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Předmět, akademický rok 2015/2016
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Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in American History and Literature - JMMZ205
Anglický název: Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in American History and Literature
Zajišťuje: Katedra severoamerických studií (23-KAS)
Fakulta: Fakulta sociálních věd
Platnost: od 2015
Semestr: oba
Body: 6
E-Kredity: 6
Rozsah, examinace: 1/1 Zk [hodiny/týden]
Počet míst: zimní:15 / 15 (15)
letní:neurčen / neurčen (15)
Minimální obsazenost: neomezen
Stav předmětu: vyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Poznámka: předmět je možno zapsat mimo plán
povolen pro zápis po webu
při zápisu přednost, je-li ve stud. plánu
předmět lze zapsat v ZS i LS
Garant: David Lee Robbins, Ph.D.
Mgr. Marcela Janíčková
doc. PhDr. Jiří Vykoukal, CSc.
Vyučující: Mgr. Marcela Janíčková
David Lee Robbins, Ph.D.
Anotace -
Poslední úprava: David Lee Robbins, Ph.D. (28.01.2018)

An overview of American cultural history from the perspective of its racial and ethnic minorities. The course examines the notions of ethnicity, cultural diversity, and the "other" in the U.S. present and past. It focuses on the problematic struggle of various disempowered, marginalized "minorities" in American society to gain recognition as full and equal members of a society that claims to be a haven for all oppressed from the rest of the world -- a society that prides itself on its openness, pluralism, and equality of opportunity. We shall see that, rather than attacking the hypocrisy of this society, minorities have now and again chosen to appeal to the fairness of the very people who exclude them. It is quite surprising that the speakers of the disempowered have, historically, been the most hopeful, most ardent proponents of the country's ideals. We shall examine the rhetoric of their attack on -- or appeal to? -- the "majority" and the majority's response.

This course is offered as one of the core courses for students of Intercultural Studies in Prague program. The other course JMMZ - Imperial Nations and Subject Peoples: Czechs in the Austrian Empire (17th - 21st ct.) is in many ways comparative: we explore different attitudes to and roles of race and ethnicity in Europe and in the U.S.

All participants of Race, Ethnicity and Gender course are welcome to attend, at their very reasonable expense, four optional trips to interesting locales in the Czech Republic and a four-day trip to Vienna.

Terezin concentration camp and Nazi prison
Kutna hora and Bone Chapel in Sedlec
An overnight trip to Cesky Krumlov, monastery Golden Crown and the medieval castle Maiden Stone
Hiking in the natural preserve Bohemian Paradise
4-day trip to Vienna

Sylabus -
Poslední úprava: David Lee Robbins, Ph.D. (17.09.2016)


Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in American History and Literature


Course supervisor: David L. Robbins, PhD

Instructors: prof. David Robbins, PhD, Blanka Maderová, PhD, Mgr. Marcela Janíčková,


Recommended number of ECTS credits: 6

Class meets once a week for 2 hours (lecture and seminar).



Grading procedure:


Evaluation is based on 1 comparative essay on a topic discussed with an instructor (8 pages, spacing 1,5, font Times New Roman p.12).



Two absences are permitted. If you are absent more times, you will be asked to write a paper to make up for the class(es) missed.



Course Content:


1) Ideological foundations of American society I.

    R.W. Emerson: "Circles"    

     excerpts from A. de Tocqueville: Democracy in America [1835 and 1840]


2) Ideological foundations of American society II. --

    R.W. Emerson: "Spiritual Laws", "Politics"

    excerpts from:

    A. de Tocqueville, Democracy in America [1835 and 1840]

    J. H. St. J. de Crevecoeur: Letters from an American Farmer [1782]

    and from the work of J.F. Cooper and B. Franklin



3) Ideology of the self-made man and of the American dream

    F.S. Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby [1925]

     excerpts from  Autobiography of Frederick Douglass [1845]



4) Becoming "white American" - European ethnic immigration to the USA in the second half of the 19th    century

    excerpts from:

    Mary Antin, The Promised Land [1912]           

    Jennifer L. Hochschield: Facing up to the American Dream [1995]

     Noel Ignatiev, How the Irish Became White [1995]


5) Hispanic immigration

    excerpts from Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza [1987]


6) Early American feminist writing

    Elizabeth Cady Stanton, "The Solitude of Self" [1892]

    Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "Yellow Wallpaper" [1899]

    Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, chapter Master and Slave [1807]

     Stanton, Seneca Falls Woman's Rights Convention, Declarations and resolves [1848]

     excerpts from Margaret Fuller, Woman in the Nineteenth Century [1845]


7) 20th-century American feminism

    excerpts from Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique [1963]

    excerpts from Judith Butler, Gender Trouble [1990]


8) Antebellum South, rhetorics employed to justify and oppose slavery and racism;

    traditional, southern rendering of the Reconstruction that became the nation's interpretation in the early

    20th ct

    Eric Foner, Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction[2006]

    chapter 2: Forever Free

    Kenneth M. Stampp: "The Tragic Legend of Reconstruction" in Reconstruction - An Anthology of

    Revisionist Writings [1967]


9) Meanings of freedom for African Americans after the Civil War -- Presidential Reconstruction and         achievements of Congressional Reconstruction

     Foner, Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction[2006]

     chapter 4: An American Crisis

     chapter 5: The Tocsins of Freedom (with the exception of  p. 134 , paragraph"In 1867 ..." to page 137, 

     paragraph "Hostile contemporaries ...")


10) The "Jim Crow" era as documented in contemporary black writers

    W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk[1903]

    Cha 1: Of Our Spiritual Strivings

    Cha 3: Of B.T. Washington and Others

    excerpts from B.T. Washington: Up From Slavery [1901]

     poetry of Paul Laurance Dunbar; excerpts from Marcus Garvey


11) 20th-century African-American writers I

     James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name [1949]

     chapters: "Discovery What It Means to Be an American", "In Search of a Majority"

     excerpts from Richard Wright, Native Son [1940] and  Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man [1952]

     poetry of Langston Hughes


12) 20th-century African-American writers II

    Alice Walker, The Color Purple [1982]


13) The Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Rights, and Gay Rights Movements of the second half of the    twentieth century; their various rhetorics and manifestations

     M. L. King, "Black Power" in Where Do We Go From Here?" [1967]

     Malcolm X, "The Ballot or the Bullet" [1964]

     excerpts from Stokeley Carmichael, Eldredge Cleaver, Angela Davis, and gay liberation activists;    

     poetry by Maya Angelou


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