History | European Intellectuals & Marxism
J300 | 3121 | Shore

A portion of the above section reserved for majors
Above section open to undergraduates only
Above section COAS intensive writing section and also requires 	
	registration in COAS W333


This is a course in modern European, with a focus on East European,
intellectual and cultural history, organized chronologically, which
will examine the relationship of European intellectuals to both
Marxist ideology and Stalinism and later to "socialism with a human
face" in the twentieth century.   We will focus on the problems of
using and interpreting primary sources in conjunction with secondary
sources.  How was it that "the best and the brightest" often became
the most fanatical adherents of Stalinism as well as the
latter's "engineers of human souls"? Why was communist ideology so
compelling to so many and by what process did the Party's
intellectual vanguard fall into disillusionment and despair?  In
delving into this history, this course will explore the role of the
Second World War, the intersection of fascism and Stalinism, and the
legacy of the intellectuals' acquiescence in the bloody Stalinist
purges.  Students are expected to attend all meetings; complete all
the reading assignments before each week’s class; and come prepared
to participate in discussions.  This seminar is reading and writing–
intensive.  Grades will be based on class participation as well as
the following assignments: 20-minute class presentation, including
leading a class discussion, book review and two drafts of a seminar
paper.  Texts include Past Imperfect: French Intellectuals, 1944–
1956 by Tony Judt, Under a Cruel Star by Heda Kovaly, The Joke by
Milan Kundera and The Captive Mind by Czesław Miłosz and Artur
Koestler, The God That Failed.