From Views

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

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

Labels and Beyond: On Queer Liminality and Fuzzy Edges of Identification

by Tereza Walsbergerová

As most societies still struggle to fully accept gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans people, new sexual and gender identities keep entering the discourse, filling the gaps in representation and aiming to secure a niche in the queer community. While on one hand, these “new” identification labels will perhaps in time lead to a wider variety of queer representation in the media, they also undoubtedly contribute to the fragmentation of the community itself. This article serves as both a general introduction to some of the labels that have recently recently started entering the mainstream as well as a focus on particular issues and controversies related to these identifications in the context of the queer community. Read more

American Presidential Crises

By Pavla Wernerová

While the president of the United States can be considered to be the most powerful person in the world, they are still not free to do anything they want. The president is still limited by many factors such as the Congress and the Supreme Court and even by such factors such as public opinion or the media. The role of the president is defined in the Constitution. In spite of that, there are many grey zones where the Constitution does not deal with the issue linked to the presidency in more details. Since crises related to the presidency were usually a result of the lack of specificity in the Constitution, they can be perceived as not only presidential but also constitutional crises. What are the different kinds of constitution crises? Are they any major differences between them? And what are the examples of the constitutional crises linked to the presidency in history and by what were they caused? Read more

Public Sculpture and Nationalism: The Not-Only-Visual Re-Birth of Irish Identity

The Queen Victoria statue by John Hughes at its original location in Dublin, Ireland, date circa 1908 (photo source National Library of Ireland on The Commons, Flickr.com, no known copyright restrictions)

By Markéta Šonková

The summer of 2017 saw many upheavals. The U.S., too, experienced many. One of them was a public fight over the fate of Confederate statues and monuments. It was the white supremacists’ rally in Charlottesville, Va. which turned violent that renewed attention to these statues. Since then, they have been coming down across the U.S. Public monuments have an interesting role in any society – they represent a link to a nation’s memory and past. However, issues arise when the memory represented by the statues are omnipresent reminders of the grievances of the past. That has been the case not only with the U.S. in 2017, but in other times of national fragility or rebirth. Such as in Ireland at the turn of the 20th century. Read more

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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