UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Johana Klusek

Email: j.klusek@ucl.ac.uk 

Present status: PhD candidate 

Working title of thesis: The Image of Britain in Czechoslovak Media Discourses Between 1939-1948 

Research: My research project examines the period of the major existential crisis of the Czechoslovak statehood in a new perspective. Britain is studied as a new significant “other”, to which Czechoslovaks at the time projected their visions, hopes as well as fears and frustrations. The aim is not only to reconstruct and describe the image but primarily to identify its social functions. The prevalently appellative character of the image (which often involves stereotypical notions) is, on the one hand, considered deliberate and on the other more or less spontaneous and authentic. The assessment of each discourse emerging from the labyrinths of what is an intricate image should lead to at least partial answers to questions such as: What purposes did the British other serve for Czechoslovaks during the World War II and the Third Republic? How did the Munich Agreement, the major blow to trust, affect the image of the country in ensuing years? How does the traditional conservative image of Britain communicate with the new progressive image of the British Coalition and later Labour government? And how did Czechoslovaks understand the world and their place in it in the 1940’s? 

Research interests: Czechoslovak History, Discourse Analysis, Imagology, Stereotypes, New Cold War History, Transnational History 


  • “War as a Garden Party: Czechoslovak Exilic Experience in Britain between 1939-1945”, Journal of Culture and War Studies (under review) 
  • “Porevoluční ideové diskurzy Václava Klause: Socialismus, kapitalismus a nové lepší zítřky à la paní Thatcherová” [Václav Klaus’ Ideological Discourses: Socialism, Capitalism and better tomorrows à la Ms Thatcher], in Kde přebývá devětaosmdesátý? Sametová revoluce v absolutní hodnotě [Where Does the 1989 Dwell? The Absolute Value of the Velvet Revolution], eds. Petr Agha, Jan Géryk (Praha: Karolinum, in print) 
  • “Hatred in Czech Self-Stereotyping: New Challenges”, review Češi o Češích: Dnešní spory o dějiny, Eva Hahnová, Studia Territorialia, Volume 19, Issue 1 (2019), pp. 98-101. 

I regularly comment on contemporary Britain in Czech media (A2larm.cz, Czech Radio, Czech Television, Hospodářské noviny). 

Module taught: Frontiers of History