Courses in Russian and East European Studies (Division 468)

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 is in the center of public attention these days, but has tended to be neglected by social 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. [Cost:2] [WL:1] (Szporluk)

401. Senior Seminar in Russian and East European Studies. Permission of instructor. (4). (Excl). May be elected for credit twice.

Section 002 CENTRAL EUROPEAN MARXISM. This seminar will discuss the debates within Central and East European Marxist parties over the theoretical and practical political problems posed by cultural differences. Among the topics singled out will be the problem of accommodating national cultures within the Marxist movement, theories about the coming proletarian culture, debates about the cultural heritage of the feudal and bourgeois past, discussions of patriarchal/sexist culture, attitudes toward "bourgeois" social science, and others. Students will be expected to do extensive individual reading, give oral reports, and write several short papers or one long one. Students with prior knowledge of Marxist theory, Central/East European history, or background in Marxist aesthetics or women's studies are welcome. All students are urged to read volumes I and II of the assigned text as soon as possible, preferably before the beginning of classes. Text: MAIN CURRENTS OF MARXISM by Lezsek Kolakowski. Vol. I and II only (available in paperback) (Meyer)


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