Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Maria Cizmic, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Annette Cozzi, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Margit Grieb, Ph.D.


Dimensions of Dialogue, Food, Faust, Grotesque, Czech Republic


In this thesis I will analyze and discuss the work of renowned director Jan Švankmajer. Specifically, I will examine how director Jan Švankmajer’s representation of the body creates a metaphorical language. In addition, I will address what meaning can be gathered from, or made apparent through the commentary of the body’s language and discuss the significance of the socio-political implications. Prior to my discussion of Švankmajer’s work I will give a concise socio-political history of the Czech Republic from 1968-1994; this discussion will provide a framework for the subsequent analyses. In order to provide support for my argument, I will discuss the relationship between Švankmajer’s work and Michael Foucault’s theory of the “body politic”, Patrick Fuery’s theory of the “cinematized body” and Mikhail Bakhtin’s theory of the image of the grotesque body. After discussing the implication of these theories I will discuss three of Švankmajer’s films in order to specifically address the ability of the grotesque body to subvert discourses of power and how the socio-cultural environment has an impact on Švankmajer’s choice of body representation. The films I discuss include Dimensions of Dialogue (1982), Food (1992) and Faust (1994)