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March 17, 2005

Distinguished Czech scholar, former dissident to lecture at Birmingham-Southern College

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Dr. Alena Hromadkova, distinguished Czech scholar and professor of political science at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, will give a lecture at Birmingham-Southern College Wednesday, March 23, at 7 p.m. in Munger Hall Auditorium on campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Referred to by her students as a “veteran of the Cold War,” Hromadkova was the spokesperson for Charter 77, the famous human rights manifesto in Czechoslovakia which was signed in 1977 by 230 prominent Czech intellectuals. The manifesto was published in Western newspapers and as a result Czech authorities arrested several of the dissidents and denounced their activities. The United States charged Czechoslovakia with violating the 1975 Helsinki Accords on human rights. Hromadkova is credited with establishing a non-parliamentary democratic party after the fall of Communism in 1989.

While in Birmingham, Hromadkova will lecture on and discuss with BSC students a number of topics related to the Sovietization and de-Sovietization of Central Europe, the legacy of Munich after the war, and the post Cold War transformation and the admission of the Czech Republic to the European Union.

“Like much of what the United States is currently involved in with Iraq, the Czech Republic has experienced the challenge of nation-building in its formation of a parliamentary democracy and Hromadkova has been a major participant in this development,” said Anne Ledvina, BSC associate director of international programs.

Hromadkova also will receive a key from the city of Birmingham, which is developing a sister-city relationship with Pilsen, Czech Republic.

Her visit is being funded by a grant from the Global Partners Project, a collaboration of 42 liberal arts colleges whose initiatives aim to strengthen international education.

For more information, contact BSC's Office of International Programs at 226-7722.

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