Dispatch from Prague

Jiri PeheIt is an exciting time as the Prague program continues to expand and opportunities for collaboration with New York and other sites increase.
Our Music Program is about to get a further boost from our new faculty coordinator, Tony Ackerman. Tony is a highly-respected jazz musician. Tony’s mission is to make the music program more unique to Prague and take advantage of Czech music’s rich history and the numerous world class musical events Prague offers. One of his hopes is to develop a core class on Czech music compulsory for all music students.
NYU Prague has also cooperated with the organizers of the Bohemia Jazz Fest, a prestigious summer jazz festival organized by Rudy Linka, a respected jazz musician of Czech origin, who lives in New York. A summer program for jazz musicians, under the leadership of Prof. David Schroeder of Steinhardt’s Music Department will benefit from cooperating with Bohemia Jazz Fest.
Tisch, too, has exciting plans for Prague. For years we have been collaborating with Tisch on their film program, which is hosted at the prestigious Prague Film Academy. In addition to exploring ways that the film program can integrate more with NYU Prague, we are also in negotiations on starting a stage design program in Prague. In November, Deputy Dean Ken Tabachnik of Tisch met with the Dean of the Prague Theatre Academy Jaroslav Dusek to discuss possibilities for a Tisch stage design program in Prague.
Prague now has been a home for a number of researchers who are part of the Global Research Institute. This year, several have come to explore issues as diverse as gender representation in media in Post-Communist Europe to cycling initiatives in Prague. Several NYU Prague professors–for example, Simon North who teaches a course about Czech art and architecture as well as another focusing on the development of cities in Central Europe, and Petr Mucha, a professor of religion and culture–have received grants to do research in NYC and enjoyed having access to NYU’s extensive library.
In addition to a number of panels and guest talks, every year NYU Prague hosts an international conference during the NYU spring break. This year NYU faculty members Larry Wolff (head of European Studies at CAS) and Josh Tucker (head of Political Science at CAS), will come to Prague to participate as panelists at a conference focusing on European Identity.
In addition to our rich academic program, we keep expanding our extracurricular programs in Prague tohat help students understand the Czech Republic. Prague Wandering, led by NYU Prague journalism professor Dinah Spritzer, is one of the only study abroad web magazines in the world. Students research controversial topics and, under the guidance of their professor, write articles that have been picked up by popular Czech websites.
Community engagement is a priority in Prague. Cultural immersion trips and other activities often provide students with formative experiences. This semester our students heard about the troubles facing the Roma minority on a trip to the industrial city of Ostrava, helped rebuild a century-old brewery, and visited village high schools. A number of students also worked with our staff members to raise funds for a local charity that helps children with cancer. Finally, our Music Program students were able to perform publicly on several occasions.

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