Nikola Balaš

Nikola Balaš

Mgr. Nikola Balaš, Ph.D.

Department of Critical Heritage Studies

tel.: +420 222 828 604





2005–2009 – Bc. ZČU v Plzni, sociální a kulturní antropologie

2009–2011 – Mgr., ZČU v Plzni, sociální a kulturní antropologie

2015–2020 Ph.D., Univerzita Karlova, Fakulta humanitních studií

Research interests

I am keen on finding new avenues for understanding state socialism that once ruled Eastern Europe. I am interested in exploring the paradoxes of state socialism as well as phenomena that defy our contemporary understanding of the regime. My current research covers three main aspects. First, I focus on how the regime directly and indirectly shaped knowledge production. Second, I am interested in the peculiar nature of power relations. Third, I am interested in the largely unperceived continuities between the socialist and post-socialist era. I cover all three aspects in my nascent book on Czechoslovak ethnography and folklore studies with the working title An Ethnographic Chiefdom: The Epistemic Arrest and Knowledge Production in Czechoslovak Ethnography and Folklore Studies 1969–1989.

I am an avid reader, passionate about sociological theory, sociocultural anthropology and philosophy, with a penchant for complexity and paradox, prejudiced against reduction.


2012–2013 – Durham University, Department of Anthropology, Erasmus

Recent publications

2023. A Crusade for Social Anthropology: An Analysis of Politics in Post-Socialist Debates, Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review, accepted for publication.

2022. Through a peephole: Vladimír Karbusický, the secret police and the scholarly ethos in socialist Czechoslovakia, History and Anthropology, DOI: 10.1080/02757206.2022.2060218

2019. Antropologové v pasti? Teorie vědy / Theory of Science, XLI (1): 133–149.

2018. Academia without Contention? The Legacy of Czechoslovak Ethnography and Folklore Studies in Czech Anthropology. Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review, 54 (3): 343–370.

2016. Čím vším může být sociokulturní antropologie. Český lid / The Czech Ethnological Journal, 103 (3): 473–490.

2015. On Dualism and Monism in Anthropology: The Case of Clifford Geertz. Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford, VII (2): 128–152.

2015. Anthropology Limited. Studying Anthropology in the Czech Republic (and England). Cargo: Časopis pro kulturní/sociální antropologii, 12(1–2): 75–88.

2012. Pokrok ve společenskovědní teorii náboženství: Mezi Durkheimem a Geertzem. Teorie vědy / Theory of Science, XXXIV (4): 495–514.


CASA (Board member since 2021)

SIEF (člen)

SIEF Young Scholar Prize awardee (2023)