Tomáš Jirsa


Tomáš Jirsa is a literary theorist, translator, postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Institute of Czech and Comparative Literature of the Faculty of Arts at Charles University in Prague, interested primarily in the relationship between literature and visual arts, affective operations in art, media and aesthetics. Before he picked up the Postdoc position in 2012, he had already taught several courses at Charles University, beginning in 2009, focused on French poststructuralism and deconstruction. In 2008, Tomáš Jirsa became part of a PhD programme in Philology at the Department of Czech Literature and Literary Criticism at Charles University. There, he pursued his dissertation project entitled “Physiognomy of Writing: In the Folds of Literary Ornament”, which he finished in 2012 (see publications). He has been awarded with various scholarships, comprising of a research stay at Université Paris Sorbonne (Paris IV), at the University of California, Los Angeles; in 2015 he became a short term junior fellow at the IKKM in Weimar where he worked on the research project entitled “Mediality of the Broken Frame: Affective Patterns and Their Survival in Image and Text”. Along with translations from French in the fields of philosophy, aesthetics, psychiatry, and film history (Marc Augé, Jean Starobinski, Sylvie Lindeperg, Henri Ey, Roland Barthes), he also translates French films. He held several positions in relation to film festivals, e.g. as a press agent, media manager and translator of the international festival of science documentary films Academia Film Olomouc (AFO).



Physiognomy of Writing: In the Folds of Literary Ornament (Fyziognomie psaní. V Záhybech literárního ornament). Prague: Filozofická fakulta UK v Praze, 2012.

Articles (Selection)

“Reading Kafka Visually: Gothic Ornament and the Motion of Writing in Kafka’s Der Prozess”. Central Europe, 1-2/13, London, 2015. (in print)

“Facing the Faceless. Erased Face as a Figure of Aesthetic and Historical Experience”. Czech and Slovak Journal of Humanities, vol. 5, 2015, p. 104–119.

“Lost in Pattern: Rococo Ornament and its Journey to Contemporary Art through Wallpaper.” In: Where is History Today? New Representations of the Past. Eds. Ian Christie, Marcel Arbeit. Olomouc: Palacký University Olomouc, 2015.

“Ascension of the Pop Icon. Creativity of Kitsch (not only) in a Music Video of Lana Del Rey”. Moravian Journal of Literature and Film, n° 2, vol. 6, 2015.

“The Living Tissue of a Work of Art: The Sources and Echoes of Wladimir Weidlé’s Biology of Art”. Umění/Art 6, 62, 2014, p. 552–555.

“Tussle with the Wallpaper: Towards Identity of a Literary Character between Living Walls”. In „Identity – konstrukce, subverze a absence“. Eds. Petr A. Bílek, Jan Wiendl, Martin Procházka. Praha. Filozofická fakulta UK v Praze, 2014, p. 106–121.

“Schizophrenia and/of writing. Under Blanche T.’s lace of words”. Svět literatury 47, XXIII, 2013, pp. 12-28.

“Anti-ornament”. In: A Glossary of Catchwords of the Czech Avant-Garde. Conceptions of aesthetics and the changing faces of art 1908-1958. Eds. Josef Vojvodík, Jan Wiendl. Praha: Univerzita Karlova, Filozofická fakulta; Togga, 2012, s. 99–111, trans. David Short.

“Creative Destruction of Figures. Samuel Beckett and the Image of Unreadability”. Slovo a smysl / Word & Sense 17, 2012, p. 101–118.

“Physiognomy of Writing: French Literary Thinking and its Visual Inspiration”. Slovo a smysl / Word & Sense, 15, 2011, p. 98–112.

“Dialogue as a Mode of Existence in the work of Richard Weiner”. Česká literatura 56, 2008, pp. 75-102.

“On Snooping, Intervention and Desire in Texts of Witold Gombrowicz”. Souvislosti 3, Prague, 2007, pp. 124–132.