All posts by Mateusz Chmurski

CFP – Musical Diplomacy and Art Creation in Wartime Ukraine (2014-2024)

Musical Diplomacy and Art Creation in Wartime Ukraine (2014-2024)

An international symposium organized in the frame of the Tandem CNRS-Charles University program at CEFRES by CEFRES, the Institute for musicological research (CNRS-Sorbonne Université), and the Ukraine in a Changing Europe research center at Charles University (IMS FSV UK).

Date: November 27, 2024
Location: CEFRES, Na Florenci 3, Prague 1 (and online)
Deadline for application submissions: July 20, 2024
Selection of papers: August 15, 2024
Language of the symposium: English

Music has always been connected to diplomacy, not necessarily as an auxiliary instrument. Beyond purely aesthetical functions, it has manifold social and political effects. They expand across national and regional borders often transforming the overall image of the country of origin on the global stage. That turns music into a vehicle for cultural diplomacy, at times more efficient in achieving particular objectives, especially when conventional diplomatic means fail (Prévost-Thomas & Ramel 2018; Ahrendt, Ferraguto & Mahiet 2014; Mikkonen & Suutari 2016). Resonant international competitions, like the Eurovision Song Contest, have been rendered major displays of the current geopolitical constellation (Vuletic 2018). States around the globe allocate significant resources to maintaining their cultural institutions abroad, where music, alongside other artistic domains, generates and perpetuates their soft power, which is the power to attract and stimulate to emulate (Nye 2005). The rise in importance of non-state actors in international relations (Cerny 2023) produced a shift towards grassroots initiatives and horizontal networks, where cultural diplomacy is increasingly carried out – both spontaneously and strategically – by actors, not affiliated with state institutions. The notion of musical diplomacy captures all these facets (Gienow-Hecht 2015; Morgan O’Connell, El-Shawan & Castelo-Branco 2010). Placed at the intersection of cultural production and international relations, it taps into this phenomenon where creative and instrumental thinking, spontaneity and purposefulness, official and grassroots streams intertwine and merge.

An overlap between musical production and political resistance has always been indicative of the Ukrainian public scene: from the musical underground in late Soviet times to the iconic songs codifying the core meanings behind the mass protests (Sonevytsky 2019). By co-imagining future-oriented sovereign imaginaries in unison and making them audible, people manifested themselves as sovereign citizens. They created affective ties among themselves and with external observers who sympathize with their cause. Importantly, by the same token, they prefigured and brought about a new political reality. Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022 brought new salience to Ukraine’s cultural diplomacy and musical production (Ruble 2023; Sonevytsky 2023). The academic literature exposes the power of music to mobilize a community and provide moral legitimacy at times of war but also how art can be used as a resource for resistance, recovery, and peace-building processes. From the postcolonial perspective, which is one of the conceptual anchors of the symposium, Ukraine’s musical diplomacy elevates the polity’s geocultural status through a chain of subversive acts and strategies that help escape a subaltern position of the double periphery in the former blind spot between the EU and Russia.

The symposium is fundamentally transdisciplinary: it develops at the intersection of musicology, political theory, and cultural anthropology, with a specific focus on postcolonial studies and contentious politics. We welcome theoretical contributions as well as focused case studies presenting research on topics related to musical diplomacy in wartime Ukraine, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Musical diplomacy as a theoretical concept, its potential and limitations
  • Factors defining the efficiency of musical diplomacy: agencies, strategies, and contexts
  • The dialectics of form and content in musical performance and its perception
  • Complex entanglements between musical production and (geo)political developments: reactivity and prefiguration
  • State-supported musical initiatives vs grassroots activities and transnational horizontal networks
  • Various musical genres and communities engaged in Ukraine’s musical diplomacy
  • Case studies: songs, musical bands, events
  • Re-discovering Ukraine through its music: external perceptions and receptions
  • Entanglements between the postcolonial/subaltern studies and musicology
  • Decolonization of musicology and global art community: a fading trend or a pending task?

The symposium will take place on November 27, 2024 at CEFRES in Prague.

Please send abstracts (approx. 300 words) for 20-minute papers and a short biographical note (100-150 words) to the organizers of the conference, Valeria Korablyova (Charles University) at and Louisa Martin-Chevalier (Sorbonne University) at The event will result in the publication of a special issue. Draft papers are expected to be prepared and discussed at the symposium. The official language of the workshop and its published proceedings is English.

The submission deadline is July 20, 2024. Applicants will be notified about the acceptance of their proposals by August 15, 2024. Some travel grants will be available. Please include in your application a request if you require financial support from the organizers.

Organizing Committee

Valeria Korablyova (Charles University, Institute of International Studies / CEFRES)

Louisa Martin-Chevalier (IReMus, Sorbonne Université / CEFRES)

CEFRES is hiring an Administrative Assistant

CEFRES in a nutshell

  • a French public research institution with partnerships throughout Central Europe
  • an international research and administrative team (12 nationalities by 2024), developing cutting edge research projects in the humanities and social sciences
  • twenty in-house researchers & fifty associates
  • about fifty events a year
  • some twenty funding grants.

Responsibilities and tasks

  • entering and archiving invoices, checking supporting documents, entering suppliers and recording payment requests via Elap (AGE) tool
  • follow-up of administrative and scientific team trip requests: preparation of requests, purchase of tickets and hotel reservations, calculation of expense statements and post-trip data entry
  • preparation of salary documents of 5 Czech employees, in direct contact with the firm in charge of payroll management and the accounting agency
  • placing orders with suppliers and monitoring of the cash register for the Center’s small expenses (including issuing appropriate administrative certificates)
  • follow-up of CEFRES invitations: drafting of invitation agreements, purchase of tickets
    and hotel reservations
  • logistical support for CEFRES events (setting up & preparing receptions)
  • ad hoc tasks on request (proofreading of administrative documents, minor translations)

Expected skills

  • Good command of French (spoken and written), English (read, written, spoken)
  • Proficiency in office automation tools (in particular Outlook, Excel)
  • Versatility and ability to handle several tasks simultaneously

Required qualities

  • Autonomy, precision, punctuality
  • Thoroughness and exactitude in administrative tasks
  • Communication skills, responsiveness and ability to work as part of a team
  • Respect for confidentiality and good presentation


  • Studies in administrative management / economics or business / humanities or social sciences / OR experience in a similar position
  • Appetence for human resources, accounting and administrative management
  • Knowledge of Czech labor law and tax administration is a plus.

Conditions & benefits

  • 1-year fixed-term Czech law contract, with possibility of extension
  • part-time job according to candidate’s profile and needs: 20h attendance / week preferred
  • Flexible working hours
  • 21 days paid vacation
  • Long summer break with no scientific events
  • Professional training offered by the employer according to the candidate’s profile and needs
  • French language courses at all levels at the Institut français de Prague offered by CEFRES
  • Office in the center of Prague, Na Florenci 3, Prague 1
  • Free access to the Kino 35 cinema at the Institut français de Prague

How to apply

  • The position is to be filled no later than on 1/10/2024
  • Send your CV and motivation letter in French to: Subject:« Candidature au poste de chargé/e de communication et de traduction »
  • CC:

Only selected applicants will be invited to be interviewed, in French.

Attack at FF UK | CEFRES Declaration

Dear colleagues and friends of CEFRES,

Yesterday, a horrific attack took place at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts. At least 14 people were killed and dozens injured. The entire university community is deeply traumatized.

We wish to express our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims.

Our closest partners, historians, literary scholars, musicologists, philosophers and other representatives of the humanities and social sciences have been targeted. We have always worked together within the CEFRES platform, the 4EU+ university alliance and the Prague research community. We have always been a family.

Our hearts go out to you and to your loved ones, dear colleagues, dear partners, dear friends.

On behalf of the entire CEFRES team, our deepest thoughts, our unwavering solidarity, and our heartfelt and unconditional support.
Mateusz Chmurski


All the successive directors of CEFRES, deeply shocked by the shooting at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts, associate themselves with the letter from the current director.

They express their support for the Rector, the Rectorate of Charles University, all its members, the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and the entire university community.

They stand in solidarity with the university’s teaching staff in their profound trauma. They wish to express their condolences to all the families affected by this tragedy.

Marie-Elizabeth Ducreux
Françoise Mayer
Antoine Marès
Georges Mink
Christian Lequesne
Marie-Claude Maurel
Clara Royer
Jérôme Heurtaux