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Deadline to apply to Romani Studies program at Charles University now 19 August

29.7.2018 7:34
Romani Studies Seminar, Department of Central European Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague. (2018).
Romani Studies Seminar, Department of Central European Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague. (2018).

The two-year Bachelor's program in Romani Studies at Charles University is available either as a major or minor focus. The deadline for the extended application procedure is 19 August 2018.

The acceptance procedure will run from 3 to 19 September 2018. Detailed information and a link to the application is here:  https://w

The practice test and recommended literature can be found here:…/uch…/bakalarske-studium/romistika/ The Romani Studies Program at Charles University's Faculty of Arts is a multidisciplinary study program uniquely focusing on Romani subject matter and connecting knowledge and methods from anthropology, the arts, history, linguistics, literature, political science and social work.

The program focuses both on Romani people living on the territory of the former Czechoslovakia and elsewhere in the world. Emphasis is placed on acquiring active knowledge of the Romanes language and acquiring one's own experiences through personal communication and encounters with Romani people.

Students have the opportunity to join the research projects and other academic and cultural/social activities of the department. The field is traditionally studied by both non-Roma and Roma, by beginners in Romanes together with native speakers, and together each cohort creates an inspirational environment for developing their own academic and social activities.

A unique discipline in all of Europe

While at least 10 million Romani people live in Europe, there is just one university department focused on the art, culture, history and language of Romani people on the continent, and that is Romani Studies at the Department of Central European Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague. "Some colleges in our country and elsewhere in the world offer basic Romanes language courses or an introduction to the realities of Romani people, in which case they draw to a great extent on Romani Studies research in order to teach their subjects. At the Romani Studies program in Prague, however, the students learn to speak Romanes perfectly. They also have the room and the time to comprehend Romani culture and history in a broad context under the direction of educators who have long dedicated their work to these subjects," explains department head Helena Sadílková, who teaches courses in history and language primarily.

"Romani Studies is a small field. Students from different years know each other and spend time with the educators, and not just during class. The teachers work on research of different kinds, in addition to instructing, and the students have the opportunity to participate in that research under their direction. In this way I have met Romani people in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, England and Poland during my studies," says Jan Ort, a graduate of Romani Studies who is currently on a study visit to the anthropology department in Durham, England.

Romani Studies is not just a field of study favored by non-Roma. "Interest in the field is being demonstrated by Romani people themselves. Their personal experiences are always an enrichment to the instruction and contact with them is important for non-Romani students. We believe our field also benefits Romani people themselves," says Michael Beníšek, who has also graduated in Indology along with Romani Studies and is involved in comparative studies between Indian languages and Romanes.

Students are able to combine Romani Studies with any other field offered by the Faculty of Arts in Prague, which is what Beníšek has done. "For Romani Studies, Romani people are not primarily a social problem, the field endeavors to perceive Romani people much more broadly. I myself am a Romani woman, but I learned many new things during the first year," describes Iveta Kokyová, a social worker and writer who is currently attending the program.

For more information: Romani Studies at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague or

voj, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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