Dr. Kristina Andělová

Dr. Kristina Andělová

Research interests: 

  • Intellectual history
  • Women’s political thought
  • History of Central and Eastern Europe
  • Dissident movements in Central Europe

Current Research Project:

The History of Feminist Political Thought and Women’s Rights in postwar Czechoslovakia

The reserach project is part of the ERC funded project The History of Feminist Political Thought and Women’s Rights Discourses in East Central Europe 1929-2001.

The project traces the development of political thinking on women's rights and women's emancipation in the so called Stalinist and post-Stalinist era. A key question is how the language of gender equality was negotiated during this time and what key concepts were associated with the emancipation of women in post-1956 society. This era has so far been understood in the literature as the era of the so-called critique of the cult of personality and the subsequent de-Stalinization of the political system. It is well described in the literature, especially through the most visible political changes often summarized as “coming to terms with the Stalinist past” - the political rehabilitation of prisoners from the 1950s, the relaxation of political terror, the partial liberalization of cultures and public space, and in some cases attempts at limited pluralization of the political system, etc.

In the field of intellectual history of this era, the dominant research questions were how public intellectuals approached the new intellectual-political situation after Stalin's death or what changes occurred in the structure of epistemology of Marxism-Leninism during the period of the “Thaw” (the birth of Marxist revisionism) and the subsequent loosening of the political system.  One of the great themes of the intellectual history of post-Stalinism is the question of the representation of national history, the reflection on the tension between the notions of people, nation and class, and more recently the arrival of cybernetics and the scientific-technical revolution and the consequent “expertisation” of political thought from 1960s onwards. Thus, the political language of national/social emancipation (from Stalinist oppression) has greatly overshadowed other emancipatory languages, such as the language of women's political rights. The focus on the question of women's rights brings to the fore new issues and topics that have been omitted by political (but also intellectual) history of (post)Stalinism, be it women's rights and the debate on the position of women in socialist society, family planning or population control. 

While traditionally the period of Stalinism in ECE (the revolutionary terror of the early 1950s) and post-Stalinism (or “late socialism”) is perceived in a rather contradictory way, the story of women's socialist rights shows a very clear element of continuity, which is also evident in the fact that the “revolutionary” changes that took place at the level of structural reorganization of gender hierarchies were not as strongly criticized as political persecution. The project elaborates on the extent to which the women's rights narrative in the 1960s can be considered a 'coming to terms with Stalinism' (or revolutionary terror) and what the main motives of the early 1950s critique of women's emancipation were. At the same time, it should capture the high degree of intellectual continuity with the social changes introduced by communist governments in the early 1950s. It researches the reactions of the most important women's organizations as well as individuals.

Selected publications:

Pro nás dějiny nekončí. Politická práce a myšlení českého levicového exilu (1968 – 1989) [For us, history does not end. Political Work and Thought of the Czech Left Exile (1968 – 1989)], Prague, 2023 (togeher with Jiří Suk and Tomáš Zahradníček).

Existoval chartistický environmentalismus? Charta 77 a reflexe životního prostředí [Did Chartist Environmentalism Exist? Charter 77 and Environmental Reflection],Soudobé dějiny, 30 (2), 2023, 351-384.

Contradictions: A Journal for Critical Thought, vol. 5 (2021) on Thinking Left Dissent (guest editor)

Re-enchanting Modernity in the East and West: Comparative Perspectives on the Legacy of 1968. An Author Meets Her Reviewers: A Symposium. East European Politics and Societies, 35(3), 525–567 (together with  Bracewell, W., Gross, I. G., Jasiewicz, K., Ost, D., & Witoszek, N.)

The Genesis of Political Distrust Towards the so-called “Sixty-eighters” – Former Reform Communists in the Czech Political Environment in the Course of 1989. Forum Historiae, n. 2 (2021).

Reinhart Koselleck a metoda Begriffsgeschichte jako nástroj k interpretaci textů politického myšlení. In: Halamka, Tomáš – Virdzek, Andrej (eds.): Jak číst politické myslitele? Prague, 2020, 91–108.

Czechoslovak Generational Experience of 1968: The Intellectual History Perspective. East European Politics and Societies, Roč. 33, n. 4 (2019), 881–98.

The Power of the Powerless and Further Havelian Paradoxes in the Stream of Time. East European Politics and Societies, Roč. 32, n. 2 (2018), 214–231. (together with Jiří Suk).

Jednoho dne se v našem zelináři cosi vzbouří. Eseje o Moci bezmocných [One Day Something in Our Greengrocer Snaps: Essays on The Power of the Powerless], Prague, 2016 (together with Jiří Suk).