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How to Apply

Applicants must apply and submit material through the site. Please upload the following documents as one PDF document with your application:

  1. A cover letter addressing your specific interest in the position and qualifications that directly relates to this position.
  2. A curriculum vita (including names of two faculty references).
  3. Previous U-M teaching evaluations, as applicable.

Job Summary

The Slavic Languages & Literatures Department is looking to hire 1 GSI for Czech 315 (The Czech New Wave and Its Legacy) in Winter 2019. This course fulfills the upper-level writing requirement for undergraduate students. No knowledge of Czech is required.

Course Description

This course covers an extremely important film movement in Eastern Europe, encompassing a broad range of film styles, from cinema verite (Milos Forman) to surrealism and the absurd (Chytilova, Svankmajer). It also critiques authoritarian systems, ethnic discrimination, and sexism. Fourteen films are studied and discussed, with accompanying readings. Three medium-length papers are required.

The Czech New Wave was one of the most important film movements to develop in Communist Eastern Europe. It amazed viewers worldwide by demonstrating that within a State-sponsored and heavily censored film industry it was still possible to produce films which were not at all Socialist Realist or propagandistic and which approached life in a more authentic way or alluded to pressing current concerns metaphorically. Coinciding in time (the mid-1960s) with political struggles which were to lead to the liberalization and democratization that came to be known as the “Prague Spring,” the Czech New Wave also involved a remarkable range of film styles: psychological realism, poetic lyricism, “cinema verite,” surrealism, Dadaism, and the absurd. Directors employed an entire spectrum of modernist techniques often in surprising new combinations and hybrids in order to critically examine the decline of ethical values under communism, the lack of individual freedom and possibilities for creativity, the abuses of a repressive police state, the official encouragement of anti-semitism, and the economic exploitation of women. We will study fourteen films by the movement’s major directors: Milos Forman, Ivan Passer, Jan Kadar, Jiri Menzel, Vera Chytilova, Ester Krumbachova, Jaromil Jires, Zbynek Brynych, Jan Nemec, and Jan Svankmajer (all films are subtitled). Although the movement was suppressed after the Soviet-led Warsaw pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968 (with some its last films banned and not seen outside the studios until 1989), the style and approaches of the Czech New Wave have reemerged in Czech cinema (with Menzel, Chytilova and Nemec still making films) and with new directors like Jan Hrebejk returning to the realist/absurdist arsenal. Now it addresses the unequal economic impact of the rapid transition to capitalism, the continuing lack of true gender equality, and new problems of ethnic discrimination that especially targets the Roma. Furthermore, Czech new wave approaches entered English-language cinema with the directors who emigrated after 1968 and subsequently made films in Hollywood and in Canada: Milos Forman, Ivan Passer and Jan Kadar.


Duties include, but are not limited, to the following:
• Attendance at lectures and screenings and assist minimally with lectures.
• Reading paper drafts and provide close guidance for students in rewrite process.
• Grading three papers from each student.
• Holding regular office hours to assist students throughout the course.
• Being available over email to help students in case they have any questions pertaining to the course.
• Meeting regularly with the course instructor.

Required Qualifications*

Currently enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Michigan. No knowledge of Russian required. Appointed candidate must have completed or take SWC 993 concurrently with the appointment.

Desired Qualifications*

• relevant academic preparation for teaching the course material;
• (preferably) prior GSI experience/with favorable student evaluations;
• overall academic performance and progress toward the degree;
• ability to work with diverse student body and with very diverse assignments;
• compatible availability

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Contact Information

Zaineb Al-Kalby

Decision Making Process

All applications will be submitted for review to the faculty member teaching the course. Possible interviews will take place on a rolling basis and decisions will be made by. After review of applications and possible interviews, decisions will be made by the faculty member teaching the course.

Selection Process

All GSI appointments are subject to administrative approval. Applicants may request information about the status of their application from the program at any time.

GEO Contract Information

The University will not discriminate against any applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, marital status, familial status, parental status or pregnancy status, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, height, weight, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, HIV antibody status, political belief, membership in any social or political organization, participation in a grievance or complaint whether formal or informal, or any other factor where the item in question will not interfere with job performance and where the employee is otherwise qualified. The University of Michigan agrees to abide by the protections afforded employees with disabilities as outlined in the rules and regulations which implement Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Information for the Office of Institutional Equity may be found at and for the University Ombuds at

Unsuccessful applications will be retained for consideration in the event that there are last minute openings for available positions. In the event that an Employee does not receive his or her preferred assignment, he or she can request a written explanation or an in-person interview with the hiring agents(s) to be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time.

This position, as posted, is subject to a collective bargaining agreement between the Regents of the University of Michigan and the Graduate Employees' Organization, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO 3550.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.