Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be cancelled due to insufficient enrollment.
CIEE Study Center Syllabi
To view the most recent syllabi for courses taught by CIEE at our Study Centers, visit our syllabi site.
Required CIEE Language Courses
CZEC 1001 PRA
Beginning Czech Language, I
CZEC 1002 PRAG
Beginning Czech Language, II
(Academic Year students in spring semester)
CZEC 1101 PRAG
Beginning Czech Language, Fast Track
CZEC 2001 PRAG
Intermediate Czech Language, I
CZEC 2002 PRAG
Intermediate Czech Language, II
(Academic Year students in spring semester)
CZEC 3001 PRAG
Advanced Czech Language, I
These courses provide students with the basic skills needed to communicate on a daily basis, including grammar, conversation, listening, and reading comprehension. During the first two weeks, students study Czech language five hours each day. Students then continue language study with classes two days per week. Students are placed into classes based on language background. Contact hours: 115. Recommended credit: 4 semester / 6 quarter hours.
CIEE Area Studies Courses
AHIS 3001 PRAG
Art and Architecture of Prague
This course provides a survey of art and architecture, especially housing styles, which have influenced the development of Prague and other major European cities from the Middle Ages through the 20th century. Excursions to art galleries and related architectural monuments are combined with classroom lectures.
AHIS 3003 PRAG
Modern Czech Art: Czech Modern and Contemporary Art and Architecture
Combining classroom lectures with gallery visits, this course acquaints students with 20th century art movements and tendencies. Based upon the analysis of the oeuvre of key Czech artists and various topics, ranging from the expressions of Czech national identity in the finde-siecle art to the art produced under the Communist regime, the course tackles the social and political development of the Central European region.
AHIS 3005 PRAG
Czech Architecture and Design
The course focuses on the development of, and formal changes in, the built environment: architecture, interiors, furniture, and other objects of daily use (glass, fashion, metalwork, cars) from the Middle Ages to the present. It examines the transition of the Czech decorative art to mass produced design including the way of life and social changes in the 20th century and includes guided visits to related museum collections and galleries.
ANTH 3001 PRAG
Anthropology of Czech Society and Culture
This course aims to introduce students with some of the most relevant historical and contemporary issues of Czech society and culture from an anthropological perspective. Based on ethnographic case studies, among other literary and visual sources, connections are made between memory and history, narrative and experience, change and continuity, past and present.
CEAS 3001 PRAG
Czech and Central European History
This course gives an overview of the national history of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, inhabitants of the region, and their neighbors, from the arrival of the Slavonic tribes to the present. It provides an overview of political, social, and cultural developments that have influenced the current state of affairs in the Czech Republic.
CEAS 3002 PRAG
Contemporary Czech Culture: Alternative Literature, Music, and Lifestyles
For this class, contemporary Czech culture is studied not as the “most refined human endeavors,” but as “everyday culture.” The instructor, an urban anthropologist with hands-on experience in local subcultures, provides her analysis of the roots of Czech underground and alternative on the background of Prague’s genius loci. Current hot topics such as graffiti and street art, squatting, and the alternative music scene are discussed. Students study how young non-conformist Czechs have made use of popular culture, how they create their communities and identities, and how they try to join the creative stream.
CEAS 3003 PRAG
Collective Identity in a Totalitarian Regime
This course examines the totalitarian oppression from the point of view of ordinary citizens in socialist Czechoslovakia. It focuses on the construction of collective mentality through everyday official/public and unofficial/private activities, including mass parades, ceremonies and performances, work relations, children’s education, housing schemes, or collective vacationing. The goal is to demonstrate the consequences of life in an oppressive regime: suppression of fundamental forms of civic interaction, such as independent public communication, and distortion of moral and behavioral norms.
CEAS 3006 PRAG/COMM 3002 PRAG
Ethnic and Religious Identity and Prejudice in a Central European Context
The course will teach students how ethnic and religious affiliations shape group self-image and how they influence the way they are perceived by others. Students will be introduced to a number of insider's and outsider's group perspectives relevant to Central European context. They will learn how analyzing communication patterns helps to detect group prejudice. Students will be involved in practical qualitative research assignments. After finishing this course the students will be able to identify and describe religiously and ethnically shaped world views and their role in group self-perception and perception of religious/ethnic groups by others. They will be able to design proper methodology and to research communication patterns, thus allowing them to articulate an informed and scientifically justifyable opinion about the group attitudes related to ethnic/religious identity.
CINE 3009 PRAG
Students learn about the most important trends and moments in the history of Czech cinematography and examine films within their historical, political, and cultural context. This course includes weekly screenings of Czech films. The emphasis is put on the postwar period, particularly on the 1960s and contemporary cinema.
CINE 3011 PRAG
East European Cinema
This course studies the most important trends and movements in the history of Eastern/ Central European Cinema and puts film production within its historical, political, and cultural context, focusing on the postwar contemporary period. Subjects of study are featured films of Czech, Slovak, Polish, Hungarian, former Yugoslavian, and Soviet/Russian production.
COMM 3301 PRAG
Intercultural Communication and Leadership
In this class, participants will develop skills, knowledge, and understanding that will help them communicate and engage more appropriately and effectively in Prague as well as in other intercultural contexts. Students will explore various topics in intercultural communication in the context of their experience abroad, and will practice intercultural learning processes that they can apply when working across difference in a wide variety of contexts. Participants will increase their own cultural self-awareness and develop personal leadership skills to help them become more effective in an interdependent world. Learning will involve in class exercises, active reflection, discussion, readings, field reports, short lectures, and out-of-class activities that engage students in the local culture on a deeper level. Contact hours: 42. Recommended credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
COMM 3001 PRAG/CEAS 3004 PRAG
Media Impact in Central Europe: Past and Present
This course examines the role and impact of international and domestic media on political developments in Central Europe, examining the way of doing journalism at Prague-based Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and comparing it to the approaches of other media companies. The course looks at journalism, technology, and logistics used by RFE/RL during the Cold War, and at its current ways of providing information to areas of the world where the press is restricted or tightly controlled. Journalists from RFE/RL and other media are frequent guest speakers. A key aspect of the course is the focus on coverage of religious, ethnic, and other emotionally sensitive issues, and students gain special insights into coverage of current events. They learn about the dynamics of social tensions in transitional and post-communist societies, and how the media is contributing to shaping the history of countries faced with their legacy and with the new challenges of EU membership.
ECON 3003 PRAG
Comparative European Economic Systems
This course integrates two topics: economic analysis of European integration and comparative studies of economic systems of European countries and their dynamics. The course focuses not only on institutions of the EU, its policies, and economics of their functioning, but also on implications of differences between economic and social models of the member countries for the future stability and international role of the EU.
ECON 3004 PRAG
The Economics of the European Union
The EU as we know it has been formed by three creative processes—deepening of the integration, enlargement of the EU, and economic transformation in former socialist countries. After introducing those processes and some theoretical background, different international and internal EU economic activities are broadly analyzed.
ENVI 3001 PRAG
European Environmental Studies
This course examines the relationship between human society and the natural environment with a specific focus on the Czech landscape as a place for human-nature interaction. In addition the course explores European integration from an environmental perspective, the ecological footprint and problem of climate change, and environmental ethics in contemporary European society.
GEND 3002 PRAG
Gender in the Czech Republic and Europe
This course focuses on the definition and redefinition of gender norms and how these influence both expectations and actual lives of people in the Czech Republic and Central Europe, paying attention to how gender roles have been shaped by communism, post-communism, etc. It also examines the state of feminism in the post communist period and issues of minority women.
INRE 3001 PRAG/HIST 3001 PRAG
Europe and the United States: Transatlantic Relations Past and Present
Topics discussed include Europeanism and Eurasianism; the relationship between religion and politics in Europe and the U.S.; Czech, Polish, and British Pro-Americanism versus origins of German and other Anti-Americanisms; and the Cold War between communism and democracy as a conflict and solidarity between Europe and the U.S.
INSH 3003 PRAG
Qualified students choose from several pre-screened internship positions with local, mostly non-governmental organizations, which may be involved in education, film, organization of international political conferences, local and global human rights issues, and library and administrative work in the field of economics. Students record their experiences in a journal, which is evaluated weekly during the internship, and complete a final research paper. Evaluation is by assigned CIEE faculty, the internship supervisor and the Resident Director. Pre-approval must be obtained from the Resident Director and the student's home institution.
LITT 3001 PRAG
Modern Czech Literature
This course focuses on Czech literature of the 19th and 20th century within the framework of European historical and literary developments and the phenomenon of literary modernism. It provides insights into the history of Czech cultural space. Experience with conceptual thinking on literature is recommended. Instructor:
PHIL 3001 PRAG
Technology, Totalitarianism, and Individual
The course explores the relevance of philosophy on day-to-day social, political, economic, and cultural life. It focuses on the philosophical foundations of political and economic movements, as well as major cultural movements such as science and technology, post-modern art and literature, and popular culture in general. Among the themes discussed are the ontology of objectivity and subjectivity, relativism, consumerism, capitalism and communism, scientific positivism, philosophy of language, and art. Selected writings from the Czech poet/ dramatist and political activist/leader Vaclav Havel and the Czech philosopher Jan Patočka are studied alongside of the principle text Escape from Freedom by Eric Fromm.
POLI 3002 PRAG
This course covers the roots and development of the political system now operative in the Czech Republic. Topics studied include: Czechs, Slovaks, and other national groups; political parties; the Velvet Revolution, and the Velvet Divorce.
POLI 3004 PRAG
Czech Concepts of National Identity
This course looks at issues related to the construction of the Czech national identity. The 19th century Czech national revival, the Czech/German conflict, and the women’s movement are studied, as well as the First Republic, German occupation, the Prague Spring of 1968, Normalization and the Velvet Revolution, and religion.
POLI 3005 PRAG
The Politics and Economics of the European Union
This course explores the history, main institutions, and policies of the European Union. It focuses on the principal issues facing the EU today, especially with respect to enlargement into Central Europe.
POLI 3006 PRAG
Central European Politics
The course focuses on the comparative assessment of Central European political development. Discussion includes the problems and mechanisms of transition since 1989, the institutional and international framework of transition, and specific problems of democratization in Central Europe.
POLI 3010 PRAG / HIST 3002 PRAG
Central Europe and the Balkans in the Short Twentieth Century
What image did Central Europe and the Balkans have at the dawn of the 20th century and has this image changed ? If so, what were the changes leading up to its decline? Were these regions seen as lands of progress and prosperity, or merely as Europe’s backward periphery? In order to see a broader picture, this comparative course will go beyond national histories to trace common trends and the transformation in Central Europe and the Balkans. It will combine the perspectives of political, social and cultural history and will link macro-context with the history of everyday life and experiences of different social groups. Central Europe and the Balkans will be seen as a laboratory for social and political ideas, among them modernization, nationalism, federalism, nazism, fascism, communism, and democracy, with the European Union as the latest experiment.
PSYC 3001 PRAG/POLI 3001 PRAG
Psychology of Transition and Transformation
The psychology of transition and transformation (political psychology in the Czech Republic) is studied with emphasis on the recent transition from totalitarianism to democracy. Topics include: political socialization, moral development and dilemmas, coping and ego defense mechanisms, immigration and cross-cultural adaptation, traumatic influence of the totalitarian past on the Czech society, post-totalitarian syndrome, and psychological problems of transformation.
PSYC 3005 PRAG
Psychoanalysis and Society
This course seeks to explore the relation between psyche and society through an analysis of crucial contemporary and historical issues in Central and Eastern Europe, with a focus on the Czech Republic. Topics such as racism, sexuality, ecology, history, and politics are studied from a variety psychodynamic perspectives, juxtaposing the stark reality of the region’s history and culture with various psychoanalytic tools for understanding. The overarching theme of how mind and society co-evolve remains as a thread running through the course.
PSYC 3004 PRAG
Psychoanalysis and Art
This course studies the area of overlap between psychoanalysis and art, including the mutual influences and inspirations between these two domains. It includes the psychodynamics of the creative process, psychoanalytic aesthetics and criticism of art, literature and film, and the therapeutic aspect of art including the contemporary clinical practice of art therapy with special reference to the Czech scene. In addition to topics such as Czech Surrealism, fairy tales, Kafka, and Svankmajer, the course offers experiential workshops in art therapy and a chance to make a stop-motion animation film.
RELI 3003 PRAG
Introduction to the Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism
The course, Introduction to the Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism, aims at introducing students to one of the main aspects of Jewish religion. The beginnings of the Kabbalah can be traced to the early Christian era, and the main centers of the Kabbalah during the Middle Ages were in Germany and Spain. The student is not required to have any previous knowledge of the Kabbalah; knowledge of Hebrew is very helpful, but is not mandatory for the course. Whereas the three monotheistic religions often fought or even oppressed one another, the mystics of all three religions have always found a common language. The fact that the course will take place in Prague is of great significance, because of the Kabbalistic tradition, especially Rabbi Judah Loew Betzalel and Ezechiel Landau. The course objective is to show the student the profundity and beauty of Jewish Mysticism.
PSYC 3006 PRAG
The Third Force Psychology in a Central European Context
Environmental and biological naturalism have been the most prominent philosophy of science in the last hundred years. According to naturalism, human behavior and experience should be studied just like any other phenomena in the nature (e.g. living cell, chemical molecules or physical forces). Contrary to this belief, humanistic and existential psychologists insist that the study of human beings needs to be approached in a different way. The fact that human beings are largely aware of themselves and of their living situations make them a unique subject of study. In this course we will look at the necessary philosophical and psychological concepts and theories, such as limit situations, but we will connect them with real stories of people who lived in the Central European context in last 60 years. It will be our effort to understand the psychology of dissent and opposition towards totalitarian forces within society and individuals.
RELI 3002 PRAG
History of the Jews in Bohemia and Central Europe
Through lecture, seminar, and excursions to historical sights, we examine the history of the Jewish community in Central Europe from the Middle Ages until modern times with a special emphasis on the role of Prague in the religious, political, and cultural life of the community.
FAMU Cinema Studies Courses
Participants with an interest in cinema and performing arts may take up to 6 semester credits (up to 2 courses of 3 semester credits or 4 courses of 1.5 semester credits) from among those offered to international students by FAMU. A final list of FAMU courses is available at the time of enrollment. Some FAMU courses have prerequisites. Following is a representative sample of FAMU courses that have been available in past terms.
This is a practical course for directors, producers, scriptwriters, cinematographers, or editors to understand the actor’s craft. Students proceed from exercises and various improvisations to a given text, a dialogue, and a monologue. At the end of each semester the student performs a piece in front of the camera and assesses the work on video. Recommended credit: 1.5 semester / 2.25 quarter hours.
This course aims to cover essentials of acting theories—some historical, but mostly contemporary— in order to help film directors communicate effectively with actors from varying pedagogical and cultural backgrounds. Recommended credit: 1.5 semester / 2.25 quarter hours.
The course explores notions of individual and colletive identity, subjectivity and the self in the context of modern Czech literature. Following (and possibly contradicting) various aspects of the argument of ‘minor literature’ (Deleuze – Guattari), students will discuss the writing of Kafka, Hašek, Škvorecký, Kundera or Hrabal as conflictual sites of identity and difference, solidifying discoursive structures and invisible lines of flight and subversion, transcendence and immanence.
Central European Cinema
This course provides a general overview of the primary trends, aesthetics, protagonists, and history of post-war Central Europe. National cinemas examined includes Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Czech, Slovak, and Yugoslav filmmaking. Recommended credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
Chapters from Film History and Criticism
This course presents the most important trends, moments, and personalities in European film history. Both film style and production modes are analyzed. Students watch films in their entirety or short examples illustrating particular topics. Recommended credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
This course gives an explanation of the cinematographer’s craft in the fields of exponometry, processing, and other postproduction technologies. It analyzes the use of various exponometric (photometric) methods and their effectiveness on the aesthetic of cinematographic image. It is a lecture/seminar format and students are given theoretical and practical assignments. Recommended credit: 1.5 semester / 2.25 quarter hours.
Circulating within the Modern Cinematic Image
This inter-disciplinary seminar is modeled on the epistemological notion of a U.S.-American informed postmodernity/globalization, which for ill or for better informs the conditions of possibility of our contemporaneity, and which by extension for us as such produces our individual-class-misson that pedagogically focuses a select band of becoming authenticallyglobal films from the following 20th century world directors: Sergei Eisenstein, Carl Theodor Dreyer, D.W. Griffith, Buster Keaton, Fritz Lang, Friedrich Murnau, Dziga Vertov, and Orson Welles with special consideration given to those cinematic moments that teach and that train us in new non-dominatory viewing strategies, in new creative ways of circulating (our term for moving). The role of silence and of the unconscious in film culture is given special coverage. Clips and special features from the DVDs are also shown. Recommended credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
Circulating within the Post-Modern Cinematic Image
This seminar is a select examination of eight major films in pre-1950 Euro-American film with special emphasis given to those cinematic moments that might teach and train us in new viewing strategies, in new ways of circulating, and in new ways of engaging with the cinematic image. Film criticism and film philosophy from Bersani-Dutoit and Gilles Deleuze is discussed. All films are either in English or have English inter-titles or sub-titles. Clips and special features are shown. Recommended credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
This course is focused on exploring documentary cinema within its broad range of artistic and rhetorical methods toward representing reality – from both a theoretical and empirical standpoint. At its foundation, the course will consider the theoretical approaches of Nichols, Bruzzi and Gauthier within the context of theories of representation (mostly Jost).
Introduction to The Soundtrack 1
The first part of the course focuses on the fundamentals of using sound to furnish meaning, whether for narrative, documentary, or abstract works. We follow the thread of production through the various elements that comprise a soundtrack, based on our real time limitations and available tools. Basic precepts, tips, and tricks: from conception to sound capture to edit to mix to output via the building blocks of the soundtrack including dialogue, narration, music, foley, ambient sound, and most importantly sound effect/sound design. Readings, bibliography, URLs, DVD examples, hardware, and software are provided. We work in the Final Cut and Soundtrack programs. Recommended credit: 1.5 semester / 2.25 quarter hours.
Introduction to The Soundtrack 2
The second part of the course on the soundtrack focuses on viewing/listening to primarily narrative feature films and analyzing their various approaches to making the soundspace. We also read theoretical texts on the soundtrack and film music and see how today's technology has made much of older existing theory somewhat redundant. In many classes we watch a single film, stopping and starting it and using it as a basis for both technical and aesthetic discussions: “How did they do this and why?” Recommended credit: 1.5 semester / 2.25 quarter hours.
Practical Analysis: Directing
This course shows students the way that experienced directors handle some of the most common film situations, such as introduction of the main character, first and last shot in the film, chasing scene, four persons talking around the table, a man getting out of the car, etc. Recommended credit: 1.5 semester / 2.25 quarter hours.
Principles and Technology of Photography
This course provides a better understanding of the technical and scientific aspects of photography and cinematography. It combines lectures with experiments, tests, and practical demonstrations. Subjects are treated from the standpoint of technique rather than science. Recommended credit: 1.5 semester / 2.25 quarter hours.
This course focuses on the work and art of a film and television producer, the craft of the person who serves as a) highly skilled and organized project manager, b) counterpart and/ or partner to director and screenwriter, and on occasion, c) creative author of a project. The key areas of information for a producer (and this class) are marketing, financing, budgeting, legal, and business affairs in the stages of project development, pre-production, production, post-production, and distribution.
The Realm of Montage (Editing)
“Film is like a battlefield: love, hate, action, violence, death... in one word—emotion,” says Samuel Fuller playing himself in Godard’s Pierrot le fou. Montage sequences create emotions in film, and they show not only the work of the editor but also the specific film language, thinking, and philosophy of the director. We study excerpts from well known films that express interestingly extreme and emotional life situations. Recommended credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
This course analyzes feature length films from a practical dramaturgical perspective, demonstrating dramatic structures, narrative techniques, and genres, while examining the process and craft of screenwriting. Recommended credit: 1.5 semester / 2.25 quarter hours.
Tools of Directing
This course provides students with an in-depth perspective to many forms of directing: from directing newscasts to directing feature films. This course explores directing methods, the director’s tools, and his/her relationship with the actors and crew from a variety of perspectives including practical, theoretical, psychological, and physiological points of view. Recommended credit: 1.5 semester / 2.25 quarter hours.
Topics in Animation Film
Students gain a deeper knowledge of film animation, its possibilities, and priorities. The course consists of lectures followed by screenings of Czech and other animated films. Students write short analyses on special subjects of animation, which are then used as material for discussion. Recommended credit: 1.5 semester / 2.25 quarter hours.
Topics in Avant-Garde Cinema
This course portrays the evolution of avant-garde film during the 20th century: different strains in avant-garde film movement (i.e. cinéma pur, non-objective film, surrealist film, formal film, structural/material film, found-footage film, assemblage and collage film, etc.) with the aim to illustrate possibilities of the film language (filmic devices, film technique, methods of montage, or animations, etc.) of non-narrative cinema. Every lesson is accompanied by many examples, screened on VHS. Recommended credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
This course explores how photographs are constructed, analyzing the use of various aesthetic and design elements and the effects of these on the viewer. The format is lecture/ seminar, and students are given practical as well as theoretical assignments. Slide and video presentations support the content of the lectures. Contact hours: Recommended credit: 1.5 semester / 2.25 quarter hours.
FAMU Weekend Modules
These intensive courses are led by visiting film specialists (directors, screenwriters, producers, cinematographers, etc.). New modules are organized each semester. Current offerings are made available upon arrival in Prague. Examples of previously offered modules include: Cinema Dance Workshop; The Transmutation of Light: Alchemy and Cinema; and Marcus Bergner: What Would Happen If…? Investigating New Possibilities for Narrative Film.
Charles University Area Studies Courses
Students have limited access to a select group of elective courses at Charles University. Participation in each course is limited to a few CIEE students. CIEE students may take a maximum of six semester credits outside of CIEE courses. Classes are taught at Charles University and allow CIEE students to study alongside other international students. The following list is a sample of courses that may be available to CIEE students. A final list of available courses is distributed during orientation.
Art and Culture
Czech and European Art and Architecture Highlights of the Czech Theatre: Performance Analysis From Modernity to Avant-garde: A Survery of Modern Poetry Hollywood and Europe (Mostly Czech) Photography and Genius Loci Myth and Mythization in Central European Context Romanticism and National Identity in Central Europe Snapshots of Changing Landscape: Currents in post 1989 Czech Literature
Economics and Politics
CComparative Politics: Transformation of Czechoslovakia and Czech Republic Contemporary Central European Politics Political Philosophy of Central European Dissidence Recent Economic Development
Archaeology of Central Europe: Paleolithic Period
Jewish History in Central and Eastern Europe“MITTELEUROPA”: Germany and East Central Europe in the 19th and 20th Century
American and Czech Literature from European Perspectives: Identity and Role Play
Czech Short Stories
Great European Writers: The Life and Work of Karel Čapek
City Palimpsests: Prague, London, Petersburg in Modern Fiction
Sociology and Psychology
Landscape Sociology: Understanding of Czech and European Landscapes
Language, Culture and Social Cognition
Selected Topics of Social Psychology: Soft Skills
Topics in Education: Multicultural and Gender Issues in Central Europe