From Canada to Mexico in One Master’s Programme

By Anna Jílková

North-American Culture Studies is a new, fresh option for MA students at the English Department. Established in 2015 in cooperation with the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, it focuses is both on linguistic and literary aspects. Students can apply either for the Spanish or the French module. Masaryk University gives this major valuable support in study materials and lecturers. Read more

Breaking the Glass Ceiling (?): Women in Politics

By Markéta Šonková

Although constituting about a half of the world’s current population, women are still grossly underrepresented in politics, diplomacy, and positions of power. Taking into account the so-called Western world, women should have equal rights as well as responsibilities. So why there are so few women in high positions? And why do they often have to face belittling, ageism, sexism, harassment; and why is the way they got to their position so often questioned, as if they could not make it on their own, or worse? Why do societies and the media care more about what they wear and what they look like, rather than what they say? And why are there so many double standards? One day, women look too fierce, and the next day, they look too soft to be in politics. At other times, they are criticized for not having children, while in the next second, they get criticized for being too family-oriented to be in top-level politics. It is 2017, so isn’t it time we stopped questioning why women should be equally represented and started supporting political emancipation? After all, more diversity cannot hurt. Read more

Internship in Cascadia Cross-Border Law Firm in Bellingham, WA, USA

By Denisa Krásná

 

Cascadia Cross-Border Law by Denisa Krásná

Last semester, I studied as an exchange student at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. I was fortunate enough to meet the head of the Canadian Studies department David Rossiter during my first quarter at Western who helped me to look for internships in my field. I successfully passed an interview at Cascadia Cross-Border Law, a law firm specializing in immigration and Indian law with offices in Bellingham, WA, Vancouver, BC, and Anchorage, AK. As my Masters program is in North-American cultural studies, the internship at Cascadia Cross-Border Law was particularly fitting because it combined both American and Canadian studies. In my studies, I mainly focus on indigenous issues, and Cascadia offered me the opportunity to explore several areas of Indian law. 

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Deboning the Audience: Sarah Silverman’s Shock Comedy

Tuur Tisseghem, pexels.com, CC BY 4.0

By Blanka Šustrová

What makes people laugh? Is there still a space for racist and rape jokes in today’s comedy? Why do comedians even go into this realm of taboo comedy material and what is their point? These questions and many more were discussed towards the end of September 2017 in an intensive course taught by Thomas Clark, a specialist on stand-up comedy from Tübingen University. In the following article, which I submitted as my final essay of the course, I will show you how certain comedy mechanics work and how is it possible to “read” stand up by analysing a part of Sarah Silverman’s stand-up routine from 2005, which I believe is still relevant twelve years later. Read more

Arbitrary Humanity: The Long Way to A Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

By Michaela Medveďová

A crew comprised of four different species, the universe governed by a galactic government, a wormhole-making spaceship travelling light years away to an unknown world. The setting for Becky Chambers’ The Long Way to A Small, Angry Planet  provides a seemingly perfect opportunity for a breathtaking space adventure, filled with chases and advanced weapons. It is very easy to be tempted to take this road and join the ranks of recently super-popular action-packed sci-fi films that are the uncrowned cultural kings of the last three decades. However, the 2015 book does not quite jump onto this bandwagon. Instead, it opts for the often underrated contemplativeness of the likes of Phillip K. Dick. Read more

Sounds like Something Written by Margaret Atwood

By Petra Polanič

The political climate is eerie. You might wish to use a clever literary reference to illustrate just how dystopian the future could be. Orwellian, by now, is a well-enough known term, present in most major dictionaries. With the increasing significance of The Handmaid’s Tale, both the 1985 novel and the new award-winning series adaptation, Atwoodian might be the adjective to choose. Read more

Howdy! A Letter from Central Texas

By Tomáš Kačer, PhD.

The best thing about going to the United States as a research affiliate is that you have time for research only and don’t have to deal with students. Well – it’s not true. I may have got plenty of time to carry out research and to spend with my family, but at the same time I’m missing teaching and contact with students at all levels. Let me give you my perspective of where I am, what I’m doing there and how things work there. Read more

“I Don’t Repeat Courses. That Would Be Freaky!” Interview with Hanjo Berressem

By Blanka Šustrová

The English Department at the University of Cologne in Germany has been a popular ERASMUS+ destination for many of our students. I have spent my summer 2017 semester at the Englisches Seminar I. (department focused on literature, culture and linguistics) and to anyone thinking about studying abroad at this department I can only say this: go! I have picked courses focusing mostly on American literature and culture and three of them were taught by the chairman for American Studies, Prof. Dr. Hanjo Berressem, a man who never teaches a course twice, who describes himself as “the Pynchon guy” and who agreed to be interviewed by me, despite the fact I’d been already spending almost five hours a week in his courses. Read more

Fighting for the “Right” Version of America: Timeless Review & Analysis

johnhain, Pixabay, CC0 BY 4.0

By Tereza Walsbergerová

Time-travel, popular historical figures, and light humor, but also mystery, conspiracy, and corruption at the very root of America’s past… The American TV series Timeless, created by Eric Kripke (Supernatural) and Shawn Ryan (Lie To Me), is a seemingly straightforward time-travel procedural packed with popular history trivia, stereotypical characters, and overused television tropes, yet its intricate plot also hides a chilling conspiracy theory which is so entangled with the story of America itself that it is often not clear where the truth lies. This article offers a structured review of Timeless along with an analysis of its portrayal of the role of paranoia in American history (1).  Read more