Office for Research and Development
Interdisciplinary and contextual research into a region of Central Europe
Several research projects at the Faculty of Arts at Masaryk University have been inter-connected for many years through interdisciplinary research activities into the history of the region called Moravia, and a Research Centre for Central European History: Sources, Country, Culture has been formed. Research into the history of Moravia has been defined as the primary task of the historical research departments at the Faculty of Arts MU since their establishment in the interwar period. The main focus is on the period from the Early Middle Ages to the modern era; the goal is to grasp the concept of the country that was once known as Moravia and is now a European territory. The area has many common and unique cultural, social, and economic characteristics, as do other areas with specific cultures connecting the whole Central European area. From a more complex point of view on the theme, this research has been particularly impressive over the last twenty years, with achievements focusing on issues of early statehood, origins, and early Latin written culture and its manifestations in literary and official texts, particularly the critical edition of documents on the history of Bohemia and Moravia (Codex diplomaticus et epistolaris regni Bohemiae). It is necessary to highlight the research of the cultural and artistic image of the country, the social profile and economy of medieval and early modern cities, and the phenomenon of the Czech reformation, including the Hussite revolution and its impact on the territory of the Moravian Margraviate. As for the modern era, research intothe history of constitutionalism, administrative structures and political culture, industrialization and social movements, religiosity, gender changes, and migration are of the most crucial importance.
Thanks to the intensive inter-connectedness of the historical research departments at MU, with dozens of historical and cultural institutions in Brno and throughout Moravia, the historical research departments at MU are one of the main contributors in the international exchange of experience and knowledge about the history of Moravia. The network of scientific exchange has mostly a Central European character. Research into the history of Moravia has, thus, been effectively integrated into the research of different aspects of the transformation of the history of the Carolingian Empire, the later Roman-German Empire, the Habsburg Empire, and its successor states.
Research focuses on historical art production (architecture, painting, and sculpture) in the early modern period from a cultural-historical and socio-historical point of view. Generally, it focuses on the issues of function and the perception of images in pre-modern society (Centre for Transdisciplinary Research into Cultural Phenomena in Central European History: Images, Communication, Behaviour).
The Department of European Ethnology at the Faculty of Arts MU is the only institutional department in the Czech Republic that is continuously devoted to research of the traditional folk culture of ethnic Czechs in connection to the Central European environment. Currently, the most important project, with keen public interest, is the Geographic Information System of Traditional Folk Culture (1750-1900)/GISTRALIK, which is being implemented in cooperation with the Institute of Computer Science at Masaryk University. The Department is a collective member of the Czech Ethnographic Society, which is a leading institution in the Czech Republic. It is also a member of the advisory board of the Intergovernmental Committee of UNESCO for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The department staff participate in national and international UNESCO projects and also take part in their evaluation.