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Course, academic year 2020/2021
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British + Amer. studies - ORA201020
Title: British + Amer. studies
Guaranteed by: Katedra anglického jazyka a literatury (41-KAJL)
Faculty: Faculty of Education
Actual: from 2009
Semester: winter
E-Credits: 0
Examination process: winter s.:
Hours per week, examination: winter s.:0/12, MC [HS]
Capacity: unknown / unknown (unknown)
Min. number of students: unlimited
Virtual mobility / capacity: no
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: combined
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
priority enrollment if the course is part of the study plan
Annotation -
Last update: Mgr. Jakub Ženíšek, Ph.D. (28.10.2019)
The course is aimed at cultivating the students’ awareness of Anglo-American cultural diversity and historical background, while simultaneously boosting their competence and confidence at giving a short audiovisual presentation on a topic of their choice (see the syllabus below). The length of an individual presentation must not exceed 15 minutes (if there are 3 presentations per session, the target speaking time should be 10 minutes). The topics for the first 4 sessions are decidedly “low-brow” and user friendly, to make up for the short period of time for preparing the presentation. The students who are about to give the presentation are asked to arrive at least 10 minutes before the class or upload their .ppt file prior to the presentation (provided there is no audio or video file appended to it). The students are also asked to take two online quizzes
Literature -
Last update: Mgr. Jakub Ženíšek, Ph.D. (28.10.2019)

Recommended literature:

1.       Higgins, M., Smith, C. The Cambridge Companion to Modern British Culture (Cambridge Companions to Culture). Cambridge University Press, 2010. ISBN-13: 978-0521683463.

2.       Turner, G. British Cultural Studies. Routledge, 2002. ISBN-13:978-0415252287.

3.       Driver, S. Understanding British Party Politics. Polity, 2011.  ISBN-13: 978-0745640785.

4.       Wright, T. British Politics: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2013. ISBN-13: 978-0199661107.

5.       Bryson, B. The Mother Tongue - English And How It Got That Way. William Morrow, 1990.  ISBN-13: 978-0380715435.

6.       Hughes, A., Trudgill, P., Watt, D. English Accents and Dialects: An Introduction to Social and Regional Varieties of English in the British Isles,  Fifth Edition (The English Language Series). Routledge,

          2012. ISBN-13: 978-1444121384.

7.       Hochschild, A. Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves. Mariner Books, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-0618619078.

8.       Darwin, J. Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain. Bloomsbury Press, 2014. ISBN-13: 978-1620400388.

9.       Winch, D. (Ed.) Malthus: 'An Essay on the Principle of Population'. Cambridge University Press, 1992. ISBN-13: 978-0521429726.

10.     Autorské online kvízy vytvořené za pomoci softwaru Hot Potatoes + audio z veřejných zdrojů.

11.     Susan Basnett ed. (1997). Studying British Cultures. Routledge. London.

12.     Krzysztof Knauer and Simon Murray eds. (2000). Britishness and Cultural Studies:

          Continuity and Change in Narrating the Nation. Slask Wydawnictwo Nankowe. Katowice.

3.      Mike Storry and Peter Childs eds. (1997) . British Cutural Identities, Routledge, London

4.      Vaughan-Rees, M., Bystrom, P., Bateman, P. (1995). In Britain. Chancerel.

Syllabus -
Last update: Mgr. Jakub Ženíšek, Ph.D. (28.10.2019)










February 26



WEEK 2 – warm up topics




Most popular British sports & sports originating from Britain/ the US




British football hooliganism (tragic history and improvement)




Celebrity spotlight – a brief cameo of a US or British sport celebrity



British music & musicians – focus on one particular genre


US music & musicians – focus on one particular genre



British film – a close-up on a specific genre



American film – a close-up on a specific genre



Celebrity spotlight – a brief cameo of a film US or British film celebrity




WEEK 3 – Britain past and present




Major differences between Czech and British educational system



History of English Reformation (Henry VII vs Thomas More)



The abolition of slavery in Britain



British suffragist movement



The rise and demise of British colonialism



Charles Darwin



Josiah Wedgwood and the birth of modern marketing



Winston Churchill or Margaret Thatcher: pros and cons



Top ten British inventors




WEEK 4 – US Past and present



The discovery or conquest of America? Understanding Manifest Destiny



Melting pot vs. the salad bowl (explain and illustrate the 2 concepts)



America – The world policeman or a bully?



Religious right vs. secular left (pro-life vs. pro-choice, family values, Darwinism vs. creationism, etc.)



How on earth did Donald Trump get elected?




WEEK 5 – Linguistic corner



History of the English language (mainly in terms of lexis)



British regional dialects and accents (audio samples required)



Major differences between British and American English



Major American regional and ethnic dialects and accents (audio samples required)




Course completion requirements -
Last update: Mgr. Jakub Ženíšek, Ph.D. (28.10.2019)

Classified credit requirements: active class participation; a brief PPT file which is to be (1) presented in class and (2) uploaded through Moodle.

One presentation topic is by default assigned to one student, unless explicitly stated otherwise. Every presentation must also include a brief check-up section (i.e. questions).

The completion of two online quizzes.

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