Wondering what courses to take at NYU Prague next semester? We've highlighted a few exciting courses below that former students highly recommend to anyone interested in the history and cultural politics of Central and Eastern Europe as well as NEW course offerings! Examine how the brain learns and how it creates new behaviors in Brain and Behavior or about contemporary Czech history and culture through the lens of some of the most influential works of Czech literature in Contemporary Central and East European Literature. Deepen your understanding of current events and the formation of the European state in History of Nationalism in Central and Eastern Europe or explore the often forgotten history of the Roma in Central East Europe through ethnographic and sociological case studies.
Course Description and Sample Syllabus
The relationship of the brain to behavior, beginning with the basic elements that make up the nervous system and how electrical and chemical signals in the brain work to effect behavior. Using this foundation, we examine how the brain learns and how it creates new behaviors, together with the brain mechanisms that are involved in sensory experience, movement, hunger and thirst, sexual behaviors, the experience of emotions, perception and cognition, memory and the brain's plasticity. Other key topics include whether certain behavioral disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder can be accounted for by changes in the function of the brain, and how drugs can alter behavior and brain function.
What are former students saying?
Course Description and Sample Syllabus
Contemporary Central and East European Literature: From Kafka to Kundera - RUSSN-UA 9832 - 4 points
Offered in the Spring
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.
Students with an interest in national identity and the formation of the modern European nation state will have the ability to explore Central and Eastern European national identities and their formation from the center of a young country whose national identity is ever-developing.
Why is learning about nationalism important now? Hear from your instructor, Milada Prolisenska
Learning about nationalism has been having several phases. Each one was very important and each reacted on previous major political and social movements or catastrophes with a strong component of nationalism. World War II, Nazism and Holocaust was a very strong impuls of nationalism studies starting the 1950´s. War in disintegrating Yugoslavia in1990´s as a major military conflict in Europe since World War II , and its unprecedented ethnic based atrocities, triggered another phase of nationalism studies. Currently, Europe is exposed to many problems and challenges related to nationalism, that have deep historical roots: separatism in Eastern Ukraine, reactions of Central European countries on migrations crisis, increasing emphasis on national values, increasing Euroskepticism, Brexit, separatist movements, rise on nationalism.
Simply: there is never enough of learning about nationalism, always it will include contemporary issues as well as history and always it will be very important .
Course Descriptions and Syllabi
History of Nationalism in Central and Eastern Europe - HIST-UA 9176 - 4 points
Offered in the Fall and the Spring
This course will examine the formation of modern national identities, especially in Central and Eastern Europe. After an in-depth study of the different scholarly theories on nationalism and of the relationships between the three fundamental concepts of nation, nationalism and state, the focus will be on the historical circumstances in which nationalism emerged and on the different ideological bases that supported the emergence of modern nations. We will first analyze the birth of the three first modern nations (England, the USA and France) and then place special emphasis on Central (Germany, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Lands) and Eastern (Russia) Europe. The question of the multinational states (especially the Habsburg Empire) and of the attempt to eliminate national tensions by trying to create nation-states after World War I will be analyzed, as well as the use of nationalism by the two main totalitarian ideologies of the 20th century, National Socialism and Communism. We will also at colonial and post-colonial nationalism, as well as at the role played by nationalism in post-Communist Central Europe.
The rich culture and traditions of the Romany (Gypsy) people are often reduced to the singular image of a people without a state. This course aims to explore the complex culture and politics that birthed the emergence of Romany organizations and forged Roma identity as more than simply a 'stateless nation'.
Course Description and Syllabus
Roma in Central East Europe: Ethnographic and Historical Overview Of A People Without A State - ANTH-UA 9200 - 4 points
Offered in the Fall and the Spring
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.
Why is this Topic so Important Now? Hear from the instructor, Yasar Abu Ghosh
The tumultuous plight of European Roma and Gypsy groups during the 20th century has seen their culture and very existence as a people challenged. Despite being subjected to intense assimilation policies and persecution, they regularly re-emerge with a remarkable revitalizing power. The course therefore provides an overview of the many facets of being Roma in contemporary Europe. As a people without a state and the largest European minority they are the epitome of cultural diversity across borders and time.
I believe this course challenges mono-causal explanations of Romani society and culture and stimulates students to think about Roma in a critical holistic way that brings into consideration the societies they live in.
What can you expect to learn in this class?
You will have the opportunity to regularly discuss topics not only in academic terms, but also with activists and other personalities from the emerging grass-roots Roma movement. The course also builds on knowledge gained during field trips to memory sites and cultural performances like the “theater of the oppressed”.