Františka Zezuláková Schormová: Research & CV

African American Poets Abroad: Black and Red Allegiances in Early Cold War Czechoslovakia

Research Area 1: Displacements, “Dépaysements” and Discrepancies: People Knowledge and Practices

Contact: (from September 1, 2019)

The focus of my dissertation is on the circulation of African-American leftist poetry and the surrounding discourse in the early Cold War, especially between the United States of America and Czechoslovakia. By approaching these topics transnationally, they allow me to trace the paths – often unexpected – of both people and books that travelled freely and of the role of Abraham Chapman, a US communist living in Prague at the end of the 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s. Under the name Čapek, Chapman put together a poetry anthology Černošská poezie: světová antologie [Black Poetry: World Anthology](Prague: Naše vojsko, 1958).

Black Poetry also points to other phenomena: it is an anthology of the whole black diaspora and its rhetoric explicitly expresses solidarity with the decolonization movements.  Moreover, African American poets in the anthology represent a different version of US post-war poetry than the official US canon, shaped by the anti—communist processes and also the critical dismissal of explicitly political poetry. Czech translations of African American leftist poetry from the 1950s also opens up the question of translations more broadly and its interconnection to the contemporary discourse of racial equality. Additionally, early 1950s Prague emerged as a center of long forgotten solidarity networks.



2016– :PhD studies, English and American Literature, Faculty of Arts, Charles University Prague. Dissertation title: African American Poets Abroad: Black and Red Allegiances in Early Cold War Czechoslovakia. Supervisor: Justin Quinn

2014-2016: Master’s Degree in Anglophone Literatures and cultures, Faculty of Arts, Charles University Prague. MA thesis title: Us and Them: Presenting America 1948-1956

2010-2014: BA program English and American Studies and German for International Communication

Professional Awards and Fellowships

  • 2017-2018: Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University
  • Fellow, Fulbright-Masaryk Scholarship
  • 05/2017: Oxford University, The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities Research stay and participation in Race and Resistance workshop, EUROPANEUM Scholarship
  • 2016: Mathesius Award for the MA thesis, Department of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures, Charles University Prague
  • 2016: Free University Berlin, John F. Kennedy Institute of North American Studies Catholic Academic Exchange Service (KAAD) Scholarship, research stay


  • 03/2019 Bad Romance: The Ethics of Love, Sex, and Desire, Harvard University.
    “Me, Too, but What? Socialist Sex, Translatability, and Milan Kundera
  • 01/ 2019 Things in Poems – Poems of Things, Charles University Prague
    “All those Pretty Things: Women and Their Objects in Anglophone Poetry”
    conference organizer – the conference was supported through a grant from Charles University (GAUK)
  • 11/2018 Cesty translatologie, Charles University Prague “Konceptualizace rasy v českých překladech afroamerické literatury” [Concepts of Race in Czech Translations of African American Literature]
  • 10/2018 New Pathways in American Studies, Masaryk University Brno “Black Bodies White Translations: Cold War Journeys of African American Poets”
  • 06/2017 The Hermes Consortium for Literary and Cultural Studies Seminar, Aarhus University „Solidarity in Black and Red: Transnational Perspective on the Translation on Anti-colonial Poetry in Cold War Czechoslovakia”
  • 12/2015 Prva Stran, International Student Conference in Comparative Literature, University of Ljubljana “‘The Other America’: Constructing American Literature 1948- 1956“
  • 11/2015 Jan Zábrana: básník, překladatel, čtenář, Charles University Prague “Pravidla hry: Zábranovy překlady detektivní prózy” [Rules of the Game: Zábrana’s Translations of Detective Fiction]

Academic Publications

  • 2018 “Pravidla hry: Zábranovy poznámky k detektivní próze” [Rules of the Game: Zábrana’s Translations of Detective Fiction] In: Jan Zábrana, Básník, překladatel, čtenář [Jan Zábrana: Poet, Translator, Reader], Praha: Karolinum, 2018.
     – chapter in a collective monograph
  • 2018 “Forget English: Orientalism and World Literature” Twentieth Century Literature 64 (2): 259-264.
    – academic book review
  • 2017 “Švéda, Josef. Země zaslíbená, země zlořečená: obrazy Ameriky v české literatuře a kultuře (Promised Land, Accursed Land. Images of America in Czech Literature and Culture)” Brno Studies in English, 42 (2): 179-184.
  • – academic book review

Non-academic Publications

  • 04/2019 Jedno manželství [An American Marriage] Tayari Jones
    – book translation, Vyšehrad publishing house
  • Since 2017- reviews of Czech and Anglophone literature for literary magazine Tvar
  • Since 2017 – translations and reviews for translation journal  Plav (2018/2019 editor)
  • 2016 – Americká poezie v rozhlase: poetry translation, preparation of eight radio shows on US poetry for the Czech national broadcast