History | D328 2830 Eastern Europe in the 20th Cent 1:00-2:15 MW BH345 Bucur-Deckard
D328 | 2830 | Bucur-deckard

A portion of the above section reserved for majors
Above section carries culture studies credit
Graduate students register for Hist D528

This course will take you on a journey through the strange and fascinating
land of Eastern Europe. We will trace the main narratives that tell the
story of the changes experienced by Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians,
Romanians, Bulgarians, Serbs, Slovenes, Croats, Bosnians, Macedonians,
Albanians, Greeks, Turks, Jews and Gypsies in an area that was often a
mixing bowl, seldom a melting pot, and in a few cases a time bomb. History
has weighed heavily on the memory and cultural as well as political
identity of these groups. This is still the case today, not only in the
former Yugoslavia, but also in Greece, Romania, or Poland. This course has
as its aim introducing you to some of the important themes in the past of
these people, focusing first on the important political events in Eastern
Europe over the last century, from the creation of these national states
to the take-over of the Communist regimes. We will also investigate the
important changes in social relations in this region, which define Eastern
Europe not only as an area with its own particularities, but also as a
place that still had important connections with the rest of the European
continent. Our discussion will focus on the changing relations between the
various classes, from peasants to the emerging entrepreneurial classes, on
relations within the family, focusing on shifts in gender roles in
particular, and on the very re-definitions of the public and private
spheres, especially during the second half of this century. Our
exploration of the cultural developments in this area will also bring out
the important connections with the rest of Europe, as well as the unique
features in the development of literature, music, theater, film, and other
forms of cultural creativity. In the end, the course has as its aim to
bring Eastern Europe into the greater picture of European history through
this tumultuous century.


There will be a midterm (15%) and final examination (35%), three short
papers (for a total of 60%), and a few map quizzes. Every student has to
score 90% or higher on these quizzes (on the average) in order to pass the
class. The percentages above represent the weight of each of these
exercises for your final grade.

Readings: We will use one textbook and a few novels, as well as several
books that will be placed on Ion, reserve. The required books are: R.J.
Crampton, Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century, Liviu Rebreanu, Milovan
Djilas, Conversations with Stalin, Milan Kundera, The Joke, and Jozsef
Nyiri, Battlefields and Playgrounds. In the course of the semester we will
also watch a few movies which will be part of your required material.