Prague Forum for Romani Histories was established at the Institute of Contemporary History (Czech Academy of Sciences) at the first meeting of its steering committee in Prague in September 2016.
The founders of the Forum have been aware of the fact that the study of Roma in Europe has long been the province of folklorists, philologists, and ethnologists, while Romani history as a field of inquiry has suffered from fragmentation and isolation. Furthermore, research related to Roma has not been not accepted as an integral component of historical research in and of the region. The Forum has been established, because no academic platform existed in Europe to support historical research focused on Roma and to facilitate discussion among scholars in the social sciences and humanities about their research agendas in order to develop and coordinate joint research projects.
The Prague Forum for Romani Histories is, therefore, an academic initiative designed to promote interdisciplinary, intersectional and transnational scholarship that transcends these constraints. Its overarching goal is to assert the centrality of the study of Roma for a comprehensive understanding of European history and contemporary societies. Thus the aim of the Forum is to: (1) foster academic research on Roma in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by focusing on historically informed approaches and supporting alternative and emerging avenues of inquiry, and (2) cultivate dialogue with historians, sociologists, anthropologists, philologists and other scholars outside the field of Romani Studies with the aim of situating the study of Roma as central for rethinking European history.
The full Founding Statement of the Forum can be found here.
The Forum is primarily focused on academic research but welcomes debate and initiatives supporting the co-production of knowledge with groups outside academia. We are especially interested in events organized in cooperation with members of the Romani community.
The structure of the Forum
The Forum is institutionally based at the Institute of Contemporary History (Czech Academy of Sciences) and is run by its steering committee.
The activities of the Forum are coordinated by Kateřina Čapková, Helena Sadílková, and Renata Berkyová.
Contact person of the Forum is Renata Berkyová: firstname.lastname@example.org
Activities of the Forum
Biennial conference in Romani history
The Forum is organizing and hosting an international conference every two years in Prague, starting in autumn 2017.
For more on conferences co-organized by the Forum, please see here.
The Forum is also organizing smaller and focused workshops, round table discussions and individual lectures on Romani history; exhibitions which are either result of academic research projects in cooperation with the Roma and Sinti communities, or art exhibitions of Romani artists related to Romani history; and screening of films related to Romani history
Please see more on other events here.
Research projects and scholarly publications about Romani history
Members of the steering committee are applying and leading international research projects and publishing scholarly publications. To ensure the widest audience for the work of the Forum, we will encourage participants in the Forum’s programs to seek audiences in fields to which the history of Roma can make a substantial contribution. We may also prepare special issues in peer-reviewed (English and German-language) journals, including journals of east-central, eastern and south-east Europe.
For the current international research project of the Forum, please see here.