Introduction to Central and East European Studies
Office: Hellems 351
Hours: 12:00-12:45 MW, and by appt.
History Majors may apply only ONE
2000-level course to the major and should consult
their History department advisor before taking one. If you think you may want to major in History but have not
declared the major yet,
do not take multiple 2000-level courses.
This course is an introduction to the history and culture of Central and Eastern Europe in the modern era. From Germany to
the steppes of Russia; from the Baltic to the Adriatic, this region of Europe has been the crucible of Modern History. World
Wars have been started and fought there; empires destroyed; ideologies created and undone, and nations, too. It is the home
of Nazism and Bolshevism, the Holocaust and Stalin’s Great Purges, and to some of the greatest thinkers, writers, and artists
of the modern era. More recently, it has been witness to the virulent hatreds of reborn nationalism in the Balkans and its chief
product: ethnic cleansing, the reemergence of Russian Statism, and the incorporation of
much of the (democratized) former
Soviet Bloc into the European Union and NATO. Given the course’s scope, we will not be able to delve in great depth into
any of these topics. Rather, I hope that by touching upon them you will get the flavor of the region and a sense of the larger
issues involved in its history.
: (Available for purchase at the CU Bookstore. Copies also have been placed on 24 hr. reserve in Norlin Library):
How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed.
Lonnie R. Johnson,
Enemies, Friends, Neighbors.
The Russian Revolution.
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.
The following texts can be found at multiple websites and in various hardcopy anthologies. You are free to use
whichever translation (web or book) you prefer. The websites included below are current, but you may use another:
Fyodor Dostoevsky, “A Gentle Spirit,” available online at: www.kiosek.com/dostoevsky/library/gentlespirit.txt
Franz Kafka, “In the Penal Colony,” available online at