PhDr. Matěj Spurný, PhD.

Institute for Contemporary History,

Research focus:
• Nationalism
• Non-dominant ethnic groups and forced migrations in 20th century Central Europe
• Cultural and social history of socialist dictatorships
• Environmental history in postwar central Europe
• Urban utopias and practice in state socialism

Research experience and qualification:
• Since 2012 Research Fellow, Institute for Contemporary History of the Czech Academy of Sciences
• Since 2012 Lecturer, Institute for economic and social history, Faculty of Arts, Charles University,
Prague, Czech Republic
• Since 2008 Visiting lecturer, Institute for economic and social history, Faculty of Arts, Charles
University, Prague, Czech Republic
• 2010 PhD in Social History. Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague (FF UK), Czech Republic
Thesis: They Are Not Like Us: Social Maginalizaton in the Period of ’Building the New Order’,
Illustrated with the Example of National Minorities in the Bohemian Borderland, 1945–1960
• 2005-2010 Graduate study (Ph.D.) in Social History, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague
(FF UK), Czech Republic
• 2004-2005 Study of modern and contemporary history at the Humboldt University Berlin,
Scholarship of Studienkolleg zu Berlin
• 1998-2005 Master degree (M.A.) in History, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague
• 1998-2006 Master degree (M.A.) in German and Austrian Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences,
Charles University, Prague (FSV UK), Czech Republic

Expertise and public discourses on the environment in late socialist Czechoslovakia: Case of the Krkonoše National Park

Environmental devastation in the 1980s and the crucial role of ecological critique in the process of delegitimizing state socialism in Czechoslovakia (and elsewhere) is a well known topic, which has been repetitively described by historians. The point of interest of my research however is a broader context on discourses on environment and their changes from the 1960s to 1990s. Expertise on protection of natural environment and the practice of the National Park (with its environmental legislative, journals concentrating on environmental matters or environmental education), so far the theses, helped to redefine the original notion of “socialist environment” into how “environmental protection” has been commonly understood in the West since the 1960s. This helped to create a framework, in which ecological critique could be articulated. The conjunction between socialism, the understanding of environmental responsibility and ecological activism, which enforced ecological protest in late 1980es, however revealed to be a dead end for ecological critique under the newly established capitalist rule.


Spurný, Matěj; Most do budoucnosti. Laboratoř socialistické modernity na severu Čech. [Making of the Most of Tomorrow. A Laboratory of Socialist Modernity in Northern Bohemia] Karolinum, Praha 2016.

Spurný, Matěj; Nejsou jako my. Česká společnost a menšiny v pohraničí (1945-1960). [They are not as us. Czech society and the minorities (1945-1960)] Antikomplex, Praha 2011.

Spurný, Matěj; Bijeme na poplach! Německá publicistika proti nacistickému nebezpečí (1930-1933). [German journalism against the Nazi threat (1930-1933)] Nakladatelství Lidové noviny, Praha 2009.

Spurný, Matěj; Flucht und Vertreibung. Das Ende des Zweiten Weltkrieges in Sachsen, Niederschlesien und Nordböhmen. [Flight and expulsion. The End of WWI in Saxony, Lower Silesia and Northern Bohemia] SLPB und Brücke/Most-Stiftung, Dresden 2008. (2. ed. 2011)

Other (selected publictions):

Spurný, Matěj; Most do budoucnosti [Making of the Most of Tomorrow], in: Soudobé dějiny Vol. XXII, Nr. 1-2, p. 30-79.

Spurný, Matěj - Gosewinkel, Dieter; Citoyenneté et expropriation en Tchécoslovaquie au lendemain des deux Guerres mondiales, in: Revue d´histoire moderne et contemporaine 61-1/2014, str. 26-61.

Spurný, Matěj; Reliability and the Border: The Discourse of the Czech Borderlands, 1945-49, in: Österreichische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft, Nr. 1 / 2013.

Spurný, Matěj; Überprüfen und philosophieren, in: Bohemia, Nr. 53 / 2013.

Spurný, Matěj; Political Authority & Popular Opinion: Czechoslovakia's German Minority 1945-1960. In: Social History Vol. 37. No. 4, 2012.