petranova Lydia Petráňová graduated in history and the Czech language at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy of Charles University in Prague in 1967 and become a Master of Arts in 1969. In 1991 she was awarded the PhD degree at the Faculty of Pedagogy of the J. E. Purkyně University with a specialisation in Czech History. Since 1985 she has been working at the Department of Historical Ethnology of the Institute of Ethnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences and in 1992 she was advanced to head of that department. Since the early nineties she has been lecturing at Charles University and J. E. Purkyně University.

L. Petráňová focuses her study in traditional folk culture and the history of culture in general. She is a co-author of Dějiny hmotné kultury I–II [History of Material Culture, Volumes I, II] (Prague 1985, 1997) and author of a number of studies and 3 alternative textbooks of history. Her interest in iconography and semiotics was expanded upon in a monograph titled Domovní znamení staré Prahy [House Signs of the Old Prague] (1988, 1991, 2008).

On a longer-term basis, she has been participating in publishing Český lid [Czech Nation], the scientific review and pivotal journal for ethnology and traditional culture. She is a co-author of Lidová kultura. Národopisná encyklopedie Čech, Moravy a Slezska [Folk Culture. An Ethnographic Encyclopedia of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia] (2007). She is among prominent experts in Czech as well as European research of material culture, food history, and social-historical questions of habits and traditions of rural inhabitants. She has dispensed her knowledge through several books and well thought-of textbooks, by means of which she contributed significantly to uplifting educational standards in the fields of history and ethnology at Czech schools during the post-communist period. She has asserted her extraordinary social and communication skills also within development of international relations, especially contacts between Czech and French scientists.

From 1993 to 2006 L. Petráňová was a member of the Academy Assembly of the CAS. From 1997 to 2005 she was a member of the Academic Board of the Czech Academy of Sciences. From 2001 to 2005, she was a Vice-President of the Academy of Sciences responsible for conceptual issues pertaining to the Section for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Since the year 2005, she has been a member of the Scientific Board of the Academy of Sciences.

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