David Smrček

DOC Fellow of the Austrian Academy of Sciences


My name is David Smrček and I came to the University of Vienna from the Czech Republic. I did my bachelor’s and master’s at Charles University, where I studied Czech modern and contemporary history. During the studies, I have been working at the Czech Academy of Sciences and Museum of City Prague, and I hope I will continue to do so. I am enrolled at both University of Vienna and Charles University in Prague under the supervision of professors Peter Becker and Milan Hlavačka, which will hopefully allow me to successfully complete my dissertation, as well as to get acquainted with the Austrian historiography. 

Research interests: During my research, I focus on Czech-German nationalism of the late Habsburg empire, with special attention to the so-called „Clash for Prague“, a symbolical and physical fight over the space in the capital of Bohemia.

Current research project: Street Politics and Collective Violence in Cisleithania in 1897
My project focuses on the well-known topics of language ordinances of 1897 from a different perspective. Analyzing not only with demonstrations and violent interactions between different nationalities, but also rioters and protesters and police, and cross-examining the results with interdisciplinary studies from sociopsychology, I will contribute not only to the debates of nationalism but foremost the political mobilization before the First World War.
The project is operating on three different levels – causes, events, and consequences, naturally creating three main research objectives. The first one examines the public activities of the politicians and the transfer of tensions from Reichsrat and Diets to the masses escalating to violence, answering the question, why did the riots and demonstrations mobilize so many participants for the collective violence. The second level of my research focuses on the participants of the riots and demonstrations responding to the political events and propaganda, answering questions about the composition of the groups according to social class, age, and sex. Based on the quantitative methods, it will be determined, which social classes were the most significant recipient of political and nationalistic propaganda. The third level of my research studies the influence of the riots of 1897 on media narratives and language. This way, change of the discourse during the year will be examined, focusing especially on the “language of violence” of 1897.
My project offers not only an important contribution to the history of violence in public space within the framework of demonstrations at the end of the 19th century but also to the studies on the influence of political authorities and the media on “ordinary” people, simultaneously emphasizing the significance of urbanization and work migration for the rise of nationally motivated violence. Furthermore, my research would contribute to the historical studies of media and their perception.


  • together with HLAVAČKA, M., KESSLER, V. (2020). Databáze dějin všedního dne (Database of the History of Everyday Life), Prague, Czech Republic: Akademie věd České republiky – Academia, pp. 1-24.
  • PREPARED FOR PUBLICATION: (2020). Prosincové nepokoje 1897 v Praze. Odraz v pražském politickém tisku (Image of the Riots in December 1897 in Prague Political Press), In: Historie 2018/2019. Sborník prací z celostátní studentské vědecké conference, Brno, prospected date of publication 2020, pp. 1-31.
  • PREPARED FOR PUBLICATION: (2020). Politika ulice nebo politici v ulicích? Fenomén vůdců davu během pražských nepokojů roku 1897 (Street Politics or Politicians in the Streets? Phenomenon of the Leader of the Crowd during the Prague Riots of 1897), Moderní dějiny, 28(2), Prague, prospected date of publication 2020, pp. 1-22.
  • Master thesis: (2020). Grabenbummel. Procházka na Příkopech (Grabenbummel – The Walk on Příkopy); unpublished master thesis, (supervisor: doc. PhDr. Magdalena Pokorná, CSc.), Praha, pp. 1-217. Online: https://dspace.cuni.cz/handle/20.500.11956/118843
  • Bachelor thesis: (2017). Pražské prosincové nepokoje 1897 v Praze (The December riots 1897 in Prague), unpublished bachelor thesis, (supervisor: doc. PhDr. Magdalena Pokorná, CSc.), Praha, pp. 1-130. Online:  https://is.cuni.cz/webapps/zzp/detail/177859/