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

The Heavier the Borscht, the Lighter the Burden: Inaccuracies in Czech Representation on American Screens

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By Tereza Walsbergerová

The United States is above all a country of immigrants, which is why it is desirable for American producers and filmmakers to include immigrant and foreign narratives in their stories. While the representation of the larger foreign-born populations in the US (e.g. Mexican, Chinese or Indian) has been constantly improving due to pressure from these communities, the misrepresentation of smaller populations (e.g. Polish or Czech) has not been considered such an issue. However, due to globalization and services such as Netflix bringing American films and TV shows to the rest of the world, producers may soon find themselves under pressure from even these smaller groups. When it comes to the representation of Czech characters and narratives on American screens, it is apparent that producers often do little research, if any, which results in depictions that are often stereotypical or inaccurate. This article offers an overview of inaccuracies in Czech representations on American television with special focus on Jane the Virgin (2014–) and its depiction of the character of Petra Solano.

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The Visiting Presidents

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by Patrícia Iliašová

Since 1918 until today, many presidents of Czechoslovakia (and subsequently Czech Republic) travelled to the United States or received the American presidents in Prague. This article brings an overview of the most significant visits and bonds established between the presidents of these two countries over the one hundred years of the existence of Czech-American relations. Keep Reading

American and Czech Relations – Beyond Politics

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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

A Complete Guide to Your Next Adventure

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Empire State Building. Photo credit: Barbora Sládková.

by Barbora Sládková

The Work & Travel program allows you to come to the USA and experience the culture up close through temporary work and travel opportunities. You have probably studied this country and its culture for countless hours anyway so why not see it for yourself?

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Havel in the Village: American and Czechoslovak Theatre in 1968

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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

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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

Report from the 58th International Short Film Festival Brno 16

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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

Breaking the Glass Ceiling (?): Women in Politics

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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

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

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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

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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

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