Veronika Ambros

Associate Professor, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures;
Affiliated Faculty, Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies


416-926 1300 ext. 3200


416 926-2076


121 St. Joseph Street, Room 405



Born in Prague, Dr. Veronika Ambros obtained her PhD at the Free University of Berlin. She is currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and at the Centre of Comparative Literature, at the University of Toronto. Her research includes the theories of the Prague linguistic circle, their precursors the Russian formalists and their successors, most prominently the Tartu School around Yuri Lotman. The conference Structuralism(s) Today. Paris, Prague, Tartu organized by the Center, as well as the eponymous volume published in 2009, confirm their relevance and versatility. Her main subject of inquiry however is semiotics in general and semiotics of drama and theatre in particular. Another part of her research is connected with the cityscape of Prague as the place that used to be an important center of Czech as well as German literature, and Russian émigré culture. Prague serves as a base to explore the relationship between urban space and fiction, between multiculturalism and nationalism, between center and margins. Authors such as Jan Neruda, Rainer Maria Rilke, Guillaume Apollinaire, Franz Kafka, Karel Čapek, Bohumil Hrabal, Milan Kundera and Philip Roth illuminate a number of concepts explored by contemporary urban studies.  Furthermore, imaginary creatures such as robots and golems, which appear on stage and screen, inform her enquiry about the functions of intermediality, especially of the relationship of fine arts and architecture with cinema and theatre. Her current projects include co-operation with the Theatre department of Masaryk University in Brno preparing a reader of texts by the scholars of Prague linguistic circle on performance and drama in English translation as well as consultation of a translation of Otakar Zich’s work into German prepared by Herta Schmid (Professor emerita University of Potsdam).


Theories of the Prague linguistic circle
Semiotics in general specifically drama and theatre
Golems and Robots on Stage and Screen


Ph. D Free University of Berlin (1989)

M. A Free University of Berlin (1974)

B.A. University  Koeln (1972)


“’Images Are Wounds That Will Not Heal’ Staged  Memories in Alfred Radok’s Distant Journey (Daleká Cesta 1949), Alain Resnais Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), and s. Lumet’s The Pawnboker (1964)”. In: Images of Rupture in Civilization between East and West. Urs Heftrich, Bettina Kaibach, eds. Heidelberg, Winter, 467-480.

“Etwas aus dem Nichts gezaubert  – Golem als Prager Figuration jüdischer Moderne (Something out of nothing. Golem as a figuration of Prague modernity) ” brücken – Germanistisches Jahrbuch Tschechien-Slowakei, 2015, 181-192.

“Poetika absence v Zahradní slavnosti” [Poetics of Absence in Garden Celebration/Ceremony], Divadelni Revue, [Theater Revue] 2015, 1, 109-114;

“Jakobson: The Experimental Stage and the Beginnings of Multimedia Theory”  In: Roman O. Jakobson Work in Progress. Andrew Lass – Tomáš Kubíček (eds.) Olomouc: Vydavatelství Univerzity Palackého,  2014, 183-193.

“Translation and National World Literature. National Cultures at the Crossroads” ZiG | Zeitschrift für interkulturelle Germanistik 5|2014|H2, 31-39.

“Prague Linguistic Circle in English: Semantic Shifts in Selected Texts and Their Consequences” Theatralia, 2014, vol. 17, iss. 2 148-161.


Czech Short Story
Czech Culture
Czech and Slovak Cinema
On the Waves of the Avant-Garde
Readings in Czech and Russian Literary Theory
Magic Prague
Prague School Semiotics of Drama, Theatre and Cinema in Contemporary Context
Golems and Robots on Stage and Screen

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