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Prague and the World: Overcoming the Smallness

Class at Faculty of Arts |


Theme 1: Basic concepts, basic issues

Defining globalization or globalizations. Globalization can be analytically explained as the complex of social processes, which refer to different levels or dimensions of social activity, life production and reproduction, communication, interaction, relationships. Socio-cultural, socio-economic and socio-political dimensions. Time-space compression. Glocalization, different spaces and scopes.

* Week 1

* Marek Hrubec

Theme: Short introduction to the course

The course will offer the Czech global studies perspectives on relations between Prague and the world, focusing on various global aspects of culture, society, economics, politics, and law. The main themes of the course 'Prague and the World: Overcoming the Smallness'. Three course sub-themes: (1) Globalizations, Social Dimensions, and Change, (2) Globalizations, Culture, and Civilization, (3) Globalizations, Political Dimensions, and Intercultural Dialogue. The course requirements and the important information about the course.

* Week 1

* Oleg Suša

* Theme: What is ?globalization"

Basic concepts of globalizations in the making. Time-space changes, different contexts, different globalizations: historical waves. In different times and geographical, political, economic and cultural-spiritual contexts, spaces and scopes created by human social actions, we can identify, define and assess the different and specific historical shapes, forms, practices and forces leading to waves of globalization or de-globalization.

The Czech continental condition situated in the center of Europe in different times and world-stages as relational condition of glocalization.

* Reading

Therborn, G., Globalizations. Dimensions, historical waves, regional effects, normative governance. International Sociology, June 2000, vol. 15, 151-179.

Harvey, D. Time-space compression and the postmodern condition. Harvey,D. 1989, The Condition of Postmodernity, Oxford, Blackwell, 284-307.

* Week 2

* Marek Hrubec

* Theme: Basic concepts of global studies and global cities

Basic concepts and basic issues of global studies. A concept and the reality of global cities. Prague as one of global cities. The East and the West, Prague as the East in the Soviet Block in the past, Prague as the West within the European Union today. A role of the Czech Republic and Central Europe in the global order.

Artificially imagined communities vs. authentic identity. Nationalism and regionalism vs. globalism and cosmopolitanism. The long 19th century (till 1918): the Czech emancipatory nationalism and patriotism in the 19th century, the creation of Czechoslovakia in the end of the World War II (1918), Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. 20th century: the Czech identity and the European integration, regionalism and internationalism, global humanity and cosmopolitanism.

* Required reading

Globalization Theories

Kohák, Erazim (2008), The Edge of Modernity. In Kohák, Erazim, Heart and Horizon: Cultural Identity and Global Humanity in Czech Philosophy. Prague, Filosofia, pp. 51-70.

* Recommended supplemental reading

Kohák, Erazim (2008), Reason and Romance of Nation Building. In Kohák, Erazim, Heart and Horizon: Cultural Identity and Global Humanity in Czech Philosophy. Prague, Filosofia, pp. 71-92.

Johann P. Arnason, (2007), Civilizational Analysis. In Ed. Robert Molton, Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS). Developed under the UNESCO, Eolss Publishers, Oxford.

* Week 3

* Milan Kreuzzieger

* Theme: basic concepts of cultural and global studies

Transformations of the world order, basic paradigms and concepts (detteritorialization, glocalization, hybridization etc). An important question: Is global financial crisis only financial? I think that we should speak not only about financial and economic problems but also about social, political and cultural aspects of this global crisis that probably represents important civilizational historical change.

The parts of the film Roger and Me (dir. M. Moore) and discussion.

* Required reading

J. Nederveen Pieterse, Globalization and Culture: Three Paradigms, in: J. Nederveen Pieterse, Globalization and Culture. Global Melánge. Lanham-Boulder-New York-Toronto-Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 2004, pp. 41-83.

Wallerstein, Culture as the Ideological Battleground of the Modern World-System, in: Mike Featherstone (ed.), Global Culture, 1990, pp. 31-55.

* Recommended supplemental reading

B. Anderson, Imagined Communities. Reflections on the Origin and spread of Nationalism. Verso 2006, pp. 9-36, 37-46, 47-66.

J. Tomlinson, Deterritorialization: The Cultural Condition of Globalization, in: J. Tomlinson, Globalization and Culture, Cambridge 1999, (2004) s. 106-149.

D. Held, A. McGrew, D. Goldblatt, J. Perraton (eds.), Global Transformations. Politics, Economics and Culture. Oxford 2003, pp. 237-375.

Theme 2: Cultural aspects

Cultural exchanges and diffusions were always important for changing or preserving various practices of human groups, communities and societies. Cosmopolitanism, universalism, particularism, localism within the globalizations and de-globalizations processes.

* Week 4

* Oleg Suša

* Theme: Socio-cultural dimensions and change

Central cultural exchanges were religious as well as artistic ideas and images about the world and human predicament, but in the same time also innovative technological and productive practices and technical means/weapons used for creative as well as destructive purposes in the world. Christianity and its role in the making of Bohemia, formation and legitimacy of the Czech premodern state. The interplay between autonomy, authenticity of cultural tradition - and the pressures, influences and adoptions. Czech Christian Reformation as the first Reformation in Europe: its contexts and consequences: Hussite upheaval, revolt, civil war between landlords, Church, urban middle-class. and war for self-defense of reform peoples against Catholic European crusades in the first half of the 15th century. The role of Czech Hussite warfare innovations in development of European technologies of war (new infantry, new equipment, moving tactical armored cars, new uses and constructions of guns) in the West as well as in the East (Ottoman empire and Eastern Europe including Russia).

* Reading

Ritzer, G., The McDonaldization thesis: Is expansion inevitable? International Sociology, Vol 11, 1996, 291-308.

Castells, M. Materials for an exploratory theory of the network society. British Journal of Sociology, vol. 51, 1, 2000, 5-24.

* Week 5

* Marek Hrubec

* Theme: Cultural aspects and intercultural dialogue

Cultural conflicts vs. cultural diversity and recognition of the other, cultural conditions of tolerant and respectful society and the world, relations and co-operation among various secular and religious communities in the global framework, multiple modernities, intercultural dialogue on limits of tolerance. Theology, culture, politics. Cultural or civilizational macroregions: USA, EU, Islamic world, Confucian world, Latin American identity, etc. Real and artificial conflicts among cultures and religions, a dialogue among various cultures, civilizational analyses, multiporal world and the UN. A role of the small nation in the world, international possibilities of the Czech Republic and their realization in 1968 and after the Velvet Revolution 1989.

* Guest in the class (to be confirmed)

Ji?í Dienstbier, ex-minister of foreign affairs (a secretary of state) of the Czech Republic after the Velvet Revolution, ex-UN commissioner: a 20 minute talk and the discussion.

* Required reading

Dussel, Enrique (2008), A New Age in the History of Philosophy: The World Dialogue between Philosophical Traditions. World Congress of Philosophy 2008.

Kohák, Erazim (2008), Crucible and the Inevitable. In Kohák, Erazim, Heart and Horizon: Cultural Identity and Global Humanity in Czech Philosophy. Prague, Filosofia, pp. 117-142.

* Recommended supplemental reading

Samour, Hector (2008), Liberation and Interculturality. World Congress of Philosophy 2008.

Onuma, Y. (1999), Towars an Intercivilizational Approach to Human Rights. In: Bauer, J. R./Bell, D. A. (eds.), The East Asian Challenge for Human Rights. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, pp. 103-123.

?apek, Karel, biography, summaries of works and book excerpts. In the attachment.

* Week 6

* Milan Kreuzzieger

* Theme: Cross-cultural turn and re-presentation of identities

The traditional culture is characterized by social homogenization, ethnic consolidation and intercultural delimitation. The era of global contacts could be characterized by the shift from homogenized and nationalized cultures to open, more flexible and interactive transnational forms. But some people see a danger of cultural unification. One of side effects of fast globalization could be recovery of nationalism and fundamentalism.

* Required reading

W. Welsch, Transculturality: the Puzzling Form of Cultures Today, in: Featherstone, Mike and Scott Lash (eds), Spaces of Culture. City, Nation, World, Sage Publications, London 1999, pp. 194-213.

L. Cartwright, M. Sturken, Image and Power, in: Practices of Looking, Oxford University Press, 2001 /2nd edition 2008/, pp. 10-41, (315-345).

* Recommended supplemental reading

S. Hall, Political Belonging in a World of Multiple Identities, in: S. Vertovec, R. Cohen Conceiving Cosmopolitanism, Oxford 2002, s. 25-31.

S. Hall, The Local and the Global: Globalization and Ethnicity, in: A. King (ed.), Globalization and the World-System, London 1990, pp. 19-39.

J. D. Herbert, Passing between Art History and Postcolonial Theory, in: M. Cheetham, K. Moxey. M. A. Holly (eds.), The Subjects of Art History, NY 1999, pp. 213-228.

Theme 3: Social


Centre of Global Studies. In Week 1, Marek Hrubec will give a short introduction to the course, and then each of them will teach four weeks. Oleg Suša: Weeks 1, 4, 7 and 10. Marek Hrubec: Weeks 2, 5, 8 and 11. Milan Kreuzzieger: Weeks 3, 6, 9 and 12. Each of them will address four themes (1) introduction, (2) cultural issues, (3) social and economic issues, (4) political issues.

The course will offer the Czech global studies perspectives on relations between Prague and the world, focusing on various global aspects of culture, society, economics, politics, and law. It will explain that Prague, the Czech Republic, and Central

Europe are regions with specific roles in the global context. The course will show (1) the Czech interpretations on various global issues, (2) the Czech issues in relations to the global ones.