The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was a seismic event that took the world by storm. It gave rise to dizzy optimism and hope for a new, post-ideological age and greater global unity, within and beyond Europe. Twenty years on, these hopes have not been realized. Cold War hostilities are alive and well and although the EU has expanded, Europe is, arguably, more divided than ever. This course explores the implications of the Wall and its passing for Europe, focusing on anthropological accounts of the (former) East bloc. The course is divided into three main parts: Europe behind the Iron Curtain (the cultural logics of state socialism); What Came Next? (the fall of the wall, international interventions to `democratize? post-socialist space); and a section that explores the post-socialist present. During this last bloc, we will explore themes of gender and generation, nostalgia and the politics of history, and the return of the state. As we go, we?ll be reading some of the most exciting new ethnographies of the region, grounded accounts that explore the transformations in social and cultural logics, power relations and practices that accompanied political and economic change. Through a mixture of group work, collaboratively designed projects and reflection papers, assignments are specifically tailored to enable you to bring the threads of your Gen Ed experience together as you consider the specific topics of the Cold War, state socialism and the global implications of its passing. Satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BA-Anth majors.
- Teacher: Julie Hemment