will deconstruct the different social logics hiding behind this polysemous term “underground”, as well as analyze its “post-underground” legacy in post-communist times.
Nicolas Maslowski obtained his PhD in Political Science from Université de Paris-Ouest La Défense Nanterre. He is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Human Sciences (FHS) at Charles University and at the University of Economics in Prague (VSE). His research work is centered on a historical sociological study of protest and street protest, civic society, and international relations. He recently published the volume Manifester en République tchèque: société civile et protestation, 1989-2009, Editions universitaires européennes, 2011, as well as co-authored (with Muriel Blaive) the article ”The World of the Two Václavs: European-Minded vs. National(ist) Intellectuals in Czechia”, in Justine Lacroix, Kalypso Nikolaidis (eds), European Stories. Intellectual Debates in Europe in National Contexts, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010, p. 257-274.