In the course of the program, students do several invidivual and group projects, which change from program to program depending on the number of students on the program and their majors, as well as current events in Prague and the Czech Republic. Here are some examples of what might be awaiting you...
Tracking Prague by Tram... - Group Project
The most common, convenient, and reassuring mode of transportation in Prague is undoubtedly the Prague subway (metro). This project asks the students to give up the comfort and predictability of metro and step into the unknown of the city tram system in order to explore the life of Prague beyond the limited borders of the tourist districts. Prague is a city of more than a million and half people living in a quite compact urban setting, which at the first glance gives the impression that the city is much smaller than it actually is. But reality might be quite different...
Prague Neighbourhoods - Group Project
One of the primary goals of the Prague Program is for the students to gain
a rich understanding of Czech history, culture and politics by directly engaging
with their surroundings. For this final project, students are to form groups
of three or four students and conduct and in-depth study of the history, politics
and culture of a particular neighborhood in Prague. They choose "their"
neighborhood by drawing randomly from a hat.
Of course, students do not know Czech. Therefore, to succeed in this project they have to make best use of the sources at their disposal. They can conduct interviews with local residents (in bars and cafes, for example), get information from the local city hall, consult books on the history of Prague, explore and document architectural artifacts of the neighborhood, make use of available statistical data, and so on. A major aspect of their projects are, of course, observation and critical interpretation of visual "data". A few times, students even made short videos of their adventures...
Needles to say, these projects, presented to the whole group at the end of the program, tend to be quite exciting. It's always amazing and refreshingly new every time what students are able to find out, dig up and creatively put together.
Oral History and Identity Project - Individual Project
Communist rule in the years after WWII accounts for an immense qualitative
difference in the complexity and relativity of historical writing and personal
remembering/forgetting during that period. Communist dictatorships established
monopolies in their societies over the writing of "official" history.
"Official" history was characterized by reductive, ideologically
unified narratives of events consistent with the interests of the state regime.
Consequently, citizens were encouraged to think of their own personal histories
in the very same uniform manner. Individuals and groups who were perceived
to threaten the interests of the regime were vilified, policed and threatened
with liquidation. There is considerable evidence that the combination of official
history and official policing of alternative accounts violently eroded the
ability of the subjects of these accounts to maintain critical perspectives
on both public events and their private lives. This project is asking the
students to conduct an oral history "excavation" of one private
life in the face of larger historical forces...
Czech Countryside Project - Group Project
Comparative Cities - Individual Project
Prague NGO Project - Individual Project