Petition in support of doc. Lemeshkin, Lithuanian studies and "small disciplines" in general

We, the undersigned,

are deeply concerned by the news of the intention to terminate the employment of doc. PhDr. Ilya Lemeshkin, Ph.D., by the Faculty of Arts of Charles University, and the intention to cancel the teaching of the specialization "Lithuanian Studies".


Although we understand the challenging financial situation of the Faculty of Arts, we consider it highly alarming and wrong in the long run to completely resign from teaching the so-called "small (philological) disciplines", the fruits of which are, among other things, the spreading of the reputation of both the Faculty and the Czech Republic in the world. Very often it is these small (usually philological) fields that create links between the Czech Republic and members of other nations, thus benefiting the whole Czech society.

The tradition of Lithuanian studies at Charles University dates back to the 19th century and continues to the present day, with one of the most renowned figures in the world of Lithuanian studies today – doc. PhDr. Ilya Lemeškin, Ph.D. The decision of the faculty to deprive itself of this personality comes at the moment when doc. Lemeshkin's professor appointment procedure started, when his latest book was rated among the top ten high-quality monographs of Charles University, and when we have only four years to look forward to a stronger interest in university education thanks to demographics.


Therefore, we call on the management of the Faculty of Arts of Charles University to change its attitude towards the employment relationship with doc. Lemeshkin. We urge, using the example of doc. Lemeshkin and Lithuanian Studies, the management of the entire university, colleagues from the more fortunate faculties, stakeholders in the field of support for universities, the Czech government, whose programme statement would suggest that it cares about science and education, and the general public to realise what values and benefits we may be missing out on by ill-considered cuts in the university environment, and to reconsider such a move accordingly.

Naďa Dřizga, doktorand Filozofické fakulty Univerzity Karlovy    Contact the author of the petition

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