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
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).
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.
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"
A. de Tocqueville, Democracy in America [1835 and 1840]
J. H. St. J. de Crevecoeur: Letters from an American Farmer 
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 
excerpts from Autobiography of Frederick Douglass 
4) Becoming "white American" - European ethnic immigration to the USA in the second half of the 19th century
Mary Antin, The Promised Land 
Jennifer L. Hochschield: Facing up to the American Dream 
Noel Ignatiev, How the Irish Became White 
5) Hispanic immigration
excerpts from Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza 
6) Early American feminist writing
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, "The Solitude of Self" 
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "Yellow Wallpaper" 
Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, chapter Master and Slave 
Stanton, Seneca Falls Woman's Rights Convention, Declarations and resolves 
excerpts from Margaret Fuller, Woman in the Nineteenth Century 
7) 20th-century American feminism
excerpts from Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique 
excerpts from Judith Butler, Gender Trouble 
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
Eric Foner, Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction
chapter 2: Forever Free
Kenneth M. Stampp: "The Tragic Legend of Reconstruction" in Reconstruction - An Anthology of
Revisionist Writings 
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
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
Cha 1: Of Our Spiritual Strivings
Cha 3: Of B.T. Washington and Others
excerpts from B.T. Washington: Up From Slavery 
poetry of Paul Laurance Dunbar; excerpts from Marcus Garvey
11) 20th-century African-American writers I
James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name 
chapters: "Discovery What It Means to Be an American", "In Search of a Majority"
excerpts from Richard Wright, Native Son  and Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man 
poetry of Langston Hughes
12) 20th-century African-American writers II
Alice Walker, The Color Purple 
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?" 
Malcolm X, "The Ballot or the Bullet" 
excerpts from Stokeley Carmichael, Eldredge Cleaver, Angela Davis, and gay liberation activists;
poetry by Maya Angelou