Institut français
d’archéologie orientale du Caire

IFAO

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17482

Cerny

Transnational researcher Jaroslav Černý, 1956-1970: Transnational biography as method for history of Egyptology

Griffith Institute, University of Oxford (2017 ACEF fellowship)
Academy of Sciences, Prague
The National Museum, Prague
Oxford Centre for Life-Writing, Wolfson College, University of Oxford
University of Reading

Griffith Institute University of Oxford (2017 ACEF fellowship)
Academy of Sciences Prague
The National Museum Prague

• Hana Navratilova (University of Reading)

The international Egyptologist Jaroslav Černý commenced the most cosmopolitan and intellectually productive part of his career at the Institut Français de l’Archéologie Orientale in Cairo in 1925. His transnational career proffers an interesting case study for the history of Egyptology as a dynamic interdisciplinary study that applies methodologies of history, in particular social history and history of science, as well as anthropology and sociology of science.
Černý became attaché étranger and later regular member of the IFAO missions.Černý’s career at the IFAO documented in the IFAO archives complements materials from international archives such as the Griffith Institute Archive, or UNESCO archives, which encompass other elements of his personal and professional biography.
The project targets:
a) identification of resources for a transnational biography.
b)an analysis of his career, professional and social network and professional habitus.
The transnational biography has been developed as a functional tool that is applicable for the biography of scholars, demonstrated on the example of Egyptologist Jaroslav Cerny. His contribution to Egyptology, although framed by complex political developments, aimed at making Egyptology into a global intellectual project.
To sum up, the research target has been largely achieved, also thanks to the extensive presence of UNESCO-campaign related documents in the IFAO Archive. A short research trip to Paris may be undertaken as planned with subsidy from the Academy of Sciences in Prague, but it is not decisive at this point. Further consultations with the CEDAE experts Hisham el-Leithy and Christian Leblanc are being pursued.