The Prague School and Theories of Structure (Call for Papers)

Department of English and American Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague 18-21 October 2007

Call for Papers

The theme of the conference goes back to the structural concept of the language system developed by the Prague School. The papers are expected:

    1. to reassess the theoretical work of Prague structuralists (especially Bohumil Trnka and René Wellek) and its relevance for contemporary research, and;

    2. to discuss transformations of structuralist approaches in recent and contemporary theories of structures and systems, characterized by the movement away from the models of homogeneous, hierarchized and centralized structures to concepts of structurality based on dehierarchized assemblages, transversal relations and dynamic semantic situations (Einstein, Dewey, Bateson, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, Deleuze, etc.).

The conference will have two sections and will conclude with the first annual Prague colloquium on “Frontiers of Theory: Technicity, Art and the New Media” (Saturday, 20 October – Sunday, 21 October 2007):


Suggested Focus Areas:

    1. Prague Structuralism in relation to other structuralist and formalist trends (Saussure, Peirce, New Criticism, cultural semiotics, etc.)

    2. The legacy of the Prague School and later theories of structures and systems

    3. Structuralist theories and methodologies in sciences and humanities


Suggested Focus Areas

    1. The structural concept of the language system in contemporary descriptions of English and its historical development

    2. Interfacial aspects of the highest language level

Colloquium: Frontiers of Theory: Technicity, Art and the New Media

Suggested Focus Areas:

    1. Contemporary theories of technicity in relation to semiotics, structuralism, cybernetics and deconstruction. How does “technicity” make possible a new understanding of language systems in the technosciences and the life sciences?

    2. Technicity and contemporary culture, media and aesthetics (new media, the internet, digitalisation, real-time communication and transmission).

Please send an abstract for a 30 minute paper (3000 words maximum) with your contact details via e-mail by 31 March 2007 to

- Prof. Dr. Martin Procházka (papers for Section 1)

- Doc. Dr. Jan Čermák (papers for Section 2)

Questions concerning the colloquium on “Frontiers of Theory: Technicity, Art and the New Media” (Saturday, 20 October – Sunday, 21 October, 2007) should be addressed to

- Dr. Louis Armand .

Papers will be selected by the conference committee and the speakers will be notified by 30 April 2007 and mailed a registration form and further information.