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Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, University of Pardubice, was founded for teaching and research in 2001 by doc. PhDr. Bohuslav Šalanda, CSc. (head of the department until 2003) at the newly established Faculty of Humanities University of Pardubice. Heads of the department since its foundation: PhDr. Jaroslav Paulovič (2003), Ing. Mgr. Petr Kokaisl (2003 – 2005) a PhDr. Lívia Šavelková (since 2005).

The Department has two sections: Social Anthropology section and Sociology section. We provide B.A. and M.A. courses in Social Anthropology and B.A. courses in Sociology. We place the highest priority on fieldwork, which is compulsory for all students of social anthropology. One of our main research projects was ”Dolní Roveň: Social Anthropology and Sociology of a Czech Commune at the Turn of the Third Millenium” supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (leading researcher: PhDr. Petr Skalník, CSc.).

We provide a broad range of research and teaching expertise, including etnicity, political anthropology, colonialism and postcolonialism, ecological anthropology, visual anthropology, Romany studies, linguistic anthropology and anthropology of areas (Maghreb, sub-Saharan Africa, North and South America, India, Indonesia, the Balkans, Siberia, Caucasus, Australia and Oceania) and anthropology of religion (in cooperation with the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy). The courses in anthropology are also offered to students of other study programmes at the Faculty of Arts (history, humanities and languages). There are currently a number of collaborations with both the Czech and foreign institutions including Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, West-Bohemian University in Plzeň, universities in Wroclaw, Banská Bystrica, Bristol, Kaunas, Ljubljana, Vladivostok.

In 2003, Dr. Skalník was elected the vice-president of The International Union of Ethnological and Anthropological Sciences, one of the most important anthropological organisations in the world. In 2005, the Department hosted the IUAES International Congress ”Racism’s Many Faces: Challenge for All Anthropologists and Ethnologists”.