Indiana University Bloomington

Bronislava Volkova, Ph.D.

Professor Emerita

Bronislava VolkovaE-mail address:

Ph.D., Charles University, 1970.


  • "Functions of Repetition in Russian and Spanish" (1969 PhDr., Under the name of Bronislava Fischerová).
  • "Ruské substantivní deriváty s emocionálními významy" (1973 CSc; degree not awarded for political reasons).

Specialties/Research Interests: Central European and Jewish Literature, 20th Century Central and East European Poetry; Semiotics; Emotive Language; Czech literature.

Current project(s): 20th century poetry translation, semiotic cultural studies of Czech and Jewish Literature and exile.

Courses Taught:

  • Russian Language (all levels)
  • Introduction to Russian Linguistics
  • Old Church Slavic II
  • Introduction to Modern Linguistics
  • Russian Word Formation
  • Russian Stylistics
  • Emotive Semantics and Word Formation
  • Structure of Russian
  • Syntax and Semantics
  • Beginning, Intermediate and Intermediate Advanced Czech
  • Central European Culture Between the Wars
  • History of Czech Literature
  • Literary Texts in Totalitarian and Post-Communist Society
  • Modern Czech History and Literature through Film
  • Modern Czech Literature
  • Prague School Linguistics and Poetics
  • Semiotics and Philosophy of Language
  • The Wandering Jew: Central European Jewish Writers and Exile
  • Twentieth Century Central and East European Poetry: Comparative Perspective I & II

Major Awards:

  • Geoge Gall Memorial Award "in recoginition of scholarly work in literature and for most significant contribution to modern poetry" from Systems Research Foundation, August 1988.
  • Award for Outstanding Contribution to Culture and Scholarship from Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU) Prague, under the auspices of the Czech Senate, Prague, May 26, 2009.
  • Award for Lifetime Poetic Work and Long Term Work for the Cultural Exchange among the Slavs from the Syndicate of Bulgarian Teachers, Varna, May 25, 2012.
  • Mellon, ACLS, Fullbright, IREX grants.
  • CAHI, New Frontiers in Arts and Humanities, International Programs and Overseas grants, Borns Jewish Studies Program and REEI Grants, IU.
  • Indiana Arts Commission Individual Artist Project Grant.
  • Grant of the Ministry of Culture of Czech Republic.
  • Grant of the City of Prague.

Professional Activities:

  • Director of the Czech Program at IU (1982-2010).
  • Czech Film Series at IU Organizer and Presenter 1984-1985, 2007-2011.
  • Member of Editorial Boards of Kosmas, Tahy, Litteraria Bohemistica.
  • Consultant for Academies of Sciences, Universities, Grant Commissions and professional journals and presses internationally.
  • Resident Director of CIEE International Exchange Program in Prague, Czech Republic 1999-2001.
  • Assistant and Associate Professor of Slavic Langs. and Lits. and Mellon Faculty Fellow at University of 17th of November, Prague, Czech Republic, University of Cologne and University of Marburg (West Germany), Harvard University, Indiana University and University of Virginia at Charlottesville, USA 1973-1982.
  • Member of Board of Directors of CET International Student Exchange Program in Prague.

Selected and Recent Publications:

Scholarly Publications
  • Emotive Signs in Language and Semantic Functioning of Derived Nouns in Russian, John Benjamins, Amsterdam 1987, 270pp. (Under the name of Bronislava Volek).
  • A Feminist's Semiotic Odyssey through Czech Literature, Edwin Mellen Press, Leiwston, N.Y., 1997, 195 pp.
  • Up the Devil's Back: A Bilingual Anthology of 20th Century Czech Poetry (with Clarice Cloutier), Bloomington: Slavica Publishers, 2008, 470pp.
  • Entry on "Ludvík; Vaculík;" for Censorship: International Encyclopedia, Fritz Dearborn, England, 2002.
  • "Scholarly Style as a Subjective Evaluation of Reality." Proceedings from the International Linguistic Conference Linguistic Personality: Genre Speech Activity, Volgograd State Pedagogical University, 1999.
  • "Vaněk; and Palaverer - Two Sons of the Same Father: Protagonist as a Semiotic Axiological Device., The Transformation of Czech and Slovak Societies on the Threshold of the New Millennium and their Role in the Global World. Selected Papers from the 21st World Congress, University of West Bohemia, Plzeň, Czech Republic, June 23-30, 2002. Edited by Jan P. Skalný and Miloslav Rechcígl, Jr., Plzeň: Aleš Čenék, 2004.
  • "Metaphysical Woman Poet's Perspective", Selected Papers from the 22 SVU World Congress, Palacky University, Olomouc, CR, 26 June – 4 July 2004.
  • *Smrt jako sémiotická událost", Listopad 2005.
  • *"Smrt jako sémiotická událost: Čapek versus Kundera" in Otázky Českého kánonu, Sborník pŕíspévků z III. kongresu svétové literárnévédné bohemistiky (23.6.-3.7.2005 Praha), svazek 1, ed. Stanislava Fedrová, Ústav pro Českou literaturu Akademie véd ČSR, 2006, str. 512-519.
  • *"Smrt jako sémiotická událost: Mácha, Némcová, Neruda, Hrabal a Kundera", Česká literatura, vol. 54 6/2006, Praha, p.19-30. (Continuation of previous article).
  • "Exile Inside and Out" (essay), The Writer Uprooted (Contemporary Jewish Exile Literature), Indiana UP, Bloomington-Indianapolis, 2008, pp. 161-176.
  • "Death as a Semiotic Event", Kosmas, 2008, vol. 22, No. 1, p. 1-16.
  • "O tzv. ženské a mužské emocionalitě",Česká literatura v perspektivách genderu, Jan Matonoha, ed., IV. kongres světové literárněvědné bohemistiky, jiná česká litertura, Ustav pro českou literature Akademie věd ČR, Nakladatelství Akropolis, Praha 2010, pp.239-249.
  • "The Greats of Czech Popular Culture (1900-2000): Roots, Character and Genres", Russian Literature, Amsterdam: Elsevier, in print.
Selected Original Poetry and Creative Writing

For a more extensive list please see Professor Volkova's personal website:

  • The Courage of the Rainbow: Selected Poems (English translations of original Czech poetry with the assistance of A. Durkin, W. Barnstone, L. Parrott and G. Orr), Sheep Meadow Press, New York 1993, 103 pp.
  • Roztŕíštěné světy (The Shattered Worlds, selected poems), Votobia, Olomouc, The Czech Republic, 1995, 150 pp.
  • Proměny/Transformations, a bilingual limited edition of original poetry in both languages with eight collages by author, Explorer Editions, Prague, 2000, second expanded bibliophile edition, Bloomington-Prague, 2001, 194 pp.
  • Vstup do světla / Entering Light, a bilingual limited edition of original poetry in both languages with six collages by author, Explorer Editions, Bloomington-Prague, 2002, 133 pp.
  • Jistá nepŕítomnost / A Certain Absence, a bilingual limited edition of the Czech original published in 1990 in Munich. Translation by author with Clarice Cloutier, collage by Jiŕí Koláŕ, Explorer Editions, Bloomington-Prague, 2003, 154 pp.
  • Ze tmy zrozená, a limited edition with four collages by author, Explorer Editions, Bloomington-Prague, 2004.
  • Born out of Darkness, a limited edition with four color collages by author, Explorer Editions, Bloomington – Prague, 2005 (Supported by Individual Artist Project Grant of Indiana Arts Commission).
  • *Transformations, Backwoods Broadsides Chaplet Series, Number 91, Ellsworth, ME, Spring 2005, 750 copies.
  • The Slightest Reminder of Your Being… (Three Decades of Exile: 1974 -2004), CD from six books of poetry in English with musical inserts, 64:55 min., Explorer Editions 2005.
  • Nejmenší pŕipomínka Tvého bytí… (Tŕicet let exilu: 1974 -2004), non-identical twin CD from nine books of poetry in Czech with musical inserts, 79:07 min., Explorer Editions 2005.
  • A pít budem ze studní lahodných..., Bloomington: Explorer Editions, 2010
  • And Drink We Will from Delectable Wells..., Bloomington: Explorer Editions, 2011
  • Vzpomínky moře (Sebrané básně z let 1973-2010), Červený Kostelec: Pavel Mervart, 2011, 392 pp.
Sequences of Poems, Stories and Essays:
  • Poetry (6 poems from Vstup do světla / Entering Light), Aluze 11, Olomouc 2000.
  • "Like rain I ford the waves" in The Mending Wall 1, Farmington, WV, August 2000.
  • "Dítě", "Dva hlasy" (A Child, Two Voices, stories), Listopad, Liberec 2000.
  • Ten poems, Listopad, Liberec 2001.
  • Seven poems in Chuť ztraceného domova/ The Taste of a Lost Homeland, A Bilingual Anthology of Czech and Slovak Exile Poetry Written in America, Prague/Pilsen, Czech Republic, 2002.
  • "Moje maminka, hrůza a já" (My Mother, Terror and I, a story), Listopad, Liberec, 2002.
  • Twelve poems in A Linen Weave of Bloomington Poets, Wind, Lexington, KY, 2002.
  • Two poems for Vespers: Religion and Spirituality in Contemporary American Poetry, University of Iowa Press, Iowa, 2003.
  • "We are…", Collage/Poem, Pense Aqui/Think here, a Mail Art magazine, No. 117, September 24-30, Brazil, 2003.
  • "Poems", Listopad, Prague 2003.
  • "Poems", Město D, edition Nomisterion, Děčín, 2004.
  • "Exil vnitřní a vnější" (Exile Inside and Out, an essay), Listopad, Prague, 2004. Vrh kŕídel / Antologie české poezie (nejen) 20. století (Anthology of Czech Poetry [not only] of 20th Century), Petr Fabian, Vratislav Färber, Michal Jareš eds.,, Prague, 2002-2004
  • "I am" in Poetry Vibes, Circle of Poets, Montreal, Canada 2005.
  • "In the vacuum coating of dreams" in Only the Sea Keeps: Poetry of the Tsunami, anthology to benefit the Tsunami victims, Rupa and Co, New Delhi, India, 2005, Second edition Bayeux Arts of Calgary, Canada, 2005. Royalties from the sale of the book will be donated to relief organizations serving the victim/survivors of the Tsunami and Katrina. Bestseller in India and voted among the best poems of 2005 in the U.S. The authors reading the poems can be also listened to on
  • "Tsunami Tsunami Tsunami" in (electronic anthology), 2005.
  • Poems and collage in World Literature Today, September-December, 2005.
  • "Byl čas" in Úvod do knihy žalmů v zrcadle poesie (Introduction into the Book of Psalms) by Josel Blaha, Konečný, Brno 2005.
  • "Básně", Listopad 2005.
  • *"And the foliage falls" in The Dirty Goat, Host Publications, Austin, TX, 2006.
  • *2 poems and 2 collages,
  • "Zítra zazpívá slavík a další básně" (11 poems), Listopad, Pelhŕimov 2006, p. 5-9.
  • "Ve vakuovém povlaku snění", "Jsme to, na co se díváme", "Tantrická vize" (a series of four poems), Listopad, Praha, 2007, pp. 5-9.
  • "Láskyplný je bez žízně den" (three poems): "Láskyplný je bez žízně den, den bez zaváhání.", "Každičkou noc", "Čeho litovat?", in Tahy (A Yearbook of Literature and Culture),Červený Kostelec: Pavel Mervart, Czech Replubic, 2008, pp 10-12.
  • "It Might have Been a Very Long Time Ago", Poetica Magazine, Norfolk, VA, The Holocaust Online Issue, 2009 [no longer accessible].
  • "Růžový keř (4 poems) and "Zrození země" (4 poems): "Z tajemných hlubin", "Úlomky lávy", "Planeta je zrozena", "Mnoho věků minulo"; "Ó zázraku, jenž přicháziš ke mně v nicotě prázdnoty", "Lásko", Zdviháš mě ke svým výšinám", "Ó ptáku zázračný", Listopad, Czech Republic, 2008, pp. 5-7.
  • "It Might have been a very long time ago", Mizmor L'David Anthology, Volume I: The Shoah, Poetica Publishing Company, pp. 16-18.
  • "Srpnové básně": "Sedmkrát jsem obešla zemi", "Nezpívám. Písně mi ubývá.", "Jak asi vypadá radost?", "Perfectum mobile?"; transl. from English original: "Počítač ohlašuje prázdný dokument", "Nespěchej domů, i kyž je dobře tam", "Spi můj miláčku, můj něžný sne", "Spíme beze slov, bez zanícení", "Ještě jeden život - ještě jedna cesta", "Ano, jsou jiné sféry." "Variace na Básně Rumiho" Listopad, 20009, P. 5-11.
  • „Smrt V hrdle“, „Lásko má“, „ Přišla zima“, „Chci tě mít tady, na teplé zemi“ in Antologie české poezie od r. 1966 do současnosti (Anthology of Czech Poetry from 1966 to the Present), red. Jan Šulc, Praha: dybbuk, 2010.
  • "Varianty básní ze charlottesvillského období (1908)". eleven poems, Litteraria Bohemistica, 2010, in print.
  • „ Из“ „Дa навлезеш в светлина“ / From the poems' book „Entering Light“: „On the other side of the moon“, „I am the tower into the heavens“, „You are my love, my soulmate“, „When we finally become&ldquo:,, tr. into Bulgarian by Dimana Ivanova.
  • 11 poems in Znaci translated by Dimana Ivanova, Varna: Slavjanska literaturna i artistična akademija, Bulgaria, 2011, p. 122-125.
  • "Křišt'álový sen", "Několik variant z kolínského a cambridgeského období (1975-1978)"; Tahy 2011, Pardubice, Czech Replublic, P. 158-164.
  • "The field comes to me", Writer's Guild of Bloomington website.
  • "V poezdax cepeneli nogi", "Zvezdy - ženskogo roda", "Net posrednika", "Bytie dvižetsja", "Zavtra mesjac uže budet" (in Russian translation by Oleg Malevič) in al'manax Akademia Pozii, Moskva: Moskovskij pisatel', 2012.
  • "Ekzil", "Zvuk vitru", 'Divljusja v vodi" (in Ukrainian translation by Viktor Melnyk) in Vinnic'ka gazeta, No. 16, 2.24.2012 (
  • "Letjaščo stixotvorenie», «Kogato si trgneš i srdceto perestane da uxae», «Bjaloto utro», «Ne izrivam ot zemjata&187 (in Bulgarian translation by Dimana Ivanova) in Znaci 2, 2012, P. 65-67.