Magazine created by students of the Department of English and American Studies at Masaryk University.

Motherhood Is a Brutal Experience. Why Shouldn’t You Be a Beast? Rachel Yoder’s Nightbitch

in Current Issue/Reviews

by Blanka Šustrová

 

The image of motherhood we are being served through the media, be it in advertisements or film, depicting always happy, fresh looking, never tired young mothers with perfect bodies who feel no other thing whatsoever but pure love for their babies and seem to be on top of every task that motherhood brings is often a derision of the real experience and may bring feelings of insufficiency in mothers and primary carers. If you would like to read about motherhood from a very different point of view, a very well-crafted one that goes from satirical and darkly funny to magical realism to absurd to horror and leaves you baffled in the end, try Rachel Yoder’s novel Nightbitch. Keep Reading

Once Upon a Modern Time: Fairy Tales as a Way to Address Modern Issues

in Current Issue/Reviews

by Alena Gašparovičová

Shared by creatifrankenstein under Pixabay License via pixabay.com

 

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful young woman in a desperate situation and in need of a prince to rescue her. However, she is the protagonist of a different story. Despite the name of the famous fairy-tale character Cinderella in the title of the book, Laura Lane’s and Ellen Haun’s Cinderella and the Glass Ceiling: And Other Feminist Fairy Tales offers adaptations of a range of well-known traditional fairy tales. The authors use the familiarity of the fairy-tale settings and characters and mould them into a new form. Aimed at a more mature audience, these stories not only present self-sufficient female characters who do not need any man to save them, they also address issues like class, ethnicity and gender identity that resonate through today’s society. All of that is packaged in the form of a fairy-tale rewriting in a humorous and parodic manner. This article offers a review of the collection as well as an analysis of how selected stories in the book challenge the traditional fairy tale stereotypes and address the issues of modern society. Keep Reading

Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou: Wes Anderson’s Cinematography Breakthrough

in Current Issue/Reviews

by Rastislav Domček

 

Ever since its conception in the early 20th century, film as a story telling medium has gone through constant changes. Filmmakers have always drawn their inspiration from the works of their predecessors, in turn providing inspiration for new generations. When Orson Welles decided to use low camera angles to capture the magnitude of his characters in Citizen Kane in the early 1940s, the world of film did its typical dance of repulsion and adaptation. When Stanley Kubrick introduced the world to his hypnotic masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey in the late 1960s, he guided the sub-genre of ‘little green men’ sci-fi to the brave new world of thought-provoking visual splendour. By the late 1990s, Hollywood was dominated by the high-budget blockbuster mega-film. How do you find success following the likes of Steven Spielberg or James Cameron? The answer is to think outside of the box. Keep Reading

Water Problem in the United States

in Current Issue/Views

by Linda Krajčovičová

Olya Kobruseva, Pexels, CC BY 4.0

 

Although access to drinking water is virtually unlimited for the majority of people, a significant part of the world’s population is not so lucky. The misleading consensus that the lack of safe drinking water is exclusively the problem of developing countries has been present in western societies for many years, and it can be argued that such conviction has made these societies quite careless and negligent. This article focuses on one of the most progressive countries of the world – the United States of America, and shows examples of the problems that such an attitude can lead to.  Keep Reading

Emotion: A Gateway to Intercultural Ethics

in Current Issue/Views

by Salim Mustafa

The philosophical and sociological literature shows that there are three major approaches to intercultural ethics. Absolutist approaches try to impose an absolutist view on other cultures; these approaches are impractical as there is no wide agreement as to what is absolutely religiously authoritative, natural, historical or reasonable. Further, the problem worsens when absolutists try to claim their own culture and values are “universal”. It favours a unilinear model of cultural and ethical development. This is one of the major problems of absolutists approaches as it presumes all cultures pass along a single ray of development and meet on an absolute set up of norms and values. The next conception, i.e., cultural relativism, holds that different cultures have their own beliefs and norms which are incommensurable and, therefore, it is not possible to formulate any ethical principles that are acceptable and valid across all the cultures. It holds that different cultures follow a multi-linear and separate model of ethical conduct and development which cannot be united (Evanoff 3). But, all these approaches are insufficient in dealing with cultural differences and in establishing a cross cultural ethical principle. There are loopholes in each of these theories as shown above; their principles turn out to be incompatible with cultural plurality and universal ethical standards. When particulars are considered, universal ethics becomes impossible and when absolute criteria are formulated the diversity is ignored. Hence, these approaches fail to promote an ethics valid across cultures which do not ignore but respect diversity. Keep Reading

“We want to knit our part of the world more closely to your part of the world”: Interview with the Ambassador of New Zealand H.E. Rupert Thomas Holborow

in Current Issue/Interviews

by Kristína Šefčíková and Markéta Šonková  

Photo courtesy of the New Zealand Embassy in Berlin, used with permission.

 

This summer, Re:Views had the honour of interviewing a non-resident ambassador for the first time. H.E. Rupert Thomas Holborow, Ambassador of New Zealand to Germany and non-Resident Ambassador to Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein joined us from Berlin to talk about Czech-New Zealand ties, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, sustainability, the European Union and the Free Trade Agreement currently in negotiations, and even the Lord of the Rings.  

This year marks the 28th anniversary of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and the Czech Republic, although the ties go back as far as 1924 and the former Czechoslovakia. There are also some interesting projects that have been established between our countries, such as the reciprocal working holiday scheme which provides for a 12-month working holiday visa for both Czechs and New Zealanders. How do you perceive the bond between our two countries, and where do you see the crucial milestones? Keep Reading

Those blue parking signs with that H word

in Current Issue/Interviews

by Bryan Felber

 

“My worst enemy,” Lucy calls these signs that either use or evoke the word handicap.

 

Lucy Meyer speaking to officials at the US Ambassador’s Residence in Azerbaijan. PHOTO PROVIDED BY TeamLucyMeyer, USED WITH PERMISSION.

Lucy Meyer, the Spokesperson for the Special Olympics – UNICEF USA Partnership and a global advocate for people with disabilities, places great care in the language she uses, especially when describing people with disabilities. 

 

Living with physical and intellectual disabilities due to her cerebral palsy, Lucy at the age of 22 has won five gold medals in swimming in the Special Olympics and has travelled around the world to advocate for people with disabilities.

 

However, she still gets annoyed by these parking signs every time she goes out.

 

“Why do you hate them?” I ask her.

 

Lucy: “Because we’re not handicapped or disabled people, so we don’t need to use that language toward anyone.”

 

Bryan: “What kind of language do you use when referring to people with disabilities?”

 

Lucy: “Well, I do person first, not the disability. So, like, I’m a person with a disability, but not a disabled person. So, I think person before disability is probably one of the most important things ever. We’re not disabled, handicapped people. We’re just people who need extra help.” Keep Reading

Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, and Megan Thee Stallion: Female Sexuality in Hip-Hop in the 21st century

in Current Issue/Views

by Jana Záhoráková

This article analyses sexually explicit lyrics.

This article will look at how the depiction of women in hip-hop has transformed over the years. First, in the historical origins of hip-hop, the misogynistic portrayals in songs and music videos by male artists were abundant. Later on, the 1990s belonged to female rappers like Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliott, or Queen Latifah and now it is not only people who listened to rap from its infancy, but the whole world that engages in this culture. I will focus on two songs: “Anaconda” by Nicki Minaj and “WAP” by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion. I will first introduce each singer, then analyse the lyrics in these two songs. I will then focus on each song’s reception and the controversies they caused. Keep Reading

“Every day is a new experience”: Interview with the Honorary Consul of Australia Ms Jana Kvasnicová

in Interviews

By Kristína Šefčíková and Markéta Šonková

Photo kindly provided by Austrade, used with permission.

 

Interviewing Ms Kvasnicová was special in at least two ways: for the first time in the history of the magazine, we had the honour of talking to an honorary consul – one of only two such representatives of major English speaking countries based in the Czech Republic. Ms Kvasnicová is also a graduate of our very own Department of English and American Studies, which made the interview all the more special for both sides involved. The fruitful discussion delved into the history of Czech-Australian ties, current developments of said ties heading towards closer cooperation, the role of the European Union in these processes, but also football teams, career advice, and of course, fond memories of the consul’s times at the Department.

This year, we commemorate 100 years since the foundation of diplomatic relations between the former Czechoslovak Republic and the Commonwealth of Australia, as it was exactly 100 years ago when the first Czech diplomatic representation in Australia, the still present Consulate in Sydney, was opened. Yet, the ties go well beyond diplomacy, trade, and numerous bilateral agreements. For example, earlier this year, Prague Zoo raised 20 million CZK to help the Australian fauna after the bushfires that swept across the continent. So, there indeed seems to be quite a palpable sense of solidarity between our nations. How do you personally perceive the relationship between the two countries?

The relationship between the Czech Republic and Australia is very strong. There is keen interest from both governments to engage, and although we can’t travel to and from each other’s countries at the moment, government to government interaction is on-going. We both stand for free and open global markets and we greatly appreciate the support from the Czech Government.

Keep Reading

The Old, the New, and the Queerly Magical World of Dickinson

in Reviews

By Tereza Walsbergerová

Due to the specific blend of genres, styles, and themes it chooses to highlight – all wrapped up in a wildly anachronistic package – Alena Smith’s Apple TV+ historical comedy-drama Dickinson (2019–) will never have the same mainstream appeal as the likes of Downton Abbey, Outlander, or The Crown. That said, there probably has not been a better time for shows that explore the tumultuous past of the West (be it Britain, Canada, or America) through contemporary optics, least of all the optic of a young woman. Similar to Moira Walley-Beckett’s coming-of-age period drama adaptation of L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, Anne with an E , Dickinson offers a view of the old world through the eyes of a young woman so ahead of her time it seems only natural that her opinions be blended with today’s perspectives.  Keep Reading

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