History of the Department of Slovak Literature and Literary Studies
1921 – 1950
Slovak studies have been pursued at Faculty of Arts at Comenius University’s since its foundation in the academic year 1921/1922. Slovak studies were taught by the staff from the Section for Slovak Language and Literature led by Prof. J. Škultéty. Lectures in Slovak and Czech literature were given by Czech professors J. Hanuš and A. Pražák. In 1924/1925 the School of Slavic Studies opened a section for Czechoslovak language, directed by Prof. M. Weingart. In the 1930s and 1940s the faculty employed several Czech teachers of Slavic and Slovak studies: Prof. F. Wollman, Prof. J. Vilikovský and Prof. J. Mukařovský, among others. They contributed to the development of academic life in Slovakia and helped to give rise to a generation of Slovak literary scholars. In 1938 two Slovaks were promoted: M. Pišút received an associate professorship in the history of Czech and Slovak literature and A. Mráz in the history of Slovak literature. In 1941/1942 the School of Slavic Studies also opened a section for the Slovak language and the history of Slovak literature.
1950 – 1989
A significant change in the structure of the faculty was brought about by the rise of departments according to the University Act of 1950. At that time, the Department of Slovak Language and Literature was established, with Prof. A. Mráz at its head and the Department of Art Studies under the leadership of Prof. M. Bakoš, which also included literary scholarship. The number of students of Slovak language and literature increased. Gradually the faculty extended the number of teachers of Slovak literature. In the early 1950s, J. Števček, H. Urbancová and M. Rúfus joined the department. In 1954 M. Tomčík was appointed Associate Professor in Modern Slovak and Czech Literature. Following the restructuring of academic disciplines in 1955, the Department of Slovak Language and Literature came into being, which also offered a study programme in Hungarian studies. In 1958 Hungarian studies separated to form an independent department. After the demise of the Teachers’ College in the late 1950s and the early 1960s, the department hired some of its former teachers: M. Gašparík, J. Béder and P. Bunčák. In the same period Z. Beran, P. Mazák and L. Ivaničová joined the department.
In 1966 the Department of Slovak Language and Literature was divided into two independent departments – the Department of Slovak Language and the Department of Slovak Literature and Literary Science. The latter was headed by Assoc. Prof. M. Gašparík (1966-1971). In 1967 Assoc. Prof. J. Minárik from the Institute of Slovak Literature of the Slovak Academy of Sciences joined the department. In the following period the department had a new head, Prof. J. Števček (1971-1990). In the 1970s the department hired A. Kruláková, H. Májeková, M. Flochová and A. Bagin. After the Bratislava subsidiary of Prague’s University of 17 November closed down, V. Chorváthová and later B. Hochel joined the department. In the 1980s Ž. Handzová, Z. Prušková, V. Mikula, Z. Kákošová and L. Čúzy followed suit.
In the 1990s the department gradually employed J. Zambor and fresh graduates D. Kročanová, A. Bokníková, P. Darovec, M. Vojtech and E. Krčméryová. Other teachers who worked at the department at that time included Prof. V. Marčok and F. Matejov. The department was in that period headed by Assoc. Prof. L. Čúzy (1990-1998), Prof. V. Mikula (1998-2001), Dr. D. Kročanová-Roberts (2001-2004), Assoc. Prof. Z. Kákošová (2004-2012) and since 2012, by Assoc. Prof. D. Kročanová.