"Czech, Slovak, Czechoslovak: National Identity in the Czechoslovak Nationality Room," by Max Adzema

 

"Czech, Slovak, Czechoslovak: National Identity in the Czechoslovak Nationality Room," by Max Adzema

My interests have led me to research the Czechoslovak Nationality Room, in that it represents the distinct and deliberate joining of two or more peoples into a single nation.  Formed as a nation in 1918, Czechoslovakia represented a unified nation of multiple ethnicities.  However, these self-identifying ethnic groups had (and still have) very different traditions and identities, including language, art, history, and way of life.  Since the vast majority of Czech and Slovak immigrants arrived in the United States before Czechoslovakia’s 1918 creation, they were fiercely proud of their individual ethnic heritage.  They kept it distinct from the other, living in very separate communities and maintaining separate identities.  Through my research, I have found that it was a very difficult task to represent these two groups fairly and equally in one room.  I argue that, while the Czechoslovak Nationality Room attempts to paint a picture of multi-cultural “Slavic unity,” it reversely portrays a class society where Czechs have superiority over Slovaks, an issue that existed since the country’s creation.  Although the Czechoslovak-Americans that created the room may have wanted to show the harmony of a unified state (they were heavily influenced by their brethren still in Europe), they left telltale signs that Czechs and Slovaks were not thought of as equal.  The problems and benefits of uniting these two peoples into one country can be seen in the microcosm of the Czechoslovak Nationality Room, which I aim to show.

For more information about Max, click here.

Categories: 
  • HAAARCH!!! 2015
  • Undergraduate Work