Nations and Nationalism in Modern East Central Europe

History 280B.003

Spring 2013
Day & Time: 
W 2-4P

This course surveys major questions and controversies in the history of the nation and nationalism in modern East Central Europe, from the mid-19th Century to the present.   After considering general background and some theoretical approaches to the subject, we move on to study the emergence of the idea of the nation, and then its translation into politically relevant movements, like sports clubs or national systems of education.  Yet we also consider countervailing trends.  What were the spaces in pre-WWI East Central Europe where a-national (nationally indifferent) identities could flourish? How did nationalism clash  or conspire with other reigning ideologies, for example socialism? 

In the post-WWI period of would-be nation states we consider efforts to improve the national body (eugenics), as well as discipline and modernize the nation through fascism.  The Second World War witnessed extreme efforts to purify the nation through ethnic cleansing and genocide; this agenda did not entirely disappear after 1945, and in fact in many ways socialist states continued the process of ethnic homogenization.  But Yugoslavia seemed distinct, remaining multiethnic until its bloody dissolution in the early 1990s. How did a functioning socialist state become a staging ground for ethnic cleansing?  We conclude with reflections on the national question in post-communist East Europe, a place where national boundaries are supposedly ever less relevant.

The course shows special concern for Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, but people with other regional interests more than welcome.   Students must complete weekly response papers and have the opportunity to write a longer paper if they choose.

Course Books

Purifying the Nation: Population Exchange by Solonari Johns Hopkins. ISBN: 978-0801894084 Required
Between States by Case, Holly Stanford. ISBN: 978-0804759861 Required
Prague in Black by Bryant, Chad Harvard . ISBN: 978-0674034594 Required
Eugenics and Modernization in Interwar Romania by Bucur, Maria University of Pittsburgh press. ISBN: 978-0822961260 Required
Fascists by Mann, Michael Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-0521538558 Required
Budweisers into Czechs and Germans by King, Jeremy Princeton. ISBN: 9780691122342 Required
The Contested Country by Djilas, Aleksa Harvard . ISBN: 9780674166981 Required
Staging the Past by Bucur, Maria Purdue. ISBN: 9781557531612 Required
Kidnapped Souls by Zahra, Tara Cornell. ISBN: 9780801477607 Required
The Reconstruction of Nations by Snyder, Timothy Yale University Press. ISBN: 9780300105865 Required
When Nationalism Began to Hate by Porter, Brian Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780195151879 Required
Imagining the Balkans by Todorova, Maria Oxford. ISBN: 9780195387865 Required
Nationalism Reframed by Brubaker, Rogers Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 9780521576499 Required
The Social Preconditions of National Revival in Europe by Hroch, Miroslav cambridge University Press. ISBN: 9780231117715 Required
Nationalism in Eastern Europe by Sugar, Peter UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON PRESS. ISBN: 9780295973425 Required