Jaroslava Tomanova


I am a Czech citizen educated in Prague, Leeds and London. My research interests developed from my working experience in culture and performing arts as well as reading literature across academic disciplines generally labelled as social science. My PhD is an explanatory study of the emergence of the creative economy discourse in the cultural policy in the Czech Republic. In my research, I am taking an interpretative approach focusing on subjective experiences of individuals as well as analysis of policy documents. I use qualitative research methods, maintain a high level of reflexivity and base my ontological and epistemological assumptions in social constructionism, post-structuralism and post-marxist critique of capitalism.

Outside my PhD project, I am interested in critical debates on participatory audience engagement in the arts and working as a freelance writer and researcher.


PhD thesis:

Understanding cultural policy transfer: the case of the Czech Republic

My PhD research focuses on cultural policy and international transfer of policy discourses. Creative economy is examined as a discourse occurring and influencing cultural policies around the world whilst being first articulated in the Anglo-Saxon countries. The thesis presents a case study focused on the transfer of the creative economy discourse to the Czech Republic. The aim of the thesis is to explain the origins and articulation of the creative economy discourse in the Czech cultural policy field, identification of advocates and intermediaries who have been involved in its spreading together with their motivations goals and social processes through which the discourse was carried.

In the theoretical framework, the study presents the historical background and articulation of the creative economy as a discourse and explains how theories of policy transfer were used in structuring the thesis. In the analytical part, it presents first how the interviewees understood and used the discursive formations, second, who were the major advocates and their motivations and third it discusses structural and institutional factors that played an important role in perpetuating the spreading of the creative economy discourse in the specific case of the Czech Republic. These factors are cultural hegemonic power of the countries of the discourse’s origin, activities of European Union which helped to promote the discourse and the transition to market-oriented cultural policies alongside the spreading of neoliberal paradigm in governance across Europe.



Tomanová, J. 2018. Understanding artistic quality and audience empowerment: What are they and why they can’t be without each other. In: Bonet, L. and Négrier. eds. Breaking the Fourth Wall: Proactive Audiences in the Performing Arts. Elverum: Kunnskapsverket, pp. 72-82

Tomanová, J. 2016. Multi-stakeholder platforms for promoting culture. In: Staszkiewicz, M. Creative Visegrad:City, Culture and Public Space. Prague: Aspen Institute Prague, pp. 35- 43

Kašpárek, O. and J. Tomanová. 2014. Sociální dopady kultury a umÄ›ní. In: Nekolný, B. Paradigmata modern kulturní politiky.Praha: Divadelní Ústav, pp. 24-44 (translated title: Social Impacts of Culture and Arts)



11/2016 The Be SpectACTive! Annual Conference, Universitad de Barcelona, November 22 – 23 - Parallel session director – “Artistic quality and audience empowerment”.

1/2016 – 5/2016 The Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (DAMU) - Commissioned to transcribe conference speeches and edit an electronic publication.

8/2013 – 12/2013 A case study of arts funding in Pittsburgh - A four months’ research fellowship. Research design, data collection, analysis of qualitative data, writing a research report. Interviewing leaders of arts organisations, foundations and funding bodies.


2017 - 2018 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary - Curatorial Assistant and Project Manager in a private art foundation based in Vienna, Austria. https://www.tba21.org/

2013 - 2015  TANEC PRAHA - Management Assistant in a contemporary dance venue, enageged as a coordinator of BeSpectACTive!, a large scale EU funded cooperation project. http://www.bespectactive.eu, https://www.tanecpraha.org 

2014 – 2017 commissioned to collaborate on freelance basis on the following projects:

Prague Institute of Planning and Development (Institut plánování a rozvoje hl. m. Prahy) - a five year cultural policy strategy of the city of Prague, preparation working group member

Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (DAMU) - main curator of two annual international symposiums, panel discussions and lectures' design and chairing

2013 Cubitt Gallery London A four month’s professional placement in the education and outreach department of Cubitt Artists. Focused on: supporting an artist-led mentoring scheme for young people, organising a workshop scheme launch event for primary school teachers, contacting the arts coordinators from Islington Borough, writing letters, sending out information, coordination and organisation.

2010 - 2014 - DIY students festival producer and programme leader

Research interests

Cultural policy studies

Cultural policy in Central and Eastern Europe after the break up of Soviet Union

Public funding of arts and culture, shifting narratives and justification for public support of culture and arts

Policy transfer and post-modernity, international transfer of 'creative economy' as a policy discourse

Knowledge transfer and sociology of knowledge


  • 2012 - 2013 MA Cultural Policy and Management, City University London
  • 2011 - 2012 MA Culture, Creativity and Entrepreneurship, University of Leeds
  • 2008 - 2011 BA Arts Management, University of Economics Prague