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Course Offerings - Spring 2011

Course offerings are subject to change. This list is for the upcoming spring semester and was last updated July 26, 2010. 

Spring 2011 | Fall 2011  |  Spring 2012 


Language Courses

Professors I. Šaršonová, Novak, Janouchova, & Vlasakova
Students work on pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary enrichment. Emphasis is placed on developing and enhancing listening, comprehension and oral skills. Additional hours are offered to improve pronunciation. Written and oral examinations required.

Prof. I. Šaršonová
Continuation of Elementary Czech I course.

Prof. I. Šaršonová
Using communicative methodology this course introduces more complex features of the language and focuses on building reading and writing skills while continuing to develop conversational ability.

Prof. I. Šaršonová
Continuation of Intermediate Czech I.

Prof. J. Ager
Using communicative methodology, this course introduces students to essential linguistic and social conventions of spoken German, with an emphasis on establishing conversational skills. 

Prof. J. Ager
Continuation of Elementary German I. 

Prof. J. Ager
Using communicative methodology, this course introduces more complex features of the language and focuses on building reading and writing skills while continuing to develop conversational ability.

Prof. J. Ager
Continuation of Intermediate German I. 

Prof. J. Ager
By special arrangement with approval of the German Department at NYU.

Professor A. Magala
Using communicative methodology, this course introduces students to essential linguistic and social conventions of spoken Polish, with an emphasis on establishing conversational skills. 

Professor A. Magala
Continuation of Elementary Polish I. 

Professor A. Magala
Using communicative methodology this course introduces more complex features of the language and focuses on building reading and writing skills while continuing to develop conversational ability. 

Professor A. Magala
Continuation of Intermediate Polish I.

Prof. T. Strykas
Intended to give beginners a speaking and reading knowledge of the Russian language. Involves an introduction to the essentials of Russian grammar and the reading of graded texts, with special emphasis on the acquisition of an idiomatic conversational vocabulary. Combines the traditional grammar approach with conversational, inductive method. 

Prof. T. Strykas
Continuation of Elementary Russian I.

Prof. T. Strykas
Grammar review, vocabulary building, and drills in spoken Russian. 

Prof. T. Strykas
Vocabulary building, idiomatic expressions, and drills in spoken Russian.

Prof. T. Strykas
By special arrangement with approval of the Russian and Slavic Department at NYU.


Anthropology

Prof. K. Müller
The main objective of the course is to acquaint the students with similarities and differences of contemporary European cultures and with the role of cultural factors in present European integration processes. Stress will be laid on the description and interpretation of presently existing varieties of cultures, but the course will also help the students to understand the main historical roots of European cultural plurality, i.e.the political, economic and cultural processes that engendered this plurality. In the course Europe is conceived in traditional geographic terms, i.e. it includes not only countries of the European Union, but also countries of Eastern Europe as well as of Eastern Central Europe and of the Balkans.


Art History

Prof. TBA
The course covers the history of architecture from Mediaeval to contemporary with special attention to 19th and 20th Century architecture and urbanism as well as the visual arts. The course begins with the pre-Romanesque and Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classicism periods. The major focus will be on 19th and 20th Century architectural styles from Historicism and Art Nouveau through Cubism, Art-Déco, Avant-garde Functionalism, post-war Stalinist art and architecture, and the contemporary. It's necessary to have an understanding of the evolution of Mid European art and architecture, town planning and theory. 

Prof. O. Urban
Course description will be posted shortly. 

Prof. Simon North
This course presents a survey of art and architecture in Prague and its environs – from the Middle Ages to the present – placed within the context of the main periods and movements of Western art history. The course will be rooted in a discussion of the city of Prague, and students are encouraged through excursions and assignments to become acquainted with the city’s architecture, monuments and urban design. Students will learn to analyse formal aspects of art and architectural styles (from Romanesque to modern) and will also be encouraged to investigate their sources and theoretical foundations. Emphasis will be given to the historical and cultural context of art styles and movements. We will also look at art patronage in some key periods of Czech history to see how this reflects political, cultural and ideological change. Classroom lectures will be combined with regular excursions to examine works of art and architecture at first hand. These will include architectural walking tours and visits to temporary exhibitions as well as the city's major art galleries. 


Business (Leonard N. Stern School of Business)

Prof. W. Dunham
Investigates the nature, functions, and responsibilities of the management of organizations. Develops an analytical approach to the identification, structuring, analysis, and solution of organizational problems. Introduces the students to organizational policies and structures, functional areas, and production processes (including resource allocation, measurement and evaluation, and control), leadership style, and organizational adaptation and evolution. Teaching methodologies include lectures, case analysis and class discussion.

Prof. H. Huntova
Evaluates, from the management point of view, marketing as a system for the satisfaction of human wants and as a catalyst of business activity. Deals with the subject at all levels from producer to consumer and emphasizes the planning required for the efficient use of marketing tools in the development and expansion of markets. Concentrates on the principles, functions, and tools of marketing, including quantitative methods. Utilizes cases and projects to develop a problem-solving ability in dealing with specific areas.

Professor Vachdua
In this course, students learn how to increase their communication effectiveness for business and professional goals. During the semester, students focus on the strategic implications of communication for modern organizations. A variety of assignments are given to stress the following communication competencies: written, spoken and nonverbal communication basics for business; effective team communication strategies; informative, persuasive and collaborative presentations; communication techniques for required junior and senior year projects. Students regularly receive personal feedback about their writing and their oral presentations from instructors and staff. 


Comparative Literature

Cross-listed with V30.9275 (Dramatic Literature) and H31.0610 (Tisch Drama). For Tisch students the course counts toward the Theater Studies B requirements.

Prof. TBA
The Czech novelist Milan Kundera asserts “art must express questions of human existence…which…in Europe in the 20th Century finds its clarity of expression in the aesthetics of non-realism.” The overall aim of the course is to explore Modern European Theatre in relation to Kundera’s assertion.

What is Modern European Theatre? We will look at the wild visions of Artaud; humour and compassion of Beckett; the social obsessions of Brecht, the extreme passion of Kane and Ravenhill, the laughter and terror of Absurdist Theatre; the outrageous mockery of satire (French, Italian, Russian); Havel and living the absurd; Kundera and the obsessive intellectual; Dada and the impulse to shock, challenge; Surrealism and dreams, archetypes, myths; Weiss and a Total Theatre of music, song, story, character, revolution, madness; Ionesco and how individuals conform; The poetic, mysterious world of Image Theatre – this is the 20th century.

To greatly deepen our insights between the chosen plays and contemporary Europe, the course will be informed by contextual explorations of psychology, politics, history, culture. 

Crosslisted with K20.9201 (Gallatin)

Prof. M. Platzova
“A book must be an ax for the frozen sea in us,” wrote Franz Kafka (1883-1924), one of the best known but least understood authors of our times. In this course, we will break some of the clichés which are stuck to Kafka´s life and work and dive into the fascinating, intricate and profoundly humorous world of his thoughts and emotions. In Prague, the city that determined and held Kafka in its “claws”, we will trace the possible sources of the writer´s private obsessions which became the general characteristics of modern men: The sense of isolation, the anxiety, the self-irony, the sense of responsibility and guilt, the quest for freedom, the struggle of an individual against the system. We will read selected works of Kafka, but also Meyrink - the author of Prague ghetto - and Milan Kundera. This course aims to bring the students to a point from which they can find their own genuine and intimate understanding of Kafka´s writing. 

Prof. M. March
This course endeavors to explore the reconstruction of Central and Eastern Europe through the currency of its poetry, through the desperate honor of its poets. With the war and subsequent occupation of Europe, literature, especially poetry, replaced consensus politics. Poets became the true accountants, and their ledgers contained the unprofitability of the human soul. A reading of the finest poets of the past half-century situates the times and the seminal engagements born to restore independence. The poets were/are personally well-known to the lecturer, with the sad exception of the great Russian poets, Celan and Brecht. 

Prof. H. Ulmanova
This class is devoted not only to a "close reading" of the selected texts, but also to relevant broader issues. While the approach and methods are interdisciplinary, the main emphasis is on literary theory (explaining and applying basic literary terms), literary history (both American and European), and literary criticism (analyzing different responses to given works). Every class starts with the oral presentation delivered by a student, then there is a minilecture by the teacher, and a discussion follows. 


Cultures and Contexts (Morse Academic Plan)

Open to all students. For NYU, fulfills MAP Cultures & Contexts requirement.

Prof. P. Mucha
Prague is without doubts one of the most important historical, geopolitical and cultural capitals of Central Europe. The concept of Central Europe is somewhat elusive and it is difficult to define it by geographical or political categories. Often, it is characterized simply as a space on the edge between the West and East. However, most scholars agree that there is a distinct Central European culture. Identified as having been one of the world’s richest sources of creative talent and thought between the 17th and 20th centuries, Central Europe was represented by many distinguished figures such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Kant, Goethe and Hegel; later followed by Kafka, Rilke, Freud, Mendel and Dvorak, to mention at least some. Central European culture is based on historical, social and cultural characteristics shared by the countries of this geopolitical entity. It is a result of complicated historical, political, ethnic, cultural, artistic and religious interactions throughout more then thousand years of its history. We explore characteristics of Central Europe primarily from the perspective of Prague and its cultural history, which is so typical and almost archetypal for this region. Students study geopolitical characteristics and various phenomena that co-create the idea of Central Europe. Taking advantage of course location in Prague, students have the opportunity to examine the primary sources and artifacts (literature, music, art, film) in their contexts and environment. 


Economics

NOTE: This course does not count for NYU Economics major credit.

Prof. V. Semerak
The course deals with issues of transition from socialism to market economy and democracy in Central and Eastern Europe. It will cover topics ranging from the characteristic properties of classical socialism: political structure, ownership, co-ordination mechanisms, growth pattern, investment, prices, wages and employment in the system. The course then discusses inducements for reforms and experiments with market socialism. The main focus is issues of transition: political transformation, economic stabilization, privatization, corporate governance issues, changes in employment, income distribution and social security. The course analyzes political aspects of the transition process and identifies the main political constraints of economic decisions taken by transition countries. Finally, the course focuses on the accession of transition countries to the European Union, on its economic and political aspects. Basic principles of EU economic policies are discussed and framed into the transition process of Central European countries.

Prerequisites: V31.0010 or V31.0011, Intermediate Microeconomics or Microeconomics (Theory).

Prof. P. Zahradnik
The subject of the course is to describe one of the most profound changes to take place in the history of the world economy – the rapid change from centrally planned economies to market economies throughout what used to be known as “the Soviet block”. Although some reforms in some countries began much earlier, the true transition began in most Central and Eastern European countries roughly in 1990. This means that scholars and researchers are only now beginning to have the data and a sufficient distance needed to study and analyze the transition process.


Environmental Studies

Prof. Bursik
The study of environmental issues and environmental policies in Central and Eastern Europe. The main topics include the role of environmental issues in political processes; overview of environmental problems and environmental policies in before 1989; the role of environmental issues in the collapse of state socialism, the post-communist democratization and economic reform; environment and health; effects of economic changes and of new environmental policies on the environment since 1990; environmental movements; effects of the EU accession on the environment and environmental policies; and nuclear power in the region. 


European Studies 

Prof. V. Bartuska
This course will try to put European security into the context of today’s world: from the collapse of communism and dissolution of the Warsaw Pact through the years of wars in the former Yugoslavia, the wars on former Soviet territory, and to the stateless threat of terrorism today. But study limited to Europe would be pointless; the Old Continent is no longer the prime player on the planet. Therefore a series of related topics and areas will also be discussed: U.S. military might (especially compared to the European armed forces); the situation in adjacent regions (North Africa, Middle East, Russia and Ukraine) and its implication for Europe; and the new types of terrorism. 

Cross-listed with K56.9205 (Gallatin)

Prof. J. Urban
Totalitarian ideologies which were used in European political discourse in the twentieth century to explain major historical changes have changed forever the relationship between the state and its citizens. The aspiration of the totalitarian state to acquire total control over individual lives through control of education, employment and health systems succeeded beyond anything perceived possible until then in any political regime after European Enlightenment. Nazism and Communism mobilized irrationally motivated mass support and won power in a very short time. Their success was partially based on a mass propaganda, using fear as primary instinctive argument against a picture of both external and internal enemies. The major focus of the course will be oriented towards topics trying to explain the reasons for mass support for totalitarian ideologies and states on the basis of individual psychology. We will examine psychological explanations of a selfvictimisation, role of a victim and a perpetrator, majority society response to mass human rights abuses and the abusive past. On this background a phenomenon of a political and cultural dissent will be introduced and discussed. The role of electronic mass media, antiglobalisation movements and global terrorism are discussed as possible modern vehicles of totalitarian tendencies and reactions against them. 

Cross-listed with V53.9510 (Politics)

Prof. L. Rovná
This course will concentrate on the analysis of the pursuits of democracy in Western Europe. Firstly, the conception of Europe will be explored in its historical perspective and different perceptions: territorial, political, spiritual, cultural etc. Secondly, the characterizing social cleavages of Europe will be introduced: territorial, economic, religious, national, ethnic etc. Furthermore, we will discuss how these cleavages get expressed in the formation of different social interests and lead to the organization of interests groups, political parties and NGOs. Thirdly, turning towards the institutional structures of West European parliamentary democracies, we will address the existence of political party systems, as well as the executive and legislative powers represented by government and parliament. Fourthly, we will explore the rules and outcomes of different electoral systems, which ensure regular rotation of political elites at power – however, under different principles. Finally, we will assess the enrichment of the classical models of government in Western Europe, which have in the last 20 years been supplemented by additional players participating in the decision making processes on different levels (local, regional, national and European) – leading to new political conceptualization of ‘governance’. Also, while European states remain core units of European integration, they are also influenced by the EU, leading to their Europeanization. The new challenges facing Western Europe, such as globalization, continuing European integration, regionalization, restructuring of social welfare systems and the issues of identity, will be discussed. 


Film and Television (Tisch School of the Arts)

Prof. J. Bernard
Emphasizing one of the most influential film movements in the post-World War II era, the cinema of the Czech New Wave. This cinema studies course explores the history and development of Czech and Slovak cinema. Lectures are supplemented with screenings. 


Gallatin School of Individualized Study

Cross-listed with V29.9136 (Comparative Literature)

Prof. TBA
“A book must be an ax for the frozen sea in us,” wrote Franz Kafka (1883-1924), one of the best known but least understood authors of our times. In this course, we will break some of the clichés which are stuck to Kafka´s life and work and dive into the fascinating, intricate and profoundly humorous world of his thoughts and emotions. In Prague, the city that determined and held Kafka in its “claws”, we will trace the possible sources of the writer´s private obsessions which became the general characteristics of modern men: The sense of isolation, the anxiety, the self-irony, the sense of responsibility and guilt, the quest for freedom, the struggle of an individual against the system. We will read selected works of Kafka, but also Meyrink - the author of Prague ghetto - and Milan Kundera. This course aims to bring the students to a point from which they can find their own genuine and intimate understanding of Kafka´s writing. 

Prof. C. Cloutier
Central Europe is where West meets East. Some writers revel in this geographically liminal space, some long to free themselves from it, and some are conflicted in their feelings. The remarkable diversity of literary representations of the region has helped shape its culture, history and politics. In this course, students will study the work of prominent Czech, Pole, Slovene and Hungarian writers who have influenced people’s understanding of the region. Authors to be studied may include Václav Havel, Franz Kafka, Imre Kertész, Barbara Korun and Czeslaw Milosz. 

Prof. M. MacDonagh-Pajerová
Civil resistance is not the same as opting out of society or having views that go against the grain. It is fundamentally about deciding not to conform with repressive regimes. It is also about choosing a mode of action that brings with it personal dangers even when, as is usual, it advocates non-violence. This course examines the nature and significance of civil resistance in Central and Eastern Europe in the 20th century. In studying resistance literature (including poetry and song), art and film, we will draw on ideas and arguments from the disciplines of history, political science, literature, art criticism, film studies and psychology. 

Prof. I. Dolezalova
This interdisciplinary seminar is designed to discuss and question the identity of specific nations in European space, which has always been a fascinating crossroad of ideas and ideologies as well as the birthplace of wars and totalitarian systems. The course will cover masterpieces of Russian, Hungarian, German, Polish and Czech cinematography, focusing on several crucial periods of history, in particular WWII and its aftermath, showing moral dilemmas of individuals and nations under the Nazi regime as well as revealing the bitter truth of the Stalinist years. 

Cross-listed with V42.9301 (European Studies)

Prof. J. Urban
Totalitarian ideologies which were used in European political discourse in the twentieth century to explain major historical changes have changed forever the relationship between the state and its citizens. The aspiration of the totalitarian state to acquire total control over individual lives through control of education, employment and health systems succeeded beyond anything perceived possible until then in any political regime after European Enlightenment. Nazism and Communism mobilized irrationally motivated mass support and won power in a very short time. Their success was partially based on a mass propaganda, using fear as primary instinctive argument against a picture of both external and internal enemies. The major focus of the course will be oriented towards topics trying to explain the reasons for mass support for totalitarian ideologies and states on the basis of individual psychology. We will examine psychological explanations of a selfvictimisation, role of a victim and a perpetrator, majority society response to mass human rights abuses and the abusive past. On this background a phenomenon of a political and cultural dissent will be introduced and discussed. The role of electronic mass media, antiglobalisation movements and global terrorism are discussed as possible modern vehicles of totalitarian tendencies and reactions against them. 


Hebrew and Judaic Studies

Prof. I. Koeltzsch
David ben Gurion declared after the Second World War: “A hundred and fifty years ago all Jews had three things in common: every Jew prayed in Hebrew, he submitted to Gods commandments and awaited the coming of the Messiah. Today, Jews have only one thing in common – every Jew asks what it means to be a Jew. ” The period of the 18th to the 20th centuries of modern Jewish history in Europe belongs to the most dynamic in the whole of Jewish history. What were the reasons for such radical changes? Were there differences between developments in Western, Central and Eastern Europe? How did the changes affect Jewish religious, cultural, linguistic and national identity? All these questions build the core of this course. Students are expected to participate actively in the sessions. Knowledge of the readings and of class discussions will be tested by a short quiz at the beginning of each session. There will also be a mid-term and a final exam. 


History

Prof. M. Homerova
The process of urbanization in the modern era has reflected the economic differences, the social and aesthetic customs, and the political nuances of the European nations and of Europe as a whole. Students will consider numerous issues of city planning and growth. Topics will include patterns of cultural distinctiveness, the influence of ethnic and religious concerns, and the political implications apparent in architectural design, neighborhood development, housing policies, and public space. 

Prof. M. Polisenka
In the 20th Century, three phenomena had fateful consequences for Central and Eastern Europe: (1) the unsuccessful attempt to eliminate, after WWI, national tension by creating new nation-states, and the encounters with both major totalitarian ideologies, (2) Nazism and (3) Communism. The present eruptions of nationalism are rooted in the heritage of these phenomena. Comparative histories of the formation of modern national identities, including the ‘national awakening’ of non-dominant nations, will be interpreted against the backdrop of national policies of multi-ethnic states, national programs and leaders. The major focus of the course will be oriented toward topics surrounding post-WWI Central and Eastern Europe, Nazism and Communism. We will examine the disintegration of post-Communist Central and Eastern Europe, discuss the ethnic conflicts, policies toward minorities and xenophobia. The bibliography of required and recommended reading will be handed out in class, the abbreviated titles are in the syllabus. The guidelines for mid-term and finals will be available in class two weeks before the scheduled exam. 


Journalism and Mass Communication

This course is cross-listed with E59.1354 (Media, Culture, & Communication)

Prof. M. Šmíd
The idea of the course is to inform students about European media in general, and about transformation of the Czech media after the Velvet revolution in 1989 in particular. Czech developments will be presented on the background of a wider European perspective in order to make students acquainted with the basic features of European landscape of print and electronic media. Due to the lack of literature and printed sources in English language on the subject, the course will extensively exploit internet sources related to the topics.

Prof. R. Cameron
This course aims to give students a strong grounding in radio journalism and radio production, and unlock the secrets of being a successful freelance stringer. Topics include: organization of a radio station, stringers and the industry, cultivating sources, writing the radio news dispatch, on-air voice and delivery, the technology of radio reporting, conducting the interview, press conferences, covering a news event, sound editing, producing the radio feature. During the semester students will write several news dispatches; record and edit a ten-minute interview; and write, edit, record and produce a radio feature story.


Syllabus

Prof. J.Machacek
Using the cultural life of Prague as its focus, this course aims to enable students to report on the diversity of cultural and artistic activity in the Czech capital in eight main areas—film, photography, literature, architecture, music, visual arts, travel, and Prague in literature. Several forms and techniques will be explored through lecture, discussion and assignments, including: news reports, interviews, reviews (film, literature, theater), feature stories, essays, and commentaries. During the course, students will learn not only about Prague's cultural landscape but they will be encouraged to examine it in various journalistic and literary forms. One of the leading aims of this courses is also to introduce to them six extraordinary persons, whose work in their respective areas reached international attention. 

Prof. Bednarova
The course focuses on combining certain techniques of fiction with the rigor of journalistic travel reporting to produce stories that move beyond the constraints of the news and feature story: stories that engage, resonate with readers, provide insight – stories which “produce the emotion”. The course proceeds by the reading and analysis of contemporary journalism and classic travel pieces: careful examination of the narrative; fictional and literary devices used in travel writing; examination of and practice with various information gathering strategies; consideration of the ethics of representation. Students will continually develop stories from their own travel experiences for presentation and in-depth critique in class. These regular assignments will prepare students for their final project: a substantial travel narrative of their own. Participants must meet deadlines set for assignments. Participants may not submit previously published or completed work for the assignments. 

Prof. Spritzer
This course will focus on foreign reporting in US and British newspapers and journals, looking at the history of foreign reporting, the different kinds of media in which it appears, the topics it covers and the skills necessary to perform it. Students will read and discuss contemporary reporting and famous reportage from the past, listen to foreign correspondents and write their own stories. By the end of the course students should have a good understanding of foreign reporting and will be well equipped with some of the practical skills necessary to follow it as a career. 

Note: Students majoring in Journalism & Mass Communication (CAS) or Media, Culture and Communication (Steinhardt) may take this course in conjunction with E59.1400 Communication and Cultural Contexts for credit in the major. 

Prof. J. Jirák
The course offers an interpretation of mass media and their real - as well as desired or feared - role in society, with a focus on media in Europe and the Czech Republic. The participants will get a survey of theoretical and normative perspectives on the relationship between media and their content on one hand and society and individuals on the other hand. The focus will be on what enables people to relate so many expectations, fears and prejudices to the media and their performance. Specifically, we will discuss (1) the typology of media as communication means, organizations and institutions, (2) media products, (3) types of audiences, (4) the (possible and probable) media effects, as well as positive or negative expectations and (5) the specific role of media in various cultures (with an indepth insight in Czech society).


TBA
Only open to students who have received special departmental permission. Email pamela.noel@nyu.edu to apply. 


Law and Society

Prof. A. Benjamin
This course will begin by reviewing the nature and sources of law. Yet it will do so not as part of a purely academic exercise but in order to answer some very practical philosophical questions, such as: Why isn’t law the same thing as justice? Where does legality end and revolution begin? Why does the Anglo-American legal system make legal resolution into a game? Are war crimes tribunals legal proceedings or merely victor’s revenge dressed up in procedural garb? Why doesn’t law which is considered divinely inspired (i.e. the Old and New Testaments) serve as a legitimate basis of law in the West? The aim of this course is to show how understanding the nature and sources of law can help us understand real-world events and issues. By the end of the course students will have an appreciation of the limits of law and how law fits into the fabric of society alongside other norms, such as morality and religion. Students should also learn to identify interconnections and relationships between ideas in seemingly disparate areas of thought. 


Media, Culture, and Communication (The Steinhardt School)

NOTE: Students majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication (CAS) or Communication Studies (Steinhardt) may take this course in conjunction with V54.9298, Media and Society, for credit in the major.

Prof. M. Rulikova
A veritable buzzword, globalization refers to several newly emerged phenomena. To study it means to delve into several areas in which it manifests itself. These are, to name just the three most visible ones, the economy, culture and politics. In any of these dimensions globalization, as it is discussed in the last twenty years, functions through the media. Media does not portray globalization, but it is its important part. A study of globalization is inherently diverse and eclectic. So is this course. Students will read, watch films, analyze and discuss them. In class discussions and short papers they are expected to engage questions, issues, themes and topics connected to globalization, culture and the media. Special attention will be devoted to the impact of globalization on the late communist and post-communist world, and also to the ways by which the globalization issues are framed and discussed in the media discourse. All assigned texts and films are mandatory. Students are required to follow current events in the media (cable TV, newspapers, Internet). Class participation is expected as it is part of the final grade. 

Prof. T. Trampota
An introduction to the theoretical approaches and practices used to analyze the content, structure, and context of media in society. Students will explore factors shaping modern media texts, including: politics, economics, technology, and cultural traditions. The dominant critical perspectives that contribute to our understanding of media will be read, discussed, and employed. The course has three broad objectives: Develop a critical awareness of media environments, develop a familiarity with concepts, themes and theoretical approaches of media criticism, and the terms associated with these approaches, and develop an ability to adopt and adapt these frameworks in your own analyses of mediated communication. Students' active class participation is vital to this process. Active participation includes listening, building on what others say, asking questions, advancing reasoned arguments, identifying theories that are relevant to the discussion, and working collaboratively with others. Missing class and/or a record of lateness will negatively affect the final grade. An absence will be excused only in case of a medical emergency (or other extraordinary circumstance) which is justified with appropriate documentation.

This course is cross-listed with V54.9505 (Journalism)

Prof. M. Šmíd
The idea of the course is to inform students about European media in general, and about transformation of the Czech media after the Velvet revolution in 1989 in particular. Czech developments will be presented on the background of a wider European perspective in order to make students acquainted with the basic features of European landscape of print and electronic media. Due to the lack of literature and printed sources in English language on the subject, the course will extensively exploit internet sources related to the topics.

Prof. S. Murad
The course examines the role of advertising not only as an economic force but also as a form of cultural representation with a focus on the social implications of the role of consumerism in contemporary society by following its various forms around the world. Students will read, watch, analyze and discuss a variety of text specific commercials. Attention will be devoted also to the impact of advertising on the post-communist world and to the ways by which cultural issues are framed and kept in mind in the media discourse. The main objective is to provide an introductory course that is meaningful and of practical importance to students. The course examines Advertising not only as an academic discipline, but also a way of perceiving and understanding our society. 

TBA
Only open to students who have received special departmental permission. 


Music

Prof. T. Havelkova
An overview of the major trends in classical music of the last 100 years in the West, with a special focus on the musical development in Bohemia and Moravia. The musical culture will be put in context of the broader cultural and political development in Central Europe. A. Schönberg and the Viennese School, I. Stravinsky and the musical Paris between the wars, Bartók, Janácek, Martinu, Messiaen, Cage, post-war serialism, electronic music, minimalism, and other topics will be covered. Students are supposed to gain a good aural knowledge of the music discussed. 


Photography (The Steinhardt School)

Prof. P. Kirschner
This course is a hands-on introduction to the use of photography as a medium of documentation and expression. Assignments and critiques enhance the development of independent individual work while developing photographic skills and techniques. Students provide their own cameras.


Politics

Cross-listed with V42.9510 (European Studies)

Prof. Rovná
The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the politics and governments of Western Europe. The course will emphasize the political, economical, and social changes in this region since the end of WW II. The course is organized in four sections. In the first section, we will examine and seek to compare systematically general historical patterns of socio-political development. Then we will focus on governmental structures, government formation, structures of citizen representation in interest groups, social movements, and political parties; electoral systems; and current problems of national identity. Here we will also deal with issues that have to do with the specific Western European problematique: the evolving welfare state, the rise of regionalism, trade unions, changing political culture, immigration, and economic integration. In the third section, we will focus on the contemporary political institutions and the political parties of major West European countries (the UK, Germany, France and smaller countries of the EU). By the end of this course, students will have a better understanding of the governments of Western Europe, the evolution of their democratic political institutions, their party systems and the major issues surrounding the future of these countries and the region. 

Prof. Kubat
This course is an introduction to the modern politics and government of Central and Eastern Europe from the beginning of the Twentieth Century to the present. We will examine several periods, including 1). The interwar period and the development of the first modern political systems; 2) World War II, German occupation and resistance, and official and unofficial political systems; 3). Sovietization and the adoption of non-democratic political system; 4). The Communist Era in Eastern & Central Europe; 5). Democratic transitions; 6) and the processes of democratic consolidation. The course uses a comparative approach, using a few basic theories of political science to analyze the Central & Eastern European case. Topics include types of political regimes, creation and breakdown of democratic systems, constitutions and state systems, political parties, elections etc. 

Prof. J. Jarab
This course explores the recent history and the current state of political, economic and cultural relations between the United States and Europe. Ever since the end of the World War II, the cooperative relationship between these two parts of the world, often described as "The West“, has been a bedrock of international stability, security and prosperity. After the end of the Cold War, this relationship has undergone changes, along with the whole system of international relations. Recently, on both sides of the Atlantic, the talk has been about a crisis of the Euro-American relationship. We will examine the validity of these claims, the causes of the current disagreements and possible ways of overcoming them. Throughout, we will emphasize the overwhelming nature of common values and interests on both sides of the Atlantic as well as the risks stemming from a potential rift for both Europe and America. We will examine the compatibility of current European and U.S. policies with respect to third countries or regions, such as Russia, the Middle East, China, and other parts of the Globe.We will also analyze the specific role played in this relationship by countries of Central and Eastern Europe as relative newcomers to democracy, to the Atlantic Alliance and to European Union. 

Prof. I. Šlosarcík
The course “Central Europe, EU and NATO” provides students with an overview of the history, institutional and political structures, and major current debates in the European integration process, including its Atlantic dimension. In particular, the course concentrates on the trends triggered by EU enlargements in 2004 and 2007, the security situation after 9/11 and the impact of globalization on EU economic and social governance. 

Prof. TBA
The role of Germany has been central to European development. This course will focus on Germany primarily through the lens of its relations with its eastern neighbors—the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary and—to a lesser extent—also Austria. The aim is to establish a complex understanding of the ways in which Germany and its eastern neighbors, including their foreign policy orientation, will provide the background. The role of a united Germany in Central Europe, on the continent as a whole and in the Euro-Atlantic partnership will be examined. Lastly, the question about a "European German" or a "German Europe" will be raised.

Prof. P. Dostál
This course is intended for students in second and third years of study. It is concerned with the current mass value orientations and political change in the western and eastern parts of Europe. The course will demonstrate that there are powerful linkages between mass value orientations and political and socio-economic changes such as the democratic consolidation of polities and the economic performance of national economies. The course is concerned with the links between democratic values and democratic institutions. It explores the mass attitudes of electorates in a sufficiently large number of countries in the West and the East of the enlarged European Union so that it is possible to make comparisons across countries and follow actual shifts in cultural and political values orientations along a time axis. The course proceeds from an interdisciplinary perspective and uses material in the form of readings and also the results of (older and current) public opinion surveys (such as Standard or Special Eurobarometer surveys organised by the European Commission). Some emphasis is also given to current public opinion and political change in the Czech Republic, which became a new member state of the enlarged European Union of 27 members in May 2004 . Students taking part in the course are expected to understand and debate essential facts of current “modern” and “postmodern” mass values orientations and political changes in western and “post-communist” Europe such as materialism, postmaterialism, self-expression values, etc. 

Prof. T. Nemecek 
This course tells the story of the region in the geographical trap between Germany and Russia. The establishment of Czechoslovakia, the post-WW II expulsion of the German minority, Stalinism, the Prague Spring of 1968, dissident movements, the Velvet Revolution of 1989, transition to democracy, Václav Havel and the post-Havel era will all be studied. Students will gain basic knowledge on Central European political, historical and economic issues. Critical reading of sources and independent thinking required. 


Religious Studies

Prof. Mucha
Our discussion will cover the geographic area comprising the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland. The course will focus on the relationship between Judeo-Christian tradition and the secular world; the policies of Communist regimes in the spheres of culture and religion; and religion in the post-Communist world. The transformation of Catholicism in the 60s and the reception of post-Council reforms in the Communist countries will also be examined in light of the role of Christian churches in the struggle against Communist totalitarianism. 


Russian and Slavic Studies

Prof. T. Vrba
The idea of the course is not to bring a full and detailed picture of the whole of modern and contemporary Central and East European literature into perspective, but rather to take advantage of the unique occasion to offer students a more focused view. Examining Czech literary history as a specific example of the European history of national, cultural and political emancipation plans to guide “newcomers” along the most important cultural streams influencing the face of Czech literature in the 19th and 20th centuries. The larger cultural context includes the political role of art and literature in Czech history, language, religion, social and national currents and crosscurrents, as well as its Central and East European dimension. 


Sociology

Prof. Z. Kühn 
Prof. J. Pribán
This course explores the development of the rule of law and human rights issues in post-communist Central Europe. We will also refer to transitional systems outside the post-communist region. Although dealing with Central European region, we will often talk about American situation as well. First, we will face a short introduction into the history of the Central European region and its culture of human rights, and try to delineate this region. Next, we will examine the historical, national and international context of making constitutionalism and the rule of law in Central Europe. We will try to understand what human rights actually mean. We will face the debates that occurred when emerging democracies dealt with the former communist regimes. On several case studies, we will explain several basic attitudes towards the former communist regimes, its apparatchiks, its agents, and collaborators (lustration laws and dealing with the communist crimes). We will compare these approaches with those found elsewhere (South Africa, Latin America). Furthermore, we will examine contemporary human rights debates surrounding abortion, freedom of speech, social rights, the relation between religion and the state, the discrimination against minorities, gay rights, gender discrimination, affirmative action etc. We will also analyze the Western legal transplants in Central Europe and the post-communist application of basic rights. Finally, we will deal with the European Union and the legal dimension of the European Enlargement of 2004. 

Prof. Thorne
The course is focused on a society in political and economic transition as well as on a mode of interpreting the self and the world which is itself constantly in transition and will explore the extent to which gender relations have operated, been acknowledged and have a bearing on political, social and cultural life in the Czech Republic. This course will provide students with a general overview of key gender terms and concepts, provide students with an historical overview of gender issues in both western and local traditions, and focus on local cultural and representational forms in terms of gender. Students will also examine gender issues in terms of local history, spheres of power, (the personal and the political), culture and representation and the east/west debate which characterized discussions about gender in the nineties. 

Prof. M. Rulíková 
This course is designed to explore, both theoretically and empirically, the theme of change in social structure and inequalities in contemporary modern societies. Social stratification – the institutionalized social inequality – is one of the essential concerns to sociologists thanks to its prevalence in any society. Any developed society is stratified and people differ in terms of their life conditions and chances. One’s position in social space determines one’s consciousness, identity, values, attitudes, interest, and behavior. These are universals and what varies cross-culturally is what constitutes one’s status and how balanced or salient is the distribution of social conditions and opportunities among individuals. Overall, this course has multiple objectives. It will provide students with the principal concepts in the theory of social stratification (including class analysis and social mobility) and the theory of social change. As a case study, the development in social structure of transforming societies in Central Europe will be examined. In order to grasp the qualitative and quantitative change in social structure there, residua and frame of reference in preceding communist regimes have to be first understood. On the basis of this historical knowledge and the empirical evidence of current state of affairs in the region, one may identify and analyze the change. Finally, the resolved outcomes of the transformation of social structure in Central Europe will be put into cross-country comparative perspective in order to draw some conclusions regarding the uniqueness and universality of social stratification in modern and modernizing societies. 

Prof. Thorne
This course examines the totalitarian oppression from the point of view of ordinary citizens in communist Czechoslovakia. It focuses on the construction of collective mentality through everyday official/public and unofficial/private activities, including mass parades, ceremonies and performances, work relations, children’s education, housing schemes or collective vacationing. The goal of the seminar is to demonstrate the consequences of life in an oppressive regime: suppression of fundamental forms of civic interaction, such as independent public communication, and distortion of moral and behavioral norms. At the end of the semester, students will be able to evaluate the main theoretical concepts and historical events of totalitarianism against the background of specific activities, problems and aspirations of the people directly affected by life in a totalitarian system, the citizens of communist Czechoslovakia.

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