Slovak Studies at John Carroll University
University Heights, Ohio
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Slovak studies began at John Carroll University in Spring 1982 with a culture/civilization course on Czecho-Slovakia, somewhat more than half of which concerned the Slovak area. Such courses for credit which focused on the country proper and also on Slovaks in American history, culture, and society continued into the recent past. Indeed, one offering combined study of that country with Slovak history and heritage in the United States through modern times during John Carroll's centennial celebrations (1986) as part of a tribute to ethnic groups that have distinguished the Cleveland area.
Formal Slovak language study was first offered in Fall 1983 with the arrival from Slovakia of the first Fulbright Visiting Lecturer of Slovak Language and Culture under the auspices of the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (CIES). For the next twelve years six such Slovak faculty taught language courses for academic credit during the day and in evenings once a week and for free for the Greater Cleveland area community. Various related cultural activities were also presented at John Carroll and in the Cleveland area during this period -- exhibits, films, and even a concert by the Slovak violinist Peter Michalica during John Carroll's centennial celebrations. The six Fulbright Lecturers from Slovakia were in order: Dr. Eva Odzganova, Dr. Alzbeta Moravcikova, Dr. Darina Urbankova, Dr. Tatiana Jarosova, Dr. Adela Bohmerova (all from Bratislava), and Dr. Daniela Slancova (from Presov).
Since the conclusion of the Fulbright program, Slovak language has continued to be offered as a part of the Slavic languages area of the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Cultures for which Fr. Gerald J. Sabo, S.J. has been responsible since Fall 1981; for a few years, Dr. Tatiana Jarosova, as part-time faculty, also offered Slovak language courses. Since Fall 1996 Fr. Sabo has been offering every semester literature-in-translation courses, in which works of Slovak literature (along with others from Russian and Czech) are read in courses on short fiction of the nineteenth century and also since 1900. In Spring 1999 Fr. Sabo and a department colleague, Dr. Hélène Sanko, team-taught a course on Slovak and Ukrainian tales and stories in translation.
On April 30, 1999 the University dedicated the Slovak Heritage Room (http://www.jcu.edu/library/Slovak/shw2.htm) in Grasselli Library through the generosity of the First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association. Two Cleveland-area-based, Slovak national fraternals -- the First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association and the First Catholic Slovak Union -- and several individuals have contributed money for John Carroll's Slovak Educational Trust Fund, administered by Fr. Sabo. Slovak language and literature-in-translation courses for credit continue to be offered each semester by Fr. Sabo at John Carroll University.
Program description provided by Fr. Gerald J. Sabo, S.J.