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Interviews

Report from the 14th ESSE Conference

in Current Issue/Interviews/Other

By Patrícia Iliašová

 

Anne Fogarty’s plenary lecture in Scala. Photo credit: Eva Růžičková.

At the end of August 2018, Brno welcomed around 660 delegates from 55 different countries to the 14th ESSE Conference which ran from 29 August to 2 September. The conference was organized by the Czech Association for the Study of English (CZASE) and the Department of English and American Studies (DEAS), Masaryk University. The conference took place in several venues scattered across the city centre, and consisted of over 60 seminars, 18 parallel lectures, 4 plenary lectures, workshops and a rich cultural programme. Re:Views was fortunate enough to take part in some of the preparations and to have attended some of the sessions. However, to give you an overall insight into the conference, we asked the chair of the Organising Committee, Ivona Schöfrová to answer some questions about the preparations and the conference itself. Keep Reading

“Let Them Love Language”: Interview with Poet Rachel Plummer

in Current Issue/Interviews

By Tereza Walsbergerová

Rachel’s lecture on LGBT children’s literature. Photo credit: English Students’ Club.

 

“The secret me is a boy. / He takes girlness off like a sealskin: / something that never sat right on his shoulders.” Those are the first three lines of the poem “Selkie” by Scottish poet Rachel Plummer who was recently commissioned by LGBT Youth Scotland to write a collection of children’s poems based around LGBT retellings of traditional Scottish myths and stories. In Spring 2018, Rachel accepted ESCape’s invitation to visit our department. She presented a lecture titled Seeing Ourselves: LGBT Representation in Children’s Literature, ran two creative writing workshops, and helped me announce the winners of KAA’s Creative Writing Contest (which she also helped judge for a second time in a row). Although she has been really busy moving into her new house and publishing her book, I have managed to conduct a short e-mail interview with her. Amongst the topics we touched on are her personal and artistic relationship with England and Scotland, Brexit, home education, the role of literature in children’s development, and the canonicity of LGBT literature. Keep Reading

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

in Interviews

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. Keep Reading

“During the time of my career, there have been some very extraordinary changes”: Interview with Her Excellency Barbara C. Richardson

in Interviews
Photo by Jiří Jež

By Makéta Šonková and Anna Formánková

Although not as much talked about as with the U.S. or the U.K., Canada, too, shares long-cultivated ties to our country, and these ties have been growing strong recently. Partly, it might be thanks to the charismatic Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, it might also be thanks to the new foreign trade agreement between Canada and the EU, the ongoing academic and personal interests of people in academia and historians – after all, our very Department of English and American Studies is a shining example of that – but it definitely is thanks to the charismatic and bold new ambassador to the Czech Republic, Her Excellency Barbara C. Richardson.

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

in Interviews

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

in Interviews

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. Keep Reading

“My posting to Prague is definitely the nicest place I have ever been posted to”: Interview with Her Excellency Jan Thompson OBE

in Interviews
HMA with her “embéčko”. Courtesy of the British Embassy in Prague, used with permission

By Markéta Šonková and Anna Formánková

Her Majesty’s Ambassador Jan Thompson has been in the Czech Republic for almost four years. Although she has spent lengthy periods in tough places, including war zones, during her diplomatic career, her job in Prague is no walk in the park either: she has to make sure that the relationship between the UK and the Czech Republic stays strong while Britain transits from an EU state into a non-member state. The topics of Markéta Šonková’s and Anna Formánková’s diplomatic interview were not only Brexit, but also Shakespeare, the position of a woman in diplomacy, as well as why there are cats at the British Embassy in Prague. Keep Reading

Adaptation is characteristic of everything – of all life, all disciplines and all media: Interview with Kamilla Elliott

in Interviews/Views

By Blanka Šustrová

 

Pietro Jeng, pexels.com(1), CC0 1.0(2)
Pietro Jeng, pexels.com, CC0 1.0

It would not be an exaggeration to claim that all of us have experienced some type of adaptation during our lifetime already. People often go to the cinema to watch movies based on their favourite books, play games based on their favourite movies and then read books based on the games. Adaptation is an organic process of information modification, of text shaping and media exploration. But what it is, exactly? Why it is good to stay unfaithful to the source material? And why is interdisciplinarity so important today? Professor Kamilla Elliott, a leading scholar in the field of adaptation studies, was kind enough to provide answers for all these questions and many more!

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The Many Sides of Jeffrey Alan Vanderziel

in Interviews

by Martina Krénová and Tereza Walsbergerová

 

foto úvodníkAlthough he is not leaving the department altogether, the fact that he is stepping down as  head after 15 years definitely feels like the end of an era. That is why we decided to sit down with the former Head and current Deputy Head of the Department of English and American Studies at Masaryk University in Brno, Jeffrey Alan Vanderziel, find out more about his life, and take a peek at the many different sides of the man who has gone from doing the local paper delivery route in San Francisco suburbia to being in charge of one of the oldest English departments in the world. Keep Reading

The Czech Sock in Bristol

in Interviews

 An Interview with Chris White

Written by Blanka Šustrová
Edited by Martina Krénová

Studying English language at university is not unusual these days for non-native speakers. But what if a young English-speaking man from Bristol decides to devote his college years to studying Czech language? It was a pleasure to ask Chris White what had led him to this decision, how he found the language and what the department of Czech studies in Bristol looked like.

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