Anglo-Saxon period – development of poetry (Beowulf). Arrival of Christianity; the Vikings. Norman Conquest. Medieval England – G. Chaucer. Development of universities. Magna Carta.
Elizabethan England: Renaissance, Humanism & Reformation. Development of the English drama, W. Shakespeare.
Stuart England and the Civil War (Oliver Cromwell, Charles Stuart). Puritans and Cavaliers. Mannerism and the Baroque era: Metaphysical poets, J. Milton.
18th century – the Age of Reason. Whigs and Tories; beginnings of journalism and the rise of periodical press; clubs and coffee-houses. The origin of the novel. Painting and architecture in the 18th century.
Romanticism in Europe and in Britain: poetry and painting (J. W. Turner).
The Victorian Age: Industrial Revolution, social criticism & the humanitarian novel – literature reflects social problems of the age (Dickens, Thackeray). The Brontë sisters.
Cosmopolitan influences and the impact of the British Empire (J. Conrad, H. James, R. Kipling, W. S. Maugham).
Decline of the country – T. Hardy. Modernism: (D. H. Lawrence, V. Woolf, J. Joyce). Arts between the wars.
Impact of totalitarian regimes and the vision of the future (Orwell, Huxley).
British society, literature and arts after WWII.
The approach of British society to slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Victorian era of the British Empire.
The British East India Company. The British Raj in India. India´s way to independence.
The British in Africa and Australia.
The decline of the British Empire after WWI. The process of decolonisation after WWII.
AMERICKÁ CIVILIZACE – OKRUHY
The English settlement of North America (Jamestown in Virginia, colonies in New England, Mayflower compact); Pilgrims and Puritans; earliest universities.
18th century: the growing split between the British in Britain and in America. Civil war or the war for independence? Political topics (A. de Tocqueville, B. Franklin, T. Paine). Federalist Papers and origins of political parties. U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
First National Period (between the War with Britain 1812 and the Civil War 1861). American Romanticism in literature (W. Irving, Cooper, Poe, Hawthorne, Melville) and arts (Hudson River School; seeking cultural maturity).
The western frontier – migration to the West. Manifest Destiny. Louisiana Purchase. Monroe Doctrine. Transcendentalists (Emerson, Thoreau).
“Gilded Age” (1865-1900): W. Whitman, E. Dickinson; local color (Mark Twain). Social Darwinism and American philanthropy, managerial revolution, wealth polarization. “Progressive era” (early 20th century) – Theodore Roosevelt, “muckrakers”; naturalistic interpretations of man & his destiny (J. London, T. Dreiser).
The turn of the century trends in architecture (the Chicago School) and painting (Ashcan School, Armory show).
Expatriates in Paris & London; “Lost Generation” (G. Stein, S. Anderson, E. Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald).
Social problems & criticism in the 1930s (John Dos Passos, John Steinbeck). Arts between the wars – regionalism, realism.
America in WWII: European and Pacific war theatres; impact on literature (realistic approach vs. dark fantasy).
Afro-Americans: the story of slavery in America, abolitionist campaigns. Civil War (1861-1865), A. Lincoln. The South & the impact of Black Reconstruction in literature (Faulkner, etc.).
America after WWII: end of isolationism, beginning of the Cold War, policy of containment, Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan).
Nineteen sixties – a decade of extremes, breaking social taboos (racism, sexism, drugs), of transformational change and bizarre contrasts: idealism and alienation, rebellion and backlash, Vietnam War and anti-war movement, hippie subculture.
Civil rights movement, emancipation of Afro-Americans, their activists: M. L. King, Malcolm X, Black Power, etc.