Kufová Presents Keston Lecture on War and Music in Czechoslovakia

October 21, 2023
2023 Keston Fall Lecture Header

Michaela Kufová presents the 2023 Keston Fall Lecture, "War, Music, and Dissonance: A Czechoslovak Case Study," on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 3:30 p.m. at the Armstrong Browning Library & Museum on the campus of Baylor University. Light refreshments and conversation follow the lecture, and a livestream of the event via Zoom Webinar is available. This event is free and open to the public.

Using Czech history as a backdrop, Kufová’s lecture will explore the relationships and impact of music on war and war on music with universal implications. As she notes, "Even in wartime chaos and the fight for freedom, music became a steadfast symbol of strength for those who dreamt of a better world."

Kufová's musical pursuit dates back to age five when she began singing with one of the premier children's choirs in the Czech Republic at Ondrášek Nový Jičín Arts School where she now teaches and conducts. Her strong foundation in vocal performance compelled her to earn a master’s degree in music and English education from Masaryk University in Brno. Her interest in researching the intersection of music with war and the struggle for freedom arises from the experiences of her parents and grandparents in Czechoslovakia.

Kathy Hillman, director of Baylor's Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society, notes that “music possesses the power to inspire, empower and embolden individuals, crowds and countries. Its influence becomes especially evident in the struggle for liberty as artists have often been among the first dissidents through musical resistance and the dissonance between official and outlawed compositions and concerts."

In 2018, Kufova spent a semester studying at McLennan Community College in Waco. During this return visit to Texas, she will deliver the Keston lecture, speak at McLennan Community College, present in several local schools, and sing in a church choir.

The 2023 Keston Fall Lecture is proudly presented by the Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society and the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies at Baylor University.

The Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society receives, maintains, preserves, expands and makes available to scholars the world’s most comprehensive collection of materials on religious persecution under communist and other totalitarian regimes. Annually, the Center hosts lectures featuring speakers and panelists who engage and illuminate its mission and collections.

For more information visit library.web.baylor.edu/kestonlecture or contact Kathy Hillman, director of the Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society, at (254) 710-6684.