Department of Slavic Studies

History of the Department

The antecedent of today’s Department of Slavic Studies was the School of Slavic Studies, which was founded as early as 1921. It focused on Bohemian and Slovak studies, which were in the process of constitution at that time. The first instructors in Slavic languages were Dr. Jozef Škultéty, Dr. Miloš Weingart and Dr. Albert Pražák. Besides teaching and organization activities, the foundations of scholarly research in Slavic studies were laid at the university in the 1920s. From 1936 to 1977, instruction in Slavic disciplines (Proto-Slavic and comparative Slavic linguistics) was provided by Prof. Ján Stanislav, a leading Slovak Slovakist and Slavist, who later joined the department.

The original School of Slavic Studies transformed itself into the Department of Slovak Language and Literature in 1949 and in 1964 Slavic studies-oriented teaching staff left to establish an independent Department of Slavic and Indo-European Studies under the leadership of Prof. Š. Ondruš, a specialist in comparative Slavic and Indo-European linguistics (especially etymology and Proto-Slavic), general linguistics and the history of linguistics.

Since 1987 the department has born the name of the Department of Slavic Studies. At that time, it was managed by Assoc. Prof. E. Horák, an expert in Bulgarian and Serbo-Croatian linguistics. Between 1990 and 1997, the department was led by Prof. J. Hvišč, who lectured in Polish literature and the theory of translation. In 1997 he was replaced by Prof. M. Pančíková, who specializes in Polish linguistics (word-formation, lexicology and non-literary translation). She was at the head of the department until 2010 when the running of the department was handed over to Assoc. Prof. M. Dobríková, a specialist in Bulgarian.

Despite its relatively small size in terms of the number of full-time faculty, the department is well received abroad. It maintains relations with many university departments of Slavic studies not only in Europe, but also in the USA and Japan. In the past it was involved in the CEEPUS programme. Until now it has signed eight contracts within the Erasmus programme. Prof. M. Pančíková is one of the founding members of the international Polish studies association BRISTOL, which brings together teachers of Polish studies from around the world. Prof. Jozef Hvišč is the chair of the Slovak-Polish Commission of Humanities at the Slovak Ministry of Education, whose partner is the Polish-Slovak Commission of Humanities at the Polish Ministry of Education. The commission issues its own newsletter titled KONTAKTY. Prof. M. Dudok is a member of the Serbian Society of Applied Linguistics and a member of writers’ associations both in Slovakia and Serbia.