396/Econ. 396/Pol. Sci. 396/Slavic 396/Hist. 333/Soc. 393. Survey of Eastern Europe. (4). (SS).
The area commonly known as Eastern Europe tends to be neglected bysocial scientists, and students of the humanities. It has often been treated as one of the backyards of Western history. Yet, for many centuries, the people of Eastern Europe have played important parts in the history of our civilization. Today as in many past eras, it is an area where powerful empires and competing social systems confront each other. The countries of Eastern Europe are astir with social, political, economic change and experimentation, ethnic conflict, religious and intellectual ferment. This course intends to provide a broad overview of Eastern Europe, its history, politics, economic systems, social structure, and cultural contributions. It will feature lectures by specialists from different departments within the University, and sessions for discussion to integrate the lectures and readings. The format can easily lead to lack of focus, and the different presentations inevitably will be of uneven quality. But the advantages are that the students are exposed to a wide variety of perspectives. The course is suitable for those who know little about Eastern Europe as well as for those whose background is specialized within one discipline and who wish to broaden their knowledge. Course requirements include a midterm exam, an essay, and a final examination. (Meyer)
401. Senior Seminar in Russian and East European Studies. Permission of instructor. (4). (SS). May be elected for credit twice.
The focus of this seminar will be the modern history of Central and Eastern Europe (c. 1700 to the present). The subject of renewed interest in recent years, the social history of this region raises a series of interesting issues, most notably those of modern state formation, nationalism, ethnicity, popular revolution, the transition from feudalism to capitalism, and then the transition to socialism. The goal of the course is to grapple with the thorny problem of how societies change, or alternatively, how do people, acting according to received understandings of their sociocultural world, transform the character of their own ideas and actions over time. The course will consist of a combination of lectures and discussion; materials examined will include works of general social theory, historical and ethnographic monographs, as well as literary sources. A research paper and participation in course discussions will form the basis of students' grades. (Lampland)
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