UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Milan Rastislav Štefánik (2021): A discussion with author Michal Kšiňan

25 October 2022, 5:00 pm–7:00 pm

Photo of Milan Rastislav Stefanik

A Study of Central Europe seminar with Michal Kšiňan - Book presentation and discussion of Milan Rastislav Štefánik: The Slovak National Hero and Co-Founder of Czechoslovakia (2021)

This event is free.

Event Information

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Masaryk Room
UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies
16 Taviton steret

This is the first scientific biography of Milan Rastislav Štefánik (1880–1919) that is focused on analysing the process of how he became the Slovak national hero. Although Štefánik is relatively unknown internationally, his contemporaries compared him ‘to Choderlos de Laclos for the use of military tactics in love affairs, to Lawrence of Arabia for vision, to Bonaparte for ambition ... and to one of apostles for conviction’. He played a key role in founding an independent Czechoslovakia in 1918 through his relentless worldwide travels during the First World War in order to create the Czechoslovak Army. This innovative study explains Štefánik’s fame and successes using interpretive concepts such as social capital, charisma, and memory.

Michal Kšiňan will discuss his book with SSEES historians, Jakub Beneš and Thomas Lorman.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase. The event is generously supported by the Embassy of Slovakia in London.


Michal Kšiňan defended his PhD thesis in history in 2011 summa cum laude en cotutelle between University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, where he later lectured, and the Institute of History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, where he currently works. He wrote several books about Štefánik, edited or coedited 5 volumes and published dozens of scientific papers on different topics. His works were published in Slovak, French, English, Italian, German and Russian. He is the recipient of several prestigious scholarships and awards, including the Prize of the President of the Slovak Republic for the Best Student of Slovakia (2011), Fulbright (2014) or SAS-ERC Visiting Fellowship Grants (2021). Since June 2021, he is member of the Presidium of the Slovak Academy of Sciences.

Image credit: Wikimedia