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Mary Neuburger, Chair BUR 452, 2505 University Avenue, Stop F3600, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-3607

Spring 2009

CZ 324 • VISIONS OF POST-WORLD WAR II PRAGUE

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
44895 MWF
1:00 PM-2:00 PM
PAR 210
Pichova

Course Description

In the last few years, Prague--known as "The Magical City" or "The Paris of the East"--has been enjoying a steady influx of Western tourists, yet unknown artists, self-searching American students, and ever-optimistic entrepreneurs. The existential possibilities, cultural free-spiritedness and romantic setting of this Central European city have lured many who had not even known of its existence prior to 1989. Indeed, Prague's history is marked by periods of erasure; it is a history afflicted by wars, foreign invasions, and political tyrannies which prevented contact with the rest of the world and which snuffed out "creativity, intelligence and the very breath of life." The last such erasure spanned from 1948 to 1989 and for 41 years displaced Prague from the cultural heart of Europe. How is it then, that following the demise of Communism, this city reemerged so instantly and vivaciously as a crucial and central vein of Europe? Visions of Post-World War II Prague is a course that explores the enormous political changes that influenced the cultural and literary life of Prague following World War II: the Communist takeover of 1948, the Prague Spring of 1968, the Charter 1977, and the Velvet Revolution of 1989. The course is organized around major literary and political figures whose life and work influenced not only political upheavals but formed the cultural life of post-World War II Prague itself.

Grading Policy

Paper (5 pages long) 25% 2 Exams 50% Class participation 25%

Texts

Hrabal, I Served the King of England and Too Loud a Solitude Novak, Commies, Crooks.... Pekarkova, Truck Stop Rainbow Burton, Prague: A cultural and Literary History handouts

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