RNDr. Michal Pitoňák, Ph.D.

I am human geographer interested in researching human sexualities, their intersections with gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion and the many other important axes of difference. I am devoted to theories of science and consider myself also to be a critical philosopher intrigued in complex and perhaps not completely knowable relations between realities, spaces, representations, languages and human lives. 

I am interested in researching and gaining understanding of the general processes such as institutionalization, socialization, constitution of a subject, norm (re)production, prejudice formation, causalities that implicate or comprise links between stigma, stress, health-risk behavior, quality of life or various adversarial health outcomes in human physical and psychological lives and bodies.

My understanding of scholarly fields is rather post-disciplinary or at least multidisciplinary, I do not see boundaries where some do. Boundaries may seem thick and sound, yet their artifice may be discernible. This view is perhaps a consequence or a reflection of my educational path.

I hold Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Geography Oriented at Education (2008), a Master’s degree in Teaching of Biology and Geography for Secondary Schools (2011), in 2012 I won the Prof. PhDr. Václav Příhoda Award for the best graduates of pedagogical studies at Charles University in Prague, in 2013 I passed Rigorosum examination (RNDr.) that is also known as "small doctorate" in the field of Social geography and Regional development, finally I finished my PhD degree in Social geography and Regional development in 2015. I obtained all of my degrees at my Alma mater, the Charles University in Prague.

In addition, I attended a semester of graduate human geography at the Stockholm University in Sweden (2010), spent a short internship at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, US (2014), and worked during the spring term at The University of Sheffield as a visiting researcher (2014).

My PhD research has been marked by my goal to pioneer geographies of sexualities as well as to introduce the queer theory into the Czech geographic academia. I began this journey in 2010 with my Master's thesis research project. In my PhD research project I focused on somewhat less traditional, less empirical research, and aside from several empirical case studies, I became absorbed by the complicated field of theories of science, philosophies of knowledge and specifically in understanding of the queer potentials via the lens of post-structuralist, psychoanalytical, linguistic, and other related lens that have helped me to develop a greater sensitivity towards human (sexual) difference, complicate the process of knowledge production and scientific representation, and proceed with the deconstruction of many normative regimes that cloud or complicate research that aims to be inclusive. I consider these qualities to be the main contribution of my PhD research.

Besides my research activities, I also taught several, both graduate and undergraduate courses, at the Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, at Charles University in Prague. I supervise graduate and undergraduate theses, actively review and write scientific articles, present my research at national or international conferences, collaborate within a number of both formal and informal research groups and continue to give lectures in the field of my experience. 

 

 

WORK EXPERIENCE:

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH (NIMH - NUZD)
⇒ junior researcher, since January, 2015.

CHARLES UNIVERSITY IN PRAGUE, FACULTY OF SCIENCE
⇒ external member of GEOQOL (Research Centre on Health, Quality of Life and Lifestyle in a Geodemographic and Socioeconomic Context) research centre team, since October, 2012.

CHARLES UNIVERSITY IN PRAGUE, FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
⇒ course instructor, since September, 2015.

THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD, DEPARTMENT OF GEOGRAPHY
⇒ visiting researcher, January - May, 2014.

QUALIFICATIONS:

CHARLES UNIVERSITY IN PRAGUE, FACULTY OF SCIENCE
  • PhD doctoral program in Social geography and regional development, 2011 – 2015.
  • Rigorosum examination (RNDr.), Social geography and regional development, 2013.
  • The Prof. PhDr. Václav Příhoda Award for the best graduates of pedagogical studies, 2012.
  • Master’s degree in Teaching of Biology and Geography for Secondary Schools, 2008 – 2011.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Geography Oriented at Education, 2005 – 2008.
THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD, DEPARTMENT OF GEOGRAPHY
  • ERASMUS working placement, visiting researcher. Sheffield, UK January - May 2014.
DARTMOUTH COLLEGE, DEPARTMENT OF GEOGRAPHY
  • Short-term internship. Hanover, NH, USA, 2014.
STOCKHOLM UNIVERSITET, DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN GEOGRAPHY
  • ERASMUS semester at master’s level. Department of Human Geography, Stockholm 2010.