Modern East Central Europe

THE OTHER EUROPE:

MODERN EASTERN AND CENTRAL EUROPE

HIST-31300-01, CRN 42809

Tuesday and Thursday 1:10-2:25

SPRING 2018

Zenon V. Wasyliw

Professor, Department of History and

Coordinator of Social Studies Teacher Education

Ithaca College

Muller 427

wasyliw@ithaca.edu   274-3303 and 274-1587                                             

https://faculty.ithaca.edu/wasyliw                                      

Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday 1:00-2:00; Tuesday 11:00-12:00 Thursday 2:30-3:30. I am also available other days and times by appointment through e-mail communication or by request during class meetings

Introduction

The revolutions of 1989 in Eastern and Central Europe and the 1991 revolutions in the former Soviet Union changed the course of history in the countries of these regions and the world.  Soviet hegemony over the area ended as did the various experiments in implementing a Marxist utopian model of political, social and economic development.  Many declared communism dead, to be most likely replaced by a new free market liberal democratic model with an ultimate goal of integration into the European Union.  The transition has not been a simple and direct process.  The former “Other Europe” continues to deal with its historical legacy as the “New Europe.”

 

This course concentrates on developments and events in the immediate post-World War Two period through the present.  We first begin with a general historical and cultural overview predating the principal period of study.  This comparative overview sets a historical context with a brief analysis of political, ideological, social and economic conditions and cultural identities in the first half of the twentieth century through the Second World War and its many tragedies.

 

The post-1945 period is examined in light of common and differing patterns of governance, ideology, politics, economics, society and culture. A revisionist history of immediate post-1945 transitions will be assessed in relation to the eventual consolidation of communist rule throughout Eastern and Central Europe.  We then concentrate on the development of independent dissident activities, ideas, social change, cultural movements and individuals which challenged the authoritarian models throughout the region.  Examples include Titoism, the Hungarian Revolution, Prague Spring and the Solidarity Movement among others and the post-communist transition period. This course concludes with a reflection upon contemporary events and transformations in Eastern and Central Europe and an evaluation of what the future may bring for this region based upon recent historical and cultural legacies. It is important to note that we are studying the lands between and not focusing upon Russia and Germany, although we deal with Communist East Germany. 

Books

The following books are required for this course and may be purchased at the college bookstore. Please follow the Topics and Reading Assignments section of the syllabus to ascertain when specific readings should be completed.

Slavenka Drakulic, Café Europa

Slavenka Drakulic, How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Kevin McDermott and Matthew Stibbe, editors, Revolution and Resistance in Eastern Europe. Challenges to Communist Rule

Marci Shore, The Ukrainian Night

Olga Tokarczuk, Primeval and Other Times

There will be additional primary source handouts and sakai postings

The Lost World of Communism BBC Documentary Series –

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=the+lost+world+of+communism+documentary

Making the History of 1989: The Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe –

http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/

The Collapse of the Soviet Union: The Oral History of Independent Ukraine -1988-1991 –

http://oralhistory.org.ua/en/

Chicago Manual of Style –

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/

Tips for writing history papers – Cornell University

http://www.arts.cornell.edu/prh3/257/classmats/papertip.html 

 

Supplemental primary sources and handouts will also be distributed and additional relevant library holdings will be referenced.

Additional Sources

These sites serve as supplementary information for topics we cover in class, contemporary issues and initial background research for assigned papers -  

The Library of Congress European Reading Room

www.loc.gov/rr/european

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars offers access to four relevant programs.  Click programs on the home page and then check the Cold War International History Project, East European Studies, the Southeast Europe Project and the Kennan Institute.

http://www.wilsoncenter.org

Sources- https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/Halsall/mod/modsbook50.asp

The following sites provide analytical assessments of current events.

Central Europe Online http://www.centraleurope.com

Transitions Online http://tol.org

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty http://www.rferl.org

The BBC site offers the best in current news and has strong historical chronologies, summaries and assessments.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world/europe

BBC Country Profiles and History Timelines http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17753718     

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/country_profiles/default.stm

EINnews is a news monitoring service.

http://www.einnews.com

This site offers a broad range of historical topics.  Please find links specifically related to East Central Europe.

History Index http://vlib.iue.it/history/index.html

The European Roma Rights Center – the Roma used to be more commonly referred to as “Gypsies.” http://www.errc.org

These are just two of many universities that offer valuable resources related to Eastern and Central Europe

University of Illinois http://www.reec.uiuc.edu

University of Pittsburgh http://www.ucis.pitt.edu/reesweb/directory

The Soros Foundation – https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/

Central European University sponsored by the Soros Foundation.

http://www.ceu.hu

Requirements

1.  “Students at Ithaca College are expected to attend all classes, and they are responsible for work missed during any absence from class.” (Ithaca College Undergraduate Catalog) Absences adversely affect the comprehension of course material and one’s grade.  You are expected to read the assigned readings and participate qualitatively in class discussion.

2. Each student is required to take two interpretive essay examinations.  Essays are conceptual in nature and test your comprehension and analysis of material covered in class and assigned readings.  Take careful notes of lectures and discussions. Review essay questions and objective terms are distributed one week prior to the examinations. The final examination includes a comprehensive essay. Please note “Writing Historical Essays”

http://history.rutgers.edu/component/content/article?id=106:writing-historical-essays-a-guide-for-undergraduates                                    

3.  A research paper of 15 double-spaced pages is required.  A topic is selected jointly by the student and professor.  The paper then follows several stages and deadlines as noted in the “Topics and Reading Assignments” section of the syllabus. The stages followed are: 1.) selection of a research topic; 2.) a thesis statement and bibliography; 3.) an outline; 4.) completion of the paper with possibility of revision.  The format, research and documentation must adhere to the Chicago style for writing history papers guidelines presented in –

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org

http://www.historyguide.org/guide/essay2.html  Also –

http://www.arts.cornell.edu/prh3/257/classmats/papertip.html

4. The collaborative semester project. Two or more students will work collaboratively to produce a post-communist or contemporary evaluation or impression of one country, diaspora community, connected to possible varieties of political, social or cultural issues selected jointly by students and the professor.  Possible projects may include establishing social networking communications with college students in Eastern and Central Europe, oral histories of people engaged in a variety of ways in the region, civil society organizations, etc…  

 •Czech Republic

 •Poland

 •Hungary

 •Romania and Moldova

 •Croatia

 •Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia

 •Slovenia

 •Slovakia

 •Bulgaria

 •Ukraine

   Belarus

 •Serbia

 •Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina

 •Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia

  Roma

  Jewish

  European Migrations

  European Union Integration

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/country_profiles/default.stm

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=the+lost+world+of+communism+documentary

 

5. One page reaction papers are required at the time of scheduled discussions of the Drakulic, Kundera, Shore and Tokarczuk books.

6. Qualitative class participation in thoughtful discussion of assigned readings, topics and creative collaborative group projects is required. 

7. The writing of essays, critiques and papers follow specific criteria and all sources must be properly documented.  Carefully read the Ithaca College Standards of Academic Conduct found at the end of the syllabus and at the following Student Policies link –

 https://www.ithaca.edu/policies/vol7/general/070104/

8. In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable accommodation will be provided to students with documented disabilities on a case-by-case basis. Students must register with the Office of Academic Services and provide appropriate documentation to the College before any academic adjustment will be provided.

9.  Diminished mental health (stress, depression, untreated mental illness) can interfere with optimal academic performance.  There are many potential sources of personal difficulties.  Academic studies, family, friends, poor health and difficult romantic relationships can contribute to personal difficulties – and impaired academic performance.

Through the office of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), cost-free support can be obtained when personal difficulties threaten your well-being.

In the event I suspect you might benefit from additional support, I will express my concerns, my reasoning, and remind you of resources (e.g., CAPS, Health Center, Chaplains, etc.) that might be of help to you.  It is not my intention to know details of what you might be experiencing, but simply to let you know I am concerned and that help, if needed, is available.

Getting help is a smart and healthy thing to do… for yourself and your loved ones.

10. Title IX is a federal act mandating that educational institutions receiving federal funding must provide sex and gender equity. All students thus have the right to a campus atmosphere free of sexual harassment, sexual violence, and gender discrimination. For reports of sexual assault and general issues, please contact Tiffani Ziemann, Title IX Coordinator

11. Ithaca College Department of History Student Learning Outcome Assessment goals –

1. Attain factual knowledge

2. Identify, gather and use primary and secondary sources for historical inquiry

3. Demonstrate skills in communicating thesis-driven arguments based on evidence

Provided by sources, both secondary and primary

4. Demonstrate critical reading skills that recognize and analyze complexity and ambiguity in sources and historical processes

5. Demonstrate capacity for engaged, knowledgeable and competent global citizenship

6. Demonstrate desire and capacity for lifelong learning

 

12.  The syllabus outline, topics and assignments are subject to change.

Grading

All work must be completed to earn a passing grade.

 

     Examination #1                                          20%

     Examination #2 and Final                          30%

     Research paper                                           30%

     Semester project, reaction papers and

     participation                                               20%

                                                                     100%

TOPICS AND READING ASSIGNMENTS

Students are responsible for completing the assigned readings and being prepared to engage in qualitative discussion.

 

Week 1 – 23 and 25 August         

A short introduction and course overview.  Historical roots and cultural diversity: The early history of East Central Europe. 

Assignment for next week

Read Bloodlands handout for 30 January

Read Tokarczuk, Primeval and Other Times to begin discussion on 1 February

 

Week 2 – 30 January and 1 February

Inter-war politics and tribulations on the eve of World War Two and developments in Eastern Europe during the Second World War. Discussion of Bloodlands handout and the Holocaust

A glimpse into the realities of everyday life – a discussion of Primeval and Other Times

Assignment for next week – Finish reading Primeval and primary source handouts

Communist Takeover of Eastern Europe, 1945-48 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_oImkL2LwA

 

Week 3 – 6 and 8 February

Continue and finish discussion of Primeval

The Research Paper: Topics, Concepts and Process.

The Yalta Agreement and immediate Post-war developments, evaluation of primary source handouts

Overview of transition to communist control, 1945-48

“Different Roads to Socialism” - Ideology, Power and Eastern/Central Europe's Collapse under Soviet Domination. A Study of Revisionist Historiography - Was there a Stalinist Strategy towards Socialist Transformation.

Social and Economic Restructuring. The Communist Political System and the Military. Democracy, Markets and Security in Eastern Europe. “An End to Diversity.”

Assignment for next week

Read for 15 February - Drakulic, How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed

Collaborative Semester Project Topic Proposal is due

 

Week 4 – 13 and 15 February

Industrialization, Modernization and the Command Economy.

The Creation of a "Modern" Socialist Society and Culture and Traditional Values as a Form of Resistance.  “Actually Existing Socialism in Operation”

Marxist Alternatives, “Liberal” Socialism and the New Democracy.  Women’s Rights, Roles, and Status in Eastern and Central Europe. Gender Relations, Social Services, and Consumerism from 1945 to the present.

Discussion of the Drakulic book as an introduction to next week’s topic

Assignment for next week

McDermott and Stibbe, Chapter 1 “Revolution and Resistance in Eastern Europe: An Overview”

and Chapter 2 “The Soviet-Yugoslav Split”

Research Topic is due

 

Week 5 – 20 and 22 February

The Economic Challenges of Post-Communist Marketization. Yugoslavia, the Challenge of Titoism and a Continued Biography of Tito. De-Stalinization, Rehabilitation and Popular Rebellion.

Iosip Broz Tito Biography - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRG4sXPupK8

Short biography - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0864482/bio

Tito Internet Archive - https://www.marxists.org/archive/tito/

Thesis Statement and Bibliography is due

Assignment for next week - McDermott and Stibbe, Chapter 3 “The SED, German Communism and the June 1953 Uprising: New Trends and New Research”

 

Week 6 – 27 February and 1 March

The Death of Stalin and De-Stalinization. Rehabilitation and Popular Rebellion. “Little Stalins” vs. Reformers. East German and Bulgarian Conservatism vs. the Polish October. “1956: Communism Renewed?”

Begin reading Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Assignment for next week - McDermott and Stribbe, Chapter 4 “Poland and Hungary, 1956: A Comparative Essay Based on New Archival Findings”

Work on your Research Paper   

Examination

 

Week 7 – 6 and 8 March

1956 - The Polish October and the Hungarian Revolution Compared and the role of Soviet Intervention.  The Hungarian Economic Experiment: the New Economic Mechanism and Goulash Socialism. “Reform Communism or economic Reform.” 

The Hungarian Revolt of 1956 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVdQ9PK9Q5o

 

Spring Break 12-16 March – Read McDermott and Stribbe, Chapter 5 “Romania, 1945-89: Resistance, Protest and Dissent” for 20 March Finish reading Unbearable Likeness of Being for 27 March and continue work on research paper

 

Week 8 – 20 and 22 March

Romania – Ceausescu and the Romanian Narrative of an International Maverick and Internal Repression

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjbYhVDwd6k

Assignment for next week -

Finish reading Unbearable Lightness of Being and read McDermott and Stribbe, Chapter 6 “The Prague Spring: From Elite Liberalization to Mass Movement” 

 

Week 9 – 27 and 29 March

Czechoslovakia and the Prague Spring of 1968 “Socialism with a Human Face”

Discussion of Unbearable Lightness of Being.

Possible viewing of Milos Forman film based on the novel

Implementation of the Brezhnev Doctrine. The Human Rights Movement

Assignment for next week - McDermott and Stribe, Chapter 7 “Solidarity, 1980-1: The Second Vistula Miracle?” 

Lech Walesa and Solidarity - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTw1CxIjOgw            

 

Week 10 – 3 and 5 April

Poland’s Historical Legacy and the Solidarity Movement.

Pope John Paul II and Parallel Society in the 1980s: Religious and Ethnic Currents

Solidarity Poland 1981

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peT3-xSzj08

Assignment for next week - Communist rock and roll - https://easternblocsongs.wordpress.com/about/

McDermott and Stibbe – chapter 8 “Negotiated Revolution in Poland and Hungary, 1989” and  chapter 9 “To Learn from the Soviet Union is to Learn How to Win. The East German Revolution, 1989-90”

Research Paper Progress Report

 

Week 11 – 10 and 12 April

Popular culture and competing values

Popular Culture as Resistance and Identity: Music as Dissent and Frank Zappa as Hero.

The Revolutions of 1989 begin – Poland and Hungary; East Germany and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Assignment for next week – McDermott and Stibbe – Chapter 10 “Revolution and Revolt against Revolution: Czechoslovakia, 1989

Fall of Communism - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hc2XGHA7NK4

 

Week 12 – 17 and 19 April

The Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia and Vaclav Havel - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qG5fxLmfAk

Romania and Ceausescu - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcRWiz1PhKU

Assignment for next week -

Slavenk Drakulic – Café Europa

Read for 1 May The Ukrainian Night

 

Week 13 – 24 and 26 April

The Revolutions of 1989, post-communist East Central Europe. Discussion of Café Europa

The Expansion of East Central Europe: Ukraine and the Baltics - Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia –

The Belarus question

Special focus and collective appraisals of –

http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/ 1989-The Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe

http://oralhistory.org.ua/en/about-project/  The Collapse of the Soviet Union – Independent Ukraine

Assignment for next week – McDermott and Stebbe, “Afterward: East or West?”

 

Week 14 – 1 and 3 May

Research Paper is due!

Post-Communist Eastern and Central Europe

Discussion of The Ukrainian Night

Ukrainian Revolution of 2014 -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvds2AIiWLA

European Union - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O37yJBFRrfg

http://europa.eu/  Council of Europe - https://www.coe.int/en/

Contemporary Issues in the Integrated rather than Other Europe –

 

Week 15 Week of 7 May     

Final Examination Week - Good Luck!

Research Paper Presentations during assigned examination meeting time

 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=the+lost+world+of+communism+documentary

 

 

THE OTHER EUROPE:

MODERN EASTERN AND CENTRAL EUROPE

HIST-31300-01, CRN 23510

TTh, 10:50 am

FALL 2015

Zenon V. Wasyliw

Professor, Department of History and

Coordinator of Social Studies Teacher Education

Ithaca College

Muller 427

wasyliw@ithaca.edu   274-3303 and 274-1587                                             

https://faculty.ithaca.edu/wasyliw                                      

Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday 3:00-4:00; Tuesday and Thursday 1:30-2:30. I am also available other days and times by appointment through e-mail communication or by request during class meetings

Introduction

The revolutions of 1989 in Eastern and Central Europe and the 1991 revolutions in the former Soviet Union changed the course of history in the countries of these regions and the world.  Soviet hegemony over the area ended as did the various experiments in implementing a Marxist utopian model of political, social and economic development.  Many declared communism dead, to be most likely replaced by a new free market liberal democratic model with an ultimate goal of integration into the European Union.  The transition has not been a simple and direct process.  The former “Other Europe” continues to deal with its historical legacy as the “New Europe.”

 

This course concentrates on developments and events in the immediate post-World War Two period through the present.  We first begin with a general historical and cultural overview predating the principal period of study.  This comparative overview sets a historical context with a brief analysis of political, ideological, social and economic conditions and cultural identities in the first half of the twentieth century through the Second World War and its many tragedies.

 

The post-1945 period is examined in light of common and differing patterns of governance, ideology, politics, economics, society and culture. A revisionist history of immediate post-1945 transitions will be assessed in relation to the eventual consolidation of communist rule throughout Eastern and Central Europe.  We then concentrate on the development of independent dissident activities, ideas, social change, cultural movements and individuals which challenged the authoritarian models throughout the region.  Examples include Titoism, the Hungarian Revolution, Prague Spring and the Solidarity Movement among others and the post-communist transition period. This course concludes with a reflection upon contemporary events and transformations in Eastern and Central Europe and an evaluation of what the future may bring for this region based upon recent historical and cultural legacies. It is important to note that we are studying the lands between and not focusing upon Russia and Germany, although we deal with Communist East Germany. 

Books

The following books are required for this course and may be purchased at the college bookstore. Please follow the Topics and Reading Assignments section of the syllabus to ascertain when specific readings should be completed.

Slavenka Drakulic, Café Europa

Slavenka Drakulic, How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Andrey Kurkov, Ukraine Diaries: Dispatches from Kiev

Kevin McDermott and Matthew Stibbe, editors, Revolution and Resistance in Eastern Europe. Challenges to Communist Rule

Gail Stokes, From Stalinism to Pluralism

Olga Tokarczuk, Primeval and Other Times

Making the History of 1989: The Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe –

http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/

The Collapse of the Soviet Union: The Oral History of Independent Ukraine -1988-1991 –

http://oralhistory.org.ua/en/

On-line book: Zdenka Novak, When Heaven’s Vault Cracked Zagreb Memories. 

http://familymath.org/IC/zdenka/index.html

Recommended sources for writing essays, papers and citing sources

Benjamin, Jules.  A Student’s Guide to History  

Chicago Manual of Style -

https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/

Tips for writing history papers – Cornell University

http://www.arts.cornell.edu/prh3/257/classmats/papertip.html 

An essay writing guide from our Canadian friends -

http://www.historyandclassics.ualberta.ca/~/media/history/MainPage/GuideEssays.pdf 

Chicago Manual of Style – citation guide

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html 

Supplemental primary sources and handouts will also be distributed and additional relevant library holdings will be referenced.

Additional Sources

These sites serve as supplementary information for topics we cover in class, contemporary issues and initial background research for assigned papers -  

The Library of Congress European Reading Room

www.loc.gov/rr/european

This site offers an interesting overview and sources related to the more general topic of the Cold War.

http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~hpcws

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars offers access to four relevant programs.  Click programs on the home page and then check the Cold War International History Project, East European Studies, the Southeast Europe Project and the Kennan Institute.

http://www.wilsoncenter.org

The following sites provide analytical assessments of current events.

Central Europe Online http://www.centraleurope.com

Transitions Online http://tol.cz

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty http://www.rferl.org

The BBC site offers the best in current news and has strong historical chronologies, summaries and assessments.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world/europe       

EINnews is a news monitoring service.

http://www.einnews.com

This site offers a broad range of historical topics.  Please find links specifically related to East Central Europe.

History Index http://vlib.iue.it/history/index.html

The European Roma Rights Center – the Roma used to be more commonly referred to as “Gypsies.” http://www.errc.org

These are just two of many universities that offer valuable resources related to Eastern and Central Europe

University of Illinois http://www.reec.uiuc.edu

University of Pittsburgh http://www.ucis.pitt.edu/reesweb

The Soros Foundation – https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/

Central European University sponsored by the Soros Foundation.

http://www.ceu.hu

Requirements

1.  “Students at Ithaca College are expected to attend all classes, and they are responsible for work missed during any absence from class.” (Ithaca College Undergraduate Catalog) Absences adversely affect the comprehension of course material and one’s grade.  You are expected to read the assigned readings and participate qualitatively in class discussion.

 

2. Each student is required to take two interpretive essay examinations.  Essays are conceptual in nature and test your comprehension and analysis of material covered in class and assigned readings.  Take careful notes of lectures and discussions. Review essay questions and objective terms are distributed one week prior to the examinations. The final examination includes a comprehensive essay. Please note “Writing Historical Essays”

http://history.rutgers.edu/component/content/article?id=106:writing-historical-essays-a-guide-for-undergraduates                                    

A helpful guide from Canada 

http://guides.library.ualberta.ca/academicpapers

 

3.  A research paper of 15 double-spaced pages is required.  A topic is selected jointly by the student and professor.  The paper then follows several stages and deadlines as noted in the “Topics and Reading Assignments” section of the syllabus. The stages followed are: 1.) selection of a research topic; 2.) a thesis statement and bibliography; 3.) an outline; 4.) completion of the paper with possibility of revision.  The format, research and documentation must adhere to the Chicago style for writing history papers guidelines presented in –

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org

http://www.historyguide.org/guide/essay2.html  Also –

http://www.arts.cornell.edu/prh3/257/classmats/papertip.html

 

4. The collaborative semester project. Two or more students will work collaboratively to produce a post-communist or contemporary evaluation or impression of one country, diaspora community, connected to possible varieties of political, social or cultural issues selected jointly by students and the professor.  Possible projects may include establishing social networking communications with college students in Eastern and Central Europe, oral histories of people engaged in a variety of ways in the region, civil society organizations, etc…  

 •Czech Republic

 •Poland

 •Hungary

 •Romania and Moldova

 •Croatia

 •Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia

 •Slovenia

 •Slovakia

 •Bulgaria

 •Ukraine

   Belarus

 •Serbia

 •Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina

 •Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia

  Roma

  Jewish

  European Migrations

  European Union Integration

 

5. One page reaction papers are required at the time of scheduled discussions of the Drakulic, Kundera and Tokarczuk books.

 

6. Qualitative class participation in thoughtful discussion of assigned readings, topics and creative collaborative group projects is required. 

 

7. The writing of essays, critiques and papers follow specific criteria and all sources must be properly documented.  Carefully read the Ithaca College Standards of Academic Conduct found at the end of the syllabus and at the following Student Policies link –

 https://www.ithaca.edu/policies/vol7/general/070104/

 

8. In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable accommodation will be provided to students with documented disabilities on a case-by-case basis. Students must register with the Office of Academic Services and provide appropriate documentation to the College before any academic adjustment will be provided.

 

9.  Diminished mental health (stress, depression, untreated mental illness) can interfere with optimal academic performance.  There are many potential sources of personal difficulties.  Academic studies, family, friends, poor health and difficult romantic relationships can contribute to personal difficulties – and impaired academic performance.

Through the office of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), cost-free support can be obtained when personal difficulties threaten your well-being.

In the event I suspect you might benefit from additional support, I will express my concerns, my reasoning, and remind you of resources (e.g., CAPS, Health Center, Chaplains, etc.) that might be of help to you.  It is not my intention to know details of what you might be experiencing, but simply to let you know I am concerned and that help, if needed, is available.

Getting help is a smart and healthy thing to do… for yourself and your loved ones.

 

10. Title IX is a federal act mandating that educational institutions receiving federal funding must provide sex and gender equity. All students thus have the right to a campus atmosphere free of sex/ual harassment, sexual violence, and gender discrimination. For reports of sexual assault and general issues, please contact Tiffani Ziemann, Title IX Coordinator

 

11. Ithaca College Department of History Student Learning Outcome Assessment goals –

1. Attain factual knowledge

2. Identify, gather and use primary and secondary sources for historical inquiry

3. Demonstrate skills in communicating thesis-driven arguments based on evidence

Provided by sources, both secondary and primary

4. Demonstrate critical reading skills that recognize and analyze complexity and ambiguity in sources and historical processes

5. Demonstrate capacity for engaged, knowledgeable and competent global citizenship

6. Demonstrate desire and capacity for lifelong learning

 

12.  The syllabus outline, topics and assignments are subject to change.

Grading

All work must be completed to earn a passing grade.

 

     Examination #1                                          20%

     Examination #2 and Final                        30%

     Research paper                                         30%

     Semester project, reaction papers and

     participation                                                20%

                                                                         100%

TOPICS AND READING ASSIGNMENTS

Students are responsible for completing the assigned readings and being prepared to engage in qualitative discussion.

 

Week 1 - 27 August        

A short introduction and course overview.  Historical roots and cultural diversity: The early history of East Central Europe. 

Read Tokarczuk, Primeval and Other Times

 

Week 2 - 1 and 3 September – 2 September

Inter-war politics and tribulations on the eve of World War Two and developments in Eastern Europe during the Second World War. The Holocaust and the Bloodlands.  Soviet Entry – liberation or domination?

A glimpse into the realities of everyday life – a discussion of Primeval and Other Times

Lecture and discussion of handouts

 

Week 3 – 8 and 10 September

The Research Paper: Topics, Concepts and Process.

The Yalta Agreement and immediate Post-war developments, evaluation of Stokes primary sources

“Different Roads to Socialism” - Ideology, Power and Eastern/Central Europe's Collapse under Soviet Domination. A Study of Revisionist Historiography - Was there a Stalinist Strategy towards Socialist Transformation. Social and Economic Restructuring. The Communist Political System and the Military. Democracy, Markets and Security in Eastern Europe. “An End to Diversity.”

Stokes, From Stalinism to Pluralism, Readings 1-8, 10 and 11

Read Drakulic, How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed

Collaborative Semester Project Topic Proposal is due

 

Week 4 – 15 and 17 September

Industrialization, Modernization and the Command Economy.

The Creation of a "Modern" Socialist Society and Culture and Traditional Values as a Form of Resistance.  “Actually Existing Socialism in Operation”

Marxist Alternatives, “Liberal” Socialism and the New Democracy.  Women’s Rights, Roles, and Status in Eastern and Central Europe. Gender Relations, Social Services, and Consumerism from 1945 to the present.

Discussion of the Drakulic book as an introduction to next week’s topic

McDermott and Stibbe, Chapter 1 “Revolution and Resistance in Eastern Europe: An Overview”

Research Topic is due

 

Week 5 – 22 and 24 September

The Economic Challenges of Post-Communist Marketization. Yugoslavia, the Challenge of Titoism and a Continued Biography of Tito. De-Stalinization, Rehabilitation and Popular Rebellion.

McDermott and Stibbe, Chapter 2 “The Soviet-Yugoslav Split”

Stokes, Readings 12-18 

Iosip Broz Tito Biography - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9lRUzUBC_k

Thesis Statement and Bibliography is due

 

Week 6 - 29 September and 1 October

The Death of Stalin and De-Stalinization. Rehabilitation and Popular Rebellion. “Little Stalins” vs. Reformers. East German and Bulgarian Conservatism vs. the Polish October. “1956: Communism Renewed?”

McDermott and Stibbe, Chapter 3 “The SED, German Communism and the June 1953 Uprising: New Trends and New Research”

Begin reading Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Work on your Research Paper   

 

Examination

 

Week 7 – 6 and 8 October

1956 - The Polish October and the Hungarian Revolution Compared and the role of Soviet Intervention.  The Hungarian Economic Experiment: the New Economic Mechanism and Goulash Socialism. “Reform Communism or economic Reform.” 

McDermott and Stribbe, Chapter 4 “Poland and Hungary, 1956: A Comparative Essay Based on New Archival Findings”

The Hungarian Revolt of 1956 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVdQ9PK9Q5o

Stokes, readings 12, 13, 17

Finish reading Unbearable Likeness of Being

 

Week 8 - 13 October (15 October - Fall Break)

Romania – Ceausescu and the Romanian Narrative of an International Maverick and Internal Repression

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjbYhVDwd6k

McDermott and Stribbe, Chapter 5 “Romania, 1945-89: Resistance, Protest and Dissent

Finish reading Unbearable Lightness of Being

 

Week 9 – 20 and 22 October

Czechoslovakia and the Prague Spring of 1968 “Socialism with a Human Face”

Discussion of Unbearable Lightness of Being.

Evening viewing of Milos Forman film outside of class

Implementation of the Brezhnev Doctrine. The Human Rights Movement

McDermott and Stribbe, Chapter 6 “The Prague Spring: From Elite Liberalization to Mass Movement” 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlPT3O7NKIQ                 

Stokes, Readings 19-29

 

Week 10 – 27 and 29 October

Poland’s Historical Legacy and the Solidarity Movement.

Pope John Paul II and Parallel Society in the 1980s: Religious and Ethnic Currents

McDermott and Stribe, Chapter 7 “Solidarity, 1980-1: The Second Vistula Miracle?”

Stokes, Readings 30-39

Solidarity Poland 1981

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peT3-xSzj08

Research Paper Progress Report

 

Week 11 – 3 and 5 November

Everyday Life outside of politics – a discussion and analysis of articles related to music, travel and sports

Communist rock and roll - https://easternblocsongs.wordpress.com/about/

Popular Culture as Resistance and Identity: Music as Dissent and Frank Zappa as Hero.

East Central European Cinema

 

Week 12 – 10 and 12 November

The Return of Politics and the Role of Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika. The Revolutionary Student Youth Movement. Religion and Politics in Post-Communist East Central Europe.

Stokes, Readings 40-43

McDermott and Stibbe, Chapters 8-11

 

Week 13 – 17 and 19 November

The Revolutions of 1989, post-communist East Central Europe and the Expansion of East Central Europe: Ukraine and the Baltics - Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia - Independence and the Belarusian Question.

Swain and Swain, Chapter 8

Stokes, Readings 44-53

Special focus and collective appraisals of –

http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/ 1989-The Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe

http://oralhistory.org.ua/en/about-project/  The Collapse of the Soviet Union – Independent Ukraine

Handouts and directed on-line sources

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! No class week of 21 November.

Finish Research Papers. Read Drakulic, Café Europa and Kurkov

 

Week 14 – 1 and 3 December

Research Paper is due!

Post-Communist Eastern and Central Europe

Discussion of Café Europa and Ukraine Diaries

Ukrainian Revolution of 2014 -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvds2AIiWLA

              

Week 15 – 8 and 10 December

Contemporary Issues in the Integrated rather than Other Europe –

Collaborative Project presentations

Handouts and directed on-line sourcs

 

Week 16 Week of 16 December     

Final Examination Week - Good Luck!

Research Paper Presentations during assigned examination meeting time

 

 

THE OTHER EUROPE:

MODERN EASTERN AND CENTRAL EUROPE

HIST-31300-01, CRN 22591

MWF, 10:00 am

FALL 2013

Zenon V. Wasyliw

Professor, Department of History

Muller 427, 274-1587, 274-3303                     

wasyliw@ithaca.edu                          

https://faculty.ithaca.edu/wasyliw

Office hours:

Monday and Wednesday 1:00-2:00

Tuesday 11:00-12:00, Friday 11-11:45

Other days and times by appointment

I am often in my office additional times

Stop by if my office door is open  

Introduction

The revolutions of 1989 in Eastern and Central Europe and the 1991 revolutions in the former Soviet Union changed the course of history in the countries of these regions and the world.  Soviet hegemony over the area ended as did the various experiments in implementing a Marxist utopian model of political, social and economic development.  Many declared communism dead, to be most likely replaced by a new free market liberal democratic model with an ultimate goal of integration into the European Union.  The transition has not been a simple and direct process.  The former “Other Europe” continues to deal with its historical legacy as the “New Europe.”

 

This course concentrates on developments and events in the immediate post-World War Two period through the present.  We first begin with a general historical and cultural overview predating the principal period of study.  This comparative overview sets a historical context with a brief analysis of political, ideological, social and economic conditions and cultural identities in the first half of the twentieth century through the Second World War and its many tragedies.

 

The post-1945 period is examined in light of common and differing patterns of governance, ideology, politics, economics, society and culture. A revisionist history of immediate post-1945 transitions will be assessed that eventually concluded with the consolidation of communist rule throughout Eastern and Central Europe.  We then concentrate on the development of independent dissident activities, ideas, social change, cultural movements and individuals which challenged the authoritarian models throughout the region.  Examples include Titoism, the Hungarian Revolution, Prague Spring and the Solidarity Movement among others and the post-communist transition period. This course concludes with a reflection upon contemporary events and transformations in Eastern and Central Europe and an evaluation of what the future may bring for this region based upon recent historical and cultural legacies. It is important to note that we are studying the lands between and not focusing upon Russia and Germany, although we deal with Communist East Germany. 

Books

The following books are required for this course and may be purchased at the college bookstore. Please follow the Topics and Reading Assignments section of the syllabus to ascertain when specific readings should be completed.

Slavenka Drakulic, Café Europa

Slavenka Drakulic, How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Kevin McDermott and Matthew Stibbe, editors, Revolution and Resistance in Eastern Europe. Challenges to Communist Rule

Gail Stokes, From Stalinism to Pluralism

Benjamin Weiser, A Secret Life: The Polish Officer, His Covert Mission and the Price He Paid to Save His Country

Making the History of 1989: The Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe –

http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/

The Collapse of the Soviet Union: The Oral History of Independent Ukraine -1988-1991 –

http://oralhistory.org.ua/en/

On-line book: Zdenka Novak, When Heaven’s Vault Cracked Zagreb Memories. 

https://www.ithaca.edu/dani/Dani/personal_my_mothers_book.html

Dani’s recent visits and reflections –

https://www.ithaca.edu/dani/Dani/personal_my_journey_to_the_past.html

Recommended

Benjamin, Jules.  A Student’s Guide to History – is available in hard copy and also found online at - http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/benjamin11e  

Citation guide

http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/resdoc5e/index.htm  

Hacker/Fister, Documenting History Papers

http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/resdoc5e/RES5e_ch10_s1-0001.html

Tips for writing history papers – Cornell University

http://www.arts.cornell.edu/prh3/257/classmats/papertip.html

An essay writing guide from our Canadian friends –

http://www.historyandclassics.ualberta.ca/~/media/history/MainPage/GuideEssays.pdf    

Chicago Manual of Style – citation guide

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

Supplemental primary sources, articles and handouts will also be distributed throughout the semester  

Additional Sources

These sites serve as supplementary information for topics we cover in class, contemporary issues and initial background research for assigned papers -  

The Library of Congress European Reading Room

www.loc.gov/rr/european

This site offers an interesting overview and sources related to the more general topic of the Cold War.

http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~hpcws

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars offers access to four relevant programs.  Click programs on the home page and then check the Cold War International History Project, East European Studies, the Southeast Europe Project and the Kennan Institute.

http://www.wilsoncenter.org

The following sites provide analytical assessments of current events.

Central Europe Online http://www.centraleurope.com

Transitions Online http://tol.cz

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty http://www.rferl.org

The BBC site offers the best in current news and has strong historical chronologies, summaries and assessments.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world/europe       

EINnews is a news monitoring service.

http://www.einnews.com

This site offers a broad range of historical topics.  Please find links specifically related to East Central Europe.

History Index http://vlib.iue.it/history/index.html

The European Roma Rights Center – the Roma used to be more commonly referred to as “Gypsies.” http://www.errc.org

These are just two of many universities that offer valuable resources related to Eastern and Central Europe

University of Illinois http://www.reec.uiuc.edu

University of Pittsburgh http://www.ucis.pitt.edu/reesweb

The Soros Foundation – an NGO

Central European University sponsored by the Soros Foundation.

http://www.ceu.hu

Requirements

1.  “Students at Ithaca College are expected to attend all classes, and they are responsible for work missed during any absence from class.” (Ithaca College Undergraduate Catalog) Absences adversely affect the comprehension of course material and one’s grade.  You are expected to read the assigned readings and participate qualitatively in class discussion.

 

2. Each student is required to take two interpretive essay examinations.  Essays are conceptual in nature and test your comprehension and analysis of material covered in class and assigned readings.  Take careful notes of lectures and discussions. Review essay questions and objective terms are distributed one week prior to the examinations. The final examination includes a comprehensive essay. Please note “How to Write History Essays” –

http://legacy.ncsu.edu/classes/hi300001/write.htm                                    

A helpful guide from Canada 

http://www.uofaweb.ualberta.ca/historyandclassics/essaywritingguide.cfm

 

3.  A research paper of 15 double-spaced pages is required.  A topic is selected jointly by the student and professor.  The paper then follows several stages and deadlines as noted in the “Topics and Reading Assignments” section of the syllabus. The stages followed are: 1.) selection of a research topic; 2.) a thesis statement and bibliography; 3.) an outline; 4.) completion of the paper with possibility of revision.  The format, research and documentation must adhere to the Chicago style for writing history papers guidelines presented in -

http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/resdoc5e/index.htm  Also –

http://www.arts.cornell.edu/prh3/257/classmats/papertip.html

 

4. The collaborative semester project. Two or more students will work collaboratively to produce a post-communist or contemporary evaluation or impression of one country, diaspora community, connected to possible varieties of political, social or cultural issues selected jointly by students and the professor.  Possible projects may include establishing social networking communications with college students in Eastern and Central Europe, oral histories of people engaged in a variety of ways in the region, civil society organizations, etc…  

 •Czech Republic

 •Poland

 •Hungary

 •Romania and Moldova

 •Croatia

 •Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia

 •Slovenia

 •Slovakia

 •Bulgaria

 •Ukraine and Belarus

 •Serbia

 •Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina

 •Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia

  Roma

  Jewish

  European Migrations

  European Union Integration

 

5. One page reaction papers are required at the time of scheduled discussions of the Drakulic,  Kundera and Weisner books.

 

6. Qualitative class participation in thoughtful discussion of assigned readings, topics and creative collaborative group projects is required. 

 

7. The writing of essays, critiques and papers follow specific criteria and all sources must be properly documented.  Carefully read the Ithaca College Standards of Academic Conduct found at the end of the syllabus and at the following Student Policies link –

https://www.ithaca.edu/attorney/policies/vol7/Volume_7-70104.htm

 

8. In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable accommodation will be provided to students with documented disabilities on a case-by-case basis. Students must register with the Office of Academic Services and provide appropriate documentation to the College before any academic adjustment will be provided.

 

9.  Diminished mental health (stress, depression, untreated mental illness) can interfere with optimal academic performance.  There are many potential sources of personal difficulties.  Academic studies, family, friends, poor health and difficult romantic relationships can contribute to personal difficulties – and impaired academic performance.

Through the office of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), cost-free support can be obtained when personal difficulties threaten your well-being.

In the event I suspect you might benefit from additional support, I will express my concerns, my reasoning, and remind you of resources (e.g., CAPS, Health Center, Chaplains, etc.) that might be of help to you.  It is not my intention to know details of what you might be experiencing, but simply to let you know I am concerned and that help, if needed, is available.

Getting help is a smart and healthy thing to do… for yourself and your loved ones.

 

10.  The syllabus outline, topics and assignments are subject to change.

Grading

All work must be completed to earn a passing grade.

 

     Examination #1                                             20%

     Examination #2 and Final                           30%

     Research paper                                            30%

     Semester project, reaction papers and

     class participation                                         20%

                                                                             100%

TOPICS AND READING ASSIGNMENTS

Students are responsible for completing the assigned readings and being prepared to engage in qualitative discussion.

 

Week 1 - 28 August        

A short introduction and course overview.  Historical Roots and Cultural Diversity: The Early History of East Central Europe. 

Handouts and internet sites

Read the online book by Zdenka Novak, When Heaven’s Vault Cracked Zagreb Memories

 

Week 2 - 4 and 6 September – 2 September no class Labor Day

Inter-war Politics and Tribulations on the eve of World War Two and developments in Eastern Europe during the Second World War. The Holocaust and the Bloodlands.  Soviet Entry – Liberation or Domination?

Lecture and discussion of handouts

 

Week 3 - 9 September

The Research Paper: Topics, Concepts and Process.

The Yalta Agreement and immediate Post-war developments, evaluation of Stokes primary sources

“Different Roads to Socialism” - Ideology, Power and Eastern/Central Europe's Collapse Under Soviet Domination. A Study of Revisionist Historiography - Was there a Stalinist Strategy Towards Socialist Transformation. Social and Economic Restructuring. The Communist Political System and the Military. Democracy, Markets and Security in Eastern Europe. “An End to Diversity.”

Stokes, From Stalinism to Pluralism, Readings 1-8, 10 and 11

Read Drakulic, How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed

Collaborative Semester Project Topic Proposal is due

 

Week 4 - 16 September

Industrialization, Modernization and the Command Economy.

The Creation of a "Modern" Socialist Society and Culture and Traditional Values as a Form of Resistance.  “Actually Existing Socialism in Operation”

Marxist Alternatives, “Liberal” Socialism and the New Democracy.  Women’s Rights, Roles, and Status in Eastern and Central Europe. Gender Relations, Social Services, and Consumerism from 1945 to the present.

Discussion of the Drakulic book as an introduction to next week’s topic

McDermott and Stibbe, Chapter 1 “Revolution and Resistance in Eastern Europe: An Overview”

Research Topic is Due

 

Week 5 - 23 September

The Economic Challenges of Post-Communist Marketization. Yugoslavia, the Challenge of Titoism and a Continued Biography of Tito. De-Stalinization, Rehabilitation and Popular Rebellion.

McDermott and Stibbe, Chapter 2 “The Soviet-Yugoslav Split”

Stokes, Readings 12-18 

Iosip Broz Tito Biography - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4yliDL4M8Q

Thesis Statement and Bibliography is Due

 

Week 6 - 30 September

The Death of Stalin and De-Stalinization. Rehabilitation and Popular Rebellion. “Little Stalins” vs. Reformers. East German and Bulgarian Conservatism vs. the Polish October. “1956: Communism Renewed?”

McDermott and Stibbe, Chapter 3 “The SED, German Communism and the June 1953 Uprising: New Trends and New Research”

Begin reading Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Work on your Research Paper   

 

Examination

 

Week 7 - 7 October

1956 - The Polish October and the Hungarian Revolution Compared and the role of Soviet Intervention.  The Hungarian Economic Experiment: the New Economic Mechanism and Goulash Socialism. “Reform Communism or economic Reform.” 

McDermott and Stribbe, Chapter 4 “Poland and Hungary, 1956: A Comparative Essay Based on New Archival Findings”

The Hungarian Revolt of 1956 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVdQ9PK9Q5o

Stokes, readings 12, 13, 17

Finish reading Unbearable Likeness of Being

 

Week 8 - 14 October (18 October - Fall Break)

Romania – Ceusescu and the Romanian Narrative of an International Maverick and Internal Repression

McDermott and Stribbe, Chapter 5 “Romania, 1945-89: Resistance, Protest and Dissent

Finish reading Unbearable Lightness of Being

 

Week 9 - 21 October

Czechoslovakia and the Prague Spring of 1968 “Socialism with a Human Face”

Discussion of Unbearable Lightness of Being.

Evening viewing of Milos Forman film outside of class

Implementation of the Brezhnev Doctrine. The Human Rights Movement

McDermott and Stribbe, Chapter 6 “The Prague Spring: From Elite Liberalization to Mass Movement”                    

Stokes, Readings 19-29

Start and complete reading Weiser, A Secret Life

 

Week 10 - 28 October

Poland’s Historical Legacy and the Solidarity Movement.

Discussion of Weiser, A Secret Life

Pope John Paul II and Parallel Society in the 1980s: Religious and Ethnic Currents

McDermott and Stribe, Chapter 7 “Solidarity, 1980-1: The Second Vistula Miracle?”

Stokes, Readings 30-39

Research Paper Progress Report

 

Week 11 - 4 November

Everyday Life outside of politics – a discussion and analysis of articles related to music, travel and sports

Popular Culture as Resistance and Identity: Music as Dissent and Frank Zappa as Hero.

East Central European Cinema

 

Week 12 - 11 November

The Return of Politics and the Role of Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika. The Revolutionary Student Youth Movement. Religion and Politics in Post-Communist East Central Europe.

Stokes, Readings  40-43

McDermott and Stibbe, Chapters 8-11

 

Week 13 - 18 November

The Revolutions of 1989, post-communist East Central Europe and the Expansion of East Central Europe: Ukraine and the Baltics - Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia - Independence and the Belarusian Question.

Swain and Swain, Chapter 8

Stokes, Readings 44-53

Special focus and collective appraisals of –

http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/ 1989-The Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe

http://oralhistory.org.ua.en/ The Collapse of the Soviet Union – Independent Ukraine

Handouts and directed on-line sources

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! No classes week of 21 November.

Finish Research Papers. Read Drakulic, Café Europa

 

Week 14 - 2 December

Research Paper is Due!

Post-Communist Eastern and Central Europe

Discussion of Café Europa

Guest Speaker – Mr. Stephan Wasylko, retired Senior Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs, United States Embassy.  The Honorable Mr. Wasylko represented US Embassies in Budapest, Prague, Moscow and opened the US Embassy in Kyiv (Kiev) Ukraine

              

Week 15 - 9 December

Contemporary Issues in the Integrated rather than Other Europe –

Collaborative Project presentations

Handouts and directed on-line sourcs

 

Week 16 Week of 16 December     

Final Examination Week - Good Luck!

Research Paper Presentations during assigned examination meeting time

THE OTHER EUROPE:

MODERN EASTERN AND CENTRAL EUROPE

HIST-31300-01

FALL 2011

Prof. Zenon V. Wasyliw

Muller 427, 274-1587, 274-3303                     

wasyliw@ithaca.edu                           

https://faculty.ithaca.edu/wasyliw

Office hours:

Monday 11-12:00

Tuesday 1-2:00

Wednesday 2-3:00

Friday 11-12:00

Other days and times by appointment

I am often in my office additional times

Stop by if my office door is open  

         

Introduction

The revolutions of 1989 in Eastern and Central Europe and the 1991 revolutions in the former Soviet Union changed the course of history in the countries of these regions and the world.  Soviet hegemony over the area ended as did the various experiments in implementing a Marxist utopian model of political, social and economic development. Many declared communism dead, to be most likely replaced by a new free market liberal democratic model with an ultimate goal of integration into the European Union. The transition has not been a simple and direct process. The former “Other Europe” continues to deal with its historical legacy as the “New Europe.”

 

This course concentrates on developments and events in the immediate post-World War Two period through the present. We first begin with a general historical and cultural overview predating the principal period of study.  This comparative overview sets a historical context with a brief analysis of conditions and identities in the nineteenth century through the Second World War with an eye toward the creation national diasporas as a result of continuous immigration of peoples from Eastern and Central Europe to North America and elsewhere since the end of the 19th century. World War One and the period between the two world wars is evaluated as a defining period in the evolution of political extremism. The Second World War is also examined as a precursor to Soviet domination and the tragedy of the Holocaust.

 

The post-1945 period is examined in light of common and differing patterns of governance, ideology, politics, economics, society and culture. A revisionist history of immediate post-1945 transitions will be assessed that eventually concluded with the consolidation of communist rule throughout Eastern and Central Europe. We then concentrate on the development of independent dissident activities, ideas, social change, cultural movements and individuals which challenged the authoritarian models throughout the region. Examples include Titoism, the Hungarian Revolution, Prague Spring and the Solidarity Movement among others. This course concludes with a reflection upon contemporary events and transformations in Eastern and Central Europe and an evaluation of what the future may bring for this region based upon recent historical and cultural legacies. It is important to note that we are studying the lands between and not focusing upon Russia and Germany, although we deal with Communist East Germany. 

 

Books

The following books are required for this course and may be purchased at the college bookstore. Please follow the Topics and Reading Assignments section of the syllabus to ascertain when specific readings should be completed.

 

Timothy Garton Ash, The Magic Lantern.

Neil Barnett, Tito

Tadeusz Borowski, This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen

Slavenka Drakulic, How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Gail Stokes, From Stalinism to Pluralism

Geoffrey Swain and Nigel Swain, Eastern Europe since 1945

Making the History of 1989: The Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe –

http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/

The Collapse of the Soviet Union: The Oral History of Independent Ukraine -1988-1991 –

http://oralhistory.org.ua/en/

On-line book: Zdenka Novak, When Heaven’s Vault Cracked Zagreb Memories. 

https://www.ithaca.edu/dani/Dani/personal_my_mothers_book.html

Dani’s recent visits and reflections –

https://www.ithaca.edu/dani/Dani/personal_my_journey_to_the_past.html

Recommended

Jules Benjamin, A Student’s Guide to History

http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/benjamin10e  

Hacker/Fister, Documenting History Papers

http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/resdoc5e/RES5e_ch10_s1-0001.html

 

Additional Sources

These sites serve as supplementary information for topics we cover in class, contemporary issues and initial background research for assigned papers.  

 

The Library of Congress European Reading Room

www.loc.gov/rr/european

This site offers an interesting overview and sources related to the more general topic of the Cold War.

http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~hpcws

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars offers access to four relevant programs. Click programs on the home page and then check the Cold War International History Project, East European Studies, the Southeast Europe Project and the Kennan Institute.

http://www.wilsoncenter.org

The following sites provide analytical assessments of current events.

Central Europe Online http://www.centraleurope.com

Transitions Online http://tol.cz

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty http://www.rferl.org

The BBC site offers the best in current news and has strong historical chronologies, summaries and assessments.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world/europe       

EINnews is a news monitoring service.

http://www.einnews.com

This site offers a broad range of historical topics. Please find links specifically related to East Central Europe.

History Index http://vlib.iue.it/history/index.html

The European Roma Rights Center – the Roma used to be more commonly referred to as “Gypsies.” http://www.errc.org

These are just two of many universities that offer valuable resources related to Eastern and Central Europe

University of Illinois http://www.reec.uiuc.edu

University of Pittsburgh http://www.ucis.pitt.edu/reesweb

The Soros Foundation – an NGO

Central European University sponsored by the Soros Foundation.

http://www.ceu.hu

 

Requirements

1. “Students at Ithaca College are expected to attend all classes, and they are responsible for work missed during any absence from class.” (Ithaca College Undergraduate Catalog) Absences adversely affect the comprehension of course material and one’s grade. You are expected to read the assigned readings and participate qualitatively in class discussion.

 

2. Each student is required to take two interpretive essay examinations. Essays are conceptual in nature and test your comprehension and analysis of material covered in class and assigned readings. Take careful notes of lectures and discussions. Review essay questions and objective terms are distributed one week prior to the examinations. The final examination includes a comprehensive essay. Please note “How to Write History Essays” –

http://legacy.ncsu.edu/classes/hi300001/write.htm                                    

A helpful guide from Canada 

http://www.uofaweb.ualberta.ca/historyandclassics/essaywritingguide.cfm

 

3. A research paper of 15 double-spaced pages is required. A topic is selected jointly by the student and professor. The paper then follows several stages and deadlines as noted in the “Topics and Reading Assignments” section of the syllabus. The stages followed are: 1.) selection of a research topic; 2.) a thesis statement and bibliography; 3.) an outline; 4.) completion of the paper with possibility of revision. The format, research and documentation must adhere to the Chicago style for writing history papers guidelines presented in -

http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/resdoc5e/index.htm Also –

http://www.arts.cornell.edu/prh3/257/classmats/papertip.html

 

4. The collaborative semester project. Two or three students will work collaboratively to produce a historical and contemporary evaluation or impression of one country, diaspora community, or a variety of social or cultural issues selected jointly by students and the professor. Possible projects may include establishing social networking communications with college students in Eastern and Central Europe, oral histories of people engaged in a variety of ways in the region, organizing a field trip and other creative options.  

 

5. One page reaction papers are required at the time of scheduled discussions of the Drakulic, Kundera and Barnett books.

 

6. Qualitative class participation in thoughtful discussion of assigned readings, topics and creative collaborative group projects is required. 

 

7. The writing of essays, critiques and papers follow specific criteria and all sources must be properly documented. Carefully read the Ithaca College Standards of Academic Conduct found at the end of the syllabus and at the following Student Policies link –

https://www.ithaca.edu/attorney/policies/vol7/Volume_7-70104.htm

 

8. In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable accommodation will be provided to students with documented disabilities on a case-by-case basis. Students must register with the Office of Academic Services and provide appropriate documentation to the College before any academic adjustment will be provided.

 

9. Diminished mental health (stress, depression, untreated mental illness) can interfere with optimal academic performance. There are many potential sources of personal difficulties. Academic studies, family, friends, poor health and difficult romantic relationships can contribute to personal difficulties – and impaired academic performance.

Through the office of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), cost-free support can be obtained when personal difficulties threaten your well-being.

In the event I suspect you might benefit from additional support, I will express my concerns, my reasoning, and remind you of resources (e.g., CAPS, Health Center, Chaplains, etc.) that might be of help to you. It is not my intention to know details of what you might be experiencing, but simply to let you know I am concerned and that help, if needed, is available.

Getting help is a smart and healthy thing to do… for yourself and your loved ones.

 

10. The syllabus outline, topics and assignments are subject to change.

 

Grading

All work must be completed to earn a passing grade.

 

     Examination #1                                          20%

     Examination #2 and Final                            30%

     Research paper                                           30%

     Semester project, reaction papers and

     class participation                                        20%

                                                                    100%

 

Miscellaneous

1. Try to attend presentations outside of class that relate to our course. Cornell University often offers relevant lectures and films. We might organize a field trip to visit an East European community outside of Ithaca if an opportunity arises.

 

2. Make-up examinations (for those with a valid excuse) will be given at the professor's convenience.

 

3. Please stop by during scheduled office hours or by appointment to discuss course material or life in general. The best way to communicate questions and make appointments is by email –

wasyliw@ithaca.edu

 

 

TOPICS AND READING ASSIGNMENTS

Students are responsible for completing the assigned readings and being prepared to engage in qualitative discussion.

 

Week 1 31 August, 2 September        

A short introduction and course overview. Historical Roots and Cultural Diversity: The Early History of East Central Europe. 

Handouts and internet sites

 

Week 2 7 and 9 September – 5 September no class Labor Day

The Geography and Politics of Empire and the Rise of Nationalism.

World War I and the Creation of a New Eastern and Central Europe. Migration to America: Daily Life, Values, and Connections with the “Old Country.” Inter-war Politics and Tribulations on the eve of World War Two and developments in Eastern Europe during the Second World War.

Swain and Swain, beginning to page 30 (for this week and next)

Barnett, Tito beginning to page 73

Handouts and sites

Read Borowski, This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen (for next week)

Read the online book by Zdenka Novak, When Heaven’s Vault Cracked Zagreb Memories

 

Week 3 12, 14, 16 September

The Research Paper: Topics, Concepts and Process. The Second World War: Conflicts, Alliances and the Holocaust. A discussion of the Borowski book and the  Zdenka Novak book with guest discussant Dani Novak

Collaborative Semester Project Topic Proposal is due

Swain and Swain, Chapter 2 and 3 (for next week)

 

Week 4 19, 21, 23 September

The Yalta Agreement

“Different Roads to Socialism” - Ideology, Power and Eastern/Central Europe's Collapse Under Soviet Domination. A Study of Revisionist Historiography - Was there a Stalinist Strategy Towards Socialist Transformation. Social and Economic Restructuring. The Communist Political System and the Military. Democracy, Markets and Security in Eastern Europe. “An End to Diversity.”

Barnett, Tito pp. 74-93                    

Stokes, From Stalinism to Pluralism, Readings 1-8

Read Drakulic, How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed

Research Topic is Due

 

Week 5 26, 28, 30 September

Industrialization, Modernization and the Command Economy.

The Creation of a "Modern" Socialist Society and Culture and Traditional Values as a Form of Resistance.  “Actually Existing Socialism in Operation”

Swain and Swain, Chapter 5

Thesis Statement and Bibliography is Due

 

Week 6 3, 5, 7 October

Marxist Alternatives, “Liberal” Socialism and the New Democracy. Women’s Rights, Roles, and Status in Eastern and Central Europe. Gender Relations, Social Services, and Consumerism from 1945 to the present.

Discussion of the Drakulic book as an introduction to next week’s topic

Examination

 

Week 7 10, 12, 14 October

The Economic Challenges of Post-Communist Marketization. Yugoslavia, the Challenge of Titoism and a Continued Biography of Tito. De-Stalinization, Rehabilitation and Popular Rebellion.

Barnett, pp. 94-115

Stokes, Readings 12-18                 

Swain and Swain, Chapter 4 (for this week and next week)

 

Week 8 17, 19 October (21 - Fall Break)

 The Death of Stalin and De-Stalinization. Rehabilitation and Popular Rebellion. “Little Stalins” vs. Reformers. East German and Bulgarian Conservatism vs. the Polish October. “1956: Communism Renewed?”

Swain and Swain, Chapter 4

Swain and Swain, Chapter 6 (for next week)

Begin reading Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Work on your Research Paper   

 

Week 9 24, 26, 28 October

Hungarian History and Stages of the Hungarian Revolution.  The Hungarian Economic Experiment: the New Economic Mechanism and Goulash Socialism. “Reform Communism or economic Reform.” 

Finish reading Unbearable Likeness of Being

Swain and Swain, Chapters 4 and 6

 

Week 10 31 October, 2, 4 November

The Hungarian Revolution in Retrospect. Czechoslovakia and the Prague Spring of 1968 – the fortieth anniversary. Viewing of the Milos Forman film Unbearable Lightness of Being.

Swain and Swain, Chapter 6                    

Stokes, Readings 19-21

 

 

Week 11 7, 9, 11 November

Discussion of Kundera, Unbearable Lightness of Being within the context of the Prague Spring’s “Socialism with a human face” and the Implementation of the Brezhnev Doctrine. The Human Rights Movement. Poland’s Historical Legacy and the Solidarity Movement. “Neo-Stalinism Triumphant.”

Swain and Swain, Chapter 7

Stokes, Readings 22-29, 31, 34-39

Research Paper Progress Report

 

Week 12 14, 16, 18 November

Pope John Paul II and Parallel Society in the 1980s: Religious and Ethnic Currents. The Return of Politics and the Role of Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika. The Revolutionary Student Youth Movement. Religion and Politics in Post-Communist East Central Europe.

Swain and Swain, Chapter 8 (for this week and the following week)

Stokes, Readings 32-33, 40-41, 52-53

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! No classes week of 21 November.

Finish Research Papers. Read Ash, The Magic Lantern

 

Week 13 28, 30 November, 2 December

Popular Culture as Resistance and Identity: Music as Dissent and Frank Zappa as Hero. East Central European Cinema.

The Revolutions of 1989 and the Expansion of East Central Europe: Ukraine and the Baltics - Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia - Independence and the Belarusian Question.

Swain and Swain, Chapter 8

Stokes, Readings 42-47

Special focus and collective appraisals of –

http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/ 1989-The Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe

http://oralhistory.org.ua/en  The Collapse of the Soviet Union – Independent Ukraine

Handouts and directed on-line sources

Finish Barnett for next week

Research Paper is Due

 

Week 14 5, 7, 9 December

The Other Europe as Part of A New Europe: New Identities and Directions. The Disintegration of Yugoslavia and Conflict in the Balkans. Democracy, Tolerance and the Cycles of history. Discussion of The Magic Lantern and Barnett, Tito

              

Week 15 12, 14, 16 December

Contemporary Issues in the Other Europe – “Adapting to Capitalism Enthusiastically: Central Europe,” “Adapting to Capitalism Hesitantly: the Balkans.”

The European Union, United States, and the “New” Europe.

Handouts and directed on-line sources

Swain and Swain, Chapters 9, 10 and conclusion.

Research Paper Presentations

 

Week 16 Week of 19 December     

 

Final Examination Week. Good Luck!

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