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2022 Spring

20th CENTURY IDEAS REFLECTED IN EUROPEAN LITERATURE, FILM AND VISUAL ART - HSS325 Spring 2022


Course
PhDr. Monika MacDonagh-Pajerova
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Full Syllabus /files/9864170/aaaAAU_HSS325-20th_Century_Idea-S22-MacDonagh-Pajerova_a

Date

Class Agenda

Session 1

 

9 Feb

Topic: The nature and significance of civil resistance facing totalitarian regimes in Central and Eastern Europe.

Description:

Reading: “The Student Revolts” by Olga Sommerová and Monika MacDonagh-Pajerová (2019).

Garton-Ash 1990, “The Magic Lantern – Chapter Prague”

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 2

 

16 Feb

Topic: The notion of absurdity of any given totalitarian regime, the exploration of the situation of an innocent individual being treated as a potential enemy of the state, being young in Central Europe.

Description: In class viewing of and discussion of the filmed adaptation of Josef Škvorecký “The Rhythm in My Heels”.

Reading: Josef Škvorecký “Cowards”

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 3

 

23 Feb

Topic: Intelligent individuals trusting and serving a dictatorship, e.g. in the Soviet Russia under Stalin and realizing too late what the

real foundations of such a regime are.

Description: In-class viewing and discussion of Mikhalkov “Burnt by the Sun”.

Reading: Garton Ash 1990 “Introduction”

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 4

 

2 March

Topic: Another option for an intelligent, honest person in Soviet Russia – trying to stay out of the historical events, an impossible attempt to live without either compromising with the regime or fighting it.

Description: Discussion of moral dilemma and Pasternak

Reading: Boris Pasternak “Doctor Zhivago”

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 5

 

9 March

Topic: The general analysis of a non-democratic, oppressive system, whether it is Communism or Nazism, and the striving of individuals for love, freedom and truth.

Description: Discussion of Orwell

Reading: George Orwell “1984”, Part One.

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 6

 

16 March

Topic: The appeal of totalitarian ideology to some artists and intellectuals – by opportunism, by conviction? Leni Riefenstahl and Albert Speer serving the Nazi regime and their different perception of guilt later on.  

Description: In-class short review of Riefenstahl’s propaganda documentary “The Triumph of the Will”.

Reading: Gita Sereny “Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth” Chapter Two.

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 7

 

23 March

Topic: An opposite reaction of students fighting the same oppressive regime and believing in democracy as a fair social environment.

Description: In-class viewing and discussion of “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days” and the White Rose Movement in Munich.

Reading: Article on White Rose Movement          

Assignments/deadlines:

 

Mid-term break

Session 8

 

6 April

Topic: How totalitarian ideology deals with its real or imagined opponents. Mass human rights abuses in the Soviet Russia and witnesses who had difficulties to be trusted in Western liberal democracies.

Description: Discussion of Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Reading: Solzhenitsyn “The Goulag Archipelago” Chapter Twelve.

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 9

 

13 April

Topic: Another example of an abusive regime dealing not only with its opponents, but other groups as well – Jews, Slavs, the Roma, people handicapped mentally or physically. Individual versus collective guilt.

Description: Viewing and discussion of “The Nazis: A Warning from History,” a BBC documentary (chapter Chaos and Consent).

Reading: Gita Sereny, Final Chapter

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 10

 

20 April

Topic: Surviving inhuman conditions of war, occupation, ghetto and concentration camp. The notion of human solidarity, believing in good as a realistic concept after all, as well as friendship and love.

The notion of guilt and shame later on.

Description: Discussion of Lustig

Reading: Arnošt Lustig “Lovely Green Eyes” Chapter Twelve.

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 11

 

27 April

Topic: Jews as a persecuted group, the psychology of victimization and marginalization of a given social group by the majoritarian society.

Description: Discussion of Kertesz

Reading: Imre Kertész “Fatelessness” Chapters Two and Three.

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 12

 

4 May

Topic: The loneliness of those who came back – from the front, from a prison, from a camp. Original beliefs confronted with today’s reality.

Description: In-class discussion of documentary concerning two different approaches

– Jan Wiener and Arnošt Lustig in “The Fighter”.

Reading:

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 13

 

11 May

 

Topic: The nature of 20th century human existence – behind the Iron Curtain in the East or in a liberal democracy. Between comedy and tragedy.

Exile as a human condition.

Description: Discussion of Kundera and Havel on the Czech Fate.

Reading: Milan Kundera “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 14

 

18 May

Topic: A very different look at the social reality of the 80’s – although the abuse of power is omnipresent, a revolt is possible. Background of the

Gdansk events just before the declaration of the martial law.

Description: In-class viewing and discussions of excerpts from Andrzej Wajda’s “Lech Walesa - The Man of Hope“.

Reading: Garton-Ash “Warsaw”

Assignments/deadlines:

pproved_by_Giarelli(3).docx

 

 

Here is the course outline:

Class 1

Feb 9 2:45pm .. 3:45pm, Room 2.05

Overview of the course, its structure, papers to be prepared, reading and viewing required and recommended. The nature and significance of civil resistance facing totalitarian regimes in Central and Eastern Europe. Documentary viewing (excerpts): • Olga Sommerová and Monika MacDonagh-Pajerová: “The Student Revolts” documentary (2019). • Agora production: “The Power of the Powerless” documentary (2010)

Topic: The notion of absurdity of any given totalitarian regime, the exploration of the situation...

Description: In class viewing of and discussion of the filmed adaptation of Josef Škvorecký “The Rhythm in My Heels”. Reading: Josef Škvorecký “Cowards”

Topic: Intelligent individuals trusting and serving a dictatorship, e.g. in the Soviet Russia und...

Description: In-class viewing and discussion of Mikhalkov “Burnt by the Sun”. Reading: Garton Ash 1990 “Introduction”

Topic: Another option for an intelligent, honest person in Soviet Russia – trying to stay out of ...

Topic: The general analysis of a non-democratic, oppressive system, whether it is Communism or Na...

Topic: The appeal of totalitarian ideology to some artists and intellectuals – by opportunism, by...

Description: In-class short review of Riefenstahl’s propaganda documentary “The Triumph of the Will”. Reading: Gita Sereny “Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth” Chapter Two.

Topic: An opposite reaction of students fighting the same oppressive regime and believing in demo...

Description: In-class viewing and discussion of “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days” and the White Rose Movement in Munich.

Topic: How totalitarian ideology deals with its real or imagined opponents. Mass human rights abu...

Description: Discussion of Alexander Solzhenitsyn Reading: Solzhenitsyn “The Goulag Archipelago” Chapter Twelve.

Topic: Another example of an abusive regime dealing not only with its opponents, but other groups...

Description: Viewing and discussion of “The Nazis: A Warning from History,” a BBC documentary (chapter Chaos and Consent). Reading: Gita Sereny, Final Chapter

Topic: Surviving inhuman conditions of war, occupation, ghetto and concentration camp. The notion...

Description: Discussion of Lustig Reading: Arnošt Lustig “Lovely Green Eyes” Chapter Twelve.

Description: Discussion of Lustig Reading: Arnošt Lustig “Lovely Green Eyes” Chapter Twelve.

Description: Discussion of Kertesz Reading: Imre Kertész “Fatelessness” Chapters Two and Three.

Topic: Jews as a persecuted group, the psychology of victimization and marginalization of a given...

Description: Discussion of Kertesz Reading: Imre Kertész “Fatelessness” Chapters Two and Three.

Topic: The loneliness of those who came back – from the front, from a prison, from a camp. Origin...

Description: In-class discussion of documentary concerning two different approaches – Jan Wiener and Arnošt Lustig in “The Fighter”.

Topic: The nature of 20th century human existence – behind the Iron Curtain in the East or in a l...

Description: Discussion of Kundera and Havel on the Czech Fate. Reading: Milan Kundera “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”

Topic: A very different look at the social reality of the 80’s – although the abuse of power is o...

Description: In-class viewing and discussions of excerpts from Andrzej Wajda’s “Lech Walesa - The Man of Hope“.

Final Test

Final Test written in class.

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