AIFS Abroad

AIFS Study Abroad in Prague, Czech Republic
Fall 2017 and Spring 2018
Course Descriptions

   

Following orientation ECES students then take a minimum of 4 or maximum of 5 courses. Each course meets for 52 hours per semester, for 12 or 13 weeks and is recommended for 3 credits. You can therefore earn up to 18 credits (including the 3-credit orientation component). Courses are taught in English.

Courses are subject to change at the discretion of Charles University.

East and Central European Studies Program (ECES)

2-WEEK ORIENTATION PROGRAM

The Czech Language and Culture course is taught during orientation. It is a combination of Czech language instruction, cultural activities, and excursions throughout Prague. Classes are held for 4.5 hours per day, 5 days a week during the first 2 weeks of the program. Two all-day field trips are also included in the orientation.

All students must take the following course, but have a choice whether to receive a grade or take it pass/fail. Students select their preferred option when registering for courses in advance of the semester.

Orientation
Course Code and Credits: Czech 100 (3) (required)
Course Title: Intensive Czech Language and Culture
Course Description:
The mandatory two-week Intensive Czech course is designed to teach students the basics of the Czech language and, at the same time, to extend their knowledge of Czech culture and everyday life. The communicative approach and everyday vocabulary are emphasized, students communicate in various situations of everyday life: introducing oneself, asking for directions, shopping, at a restaurant, one’s daily routine, likes and dislikes. Various linguistic skills should be developed in balance: knowledge of grammar, comprehension, speaking, and writing.

ECES Semester Courses

Choose up to 5 courses in addition to Czech 101. Where “Department” is listed after a course title, this indicates that the class is also offered to Czech students.

Art and Culture
Course Code and Credits: Art 301 (3)
Course Title: Czech and European Art and Architecture Section I+II
Course Description:
A general overview of the Fine Arts development in Europe with a special focus on Central Europe and the monuments of Prague. Particular pieces of art that represent an époque or style are presented and students analyze the details, historical context, iconography and formal qualities that represent the individual style. The course will include field trips to museums.
Course Code and Credits: Art 304 (3)
Course Title: Music and Modern Thought: Music between a Universal Language and Local Culture
Course Description:
The course will explore key topics in the philosophy of music, popular music studies and culture studies and thus serve as a general introduction to the field. Themes covered will include: music and technology, works of art, musical communities and identities, music and emotions, performance, mechanical reproduction, music and visual arts, and others. The classes will consist of interpreting short excerpts from various texts on music, discussion, listening to musical samples from classical as well as popular music, and field trips. Excerpts will be taken from texts by philosophers such as Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes and Jacques Attali as well as by musicians like David Byrne or John Cage. No prior knowledge of philosophy or musical education is required.
Course Code and Credits: Art 323 (3)
Course Title: Alternatives Cultures
Course Description:
Provides critical insights into counter culture, graffiti, street-art, underground, punk, hip-hop, political art collectives, etc. Perspectives of anthropology and culture studies are explored. Seminal readings on subcultures, protest and new social movements are used to discuss the practices of ‘alternative’ urban lives in postindustrial society and certain trends of artistic production. Focus is on political interpretation of youth subversion and disclosures of power mechanisms. Visuals and field trips to graffiti and other sub cultural sites are a part of this course.
Course Code and Credits: Art 330 (3)
Course Title: Czech Culture and Society, Past and Present
Course Description:
This course offers insights into Czech society and culture. It is rather a practical guide how to better understand the Czechs. It describes basic characteristics of Czech culture (values, style of communication, customary behaviors, etc.) and shows how they are reflected in many aspects of Czech life which the foreigner encounters. The course covers two thematic parts: Part I gives information about specific aspects of Czech life, about Czech values, attitudes and behavior (daily do´s and don´ts, behavior in public places, non-verbal communication, taboos, etc.) Part II presents general ideas on Czech historical, social and cultural contexts, as without taking these factors into consideration it is impossible to form a coherent and encompassing impression.
Course Code and Credits: Art/History/Politics 303 (3)
Course Title: Czech Culture and Civilization Course: A Field Trip into the Czech Psyche
Course Description:

This interdisciplinary course is designed as a unique insight into Czech/Slovak history, politics and arts, and should provide the students with serious data and information as well as with a “lighter” reflection on certain specifics of the country’s development in the heart of Europe.Students will not be limited to listening to lectures and attending screenings in classrooms, but rather, they should understand that Prague and other locations in the Czech Republic will give them a rare opportunity to study and form their own opinion in public spaces all over the country.Learning through interactive seminars, visual arts and top-quality documentaries will enable the participants to gain an interesting experience on all levels.The course is divided into thirteen weekly sessions, 180 minutes each. Students will write four short mini-essays after each of the larger blocks, and a final test.

The course is open to students of history, sociology, political science, literature and visual arts as well as to anyone who is interested, eager to learn and has an open mind.

Course Code and Credits: Culture/Art 309 (3)
Course Title: Czech Cultural Studies: Official and Unofficial Czech Cultures in the 2nd Half of the 20th Century (Spring Only)
Course Description:
This course will discuss the intricate relationship between culture, politics and society in the region of Central and Eastern Europe by delving into Czech cultural expression in the second half of the 20th century. In addition to lectures we will watch films and documentaries from and about the period, analyze independent photographs and propaganda posters, listen to pro- and anti-communist songs and read works of fiction. Where appropriate, we will take site visits within Prague.
Course Code and Credits: Film 301 (3)
Course Title: Screening History: Central and Eastern Europe through Film, 1945-1990
Course Description:
This course offers students an insight into the post-World War II history of Central and Eastern Europe through the medium of film. Major historical stages and turning points such as the aftermath of World War II, the political purges of the 1950s, Soviet and Polish Thaws, the 1968 invasion, the Czechoslovak “normalization,” perestroika and the fall of the Iron Curtain will be discussed. The discussion will be based on screenings of Czechoslovak, Polish and Soviet films that deal with these historical events as well as on readings of scholarly articles, essays, memoirs and primary documents on the history of the region. The course has two thematic focuses: The students learn about shared histories but also significant differences across the national borders. We will study the complex dynamics between the Soviet Union, the dominant political force in the region, and Poland and Czechoslovakia as examples of its “satellite countries”. At the same time, we will examine key works of Czechoslovak, Polish and Soviet cinema in the second half of the twentieth century. We will treat film as an aesthetic object and as a historical document reflecting the tumultuous social and political developments.
Course Code and Credits: Film 340 (3)
Course Title: The Cinema of Central Europe: Eroticism, Power, and Fate
Course Description:
This course provides an overview of the cinematic traditions in Central Europe in historical and political context, with specific focus on the themes of eroticism, power, and fate in these films. This course examines a series of films from Central Europe (including present day Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia) from the silent era until the present day. Primary areas of focus are: the pre-WWII period, the various “New Waves” of the 1960s and 1970s, and the developments after 1989. Beginning with the assumption that eroticism, power, and fate are somehow interrelated, the course addresses how each film approaches this thematic constellation and how cinematic treatment of these themes has developed over time and throughout the region. In this analysis, consideration is given to the broader social, political, economic, and cultural contexts (both nationally and between nations) in which the films were made as well as the impact of these films within “Central Europe.” Since no previous experience in film studies is assumed, the first few sessions will also function as an introduction to reading and interpreting films. To this end the course reader is also supplemented with recommended texts that offer an overview of relevant aspects of film theory and analysis. Throughout the course we will also touch on various elements of film theory and modes of film analysis.
Course Code and Credits: Film 368 (3)
Course Title: Czech and Slovak Cinema from the 1950s to Present: Politics, Visuality, and Experimentation
Course Description:
Bounded by the Germanic empires to the west, the Russian Empire and Soviet Union to the east, Hungary and the former Ottoman holdings to the south, the Czech and Slovak lands have long been a site of conflict and creation. This course will explore the incredibly rich cinematic tradition of thought provoking and entertaining films produced in the areas of the Czech Republic (the primary area of focus), and Slovakia from the years following World War II up until the beginning of the 21st century. In addition to watching films, students will also discuss cinematic theory and approaches to “reading” films, not only as movies, but also as multi-faceted cultural artefacts. Readings will include primary source materials on cinema history, historical research, film theory, and literature intended to broaden the understanding of Czech and Slovak culture, cinematic and otherwise.

ECONOMICS AND POLITICS
Course Code and Credits: Economics 305 (3)
Course Title: Global Economy and Crises
Course Description:
This course combines application of International Economics and International Political Economy to the processes of globalization and current economic downturn. It explores ways in which current globalization changes the position of different actors of the Global Economic System as well as the balance between state and market and their interactions. The course focuses on historical and contemporary issues in the Global Economic Order both in theoretical and applied perspective.
Course Code and Credits: Economics 310 (3)
Course Title: EU and Socio-Economic Models of its Members
Course Description:
Recent economic development in Europe has been markedly influenced by two major factors: by the process of European Integration and by the Transition Process in the Central and Eastern Europe. European Union tries to integrate European economies into a single market, while economic systems of European countries markedly differ. Economic systems comparison is thus the main aim of the course. The course also provides a brief historic overview of transition process in CEE, makes students familiar with the most important European supranational institutions and development of the single market and monetary integration. The main part of the course is dedicated to introduction of European economic systems and discussion about current problems of related economies.
Course Code and Credits: Politics 302 (3)
Course Title: Central Europe in the Context of European Integration
Course Description:
This course reacts to the last developments in the Central European space in the dynamic process of the European integration. The migration situation since 2015, the threats of terrorism, the decision of the Great Britain to leave the European Union within two years are largely influencing also the political atmosphere in Central European countries. This class will make an attempt to explain the interdependence of both the developments of five Central European countries (Czech republic, Slovakia, Poland, Austria, Hungary) after the historical changes in 1989, as well as those developments inside the EU caused by the enlargement of the EU into Central Europe.
Course Code and Credits: Politics 315 (3)
Course Title: Comparative Politics: Transformation of Czechoslovakia and Czech Republic - Department
Course Description:
Sharing the same geopolitical position within the Eastern Bloc Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and others differed significantly, however, in their respective points of departure, as well as in political institutional solutions chosen in course of their transitions. This comparative aspect will be studied with special focus. Students will be encouraged to challenge the mainstream understanding of “transition” as a predictable, gradual and irreversible progress towards the standard “Western” model.
Course Code and Credits: Politics 337 (3)
Course Title: Czechoslovakian Dissent Under Communist Rule: Political Thinking from the 1950s-1990s
Course Description:
The aim of this course is to give an overview about relevant figures, events and texts in communist Czechoslovakia. This will include political debates during the Prague Spring, the dissident movement and its political thinking in the 70s and 80s, as well as a few representative articles from the early 90s.

HISTORY
Course Code and Credits: History 302 (3)
Course Title: Jewish History in Central and Eastern Europe
Course Description:
The course focuses on Jewish history in Central and Eastern Europe with an emphasis on the 19th and 20th century. The primary goals of the course are to study the political, cultural and economic situation of the Jews and analyze the different forms of Jewish cultural and political identity. Students will have a better understanding of the context that led to the Holocaust and of its dramatic consequences and will have familiarized themselves with the most important Jewish political writers.
Course Code and Credits: History 318 (3)
Course Title: Czech and Central European History
Course Description:
The course is a survey of history of what is now the Czech Republic (Bohemia and Moravia) from primeval times until the present day with a greater focus on the modern period. However, the complete history of the Lands of Bohemian Crown from prehistoric times, the medieval Czech state, Early Modern Ages, Bohemian regimes under the Habsburg Monarchy, Czechoslovakia, and finally the Czech Republic are examined from the historical-geographical context.
Course Code and Credits: History 325 (3)
Course Title: Politics of the Enlightenment - Why do we need Strangers?
Course Description:
It is well known that the cultural and political character of the Euro-American civilization is influenced by the age of enlightenment. The ideas of liberty, equality, tolerance as well as the concept of human rights originated in the enlightenment that Immanuel Kant defined as “man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage”. He argued that the immaturity of man was caused by the inability to use “ones´ own understanding without another’s guidance”. The enlightenment, also called the age of reason, can be thus characterized as the period in which reason aspires to its own autonomy, while declaring the universality of its laws. This vision of enlightenment was widely criticized by Adorno and Horkheimer who demonstrated its dangerous consequences in their Dialectic of Enlightenment. They claimed that the raise of fascism and other totalitarian forms of thought was conditioned by the heritage of the enlightenment. There is, however, another side of enlightenment that shows the heteronomy of reason and the contingency of its laws. A typical representative of this kind of thinking is Charles Louis de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu. In The Spirit of the Laws, Montesquieu denounces the tyranny of reason that enforces its laws regardless of local conditions of life, which can be even nowadays used as a strong argument against colonialism or totalitarianism. In Persian Letters, he takes the heteronomy of reason and contingency of its laws as a basis for his narrative which describes the impressions and experiences of Persians visiting Europe. This literary strategy makes it possible to view ones´ own world, society and culture from outside, and thus get rid of ones´ own prejudices. What is interesting in the attempt to free ourselves from our prejudices is precisely the role and character of that outside. We shall therefore examine it not only in Persian Letters, but also in Voltaire’s “Micromegas”, “Letters of Amabed” and others texts. Another topic which is characteristic for the period of enlightenment is the problem of human nature that appears in discussions concerning the state of nature and natural law. We will follow these discussions in the works of Montesquieu, Diderot, Rousseau, Locke and Hume reflecting on their impact on the understanding of society and politics. This reading should bring us to a differentiated view of enlightenment that appears to be essential in the contemporary world where the Euro-American civilization struggles to define its identity in the clash with civilizations that lack the historical experience of enlightenment.
Course Code and Credits: History 340 (3)
Course Title: Conflicting Identities: The Influence of "Germany" over Central Europe (from the Middle Ages to 1945)
Course Description:
The course focuses on the history of Central Europe through the perspective of German influence. It will shed light on complicated and controversial notions such as “Central Europe”, “Germany”, and “Mitteleuropa” as well as “nationalism”, the “nation state”, and “multinational states”. The course is divided into three main units which follow the chronology and reflect the evolution in the meaning of the “German” as well as the changing nature of its interactions with the non-German elements in Central Europe: The Habsburgs and their assertion of control over the majority of Central Europe, thereby placing its population under German rule (from the Middle Ages to the end of the 18th century) The Age of Nationalism, the development of specific central European identities and political strategies against German rules(s) and the resulting modification of the European map after World War I. The German “Mitteleuropa”, the weak democracies of Central Europe and the growing threat of German revisionism for the non-German states and population in Central Europe. Added emphasis will be placed on the role played by the Jews in shaping the history and culture of Central Europe and on their relations with the other Central European peoples.
Course Code and Credits: Art/History 310 (3)
Course Title: Sociocultural Development of the Soviet Russia (Soviet Union)
Course Description:
The course deals with social and cultural history of the Soviet Union from revolution in 1917 until disintegration in 1991. It analyses not only changing social conditions of Soviet citizens but also the role of culture in formation of the new homo Sovieticus. The cultural development of the Soviet society will be examined in various aspects of “high” and “low” culture; special attention will be paid to the role of architecture, art, cinematography, theatre, music etc. The course will concentrate also on important changes in society, primarily in such areas as religion, education, gender, ideology and so on. It contains two parts: lecture (2×45 minutes per week) and seminar (2×45 minutes per week). Lectures will offer key information to the topic while seminars will develop acquired knowledge through discussions, examples, presentations, projections etc.
Course Code and Credits: History 312 (3)
Course Title: The Peoples of Europe: Their Origins, Histories, Contacts – Department
Course Description:
The course focuses on the processes and events that have been making the ethnical and political borders of Europe since the arrival of Indo-Europeans until present times. It follows the formations, expansions and differentiations of the Celtic, Germanic, Romance, Slavic and other peoples, the formation of medieval nations or changes in the political map of Europe in the last centuries. It also explains how and when peoples like Basques, Albanians, Hungarians, Turks appeared in Europe. Due to its comprehensive character, the course is suitable for students interested in history, politics, geography, ethnology or linguistics.
Course Code and Credits: History 327 (3)
Course Title: Czechs in the Age of Extremes
Course Description:

The course serves as an introductory to the modern Czech history. During the so-called age of extremes, there were two major sources of social conflicts in the area of Bohemian Lands – nationalism and dictatorships. Starting with the formation of modern Czech nationalism in the second half of the 19th century, we are going to enter a little bit longer history of the Czech 20th century. Students are going to read most significant and recently published historiographical works and they are going to have an opportunity to consider the crucial reversals of modern Czech history. We are going to debate important themes of modern European history such as nationalism, fascism, and communism but at the same time, we are going to focus on the development of modern Czech society. There are three main topics:

  • Formation of Modern Czech and Slovak Nation and State (1918–1938)
  • Nazi Occupation and Renewal of Czechoslovakia (1938–1945)
  • State Socialism, Czechoslovakia and Modern Society in Flux (1945–1992)

CZECH LANGUAGE
Course Code and Credits: Czech 102 (3)
Course Title: Czech Language for Everyday Use
Course Description:
In this course students will learn basic Czech which will help them to communicate in everyday situations in the Czech Republic. Students will be able to talk with Czech speakers in shops and restaurants, in theaters and on the street, and the knowledge of the language will help them to come to know the Czech mentality and culture.

LITERATURE
Course Code and Credits: Literature 310 (3)
Course Title: 20th-century Prague Literature in International Context
Course Description:
This course aims to cover selected chapters of 20th-century Czech literature as part of the Central- and East-European and Anglo-American contexts, presenting Prague and the literature produced here at the crossroads of multiple languages, traditions, poetic and aesthetic systems. The canonical Czech-writing authors include, among others, Jaroslav Hašek, Karel Capek, the poetist poets (Nezval, Seifert, Biebl), Milan Kundera, Josef Škvorecký, Ivan Blatný, or Václav Havel. The international context is provided by German-writing authors such as Gustav Meyrink, Franz Kafka, or Robert Musil, by the Russian writers Vladimir Mayakovsky, Mikhail Bulgakov and Marina Tsvetayeva, as well as the many French and Anglophone poets writing in/about Prague. The course will conclude with an overview of the post-1989 situation, where Prague literature has once again become the locus of lively international exchange and prominent Czech or Praguebased writers (Jáchym Topol, Michal Ajvaz, Lukáš Tomin, Louis Armand) have re-entered into dialogue with other traditions and languages. Discussion of the literary texts is complemented by their historical/theoretical backgrounds, provided by the work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Martin Esslin, Sigmund Freud, Angelo Maria Ripellino, et al.
Course Code and Credits: Literature 320 (3)
Course Title: German – Jewish Literature in Prague
Course Description:
This course examines literature by Jewish authors who wrote in German and lived in Prague during the first half of the 20th century. A primary goal of the course is to provide an understanding of the political, social, and cultural situation of German-Jewish authors during the interwar period. We will consider the precarious position of the German-Jewish community, which lived in a metaphoric “double ghetto” (as both “German” and Jewish) in Prague, and the various ways that their literary texts navigate issues related to national identity, language, religion, and social integration.
Course Code and Credits: Literature 326 (3)
Course Title: American and Czech Literature from European Perspective: Identity and Role Play
Course Description:
The course examines various conceptions of “identity” in connection with selected literary examples. Students will examine the way in which identity is construed in the 20th and 21st century through the works of American and Czech authors from Melville to Kundera. Specific topics include formations of identity, power, confidence, racial and gender stereotypes, “minority” vs. “mainstream” literature in Czech and American societies.
Course Code and Credits: Literature 340 (3)
Course Title: Imagining America, Imagining Europe
Course Description:
This class operates with the assumption that major literary works are able to shed an often unexpected and always fascinating light on the “reality” they are dealing with – and the more so, once the author reflects upon that reality from a critical distance, given by e.g. his/her different culture. Thus, the chosen works are not only canonical, but also thematize either Europe, or America (and once they thematize America, certain theoretical concepts that are considered European will be tested on them in a meaningful, relevant fashion). What will hopefully emerge is a deeper understanding of a constructed nature of fiction and possibly also both America and Europe. On the basis of close reading of the selected texts, we will investigate relevant broader issues (see the actual syllabus below). While the approach and methods are interdisciplinary, the main emphasis of this course is on cultural studies, literary theory (explaining and applying basic literary terms), literary history (both American and European) and literary criticism (analyzing different responses to given works), and, if applicable, also on philosophy, psychology, and sociology. Students will learn how the individual literary works were translated into Czech, and what was lost and gained in each individual translation (no detailed knowledge of Czech required); together, we will trace the main trends in the actual translated texts and in translatology in general. I will also explain how were the chosen titles received in the Czech cultural context (both before and after 1989, both official and popular, and, if relevant, also underground) – and, even more importantly, why. References will be made to other European cultures, too. With the exception of the first two classes, every class will start with an oral presentation delivered by a student, followed by a minilecture by the teacher, followed by class discussion.
Course Code and Credits: Literature 346 (3)
Course Title: Great European Authors: Karel Capek and Other Writers and Artists of his time
Course Description:
This course is centred on the Czech literature and culture of the first half of the 20th century, particularly the 1920s and 30s (though some of the literary figures discussed lived and worked till the 1970s or 80s). It is based on analyses and discussions of short pieces (stories, essays, columns and poems), one novel and extracts from plays and prose; however, pictures, field trips and films are also incorporated. The main focus is on the versatile personality of Karel Capek (1890-1938), one of the great European writers of the last century and arguably the best Czech writer of all time, who was a distinguished novelist, playwright and journalist in interwar Czechoslovakia. Famed for giving the word ‘robot’ to the world (having used it in his play RUR), Capek was a vital part of the burgeoning artistic scene of the 1920s and 30s. An unfaltering advocate of humanism and democracy, he warned against nationalism and communism as early as the 1920s, and campaigned against fascism, which precipitated his death in 1938. He was a phenomenal author and journalist whose views are particularly relevant to our time and Europe. This course serves as an introduction to his varied oeuvre while offering scope for close analysis of some of his works. Students will learn not only about Karel Capek and his brother and co-writer Josef, who became a celebrated artist, but also about a host of other writers and artists who were their contemporaries, or were their friends and fellow intellectuals belonging to what has been termed the Capek generation. Lectures and discussions will illuminate students on wider literary European contexts and on the cultural and political climate of Czech and European history leading up to the Second World War.
Course Code and Credits: Literature 356 (3)
Course Title: Central European Literature
Course Description:

Central Europe is a much-debated (or much-doubted) term. Despite its history stretching back to (at least) 18th century, it is arguably (still a fuzzy) cultural and discursive product of intellectual debates in the 1980s that were (implicitly) meant as a tool for extricating countries behind the iron curtain from being perceived as the unknown lands in the Soviet sphere of influence. Taken from a different perspective, it could be understood as those territories belonging to what used to be a Hapsburg empire. The approach of the class, in contrast, is quite simple and deliberately naïve one: to read and discuss selected literary texts despite they often have no “central-European qualities” other than that their authors come from the given geographical region (while their often blurred or dual nationality must be mostly put in quotation marks).

Being in Prague, roughly initial one third of the course focuses on Czech literature, further ten weeks on Polish, Austrian, Hungarian and Serbo-Croatian literary texts, respectively. Following authors shall be read and discussed in the course: Franz Kafka, Jaroslav Hašek, Bohumil Hrabal, Milan Kundera (for Czech – or “Czech” authors), Witold Gombrowicz, Bruno Schulz (“Polish” authors), Joseph Roth, Ingeborg Bachmann, Thomas Bernhard, Italo Svevo (“Austrian” authors / Italian author), Sandor Márai, Imre Kertész (Hungary), Ivo Andric and Danilo Kiš (Serbia / Bosnia and Hercegovina) (while others, such as Robert Musil or Herrmann Broch for instance, are for the length of their major works relegated to optional literature only). Although there will be a certain intro on the CE, topics and questions concerning the CE shall be spread and explored throughout the entire course in its further parts.


SOCIOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGY
Course Code and Credits: Sociology 300 (3)
Course Title: Sociology of Food
Course Description:
Eating is a natural necessity for almost all human beings. Food, however, does more than just help humans survive and grow. It can become a political tool, a marker of social class and gender, a mirror of significant cultural differences. On a more individual scale, it can be related to personal identity, habits and health. As our perspective in this course is sociological and semiotical, we shall look at food both as a source of embodied experience, and as a language that can be decoded. It is a symbolic system that reflects the everyday habits of humans, norms of societies, as well as deeper, internalized meanings. Food will thus become a lens through which we will see and analyse our different cultures in a new light. We will ask questions such as: What is the place of origin of our food? How did our food get to us? How does food configure and change relations among people? During our comparisons and practical workshops, we shall trace the histories of some of the most significant meals of the Czech republic (and former Austro-Hungarian empire). Their transformations will help us understand the social changes that took place in Central Europe from a different perspective. Questions such as gender relations, families, political economy, health (obesity, anorexia, bio food), ecology and the nation-state will be discussed. We will read academic articles that react on these questions in various national and ethnic contexts. There will be 3 workshops where students will try to cook several Central European meals and discuss them with a Czech chef.
Course Code and Credits: Sociology 345 (3)
Course Title: Contemporary Czech Art, Culture and Literature: Urban Semiotics
Course Description:
The course will acquaint students with the contemporary Czech art scene, its “roots” and transformations from three different perspectives. The course will elucidate the transitions in the Czech art scene after 1989, together with their socio-historical context. It will explore different understandings of post-communist movements as represented in the performances by Czech artists. Czech art perspectives will be confronted with Western literary and cultural criticism.
Course Code and Credits: Sociology 353 (3)
Course Title: Landscape (and) Sociology: Understanding of Czech and European Landscapes – Department (Spring only)
Course Description:
Holistically, landscape sociology incorporates philosophical, cultural, anthropological and ecological interactions between man and nature, and between social and ecological systems. European, and particularly Czech, landscapes represent ecological as well as sociocultural heritages. Human experiences with landscapes, social and cultural constructions and transformations of landscapes, and the ways in which we bring meaning to landscapes are the main topics of this course.
Course Code and Credits: Sociology 354 (3)
Course Title: Social Changes after 1989 – Department
Course Description:
The aim of the course is to overview the last two decades of social change in the Czech Republic. After a short introduction to the historical and social development (1918-1989) and basic comparison to other CEE countries, the course focuses on basic perspectives on social change (“shock therapy vs. gradualism”) and then deals with the changes in economic and social structure and political attitudes in general. To provide a deeper insight into the development, the transformation of the housing and higher education system is presented in detail.
Course Code and Credits: Sociology 357 (3)
Course Title: Czech Republic: An Urban Perspective
Course Description:
The aim of the course is combine knowledge from the fields of urban sociology, general sociology and urbanism in order to give students detailed insight into Czech urban situation. At the end of the course, they 1) will have a basic introduction to the field of urban sociology; 2) will be to understand how cities work from the sociological perspective and 2) will have information and knowledge about Czech cities that will help them to benefit from their time here in CR. In the second part of the semester 1) a short commented film trip to smaller town nebo Prague is planned; 2) if possible a talk in class given by an urban professional (i.e. planner) and 3) students’ presentation focused on the comparison of the cities of their origin and Prague. The main output is a paper. The paper will be discussed during semestr and gradually presented by the students in a short form of reports on their projects.
Course Code and Credits: Psychology 310 (3)
Course Title: Psycholinguistics
Course Description:
The course aims at introducing the fundamental aspects of psycholinguistic research, discussing the methods used in psycholinguistics and a summary of the knowledge achieved so far in the field. In the second part of the course, the process of language acquisition in children is discussed, together with examples of developmental language disorders such as dyslexia.
Course Code and Credits: Psychology 355 (3)
Course Title: Selected Topics in Social Psychology: Soft Skills
Course Description:
This course presents a well-balanced practical overview of the soft skills world. Possible topics are: effective communication principles, coaching, self-management, presentation skills, assertiveness and manipulation recognition, resolving conflicts, teamwork, group problem solving, stress management, and creativity.