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

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

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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. Keep Reading

The History of American Animation

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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

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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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The Power of Virtual Reality

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by Patrícia Iliašová

 

Although I can hear the voice of the instructor, who hands me the controllers of the HTC Vive while explaining which button does what, I find it very easy to forget the reality around me. The small, rather dark room along with the people in it quickly disappears and one forgets how they look with headphones over their heads and a rather large headset attached to the computer with a cable that casually hangs above them. Not even occasional laughs are a great disturbance when the elevator doors open up and I find myself on the top floor of a tall business centre, with the view of the entire city below me, but with only a thin plank for me to stand on. The instructor dares me to jump, but my knees are trembling, and I can feel my heartbeat becoming quicker, although I am aware of the fact that I am still in that room and the plank is just an illusion. Keep Reading

Trump: a Superhero, a Sexist or a Stand-up Comedian?

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by Pavla Wernerová

Even though Trump called media “the enemy of the American People” after his inauguration  it is the media who are partly responsible for him becoming the President. Even though “of the 100 circular print newspapers,” only “ two endorsed him”, as the saying goes “even bad publicity is good publicity”. Nevertheless, there is a strong difference between how he is depicted in the left and right-wing media. As Margaret Sullivan, an editor of The Washington Post points out, news makes its way quickly through the media. Quite often, the news which is most bizarre and unbelievable is the news spread by Trump himself: “once the president tweets it, it’s undeniably news, picked up by everywhere and re-amplified — especially by right-wing sites. Even though Trump’s comments are quite often based only on his personal feelings and his desire to express his thoughts on everything he can, his sources are usually unclear. Apart from his comments on the internet, his behaviour and his public speeches also add up to his public image in the media. How is Trump depicted in the American media? In particular, the liberal media, and what is his public image? Is he a superhero, a sexist or a stand-up comedian? And does he actually stay true to his words?

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MNMLSM

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by Bára Skorkovská

The internet connects people, making the spread of new ideas and comparison of lifestyles easier than ever. But with all the new and exciting information comes the fear of being lost in the wide world, of being forgotten, and of not living life to the fullest. Many people spend the most productive parts of their lives working to acquire the money to enjoy the rest of it, only to discover that their life slipped between their fingers as they were working a dull job or spending money on useless items. Maybe because of this uncertainty and anxiety that affect mainly younger generations, the spread of alternative lifestyles is becoming a new trend. One of those is minimalism and the following article shall explain the art of letting go of the worthless to make space for things that really matter.

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Fanart Activism: Fan Participation as a Tool for Representation and Diversity Awareness

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by Tereza Walsbergerová

Watching a film or a TV show, listening to a podcast, or reading a book, every once in awhile there comes a

Watching a horror movie – by Jay “tacogrande”

point when one thinks, “dang, I wonder if any character in this will ever look, feel or act like me.”. At that point, many turn to fanfiction – a great source of elaborate studies of minor and supporting characters as well as alternative scenarios or additional narratives that never “made it” into the original work. Often in tandem with fanfiction, one may also encounter fanart – certainly a more conspicuous kind of online fan participation. Not only is fanart more accessible to those who do not want to spend their evenings reading pages of text, but due to its visual character it has much bigger potential of becoming a special kind of sociopolitical activist tool by raising awareness about representation and diversity amongst fans of all ages from all over the world. This article focuses on this specific role of fanart by introducing three different artists and their works within three different American fandoms. Keep Reading

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