Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad Summer Session MyCIPE

Yale Summer Session in Prague: In Kafka's Spirit: Prague Film and Fiction

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Program Information


Prague, Czech Republic




Saturday, June 24, 2017 to Sunday, July 30, 2017



Area of Focus

Arts & Humanities

Distributional Requirements

Fulfills Hu distributional requirement


Study Center

Course Number



2 Yale credits


Karen von Kunes 




An introduction to Prague’s intellectual culture and the Jewish question through contemporary film, fiction, history, language, and students' creative projects, including filming. Travels in the Czech Republic and selected countries of former Austro-Hungary. Emphasis is on Kafka's influence on today's Prague, war period, dissident movement, transition from totalitarianism to democracy and current multi-ethnic globalism. Works include analyzing films by Miloš Forman (Loves of a Blond, Firemen's Ball), Jan Kadár (The Shop on Main Street), Jan Svěrák (Kolya), Jan Hřebejk (Divided We Fall), and readings by Franz Kafka, Milan Kundera, Václav Havel, Bohumil Hrabal, and Holocaust writer Arnošt Lustig. Includes guest lectures by prominent economic, cultural and sport leaders of Prague. Under the supervision and critical advice of artists and cinematographers Josef Lustig, Gary Griffin, Alice Arnold, Veronika Janečková, and renowned film director Jan Hřebejk, each student will complete a creative project of his or her choice (short film, short story, theatre play, photo gallery, etc.), working in groups or individually. No prerequisites required for the comprehensive introduction to conversational Czech L1 level, an integral part of the course. Students performing exceptionally in the language may qualify for placement in L2 or L3 during the 2016-17 academic year. Participants choose to receive credit in either CZEC or FILM.

The syllabus below is from last summer; participants will receive this summer's syllabus at the start of the program.


Yale Summer Session Programs Abroad updates program budgets in late January. Please note the year listed on the button below.

Summer 2017 Budget

Trips and Activities

The program includes filmmaking and lectures on the Holocaust as well as visits to the Prague Old Jewish Town and Cemetery, Synagogues, and Terezinstadt near Prague. To understand cultural history of the former Austro-Hungary Empire (Prague-Vienna-Budapest), students visit Vienna (Austria) and Budapest (Hungary), in addition to the ancient city of Piran and its beaches in Slovenia (another country of the former Empire) and undertake possible brief excursions to Berlin in Germany and Bratislava in Slovakia. Within the Czech Republic the program includes visits of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, and of a picturesque historic town of Český Krumlov (boating and swimming), a trip to Moravia caves, and day excursions to a Castle, the Ossuary, and an evening boat trip on the Vltava River. For recreational purposes and meeting local Czechs independent visits to the Vltava River beaches in Prague are encouraged.


Local student residence hall in the center of Prague (in a 12-minute walk from famed Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square) with single rooms, student club and gymnasium. The classrooms are located in the same student residential complex. All breakfasts, 10 lunches and 20 dinners included. During overnight trips, students stay in comfortable to luxury hotels and share rooms.


Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements; additional information will be provided upon admission.


For course content questions contact instructor Karen von Kunes. For general program questions contact the Study Abroad staff.

Learn More

Review eligibility requirements, the application process, and deadlines:

How to Apply