AAU Academy LovePrague Course

Genius of Prague

Explore Prague through the lens of Music, Architecture, Literature, and Film, and get a glimpse of some extraordinary artists who shaped history.  

30 Years of Education
Track LovePrague
Instructor Multiple
Date February 2 - 23, 2021
Format Four-week course
Delivery On campus / in city
Price 6,000 CZK
Language English
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Course Description

Four aspects of Prague introduced by four experts in four sessions.

Join author and musician Pavla Jonssonova to learn about Czech musical greats in Prague Soundscapes, and art historian Marek Cerveny to get insight into Modern Prague Architecture, focusing on Art Nouveau, Cubism and Constructivism. 

Professor Richard Stock will introduce Franz Kafka’s works and ‘’his’’ Prague at the turn of the 20th century, and actor and producer Joe Weintraub will round off the course with a glimpse into the cinematic genius of Milos Forman and perhaps inspire participants to create their own films using the beautiful backdrop provided by the City of a Hundred Spires.

Learning Outcomes

  • Delve deeper into Prague’s history with academic insight through experiential classes
  • Meet the great names and understand the styles that helped shape Prague from a city on the periphery of an Empire to the bustling capital of an independent Republic.

Methodology

This is an active learning course involving dialogue and experiential learning around the city. It is an academic course and the lecturers will provide insights from research, historical accounts, and lead participants while exploring real sites around the city.

Each session is 3 hours long. Sessions 1 and 2 will be conducted by walking around Prague, thus good shoes and some refreshment (water etc.) recommended. A coffee break in a café is included, with free coffee or soft drink for each participant. Sessions 3 and 4 will be combine in-class lecture and a walk to relevant places in the city.

Schedule and Course Content

For a detailed course schedule and content, please download the Course Outline.

Session 1: Music

Prague Soundscapes (Pavla Jonssonova)

After meeting at Výtoň tram station. Participants will then head over to the cemetery of the Czech greats, where we will pay our respects to the best Czech composers Bedřich Smetana, Antonín Dvořák, opera diva Emmy Destinn and country music star Waldemar Matuška. Then we take the metro to Dvořák´s museum. Our final stop will be at Reduta jazz club, where president Clinton performed for Václav Havel.

Materials

A copy of Prague Soundscapes by Zuzana Jurková will be provided for all participants to complete the walk with readings.

Meeting point

Výtoň tram stop (by Naplavka)

Session 2: Architecture

Modern Prague – Art Nouveau, Cubism and Constructivism (Marek Červený)

The Architecture session will start with a short introduction to the position of Prague, its population, and the complicated artistic situation at the end of 19th century. After that we will proceed into the New Town where most of the famous examples of Modern architecture can be found. We will discuss how the National Revival movement reflected its ideas in architecture and how the younger generations of artists rebelled against this “old fashioned” tradition replacing the traditional and national, with cosmopolitan and modern turning their attention first to nature, and then to geometry. We will explain such structures as the National Theatre, Palacký Monument, Municipal house, examples of Cubist architecture, the Bank of Czechoslovak Legions and many more covering the period between 1880s and late 1920s.

Meeting point

Park Národního Probuzení on the Smetanovo nábřeží between National Theatre and Charles Bridge
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/yWmQVXxttEq2SqmX8

Session 3: Literature

Walk with Kafka (Richard Stock)

Week 3 will introduce participants to Franz Kafka and his fiction. This three-hour session will begin with a short introductory workshop on Franz Kafka and his works. Participants will learn about Kafka as well as read and discuss one of his short stories. This one-hour classroom portion will prepare everyone to go out into Prague and see Kafka-relevant sites for the remaining two hours. Commentary will be provided while viewing most of the places Kafka lived in Prague and the two major monuments to Kafka in the center of Prague. The walking part of the tour starts at AAU and ends near the Narodni trida metro station and tram stop. Since much of the architecture in Prague was present in Kafka’s time, and also since Kafka loved to walk Prague’s streets, the walk gives a feeling for who Kafka was, where his stories come from, and what Prague was like 100 years ago.

In this session we will explore together the following:

  • Why is Palach a hero in the Czech consciousness?
  • What is the role of responsibility in the face of repressive systems like communism? 
  • What did Palach’s short life ignite in students and adults in the Velvet Revolution and today?

Meeting point

AAU Campus, Letenska 5
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/uppjN5e5Y2B9B4q78

Session 4: Film

Cinematic Prague (Joseph Weintraub)

In our film session, we will be led by actor, instructor, and producer Joe Weintraub, who will take us on a historical and socio-political journey through the lens of a cinematic Prague. We will learn about the films made in, about, and around the “city of a hundred spires.” We will also discover a bit about the filmmaking process by preparing for our own filmmaker’s excursion through the city. So join us as we look at Prague through the cinematic perspective. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the next Miloš Forman!

Materials

Handouts will be provided at the start of class.

Meeting point

AAU Classroom

Your Instructors

AAU Academy Instructor, LovePrague Courses
AAU Senior Lecturer

Pavla Jonssonová specializes in contemporary culture and subcultures. Her publications include three monographs Women, Music, Creativity: from Hildegard to Cosey Fanni Tutti in English, Devět z české hudební alternativy osmdesátých let (Czech Music Alternative of the 1980s) (English version pending) and Růžové vrány. Muzikantky 21. Století (Interviews with twenty Czech women musicians), numerous articles, interviews, poetry, and translations. Since 1980 she has performed in various rock bands e.g. Plyn, Dybbuk, Zuby nehty, who produced numerous albums and a film for television. Currently, she plays the bass for Malé zuby. She is a member of a civic association Puppets in Hospitals who perform for sick children.

AAU Academy Instructor, LovePrague Courses
AAU Lecturer

Marek studied at Charles University where he obtained his master’s degree at the Department of Art History of the Faculty of Arts. He worked as an assistant to Prof. David Holeton (Charles University), Prof. Nicholas Sawicki (Lehigh University) and for the Cahen Archives, Canada. His own research focuses on modern Czech art, official art commissions and funeral art. He also works as a private tour guide.


Richard Stock, Ph.D

AAU Academy Instructor, LovePrague Courses
CEA Center Director

Originally from the Chicago area, Rick has lived in or near Prague since 1998 with his wife and three daughters. Rick is the Center Director at CEA. He’s taught in study abroad programs in Prague and served as Academic Director at CIEE Prague. He also directed the creation of a new M.A. program at CERGE-EI for European students. Rick holds a Ph.D. from Charles University in Prague, an M.A. in Literature and Theory from the University of Illinois, and an M.A. in the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language from the University of Reading in the U.K. His teaching and research at the university level focuses on American Literature and Literary Theory. He also teaches a course on the Prague writer Franz Kafka aimed at American study-abroad students. Rick studied Teacher Education as an undergraduate and is deeply interested in teaching, education, and learning.

Joseph Weintraub, M.A.
AAU Academy Instructor, LovePrague Courses
AAU Lecturer

Mr. Weintraub has been living in Prague for several years, teaching a variety of subjects from business to politics to humanities. His academic background is in Linguistics. He also works in the film industry as a Dialogue Coach, actor, and producer.

See what our students have to say

We do almost all of our projects in small international teams, and we work together like we would in a business company and synergize our different ideas. There's flexibilities to meet with teachers outside of class, and ask them questions, not just specifically things we learn in the class.

Ann Connolly
Business Administration, United States of America

AAU makes networking incredibly easy to do. I was able to participate in various events that don't necessarily connect to my coursework like conferences, literature festivals, debates, lectures, etc. When I was President of the Diplomatic Club, AAU helped me get in touch with event-organizers, which, for example, allowed us to host an event during the Festival of Democracy organized by the famous Forum 2000 conference.

Anastasia Mezenina
Business Administration, Russian Federation

Meet the people

Dana Aleksic

External Outreach Manager dana.aleksic@aauni.edu

Eva Rivera, Ph.D.

Vice-President for Institutional Advancement eva.rivera@aauni.edu
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