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

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American and Czech Relations – Beyond Politics

in Current Issue/Views

By Nika Göthová

Why do Americans come and study in the Czech Republic? How do they get here and what happens once they are here? How long does it take to get a visa and how do they feel about the people of central Europe? What reactions do inhabitants of Brno have about the Americans? What do the relations of these two groups look like in everyday life and everyday perceptions outside of the scope of embassies, politics and media? Keep Reading

Havel in the Village: American and Czechoslovak Theatre in 1968

in Current Issue/Views

by Tess Megginson

1968 was a watershed year for political activism and artistic expression in both the United States and Czechoslovakia. The United States’ failure in the Tet Offensive led to an unprecedented number of protests against American involvement in Vietnam. Czechoslovakia’s relaxation of censorship laws led to an unprecedented number of publications. Throughout the mid-to-late 1960s, the theatre scenes in Prague and New York City experienced similar upheavals against conventional theatre. It was in this political and creative climate that Václav Havel visited the United States for the first time to see the first American performance of his play, The Memorandum, at the New York Public Theatre in April 1968. Arriving only weeks after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Havel encountered an America as tumultuous and changing as his home country. I will use Havel’s visit to New York City to discuss the political climate at the time, focusing on the American theatre scene in a year that has become synonymous with political activism and rejection of the status quo. In 1968, Czechoslovak and American theatre fostered the unconventional and the absurd. Keep Reading

From Canada to Mexico in One Master’s Programme

in Views

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. Keep Reading

Breaking the Glass Ceiling (?): Women in Politics

in Views

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. Keep Reading

Report from the 58th International Short Film Festival Brno 16

in Reviews

By Barbara Ocsovayová

Brno16, or B16, in Czech “Brněnská šestnáctka”, is an international festival of short films. In the beginning, the festival only featured films with a 16mm format but now includes other formats as well. The filmmakers range from professionals to students. The topic for this year’s festival was “We Are Family”. Keep Reading

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

in Views

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

in Views
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. Keep Reading

Sounds like Something Written by Margaret Atwood

in Other

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. Keep Reading

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

in Reviews

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. 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

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