HIST 416

HIST 416: Topics in the History of Eastern Europe: Society and Politics in East Central Europe in the 20th Century 


*3 (3-0-0)

Fall 2021
Instructor: Adam Takács

W 1400 - 1550
Location: Tory 2-44

Course Description and Objectives

Discontinuity and unequal development are crucial features of the historical trajectory of Central and Eastern Europe in the 19th and 20th century. The alternation between the imperial and nation-state frameworks and the transitions between different political regimes decisively shaped this development. Building on these premises, the seminar will explore some of the main features of 20th century Central European society and politics, focusing on specific geographic areas and chronological junctions. On the one hand, the cases of Poland, Czecho-slovakia (Bohemia) and Hungary will provide the focus for the historical studies. On the other hand, within these topics, particular attention will be paid to the turning points marked by three dates – 1918, 1945 and 1989 – and the political and social factors that influenced them. It is within this geographical and temporal framework that we will explore the facts and opportunities offered by nationalism, communism and democratic development for the region under study, as well as the impact of the surrounding imperial states (especially the Habsburg Empire, Germany and the Soviet Union).


Format of the Course

Each week a more general historical topic or case study will be presented and discussed in class which are based around a period marked with a core date (1918, 1945, 1989). The first part of the course will consist of a lecture and PPT presentation given by the instructor followed, in the second part, by a class discussion of the lecture, the assigned readings, questions, remarks, etc. 

Download the course syllabus here.