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Lecture: Conversations over the Prison Wall

In commemoration of the 80th anniversary of Václav Havel's birth the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with the Embassy of the Czech Republic will present a lecture by Dr. Ivan M. Havel on September 29, 2016 at 7pm.

Dr. Havel will present in English his personal reflections on the question whether a certain limited type of  freedom may coexist with totality. He would refer especially to the unofficial or semiofficial “islands of intellectual freedom” in former Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic) during the years shortly before the communist regime collapsed. He will also mention some facts about his correspondence with his brother Václav Havel while the latter was in prison. Finally, he will comment on the general issue of the role of intellectuals in politics.

About the lecturer:

Dr. Ivan M. Havel graduated in 1966 from Czech Technical University in Prague. From 1969 to 1971, he attended the University of California at Berkeley, earning his Ph.D. in computer science. For several years he worked as a research scientist with the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. Before the Communist regime collapsed in late 1989, Ivan Havel hosted dissident discussion groups in his apartment in Prague and cooperated with samizdat (underground) publications. From November 1989 to June 1990, he was engaged in political work. In 1993, his brother became the first democratically elected president of the Czech Republic and spent the rest of his life as an advocate for human rights worldwide. Presently  Dr. Havel is an associate professor at Charles University and the Center for Theoretical Study, an international cross-disciplinary institution affiliated with Charles University and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Prague.

Dr. Ivan M. Havel will launch a book Recorded Sound in Czech Lands, 1900–1946

This publication of Gabriel Gössel and Filip Šír is the first comprehensive contribution to mapping the history of the sound industry in former Czechoslovakia prepared by the Moravian Library in Brno. Filip Šír will present the book.

Event Details:

Date: September 29, 7 pm

Location: Embassy of the Czech Republic           
3900 Spring of Freedom Street, NW       
Washington, DC 20008               

RSVP: czechembassypr@gmail.com

Suggested donation for SVU: $10 at the door