Building a Bridge between Theory and Practice: An Interview with Justin Hall

by Blanka Šustrová

 

What was your first contact with comics? A humorous strip in the newspaper or a comics magazine you persuaded your parent to buy for you? Justin Hall, a cartoonist and an Assistant Professor in Comics at the California College of Arts, grew up with comics. Thanks to the Fulbright Program, he came to the Department of English and American Studies last year and taught a course on comics, which is still a rather new academic field. Being a creator as well as a scholar, his goal is to build a bridge between these two worlds of theory and practice. Rean on and discover the origins of comics, Justin Hall’s own work, how the medium might evolve in the near future and enjoy the recommendations.

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The History of American Animation

by Zuzana Motalová

 

Animation. It is present everywhere, from advertisements and PC games to feature films. Some believe that its development has already reached its peak, many more expect that both the artform and the technology behind it will continue to develop. Sometimes, however, it is good to look back to the history as well.

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The concept of post-truth in Donald Trump’s White House

By Markéta Šonková

 

No Muslim Ban February protests in Washington DC by Ted Eytan, (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Political populism is, yet again, on the rise. Be it Marine Le Pen in France, the recently defeated Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, our own president Zeman, or Brexit. Terms such as “post-truth” and “alternative facts” have been creeping into the political discourse and established themselves as powerful tools of the populists. So what is the situation like at the court of the king of political ramble, The Donald?

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I Would Not Have Dreamt of an English Academic Career: An Interview with Professor Milada Franková

by Michaela Medveďová, Anežka Hrežová

Imagine studying English during the period it was considered to be the “enemy” language. Few English-spoken movies, restrictions on books, and scarce contact with native speakers. This is what the Department of English and American Studies looked like in the sixties when Professor Milada Franková was a student here. Now, being one of the most valued members of the Department, she offers an insight into the struggles and joys of a different era. Read more

The Power of Virtual Reality

by Patrícia Iliašová

 

Although I can hear the voice of the instructor, who hands me the controllers of the HTC Vive while explaining which button does what, I find it very easy to forget the reality around me. The small, rather dark room along with the people in it quickly disappears and one forgets how they look with headphones over their heads and a rather large headset attached to the computer with a cable that casually hangs above them. Not even occasional laughs are a great disturbance when the elevator doors open up and I find myself on the top floor of a tall business centre, with the view of the entire city below me, but with only a thin plank for me to stand on. The instructor dares me to jump, but my knees are trembling, and I can feel my heartbeat becoming quicker, although I am aware of the fact that I am still in that room and the plank is just an illusion. Read more

Trump: a Superhero, a Sexist or a Stand-up Comedian?

by Pavla Wernerová

Even though Trump called media “the enemy of the American People” after his inauguration  it is the media who are partly responsible for him becoming the President. Even though “of the 100 circular print newspapers,” only “ two endorsed him”, as the saying goes “even bad publicity is good publicity”. Nevertheless, there is a strong difference between how he is depicted in the left and right-wing media. As Margaret Sullivan, an editor of The Washington Post points out, news makes its way quickly through the media. Quite often, the news which is most bizarre and unbelievable is the news spread by Trump himself: “once the president tweets it, it’s undeniably news, picked up by everywhere and re-amplified — especially by right-wing sites. Even though Trump’s comments are quite often based only on his personal feelings and his desire to express his thoughts on everything he can, his sources are usually unclear. Apart from his comments on the internet, his behaviour and his public speeches also add up to his public image in the media. How is Trump depicted in the American media? In particular, the liberal media, and what is his public image? Is he a superhero, a sexist or a stand-up comedian? And does he actually stay true to his words?

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Post-Brexit Britain According to the Acting British Ambassador

By Markéta Šonková

 

Photo by Eva Růžičková

On March 29, Theresa May triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. With such a step, she commenced a two-year process of the UK exiting the EU. This decision is also the result of last year’s referendum, known simply as Brexit, where the Leave campaign won by a slight, yet decided, margin. On April 11, the acting British Ambassador, Her Excellency Jan Thompson OBE, thanks to the invitation of the Student Section of IIPS, visited the Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, and talked about Czech-UK relations and also about Brexit and the future of Scotland in the light of Brexit.

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