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Slavomíra Ferenčuhová is a researcher at the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences. She specializes in research on cities in Central and Eastern Europe [CEE] with a special focus on (post)socialist urban planning. She also studies the history of knowledge production in urban sociology, internationally and in former Czechoslovakia. Her article ‘Accounts from Behind the Curtain’ in International Journal of Urban and Regional Research was awarded the ‘Best article’ prize by the Centre Français de Recherche en Sciences Sociales in Prague in 2017. Until 2018 she was assistant professor at the Department of Sociology, Masaryk University in Brno. She was a short-term visiting fellow at the University of Manchester and Leibniz Institut für Länderkunde and a visiting teacher at the University of Vienna. She earned her Ph.D. from the Masaryk University, where she also passed her habilitation in 2018.
Exchanges of ideas across the Iron Curtain: Urban scholars in socialist Czechoslovakia and their colleagues in the ‘West’ between 1960s and 1980s
Social scientific research on cities and urban issues has been one of the areas where sociologists in the socialist countries in Central and Eastern Europe found refuge when their discipline was banned from universities or under high political and ideological control from the state. In Czechoslovakia, applied research in this area was highly needed for the central settlement and urban planning and housing construction. Next to applied research, sociologists working in research institutes together with architects, engineers or geographers, often developed new ideas for urban theory and performed basic research. Yet, this knowledge has remained largely forgotten after 1989. My project contributes to the current knowledge about the history of urban studies in Central Europe. Through library research and oral history interviews I reconstruct the forgotten, yet innovative ideas, concepts, or methodologies that were applied in urban research in socialist Czechoslovakia. More importantly, my project maps the contacts and exchanges that urban scholars working in Czechoslovakia established with their colleagues across the Iron Curtain, or across borders of other socialist states. The focus is, first, on finding out how urban scholars made and maintained the cross-border contacts, and how they exchanged ideas. Second, I examine whether and how these encounters (limited as they were) influenced the work of urban sociologists in different countries on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
Slavomíra Ferenčuhová, Sociologie města 20. a 21. století [Urban sociology of the 20th and 21st century] (Prague: SLON, 2013).
Slavomíra Ferenčuhová, Meno, mesto, vec: Urbánne plánovanie v sociológii mesta a prípad (post)socialistického Brna [Name, city, object: urban planning in urban sociology and the case of (post)socialist city of Brno] (Brno: Masaryk University Press, 2011).
Slavomíra Ferenčuhová, Lucie Galčanová and Barbora Vacková, eds,Neviditelná a viditelná města [Invisible and visible cities], special issue, Sociální studia/Social Studies 16, no. 1 (Brno: Faculty of Social Studies MU, 2019).
Slavomíra Ferenčuhová and Michael Gentile, eds, Post-socialist cities and urban theory, special issue, Eurasian Geography and Economics 57, no. 4–5 (Elsevier, 2016).
Lucie Galčanová, Barbora Vacková and Slavomíra Ferenčuhová, eds, Město jako domov [City as home], special issue, Sociální studia/Social Studies 11, no. 4 (Brno: Faculty of Social Studies MU, 2014).
Slavomíra Ferenčuhová, Lucie Galčanová and Barbora Vacková, eds, Město v sociálních vědách: kulturální přístup [City in social sciences: cultural approach], special issue, Sociologický časopis/Czech Sociological Review 49, no. 5 (Prague: Institute of Sociology, CAS, 2013).
Jana Nosková, Slavomíra Ferenčuhová, Lucie Galčanová and Barbora Vacková, eds, Everyday Life under State Socialism, special issue, Český lid-Ethnological Journal 100, no. 3 (Prague: The Institute of Ethnology CAS, 2013).
Slavomíra Ferenčuhová, Lucie Galčanová and Barbora Vacková, eds, Československé mesto [Czechoslovak city], special issue, Sociální studia/Social Studies 7, no. 3 (Brno: Faculty of Social Studies MU, 2010).
Slavomíra Ferenčuhová, Michaela Šuleřová and Barbora Vacková, eds, Město [City], special issue, Sociální studia/Social Studies 3, no. 2 (Brno: Faculty of Social Studies MU, 2006).
Barbora Vacková, Lucie Galčanová and Slavomíra Ferenčuhová, eds, Třetí mesto [Third city] (Červený Kostelec/Brno: Pavel Mervart/MU, 2011).
Slavomíra Ferenčuhová, Lucie Galčanová and Barbora Vacková, eds, Československé město včera a dnes [Czechoslovak city then and now] (Červený Kostelec/Brno: Pavel Mervart/MU, 2010).
Slavomíra Ferenčuhová, Lucie Galčanová, Magdalena Hledíková and Barbora Vacková, eds, Město: Proměnlivá ne/samozřejmost. (Červený Kostelec/Brno: Pavel Mervart/MU, 2009).
Slavomíra Ferenčuhová, ‘Accounts from Behind the Curtain: On History and Geography in the Critical Analysis of Urban Theory’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 40, no. 2 (2016): 113–131.
Slavomíra Ferenčuhová and Michael Gentile, ‘Introduction: Post-socialist Cities and Urban Theory’, Eurasian Geography and Economics57, no. 4–5 (2016): 483–496.
Sonia Hirt, Slavomíra Ferenčuhová and Tauri Tuvikene, ‘Conceptual Forum: The ‘Post-Socialist’ city’, Eurasian Geography and Economics57, no. 4–5 (2016): 497–520.
Slavomíra Ferenčuhová, ‘Explicit definitions and implicit assumptions about post-socialist cities in academic writings’, Geography Compass 10 (2016): 514–524.
Slavomíra Ferenčuhová and Mark Jayne, ‘Zvyknúť si na Petržalku: každodenný život, bežná spotreba a vzťah k socialistickému sídlisku’ [Getting used to Petržalka: everyday life, inconspicuous consumption and relation to a socialist-era housing estate], Český lid-Ethnological journal 100, no. 3 (2013): 303–318.
Slavomíra Ferenčuhová, ‘Urban theory beyond the ‘East/West divide’? Cities and urban research in postsocialist Europe’, in Urban Theory beyond the West: A world of Cities, edited by Tim Edensor and Mark Jayne (London and New York: Routledge, 2012), 65–74.
Slavomíra Ferenčuhová, ‘Coping with the Past: Urban planning in a post-socialist European city’, in Urban Governance in Europe, edited by Frank Eckardt and Ingemar Elander (Berlin: BWV, 2009), 275–295.
Review of Sonia Hirt, Iron Curtains: Gates, Suburbs and Privatization of Space in the Post-Socialist City (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), in International planning studies 19, no. 2 (2014): 215–218.
Review of Mariusz Czepczynski, Cultural Landscapes of Post-Socialist Cities: Representation of Powers and Needs (Ashgate, 2008), in International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 34, no. 2 (2010): 446–448.