Charles University Research Center of Excellence, established 2018
The Center for the Transdisciplinary Research of Violence, Trauma and Justice (acronym VITRI) represents a hub for the study of collective violence, reconciliation, and transitional justice at the Charles University:
WP 1 Violence from a Historical Perspective
WP 2 Transitional Justice
WP 3 Violence and Trauma from a Mental Health Perspective
WP 4 Security Community
VITRI is a joint project of five faculties of Charles University, the leading university in the region, namely the Faculty of Social Sciences (with the Institute of Political Studies and Institute of Area Studies representing the backbone of the project), the Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen (Psychiatric Clinic and the Institute of Pathological Physiology), and the Law Faculty (Department of Legal History). Juniors from the Faculty of Arts (Institute of Global History) and the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics (Malach Center for Visual History) complement our team.
Our research center of excellence has two principle aims. It strives to strengthen ties between individual researchers, disciplines and faculties, and thus endorse further cohesion within the Charles University. More importantly, it promotes excellent research and provides members with necessary tools to enhance the academic, societal, cultural and economic impact of their work.
In line with the Charles University long-term strategic plan VITRI hence reinforces the position of the Charles University as an open, internationalized, research-based institution.
VITRI present a hub where juniors can learn from the seniors (and vice versa, of course), visiting fellows, and our distinguished Academic Board members. We hope this collaboration will lead to excellent quality projects and research endeavors.
Dr Kubatova is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University. Her areas of research include majority-minority relations in Slovakia, social history of the Holocaust, and the relationship between memory and robbery. She has degrees from both the Central European University and the Charles University.
Hana has been a a recepient of numerous fellowships and grants, including a Marie Curie Fellowship, a Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellowship from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, a Felix Posen Fellowship from the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism, an Israel Government Scholarship, a Gisela Fleischmann Scholarship from the Milan Simecka Foundation, and more recently, a Junior Core Fellowship from the Institute of Advanced Study, Central European University, Budapest. Hana has published in Slovak, Czech, English, German, and Hungarian, and her contributions have been accepted in prestigious national and international scholarly outlets, including Contemporary European History; Holocaust Studies: Journal of Culture and History, Jewish Studies Yearbook at the Central European University, Soudobe dejiny, Historicky casopis and others.
She has recently co-authored The Jew in Czech and Slovak Imagination, 1938-89: Antisemitism, the Holocaust and Zionism (Brill, 2018) and co-edited Jews and Gentiles in Central and Eastern Europe during the Holocaust. History and Memory (Routledge, 2018).
Dr Kubatova is the head of the VITRI research center.
Dr Ditrych is Director of the Institute of International Relations Prague and Assistant Professor and Academic Fellow at the Department of International Relations at Charles University, Faculty of Social Sciences. He holds degrees in international relations from University of Cambridge and Charles University where he previously graduated in political science. In the past, he was a Fulbright research fellow at Belfer Center, Harvard University, a visiting researcher at CERI, Sciences Po Paris and SWP Berlin, an associate fellow at European Union Institute for Security Studies and worked as an analyst for NATO SHAPE. He also served as an external advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic (2014-2015) and lectured at the Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Academy.
Dr Ditrych is the author of more than forty academic articles and book chapters. His articles have been published in leading impacted journals in the field of international relations including Security Dialogue, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Journal of International Relations and Development, International Relations, International Politics or Historical Social Research. His latest book, Tracing the Discourses of Terrorism: Identity, Genealogy and State, was published by Palgrave Macmillan (2014).
Within VITRI, Dr Ditrych is in charge of the WP Security Community.
Prof Konrad is Associate Professor and head of the Department of German and Austrian Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University. In the past, he was a senior researcher at the Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences. In the current summer term, Prof Konrad is a visiting professor (Vertretungsprofessor) at the Regensburg University.
Prof Konrad is the recipient of numerous grants and scholarships, supported by the Bayerisch-Tschechische Hochschulagentur, 2017–2020, the Czech Science Foundation. He is also the coordinator of the Czech-Austrian History Book, financed by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the Southmoravian Region, and the Vysocina Region.
Prof Konrad is the author of three research monograps, and has edited or co-edited three books on Edvard Benes. His chapters and articles have appeared in leading historical journals and annuals, including Nationalities Papers, Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, Kosmas. Czechoslovak and Central European Journal, and Bohemia. Zeitschrift für Geschichte und Kultur der böhmischen Länder.
Within VITRI, Prof Konrad is in charge of the WP Violence from a Historical Perspective.
is the Head of Department of Russian and East European Studies and an assistant professor at the Institute of International Studies supervising students on history and politics of the Balkans. In her research, she focuses on the (post)Holocaust, the Greek Civil War, post-war reconstruction, and reconciliation, currently working on the second book project on Holocaust survivors in post-war Greece. After M.A. studies in Germany, she completed Ph.D. in Prague (2010) with a thesis published in Czech, Greek, and German (Das Vermächtnis der Besatzung, 2016). She received several fellowships in Germany, Greece and the USA including a USHMM Fellowship and a Fulbright Fellowship at Yale University. She is, among others, the Prague academic director of Nationalism, Religion and Violence Summer Seminar and principal investigator of a BOHEMs project within the PRIMUS Research Program (2017-2019), for which she put together an international team of 10 researchers based in Prague. In 2010-2015 she served as a Vice-Dean for International Relations at the Faculty of Social Sciences, CUNI and in 2017 obtained the Learned Society Award for scientists under 40.
Dr Kralova's work has appeared, among other prestigious outlets, in Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, Holocaust Studies: Journal of Culture and History, and European History Quarterly.
Within VITRI, Dr Kralova is in charge of the fellows program.
Prof Jan Kuklik is Professor of Legal History and Dean of the Law Faculty, Charles University. In the past, he was a visiting postgraduate student at the St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University.
In his work, Prof Kuklik focuses both on the history of Anglo-American law and on the legal history of the Czechoslovak republic, and the history of Czechoslovak resistance during the Second World War. He is considered a leading expert on postwar retribution and restitution in Czechoslovakia.
Prof Kuklik's numerous publications include include: Od narodniho statu ke statu narodnosti [From a Nation-State to a State of Nationalities] (2013, with J. Nemecek), Czech law in historical contexts (2015), and Frontiers, Minorities, Transfers, Expulsions: British Diplomacy Towards Czechoslovakia and Poland During WWII (2015, with J. Nemecek). He has recently co-authored Jak odskodnit holocaust? [How to Compensate for the Holocaust?] (2015).
Within VITRI, Prof Kuklik is in charge of the WP Transitional Justice.
Prof Lt. Colonel Jan Vevera is Chief Psychiatrist at the 7th Field Military Hospital, Hradec Králové and Associate Professor at the Psychiatric Clinic, Charles University, where he also teaches Medical Ethics. He graduated from Charles University and received his post-doctoral fellowship from UC Berkeley in California and the Maudsley Hospital, King's College London. Prof Vevera served as health care coordinator for People in Need in Kosovo and a psychiatrist and general practitioner in Czech and French field hospitals in Afghanistan.
His recent and ongoing research includes study of the causes of violence and victimization in patients suffering from psychosis, neuropsychiatric adverse effects associated with cholesterol lowering therapy and neurobiological and clinical correlations of violent behavior and traumatic stress.
Within VITRI, Prof Vevera is in charge of the WP Violence and Trauma from a Mental Health Perspective.
Prof Horcicka is Professor and Director of the Institute of World History at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University. In the past, Prof Horcicka was the Fulbright visiting research fellow at the Boston University and a summer fellow at the New York University.
Prof Horcicka is the recipient of numerous awards and research grants, including three from the Czech Science Foundation.
In his research, Prof Horcicka focuses on the history of World War I, and transatlantic relations in the 20th century.
Prof Horcicka has authored five research monographs, and his articles have appeared in Austrian History Yearbook, Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Geschichte/Revue Suisse d´Histoire, The International History Review, and elsewhere.
Prof Horcicka is the expert collaborator of VITRI, facilitating the exchange of expertise with the Faculty of Arts, Charles University.
Dr Klipa is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Russian and East European Studies and in the Department of Civil Society Studies at the Charles University. He graduated in Slavic Philology (spec. in Polish Language) and Social Anthropology as well as in Area Studies from the same university. He earned his Ph.D. in Area Studies. He also studied at universities in Cracow, Copenhagen and Moscow.
Dr Klipa was the head of secretariats of the Government Council for National Minorities and the Government Council for Roma Issues at the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic. He also worked in the civil society in the field of human-rights protection and development cooperation. In 2014-2017 he was a research fellow and faculty member (Akademischer Mitarbeiter) at the Center for Interdisciplinary Polish Studies, European University Viadrina in Frankfurt an der Oder (Germany).
Dr Klipa is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the Fulbright Scholarship, Deutsch-Polnische Wisschenschaftsstiftung; DAAD – German Academic Exchange Service; Erasmus Mundus HERMES; The Brandenburg Ministry of Sciences, Research and Cultural Affairs; Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship. His research focuses on migration, ethnic conflicts, ethnic and religious minorities and social exclusion.
Dr Kofron is a geographer by training and has earned his PhD in Regional and political geography at Charles University in 2012. He joined the Institute of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles university in 2013. Since 2015, Jan is deputy head of department of political science. At the department he teaches in total nine courses at Bachelor, Master and PhD level, with roughly half of these courses focused on methodology.
Jan Kofron’s research interest is located at the intersection of geography, international relations and military affairs. There are three substantive issue areas of his research interest:
1) the role of space and geography in warfare and its changes due to technological revolutions, 2) neorealist theories, and 3) scenarios and counterfactuals.
Dr Kofron has published a dozen of peer-reviewed articles, most of them have revolved around the topics mentioned above. He is currently working on a paper examining changes in European military expenditures after the 2014 Russian-Ukrainian war.
Dr Lt Colonel Pavel Kral works as a military clinical psychologist and psychotherapist. Besides his clinical work, he is also the chief of the Clinical Psychology Department the Institute for Postgraduate Medical Education. Dr Kral graduated from the Charles University. As a military professional he was deployed (as a psychologist) in foreign military missions of the Czech Army in Iraq.
Within VITRI, Dr Kral is interested in in trauma related problems and development of the psychopathology symptoms as a consequence of traumatization.
Tomas Kucera received his PhD at the Aberystwyth University, UK, in 2014. Under the supervision of Professor Martin Alexander, Dr Kamila Stullerova, and Dr Berit Bliesemann de Guevara he engaged in an extensive critique of Samuel Huntington’s seminal work in the field of civil-military relations, The Soldier and the State. Through the in-depth reading of liberal thinking about the things military Dr Kucera’s thesis has revealed liberal features of military and defense policies of Western European societies, Germany and the United Kingdom in particular. In an adapted version and with an additional case study on Swedish military policy added, Routledge published the thesis under the title The Military and Liberal Society in 2018.
The thesis research has led him to develop curiosity in two other, yet related research topics, on which he recently published journal articles and which he will pursue under the collaborative framework of VITRI: military ethics and the European military integration.
Besides working on these topics, Dr Kucera teaches courses on Armed Forces and Society, Technology and Warfare, and The Ethics of Armed Conflicts at the Department of Security Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University.
Jakub Mlynar has a PhD in Sociology from the Charles University in Prague. His dissertation thesis was based on analysis of a corpus of interviews from the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive in the context of sociological conceptions of collective memory, identity and narrative. In his more recent research conducted during post-doctoral research stay at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, Jakub is focusing on the use of digital technology in classroom interactions, as part of the project „Collective memory as an interactional practice: The case of the Czech-Jewish experience in Switzerland during the World War II period“, supported by the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists for the 2017–2018 Academic Year. Jakub’s recent publications include co-edited book Clovek v teoreticke perspektive spolecenskych ved [Human Being in the Theoretical Perspective of Social Sciences], published in 2017 in Czech. In all his research work, Jakub is primarily interested in the communicative and interactional foundation of social order, exhibited by members of society through verbal and non-verbal means. Within the framework of VITRI, Dr Mlynar will focus on the ways of coping with historical trauma through commemoration activities.
Dr Jaromir Mrnka is a historian interested in modern European economic and social history, social theory and research methodology. He focuses primarily on the transformation of values, social consent, and legitimacy of social order within crucial turns of the Czech society in the 20th century. In his Ph.D. thesis, he studied the forms of collective violence in the Bohemian Lands in the years 1944–1946, with the focus on the social mechanisms of their escalation into mass atrocities. He is currently working on the project focused on denunciation as social practice in Bohemian Lands during WWII and its aftermath. Within VITRI project, dr Mrnka is working on conflict-related acts of sexual violence in Bohemian Lands at the end of WWII.
Daniela Nemeckova is a research fellow at the Department of Legal History of the Faculty of Law, Charles University. Her Ph.D. thesis focuses on retribution, in particular on the activity of Extraordinary People’s Courts in Kutná Hora, Mladá Boleslav, and Prague, for which she received a grant from the Charles University Grant Agency. She is a co-author of studies on Nazi labour camps during WWII, fate of German collaborators within Czechoslovak citizens, changes in Czechoslovak legislative and judiciary after the years 1945 and 1948, and 1950s show trials. Her main professional interest is on the layman element in Czechoslovak post-war judiciary. Furthermore, she works on development and implementation of novel methods for studies of legal history utilising historical spatial and statistical data. She is also part of a team publishing uncovered documents issued by Czechoslovak exile government in London during WWII. At the Faculty of Law, she currently teaches seminars “Czech and Czechoslovak Legal History” and “Reconstruction of 1950s Show Trials”.
Dr Petrankova holds degrees in Electrical Engineering and Informatics from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. In her doctoral research, Zuzana Petrankova worked on the design and development of numerically controlled three-phase voltage and current sources. She has participated in the creation of two functional samples of a unique laboratory instrument – a controlled three phase current source and voltage source unit. These source units were used in a project of a Turbine and a synchronous generator connected to the power grid simulation. She has defended her doctoral thesis entitled Controllable Current and Voltage Power Sources in 2012.
In 2007, Zuzana Petrankova began working at the Department of Applied Electronics and Telecommunications as an assistant professor. She has been teaching Electronics, Analogue Electronic Systems, Sensors and Actuators, and Medical Electronics.
Dr Petrankova is the recipient of prestigious awards, including the Bedřich Hrozný Award for Creative Work.
In 2013, Zuzana Petrankova began working at the Department of Pathological Physiology at the Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen, Charles University first as a researcher, later as an assistant professor. She ensures the functioning of an electrophysiological laboratory.
Her research interest includes electrophysiology and investigation of changes of behaviour and stress reactivity in mouse models of cerebellar degeneration. She participated in behavioural characterization of a model of human spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 with focus on cognitive disorders and anxiety. She is also involved in research of therapeutic potential of neuropeptide Y in this mouse model.
Hana Ptackova completed her postdoctoral studies in Medical Psychology and Psychopathology at the 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University. She has a graduate degree from the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Charles University (state final exams in Anthropology, Human ecology, Human genetics).
In her research, Dr Ptackova specializes in human biology, genetics, and child biology in particular.
Dr Mikulas Pesta is a research and teaching fellow at the Institute of Global History at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University. He completed his PhD in 2017 with the thesis “German and Italian Left-Wing Terrorism in the 1970 in a Transnational Perspective”. Since then, he worked as a post-doctoral research associate in the “Socialism Goes Global” project at the University of Exeter. He is a member of the Cold War Research Group at the Institute for Study of Strategic Regions, Charles University.
He specialises in the history of European extra-parliamentary left, the left-wing terrorism and political violence in the 1960s-1980s. In his PhD thesis, he investigated the transnational terrorist network in Western Europe, the interconnectedness of individual militant organizations, mutual ideological influence, or the import of the ideas of irregular fight from the Third World. Furthermore, he focuses on the contacts between Czechoslovakia (Central Eastern Europe) and the African and Asian countries and national liberation movements in the field of education (students and military personnel both in Czechoslovakia and in the Third World), cultural diplomacy, ideology, or secret services.
Dr Smidrkal is Assistant Professor in Contemporary History at the Department of German and Austrian Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czechia. His research interest is cultural history of violence, war and armed forces in 20th century Central Europe.
Dr Smidrkal currently works on a project devoted to history of war veterans and their international contacts.
Dr Valkoun graduated from Faculty of Arts, Charles University, History. Currently, Jaroslav Valkoun is a Senior Lecturer of the Institute of Global History, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, and the Department of Historical Studies, Faculty of Philosophy and Arts, University of West Bohemia in Pilsen.
In his work, Jaroslav Valkoun specializes in the History of the British Empire in the 19th and the 20th century. First of all, he deals with the history of the British Imperialism and colonialism in Africa (Egypt, the Sudan) and institutional and constitutional relations among the Dominion and Great Britain in inter-war period.
Dr Zila is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Russian and East European Studies of the Institute of International Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague. His chief research interests are ethno-demographic changes, forced migrations, conflicts, postwar reconstruction, and post-socialist transformation in the countries of the former Yugoslavia, especially in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He published a monograph ‘You Are My Only Homeland’: Ethno-Demographic Metamorphoses of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Years 1945–2013 (in Czech) and more than twenty studies.
He has conducted a lot of field research in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia. He received in academic year 2016/2017 a scholarship of the International Visegrad Fund for conducting a field research in Bosnia and Herzegovina. His current research is focused on the topic of the reintegration of divided Sarajevo after the end of the Bosnian conflict in the beginning of 1996 (January-March) and its specific consequences (especially the flight of Bosnian Serbs from Sarajevo).
Since 2017 Dr Zila is Senior researcher in the PRIMUS Research Programme at the Charles University in the Framework of the project “Beyond Hegemonic Narratives and Myths. Troubled Pasts in the History and Memory of East-Central & South-East Europe”.
To learn more about our former members, please click here.
Miroslava Kulkova is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Charles University in Prague. Miroslava has studied International Relations at the Charles University and at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Unviersität in Bonn. In her Ph.D. thesis she examines peaceful transitions of regions. She also participated in the research project of Kosovo Foundation for Open Society, for which she studied normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia. In VITRI she is part of the Working Group focusing on Security Communities.
Jakub Stauber is Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the Institute of Political Studies, Charles University. His dissertation research focuses on the institutionalization of political parties in the Czech Republic. The goal of the project is to analyze changes in the Czech party system manifested with the increase in electoral support of genuinely new political parties. The theoretical framework is based on the theory of institutionalization, which provides an explanation of the dynamics of the internal development of political parties.
Vendula Prokupkova is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Sciences at the Institute of Political Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University. She has studied Political Science and Gender Studies at Charles University and Ruhr Universität Bochum. The winter semester 2017/2018 she spent as a research fellow at the Moses Mendelsohn Zentrum für europäisch - jüdische Studien e.V. in Potsdam, Germany. The topic of Vendula's dissertation research is the cooperation between Czech and German extreme right parties from 1989 to 2019. Besides her doctoral thesis, she devotes herself to the research of the Czech anti-Islam movement, neo-nazism, and the Skinhead movement.
Marek Jandak in a Ph.D. candidate in Modern Economic and Social History at the Charles University in Prague. In his bachelor and master theses Marek examined Czech reflexion of the Armenian Question and experience of foreign diplomat and missionaries in provincial towns Hapoot and Mezreh (Elaziğ) during the Armenian Genocide. Marek is an author of a synthesis in Czech titled The Armenian genocide: Causes, Development, and Personal Testimonies (1915-1922). The book will come out in Epocha publishing house in summer 2018. His Ph.D. thesis elaborates on issue of shifting centre of territorial legitimacy of political power from traditional monarchical to democratic/ethnic one. The thesis examines how this process led to establishment of a system of national states in areas approximates Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Turkey in course of 20th century, and if it structurally excluded minorities, and incited ethnic cleansing.
Tereza Blazkova is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Charles University. She studied the Faculty of Law of Charles University and now she continues there to study the legal history under the supervision of Professor Jan Kuklík. In her Ph.D. research, she focuses mainly on the development of law after the year 1945, especially on the influence of the basic principles and ideas of the Constitutions on the Czechoslovak legal system. She also studies the property relations of the historical nobility. Her other professional interest concerns at 1950s show trials and the legal aspect of the execution of imprisonment during the 1950s.
Distinguished members of our Advisory Board provide strategic advice and feedback to the senior members on the VITRI's performance.
Andrea and Charles Bronfman Chair of Israeli Studies and Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto
Professor of Modern Jewish History at the Touro College, New York
Associate Professor of Sociology at the Eötvös Loránd University
Senior Lecturer at the School of Humanities & Languages, University of New South Wales, Australia
Professor of History and International Relations, Boston University
Professor of Central European History at the University of Vienna
Director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo - PRIO Cyprus Centre; Professor II of International Law and International Relations; Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council
Professor Emeritus, New York University