85505 - History of Eastern Europe, Nation-Building and Protection of Minorities

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Marco Puleri

  • Credits 6

  • SSD SPS/06

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language English

  • Campus of Ravenna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in International Cooperation on Human Rights and Intercultural Heritage (cod. 9237)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale

  • Course Timetable from Jan 30, 2023 to Mar 02, 2023

SDGs

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

The course aims at offering a challenging approach to the major forces instrumental in the shaping of politics, society and culture in Eastern Europe in the XIX and XX centuries. The research focus includes the analysis of the following areas:  The rise of the Nation-State in Eastern Europe  National Majorities and Minorities in Eastern Europe  Self-determination in Soviet and post-Soviet Times: Drawing National Borders  Post-Soviet conflicts: Grey areas and De-facto States At the end of the course, students have basic knowledge and critical skills in the above mentioned research areas, and they are ready to undertake scientific researches on the contemporary social and political dynamics characterizing Eastern European countries.

Course contents

The course explores the dynamics of cultural, social and political change in East-Central Europe. The idea behind the course is to provide students with the chance to get familiar with the main methodological approaches to the analysis of contemporary social and political issues, such as national identity, border change, ethnic conflict and migration, adopting East-Central Europe as a laboratory for understanding the complex legacy of historical processes taking shape since the XIX century.

Throughout the course we will investigate and deconstruct three main conceptual frameworks: a) Eastern Europe as a geographic and conceptual term; b) Nation-building as a contested process based on a wide array of cultural narratives and political tools; c) National minorities as a result of different waves of state formation in the heart of Europe. These conceptual frames will constantly intersect in our classes and will be the groundwork for joint discussions.

Finally, the course will be developed around two major temporal and conceptual research issues:

1) Introductory Module (Class 1-7)

Empire and Nations: From Inclusive to Exclusive Identities in East-Central Europe

2) Thematic Module (Class 8-15)

Between Communism and Post-Communism: Post-Soviet Revolutionary Cycles, Migration and Contested Borders

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(Course outline and introductory readings are subject to change according to the focus of in-class discussions. Please, check the course page on Virtuale for the up-to-date list of readings)

 

 

Course Outline:

 

 

- Class 1

Introduction to the course and overview of the key concepts

Introductory Reading: Jakob Mikanowski, Goodbye, Eastern Europe!, Los Angeles Review of Books, 27/01/2017.

See more at: https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/goodbye-eastern-europe/.

 

 

- Class 2

Nations and Nationalism: A Theoretical Framework

Introductory Reading: 'Introduction' from B. Anderson, 'Imagined Communities', Verso, 1983: 1-7.

 

 

- Class 3

National, Multiethnic, and Transnational Histories

Suggested Reading: S. Plokhy, 'Beyond Nationality', Ab Imperio, 4, 2007: 25-46.

See more at: 'Virtuale, Course page - Reading, Class 3'.

 

 

- Class 4

Empires and Nations: the Roads to Modernization in East-Central Europe

Suggested Readings:

S. Berger and A. Miller. 'Nationalizing Empires'. Central European University Press, 2012 (selected pages: 369-460)

See more at: 'Virtuale, Course page - Readings, Class 4'.

 

 


- Class 5

The Tsarist Empire: A Multiethnic History

Suggested Readings:

S. Berger and A. Miller. 'Nationalizing Empires'. Central European University Press, 2012 (selected pages: 309-368)

See more at: 'Virtuale, Course page - Readings, Class 5'.


 


- Class 6

From Empires to Nations: Self-Determination and National Borders in the aftermath of the First World War

Suggested Reading:

From H. Huttenbach, F. Privitera (eds.), 'Self-Determination. From Versailles to Dayton Its Historical Legacy', Selected Pages: 15-30; 145-167.

See more at: 'Virtuale, Course page - Readings, Class 6'.

 

 

- Class 7

The Russian Revolution: The Soviet Way to Self-Determination

Suggested Reading:

From J. Smith, 'Red Nations. The Nationalities Experience in and after the USSR', Selected Pages: 53-75; 90-96.

See more at: 'Virtuale, Course page - Readings, Class 7'.

 

 


- Class 8

The Yugoslav Experience

See more at: 'Virtuale, Course page - Readings, Class 8'.

 

 

- Class 9

The Rise of the Soviet Union: Between the National and Social Questions

See more at: 'Virtuale, Course page - Readings, Class 9'.

 

 


- Class 10

From the Soviet to the Post-Soviet: An Economic, Social and Political Evolution

Introductory Readings:

From M. Bassin, C. Kelly, 'Soviet and Post-Soviet Identities', Selected Pages: 3-36.

See more at: 'Virtuale, Course page - Readings, Class 10'.

 

 

- Class 11

The Post-Soviet Transition: Real, Imaginary and Contested Borders

See more at: 'Virtuale, Course page - Readings, Class 11'.

 


- Class 12

Remapping the Post-Soviet Space: The National Question in the New Europe through the lenses of the Russian case

See more at: 'Virtuale, Course page - Readings, Class 12'.

 


- Class 13

Borders, Migration and Identity Making in post-communist East-Central Europe

See more at: 'Virtuale, Course page - Readings, Class 13'.

 


- Class 14

Divided Nation/s (or Whose Rights?): The Politicization of Identity in the XXI Century

See more at: 'Virtuale, Course page - Readings, Class 14'.


- Class 15

Eastern Europe Today: Human Rights, Cultural Heritage, and the Role of Civil Society

See more at: 'Virtuale, Course page - Readings, Class 15'.

Readings/Bibliography

Compulsory Readings for all the students:

- Florian Bieber, Debating Nationalism: The Global Spread of Nations, Bloomsbury Academic, 2020 (Chapters 1; 2; 3; 5; 6; 7).

- J. Smiths, Red Nations: The Nationalities Experience in and after the USSR, Cambridge University Press, 2013 (Pages: 1-124;256-357).

Only for Non-Attending Students (Additional Readings):

  • Miroslav Hroch, European Nations: Explaining their Formation, Verso Books, 2015 (PART II - 37-116).
  • R. Brubaker, Nationalism Reframed: Nationhood and the National Question in the New Europe, Cambridge University Press, 1996 (Introduction; Chapters 1-2-3-4-6).

Only for Attending Students:

See the Suggested Readings and Case Studies List for paper submission in 'Teaching Material'.

Teaching methods

Each class will be opened by the professor. The topics can be debated with the students on the basis of the introductory/suggested readings (see “Virtuale”).

Assessment methods

Attending students

The assessment of the acquisition of expected knowledge and abilities by the attending students is based on the following levels:

1. Short essay (max 5000 words, including footnotes and references, worth 50% of the final grade);

2. Final oral exam (worth 50% of the final grade) on the Syllabus and on topics covered during classes.

The short essay must be based on a topic chosen by the student and previously agreed by the instructor, among the topics covered in the syllabus and suggested in the Reading List and Case Studies.

The short essay must be emailed to the instructor in either .doc or .pdf format no later than two weeks (15 days) prior to the day of the final oral exam. Essays submitted beyond that deadline will not be marked.

The oral exam is articulated through a discussion of the case study chosen by the student for her/his essay. The oral exam is aimed at testing the student's ability to verbally articulate themes and methods discussed in class, offering the student the opportunity to show her/his ability to critically reassess such material.

In particular, it will be assessed the ability of the student to participate actively in class. If combined with the achievement of a coherent framework of the topics developed during the lessons, the application of critical sense and suitable means of expression will be considered and evaluated with the maximum grading = A (27-30 con lode).

Attendance, if joint to a predominantly mnemonic acquisition of course's contents and discontinuous language and logical skills will be assessed in a grading range from good (B = 24-26) to satisfactory (C = 21-23).

Attendance, with a minimum level of knowledge of the course contents, combined with training gaps or inadequate language and logical skills, it will get as grade ‘barely passing' (D = 18-20).

The absence of a minimum level of knowledge of the course contents, combined with inadequate language and logical skills and training gaps, it will produce a fail (E) grading, even in spite of an assiduous attendance.

Non-attending students

The exam consists of an oral examination on the compulsory (plus additional) readings.

Non-attending students will be assessed primarily on the ability to use literature and multimedia tools made available, in order to properly expose the contents of the course. This ability, when combined with the achievement of a coherent framework of the course's themes, the application of critical sense, and suitable means of expression will be considered and evaluated with the maximum grading = A (27-30 con lode).

A predominantly mnemonic acquisition of course's contents along with discontinuous language and logical skills will be assessed in a grading range from good (B = 24-26) to satisfactory (C = 21- 23).

A minimum level of knowledge of the course contents, combined with training gaps or inadequate language and logical skills, it will get as grade ‘barely passing' (D = 18-20).

The absence of a minimum level of knowledge of the course contents, combined with inadequate language and logical skills and training gaps, it will produce a fail (E) grading.

 

N.B. Students with a disability or specific learning disabilities (DSA) who are requesting academic adjustments or compensatory tools are invited to communicate their needs to the teaching staff in order to properly address them and agree on the appropriate measures with the competent bodies.

Teaching tools

The attending students will be provided with power point presentations and additional material analyzed during the classes.

Office hours

See the website of Marco Puleri