History | H645 2870 Collq E. European Hist 10:10-12:05 M BH221 Bucur-Deckard
H645 | 2870 | Bucur-deckard

Topic: Socialism and Post-Socialism in Comparative Perspective
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Above section meets with Hist H745

This experimental course will explore the nature of socialist and
post-socialist cultural, social and political life in the former East
European Soviet bloc and to a somewhat lesser extent in China.  Reading
will include not only works by historians that deal with the period
lasting from the 1940s up to the present, but also studies by political
scientists, sociologists, and anthropologists.  We will also read and
discuss the writings of various dissidents and critical intellectuals from
the two regions, and we will analyze together the meaning of visual texts
such as political posters and films.  Half of the class sessions will be
combined ones, in which students from Jeff Wasserstrom's graduate
colloquium H675/H699 will also take part. Students cannot therefore take
both his course and this one.  Assignments will include a substantial
essay, either engaging historical issues by using secondary sources
exclusively (for those taking the course as H645), or focusing on primary
sources and producing a research seminar paper (for those taking the
course as H745).  Other assignments will include short reaction pieces on
visual texts and readings and brief book reviews.  Particular attention
throughout will be placed on 1999 as a special year in which to assess
state socialism's complex legacies, since it marks the tenth anniversary
of both the Beijing Massacre and the fall of the Berlin Wall.