Political tendencies in awarding honorary doctorates at Charles University in Prague, with focus on the discipline of ethnography
Charles University has awarded honorary doctorates (doctor honoris causa, Dr.h.c.) since 1848. The award is conditioned by a proposal submitted by any faculty and approved by the university authorities, by a previous consent of the proposed person, and by the fact that the proposed has not been awarded doctorate based on his/her doctoral study at the proposing faculty. Awarding this degree at a public graduation ceremony, associated with promise and diploma, was and still is a political matter, whereby the policy includes several levels: state policy; national/ nationalistic policy; academic, university, and disciplinary (particular scholarly disciplines) policy; and the policy of particular interest groups and leading representatives of public life. The one-and-half-century long development makes it possible to observe political tendencies that predominated in certain periods. These tendencies mostly related to the degree of academic freedoms, meaning to the efforts of the state to restrict the academic freedoms to a greater or lower extent. Charles University has awarded 500 honorary doctorates in all scientific disciplines to date. With the selected sample (see the enclosure) which tries to respect the evolving discipline of ethnography / ethnology as a field of science, the author tries to point out significant political tendencies that predominated there.
Česká národopisná společnost, z. s., Národní třída 3, 117 20 Praha 1, Czech Republic
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