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Kafka in Prague: Connections and Insights International Relations & Political Science Program Fall 2022 Semester CEA & AAU Hybrid - Prague

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Kafka in Prague: Connections and Insights

Kafka in Prague: Connections and Insights Course Overview


CEA Partner Institution: CEA Prague Center
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Primary Subject Area: Cultural Studies
Instruction in: English
Course Code: CUL320PRG
Course Details: Level 300
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 45


Franz Kafka (1883-1924) has become recognized as one of the leading figures in world literature. Perhaps more than any other major author, Kafka is associated with one geographical location: the city of Prague. Kafka lived almost his whole life in Prague, especially on and around Old Town Square.

However, Kafka's works themselves are not explicitly about Prague, nor are they set in Prague. This gives students and scholars of Kafka's works a unique opportunity to interpret Prague history and culture through fiction in a way that is not straightforward, but rather creative, critical, and informed.

In this course, students will learn about the history of this special city (while living in this special city) by reading selected stories by Kafka. At the same time, students will learn about Kafka and his stories through historical and cultural information about Prague and engaging in guided direct experiences of the city. Kafka's lifetime was a particularly complicated time in Prague's history, when it was the node of waves of cultural and social influences: German and Czech, industrialization and the arts, war and peace, Judaism and Christianity, monarchy and democracy, urban and rural, poverty and wealth. Students will endeavor to understand Prague better through Kafka's stories and understand Kafka's stories better through Prague's history and culture. In addition to readings, lectures, in-class activities, and discussions, the course will provide active learning experiences to students, using the city, its historical sites, and its museums as an extension of the classroom.

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