New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

Course Offerings - Spring 2012

Please note that all course offerings are subject to change. Changes in faculty availability and student enrollment may occasionally result in course cancellations.

All students are required to register for the course (0 - 2 credits), The Czech Republic in A Global Context.

Click on a course name to see a course description and a sample syllabus from a past semester. (Current syllabi may differ.) - Please note that we are in the process of uploading syllabi and plan to have more available online soon.  In the meantime, if you have an urgent need for a course syllabus, please email global.academics@nyu.edu

Course days/times can be found on Albert.

Spring 2012 | Fall 2012 | Spring 2013
 

Required Course

Prof. J. Pehe

The purpose of this course is primarily to discuss the history and culture of the Czech Republic and Central Europe-the intersection of the many international influences--in the context of globalization and, conversely, to discuss globalization in the local context.  An important dimension of the class will be a discussion about how international students should use their experience abroad (in this case, Prague and more generally, Central Europe) to better understand complicated developments on the global level and back home.  

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.

Sample Syllabus (Šaršonová)

Syllabus (Janouchova)

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.

Syllabus

Prof. J. Ager

Continuation of Elementary German I.

Syllabus

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.

Syllabus

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.

Sample Syllabus

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.

Sample Syllabus

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.

Sample Syllabus

Prof. T. Strykas
Continuation of Elementary Russian I.

Sample Syllabus

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

Sample Syllabus

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

Sample Syllabus

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


Anthropology

Additional course development is being considered in this area.

Prof. Abu Ghosh

The course will introduce students to the development of Romany politics and culture from a persecuted minority through to the emergence of Romany organizations with an emphasis on Central and Eastern Europe. The aim is to challenge any essentializing view on Roma as either a people outside or/and without society or as perennial victims of oppression. Two main approaches have dominated the teaching of Romany issues: a culturalist/ethnic approach, which stresses Romany cultures, and an economistic approach, which stresses ´poverty´.  This course will challenge mono-causal and a-historic explanations for the social situation of Roma and will stimulate students to think about Roma in a critical holistic way that brings into consideration the societies they live in. Building on a diverse selection of empirical material, ranging from ethnographic, historical and sociological case studies to artistic representations of Roma, the course will present the Roma “as good to think” for our comprehension of current social issues. The course is divided into three interconnected thematic blocks – 1. Identity, community and culture, 2. Power, the State and social stratification, 3. History, memory and politics of representation – which will allow to cover much of the current debates on the plight of European Roma as well as a grasp of social theories on marginality.

Syllabus

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.

Syllabus


Art History

Prof. Lukes

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.

Syllabus

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.

Sample Syllabus

Prof. O. Urban
This course course will present a development of visual arts (paintings, sculpture, photography, architecture, design, etc.) in Czech lands from the end of the 18th century until the present (Czech lands were part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy until 1918). In the 19th century Bohemian culture was influenced by nationalist movement i.e. the National Revival, which was inspired by wider socio-political tendencies at this time. Relations to Austrian and German art were very important during that time. Since the 19th century we can see a profound shift to French literature (Symbolism, Decadence, Cubism, etc.). These connections endured until the period between the World War I and World War II (Surrealism, Abstract art). The period after the Second World War (until 1989) was characterized by a totalitarian political system that negatively deformed  standard art scene. Czech art acquired new dimension after the political regime change. The course will introduce history of Czech visual arts in a wider Central European context with references to other art fields (film, literature, theatre).

Syllabus


Business (Leonard N. Stern School of Business)

Prof. B. Miller
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.

Syllabus

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.

Syllabus, Monday
Syllabus, Tuesday

Professor Vachuda
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

Crosslisted with IDSEM-UG 9201 (Gallatin)

Prof. K Muller
The main objective of the course is to acquire students with the similarities and differences of contemporary European civil societies and to examine the role of cultural, social and political factors in the processes of European integration. Stress will be laid on the description and interpretation of presently existing varieties of European civil societies, 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 the Balkans.

 

 

Syllabus

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.

Syllabus

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.

Syllabus


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.

Syllabus

Prof. Salamon

The main subject of this course are the key ideas, concepts, and values that shaped and continue to shape the worldviews and cultural identities of Russians and other Eastern Europeans. The through-line of the course is the emergence of the individual self struggling for intellectual autonomy and freedom of expression within the context of societies which in the course of history in various ways hindered such aspirations. Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to examine some of the principal textual and artistic images (especially musical) that contributed to the construction of intellectual traditions that emerged at geographic and cultural crossroads of Russia and Eastern Europe. The intellectual evolution of Russia will be explored in juxtaposition to parallel developments of other Eastern European cultures with which it interacted (various cultures will be studied in subsequent editions of the course). This explicitly comparative approach is meant to provide students with an opportunity for improving their skills to interpret all types of literature and cultural phenomena, as well as their ability to appreciate the contingency of cultural formation, and to analyze the complex nature of interaction between cultures. For this reason, more than an introduction to the intellectual history of Eastern Europe, this course is intended as a case study in critical inquiry into intellectual cultures that may differ in some respects from the traditions that the students may currently inhabit in contemporary North America. Such inquiry will presuppose the ability to think critically and with a historically informed sensibility about the diverse perceptions of reality in different cultures, and the readiness to challenge one’s own assumptions and generalizations. The cross-disciplinary character of the course will manifest itself in the nature of the questions explored from the point of view of various academic disciplines, and in the choice of assigned "readings".

Syllabus


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.

Syllabus

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.

Syllabus


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.

Syllabus

Cross-listed with GLOBL-UG 9205

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.

Syllabus

Cross-listed with POL-UA 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.

Syllabus

Prof. Sobell

The overarching theme of this course is European integration from the 19th century to the present day viewed within the changing global context. Developments leading to the establishment of the EU and determining its further evolution are examined alongside the rise of today's emerging economic powers - above all, the Eurasian giants of China and Russia. The course looks in particular at the EU's eastward enlargement as a potentially significant departure from previous integration models - one that opens up Europe's bridgehead to the resource-rich regions of Eurasia, where a new round of great power competition is unfolding. It will also focus on the important role that Central Europe has to play in this new environment.

The course falls into five parts:  i) The search for a stable European order (1815-1945); ii) A divided Europe (1945-89); iii) A partly reunited Europe (1989-present); iv) The shifting balance of global power and its impact on Europe; and v) The new "Great Game".  It is interdisciplinary, drawing on politics, political economy, history, international relations and security analysis. It aims to raise questions and stimulate discussion rather than provide clear-cut answers. Above all, the goal is to reach an understanding of the key strategic issues facing contemporary Europe and help students to orient themselves in today's global environment.

Syllabus


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.

Syllabus


Gallatin School of Individualized Study

Cross-listed with COLIT-UA 9136

Prof. R. Müller

The multinational and multilingual fin de siècle Prague has often been credited for generating a distinct strain of Modernism. In this course, we will have the advantage of exploring the texts of Franz Kafka in the place where he spent most of his life, in Prague, the “little mother” who held him in her “claws.” We will also read theorists of modernity such as Adolf Loos, Georg Simmel, Sigmund Freud, or Walter Benjamin, as well as Kafka’s contemporary Jaroslav Hašek, and a later writer Bohumil Hrabal in the light of Kafka’s writing, and vice versa. A selection of primary texts and critical essays will help us gain insights into cultural, aesthetic and historical “contexts” of Kafka’s fiction and non-fiction. The topics will include: man and metropolis, family and solitude, estrangement and familiarity, provincialism and worldliness, languages, animals and pain. While expanding our understanding of Modernism, we will also attempt to read Kafka “out of contexts”, in order to maintain a fresh look at his prose through close readings and intertextual relations. The goal of the course is to encourage students to develop their own understanding of Kafka’s unique literary language and his place in modernity, and engage further with the literature and arts of Prague.

 

Syllabus

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.

Syllabus

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.

Syllabus

Cross-listed with EURO-UA 9301

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.

Syllabus


Hebrew and Judaic Studies

Prof. K. Čapková

One hundred and fifty years ago all Jews had three things in common: every Jew prayed in Hebrew, he submitted to God‘s 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.“ These are words of David ben Gurion after the Second World War. The period of the 18th to the 20th centuries of modern Jewish history in Europe belongs to the most dynamic in the whole Jewish history. What are the reasons for such radical changes? Were there differences between the development in Western, Central and Eastern Europe?  How did the changes affect Jewish religious, cultural, linguistic and national identity? These questions build the core of this course.

Syllabus


History

Prof. North
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.

Syllabus

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.

Syllabus


Journalism and Mass Communication

This course is cross-listed with MCC-UE 1354 (Media, Culture, & Communication)

Prof. Nesbitt
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.

Syllabus

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.

Syllabus

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. 

Syllabus

Prof. Kuznik

Political revolutions, economic upheaval, environmental catastrophe – it’s a troubled era for the planet, but a great time to be an international journalist. Not only world events, but dynamic changes in the speed and flow of information have created unprecedented opportunities to present history as it’s happening to a global audience.

This course offers a hands-on experience in doing exactly that. Building on the fundamentals of journalism and following models developed by some of the world’s finest contemporary reporters and writers, students will have an opportunity to learn the tools of the trade and put them to use in creating their own stories and publication.

International Reporting is an interactive course – students will have a strong hand in shaping its content and direction, exploring topics and issues that interest them in Prague while learning the skills they need to take ideas from conception to publication. Particular attention will be devoted to writing, with individual instruction focused on helping young writers learn to craft compelling stories and develop strong, authoritative voices. Class sessions devoted to reading and critiquing each other’s work will also provide students with feedback from their peers.

There is no textbook for this class, which is keyed to current events. Readings and guidance will be provided by the instructor, who lives for the thrill of a good story. By the end of the course, so will the students.

Syllabus

TBA

Only open to students who have received special permission.  Email sylvan.solloway@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.

Syllabus


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 JOUR-UA 9298, Media and Society, for credit in the major.

Prof. Klvana

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.

Syllabus

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.

Syllabus

This course is cross-listed with JOUR-UA 9505 (Journalism)

Prof. M. Nesbitt
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.

Syllabus

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.

Syllabus

TBA
Only open to students who have received special departmental permission. Please contact Noni Bourne.


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.

Syllabus

Politics

Cross-listed with EUR-UA 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.

Syllabus

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.

Syllabus

Prof. Zieleniec
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.

Syllabus

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.

Syllabus

Prof. Vassogne
This course will focus on the history of the culturally rich region of "Mitteleuropa" through analysis of the parallel evolution of Germany and the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary. Mitteleuropa as a region produced such important figures as Franz Kafka, Gustav Mahler, Sigmund Freud, Theodor Herzl and Milan Kundera; historical personalities whose influence internationally is indisputable. We'll delve into the history of the region and on the central role played by German politics and culture from the end of the 19th century, through the turbulent 20th century to the present day.

Emphasis will be on the evolution of the concept of nationalism as well as on Germany's foreign policy in the "concert of nations", especially towards its Eastern neighbors. The aim is to achieve an understanding of the complex evolution of national entities and their interaction between the birth of the modern German state and the integration of the Visegrád countries in NATO and the European Union.

Syllabus

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. 


Syllabus

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.

Syllabus

Religious Studies

Prof. Mucha

Religion is without doubt one of the most important elements that shaped the history and contemporary face of Central Europe. Religion played an important role in the political and cultural development of this part of the world. The history of the mutual interaction between religion and politics is evident in the cultural richness of this part of the world, particularly in Bohemia and Prague.

This course explores various religious phenomena that formed political ideas and cultural values of this region indifferent historical periods. We examine particularly those religious characteristics and figures that remarkably influenced the world's history and enriched human thinking. First, we study the Christianization of Central European society and the prominent role of religion in the political and cultural transformation of the medieval period. Then we follow the religious reformation process and development of the relationship between Judeo-Christian tradition and the secular world in the early modern period. Finally, we explore the policies of communist regimes in the spheres of religion and culture and study the struggle of Christian churches against communist totalitarianism. The transformation of Catholicism in the 1960s is also examined together with the role of religion in post-communist society.

Excursions to significant historical and religious sights are an important part of the course.

Syllabus

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.

Syllabus

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.

Syllabus

J. Gajdosova

This course will provide a comparative cultural analysis of gender inequalities in a globalizing world, focusing on the spheres of market, politics, and culture. The course will address two distinct questions about gender identity in a globalizing world: "How can women become who they want to be?" and "Who do men want to become?" The course is structured around two topics: the first one focuses on similarities and differences between the postcommunist "East" and the globalizing "western" world. The second explores how the understanding of gender's social significance has changed in response to the fall of communism in Eastern Europe and a newly introduced free market economy, division of public and private spheres, and an overall "westernalization" of postcommunist societies. Students will identify dominant gender ideologies, stereotypes and myths and locate different social institutions-such as work place, labor market, politics, and family-that continue to perpetuate gender inequalities to various degrees in the "East" and the "West". Students will explore how conventional perception of femininity and masculinity facilitates an uneven distribution of power along gender lines and how are these asymmetries reproduced, reinforced, challenged, undermined and transformed in a globalizing world. Debates in this course will be profusely supported by visual materials, including films, documentaries, video clips, internet resources.

Syllabus


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.

Syllabus

Button: Apply Now!

Upcoming Application Deadlines

Spring Semester

Priority: September 15

Regular: October 15

Applications received after October 15 will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Admission will be granted only when space is available and time allows for required travel documents to be attained.   

NYU Footer