Central-European Masculinities

Central-European Masculinities in a Comparative PerspectiveInternational Symposium

International symposium organized by CEFRES in the frame of the Central European Masculinities research project, with the support of the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research (MESR, PARCECO Program), in collaboration with the University of Silesia in Katowice, the Institute of Czech Literature, Czech Academy of Sciences (ÚČL AVČR) & the Department of Czech and Comparative Literature, Charles University (ÚČLK FF UK).

Location: CEFRES, Na Florenci 3, Prague 1
Date: June 19 20th, 2024
Languages: English, French
Organizers: Wojciech Śmieja (IL WNH UŚ), Mateusz Chmurski (CEFRES/Sorbonne), Iwona Kurz (IKP WP UW), Richard Müller (ÚČL AV ČR), Josef Šebek (ÚČLK FF UK), Ivana Taranenková (ÚSL SAV).

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Man as a Speaking Machine and the Teaching of Speech: The Stakes of Articulation in Eighteenth-century France

A lecture by Sabine Arnaud (Centre Alexandre Koyré, EHESS)

Date: Wednesday 3 May, 6:30-8 pm
Venue: French Institute in Prague, 5th floor, Štěpánská 35, Prague 1
Language: English


The fascination for the invention of a speaking machine lay at the intersection of two important topics for the eighteenth century: articulation as a sign of civilization, and the polemic of man as machine. As the teaching of speech for so-called “deaf and mute” pupils developed, some saw the machine as that which would complete the work of nature and provide mankind with new means of communication. Others went so far as to present the machine as a model that could teach articulation and the workings of the human voice. As such, the speaking machine represented, on the one hand, a source of enchantment and awe: if machines could speak, could language still be considered an exclusively human characteristic? On the other hand, if articulation was mechanical, what distinguished humans from animals? My paper will analyze how eighteenth-century French philosophers, engineers, men of letters, and pedagogues mused upon language acquisition and articulated the relationship between body, machine, and language in relation to their ideas about humanity as such.

Illustration: Poster of Abbé Mical’s Talking Heads (Têtes parlantes)


Private Actors in Politics and Policy-Making: Trespassers Producing Norms?

A Platform CEFRES workshop organized by Jana Vargovčíková (CEFRES & FF UK) and Kateřina Merklová (FF UK).
Where: CEFRES, Národní 18, conference room on 7th floor.
Language: English.

See the call for papers here.


Hélène Michel (SAGE, Institut d’Études Politiques in Strasbourg) Michael Smith (CERGE-EI, Czech Academy of Sciences) Ondřej Císař (Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences) Mitchell Young (Institute of International Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague).

9:15-9:30 — Welcome & Opening
9:30-11:30 — Panel 1

Armèle Cloteau, Laboratoire Printemps, UVSQ –Paris Saclay, France: “The Angels of Europe – European External Affairs employees: in-house entrepreneurs of Europe”

Lola Avril, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France: “Lobbying and influence: lawyers in competition law as actor in european policies”

Oriane Calligaro, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium: “The Open Society Foundation, Advocacy NGOs and the Making of EU Anti-Discriminatory Norms”

11:30-11:45 —  Coffee Break
11:45-13:00 — Panel 2

Katarína Svitková, Charles University, Czech Republic: “The Role of Private and Hybrid Actors in Urban Resilience and Security”

Olivier Gajac, Centre Émile Durkheim, Bordeaux, France: “The Private Universities in the Education System in Turkey: Shared Interests Among Economic Actors, Political Power and New Elites”

13:00-14:30 — Lunch
14:30-15:50 — Panel 3            

Jaromír Mazák, Tomáš Diviák, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic: “Transactions in multidimensional social networks: The case of the Reconstruction of the State”

Tomáš Korda, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic: “Emancipation of the universal will from the particular one”

15:50-16:00 —Coffee Break
16:00-17:20 — Panel 4

Milos Resimic, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary: “The role of networks in privatization in post-Milosevic Serbia”

Vít Šimral, University Hradec Králové, Czech Republic: “Regulating Lobbying in Europe: No Model Fits All”