Jaroslava Tomanova


Currently working on my PhD thesis with a submission date in late 2020.


Understanding the Discourse of Creative Economy and its International Diffusion: The Case of the Czech Republic


The presented thesis explores the relation between culture and the state and presents a critical analysis of the proliferation of neoliberal cultural policy discourse in the Central European context. In its focus on the Czech Republic as one of the post-communist countries that have joined the European Union in 2004, the study explains the occurrence of discursive elements of ‘creative economy’, a cultural policy regime originally conceived in the UK, which has re-articulated the cultural sector and understandings of its value since the New Labour era and its New Public Management reforms. Drawing on post-structuralist ontology and language-focused analytical methods of critical discourse studies, the thesis analyses national and city policy documents and transcripts of interviews with Czech and foreign cultural policy actors, such as public officers, policy consultants, artists and directors of arts institutions. The thesis reveals the interrelations between the agency of policy actors and the trans-national institutions’ turn towards creative economy and explains the social, political and ideological logics of the present form of the creative economy regime in the Czech cultural policy discourse. The analysis exposes and critiques the rhetorical strategies of the Third Way politics, such as the shift towards an instrumentalist rhetoric, appeal on consensual interconnection of antagonistic political positions throughout the cultural sector and the acts of foregrounding the use value of the arts for the creative economy. Based on a detailed analysis of argumentative structures, metaphors and narratives, the study reveals how ideological beliefs embedded in common sense combined with specific circumstances such as extremely precarious working conditions in the cultural sector, socio-economic spatial differentiation, corruption and ‘informal politics’ lead to ideological closures and help to constitute and maintain hegemonic power of neoliberal cultural policy regimes.

Alongside my PhD research I am interested in contemporary art, curatorial practice and theory.

Published Texts:

Tomanová, J. 2020. Taus Makhacheva: Hold Your Horses. thisistomorrow.

Tomanová, J. 2020. Empathic viewing in Mieke Bal’s Don Quichotte: Sad Countenances. Corridor8.

Tomanová, J. 2020. Collecting the act of collecting in Harlan Whittingham’s films. Corridor8.

Tomanová, J. 2019. The Velvet Revolution: 30 years of freedom in which some of us are freer than others. Freedom News.

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)

Research Related Work:

11/2016     The Be SpectACTive! Annual Conference, Universitad de Barcelona, November 22 – 23 

Director of the parallel session Artistic Quality and Audience Empowerment

01/2016 – 5/2016     The Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (DAMU)

Conference Programme Director & Editor of conference proceedings

8/2013 – 12/2013     Ruth Crawford Mitchel Research Fellowship 

Work Experience:

2017 – 2019     Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21)

Curatorial Assistant, https://www.tba21.org/ 

2017    University of Leeds

Events Assistant, International Network for Audience Research in Performing Arts

2014 – 2017     TANEC PRAHA 

International Projects Coordinator, http://www.bespectactive.euhttps://www.tanecpraha.org

2013     Cubitt Gallery London

Intern http://cubittartists.org.uk 

Freelance Projects:

2014     Prague Institute of Planning and Development, Conference Programme Director, International Conference Praga Caput Cultura

2014     Prague Institute of Planning and Development, Prague cultural strategy team member

2015 – 2016     Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (DAMU), Program Director of two annual international symposiums, editor of conference proceedings

Research interests

Contemporary art and visual culture

Post-structuralist discourse theory and analysis

International diffusion of hegemonic policy discourses

Cultural policy in the Central and Eastern Europe



  • 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