Russian and East European Institute | Eastern Europe: 1944-Present
R500 | 3982 | Shore


To Dance (or not to Dance) with Stalin:
Eastern Europe under Communism, 1944-1989

This is the follow-up lecture course to D300 (“The Trouble with
Being Born”: Eastern Europe in the First Half of the Twentieth
Century).  The course begins inside the Second World War, when the
interwar years have decisively come to an end, but no one yet knows
what is to follow.  We will then explore the history of Eastern
Europe from the “liminal” years immediately following the end of the
war, through the Stalinist period, the post-Stalin “Thaw,” the
emergence of “revisionist” Marxism, “normalization” and dissent, and
finally the revolutions of 1989.  Within this narrative, topics will
include the bloody Stalinist show trials, the Tito-Stalin split, the
failed Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the Prague Spring of 1968, the
reign of Ceaucescu in Romania, and the flowering of samizdat and
dissident culture in the 1970s and 1980s.  Books include Joseph
Rothschild and Nancy Wingfield, "Return to Diversity"; Gale
Stokes, "From Stalinism to Pluralism"; Milan Kundera, "The Joke";
and Heda Margolius Kovàly, "Under a Cruel Star."  There will be a
midterm, a final exam, and two writing assignments responding to the
reading.