Rajendra Chitnis is currently Associate Professor of Czech at Oxford. He has published widely on Czech, Slovak and Russian literatures, and is the author of books including Vladislav Vančura: The Heart of the Czech Avant-garde (Prague: Karolinum Press, Charles University, Prague, 2007) and Literature in Post-Communist Russia and Eastern Europe: The Russian, Czech and Slovak Fiction of the Changes, 1988-1998 (London, New York: Routledge Curzon, 2005). He is currently completing a book on the Czech literary movement of ruralism.
David Keplinger is a professor and poet, and the author of five collections: most recently Another City (Milkweed, 2018), which was awarded 2019 Rilke Prize. Among his other collections are The Most Natural Thing (New Issues, 2013) and The Prayers of Others (New Issues, 2006) , which won the Colorado Book Award. His first book, The Rose Inside, was chosen by the poet Mary Oliver for the 1999 T.S. Eliot Prize. Keplinger has been awarded the Cavafy Prize from Poetry International, and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2011 he produced By and By, an album of eleven songs based on the poetry of his great-great grandfather, a Civil War veteran. He performed and presented on the project at the National Portrait Gallery’s Donald W. Reynolds Center in 2013.
Karen von Kuneš
Karen von Kuneš is a faculty member at Yale University (teaching courses in Czech language, literature and film), Fellow of the Yale Jonathan Edwards College and Associate of the Harvard Davis Center. She is the author of Milan Kundera’s Fiction: A Critical Approach to Existential Betrayals (Lexington Books of Rowman and Littlefield, May 2019), Czech-English/English-Czech Practical Dictionary (Hippocrene, 2011), Beyond the Imaginable: 240 Ways of Looking at Czech (Práh, 1999), 72 Discussions of the Czech Language (Práh, 1995), Fast & Easy Czech (Crown, 1992), as well as the coauthor of Barron’s Travel Wise Czech (1998). She is also a contributor to several scholarly books, including Critical Essays on Milan Kundera, and to Between Texts, Languages and Cultures. As a fiction writer, Dr. von Kuneš wrote a screenplay Leaving Far Behind, published short stories, and a well-received existential novel, Among the Sinners (Práh, 2013) about illegal immigration in the age of globalization. A freelance journalist for seven years, she wrote a weekly column on Czech for The Prague Post. Her innovative text-book, Crystal Clear Czech Language from Beginners to Advanced is scheduled to be published by Routledge in 2021, she is also coauthoring a new edition of Czech: An Essential Grammar (Routledge, 2020). Her critical manuscript, Milos Forman’s Vision, Mission and Execution is due for publication in 2022. Prior to Yale, Dr. von Kuneš taught Czech and Russian languages at Harvard University, Slavic literatures and cultural studies at Boston College, the University of Texas-Austin, Boston University and Tufts and most recently at Yale-NUS in Singapore (2015). She has been a member of multiple committees, prominently of Jonathan Edwards’ Best Senior Creative Essays Committee. Dr. von Kuneš has received many academic awards, including recognition in The Princeton Review of The Best 300 Professors, published by Random House in 2012. Her classes attract a high number of students and during the 2019 calendar year, 101 students took her Czech language courses alone. Karen von Kuneš hold a Ph.D. degree from McGill and an MBA equivalent from the University of Texas-Austin. As a graduate student, she was a visiting scholar at the University of Oxford, and Georgetown University.
Jordan Plevneš, was born in 1953 in Macedonia. He writes plays, novels poetry and essays. His work has been translated into over 50 languages. His spiritual idealism is closely linked to the myth of the Balkans as the heart of Europe. Since 1988 he has lived in Paris. He was Ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia to France, Spain, Portugal and UNESCO. His plays R, The Fall of Albert Camus and Happiness is a New Idea in Europe received international recognition throughout Europe and the United States. His play The Eternal House will be featured in 2021 at the Macedonian National Theater in Skopje under the leadership of American experimental theater director Robert Wilson.