CGSI Quarterly Meeting - Jan 2004

Dr. Stepanka Korytova spoke on Czech Emigration and Immigration – 19th Century

At the 2004 CGSI Winter Quarterly Meeting on January 24th, Dr. Stepanka Korytova Magstadt spoke on Czech Emigration and Immigration – 19th Century. The main topics included, 1) Causes of Emigration 2) Main Areas of Emigration, and 3) Who emigrated and why. She also covered rural and urban experiences, including her most recent research on Czechs in Milwaukee and Chicago.

Born in 1956 in Prague, Czechoslovakia, Stepanka Korytova Magstadt began her higher education in that city. She won a general-knowledge competition on the national (Czechoslovak) level and was awarded a trip to Kiev and Soviet Central Asia in 1975. She received the Elizabeth Nuffield Scholarship, which enabled her to study in England, where she was awarded a B.A. Honors from the University of Southampton in 1982.

Ms. Korytova then immigrated to the United States, where she completed her M.A. in Education at the University of Nebraska in Kearney in 1984. She began her Ph.D. course work there, in history, and passed her comprehensive examinations there in 1986. Returning to Czechoslovakia, she completed her Ph.D. at Charles University, where she received that degree in 1991. Her dissertation was entitled “Czech Rural Immigration and Settlement in Nebraska, 1860-1900.” That work formed the basis for her book, To Reap a Bountiful Harvest: Czech immigration beyond the Mississippi, 1850-1900 which was published in 1993.

In October of 1993 Dr. Korytova made two presentations at the CGSI Genealogical and Cultural Conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The first was called The Push to Go, the Pull to Stay: An Emigrants Dilemma and the second Czech Rural Settlements West of the Mississippi.

Proficient in Russian, English, and – of course – Czech, Dr. Korytova has done extensive translating and teaching in those languages. She has also won numerous awards and scholarships.

She returned to live in the Czech Republic late in 1993 with her young son Michael. She lived in Velke Mezirici, Czech Republic through 1995 then obtained a teaching position at the University of Plzen. Dr. Korytova and her son have lived in the Plzen area regularly since that time. She teaches at both the University of Plzen and Charles University in Prague.

Sudeten Gerrmans and Czechs – A Challenge for Europe introduced by Bob Paulson from the German-Bohemian Heritage Society