New & Select Spring 2017 Courses – Russia, East Europe, & Eurasia

(Note: this list is not a complete list of REEE courses offered in Spring 2017. Visit course explore for more classes! )

BCS 215 “Yugoslavia and After”
Judith Pintar
Tuesday/Thursday 12:30 PM – 1:50 PM
Description: Exploration of the effect of traumatic events, shifting cultural narratives, and social transformations on the construction of collective identities in Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia in the 20th and 21st centuries. Students will read historical and sociological works as well as fiction and poetry.

HIST 300b “Film and Revolution: From ‘Battleship Potemkin’ to ‘Doing the Right Thing’”
Mark Steinberg
Tuesdays 7:00 PM – 9:50 PM
Description: An exploration of how filmmakers and actors, from the 1920s to the present, have portrayed, often in revolutionary ways, revolutions and revolutionaries—from the 1700s to the future and from the Soviet Union to China, Paris to Algiers, Poland to Cuba, Chicago to New York. Students will be able to influence the final selections of films. The course emphasizes the collective experience of watching and discussing films together each week and immediately interpreting, though inspired by selected written texts, mostly primary historical sources, read in advance of each screening. And we will constantly question the logic of the course: what is the relationship between films and history? Each week, students will write weekly analytical response essays of the films and readings.

HIST 560 “Graduate Seminar on Soviet History”
Diane Koenker
Thursdays 3:00 PM- 5:00 PM
Description: This readings seminar will examine key historical and historiographical issues of the 70-year history of the Soviet Union. Weekly discussions will be based on extensive common and supplemental readings, including both new work and “classics”. We will consider substantive, methodological, and theoretical aspects of the field. Topics to be addressed may include: the 1917 revolution, Civil War, NEP, Soviet subjectivity, identity-formation, the Communist party, Stalinism, gender, collectivization and peasants, industrialization and labor, the terror, ethnicity and nationalism, war and Cold war, cultural revolution and popular culture, destalinization, and the everyday life of developed socialism. Four papers will be required, including a survey of one of the weekly discussion themes, one scholarly introduction to a particular primary source for Soviet history (novel, memoirs, reportage), one review essay of 2-3 novels or memoirs on a particular topic, and one brief scholarly book review. Ability to read in Russian is expected for those specializing in Russian history, but not necessary for others.

PS 351 “Government and Politics of Post-Soviet States”
Carol Leff
Monday/Wednesday 3:00 PM- 4:20 PM
Description: Examines the evolution, structure, and functioning of post-Soviet governments. Prerequisite: PS 240 or PS 241, six hours of Political Science credit, or consent of instructor.

SOC 196 “Introduction of Central Asia”
Cynthia Buckley
Tuesday/Thursday 12:30 PM- 1:50 PM
Description: We focus on three overarching questions to structure our exploration of Central Asia. In the first section, we focus on approaches to the question, “What is Central Asia?” Comparing and contrasting how we identify the area historically and by familiarizing ourselves with the basic geography of the region and key social, cultural, political and economic issues. In the second section we will focus on the question, “How can we analyze the region sociologically?” highlighting issues of basic social theory and comparative analysis. The third section of the course turns to the question, “Why does Central Asia matter?”, providing participants with the opportunity to link what we have learned about the region and social theory into evaluating global issues concerning gender, human rights, citizenship, and civil society.

SOC 196 “The HIV/AIDS Global and Local Perspectives”
Cynthia Buckley
Tuesday/Thursday 9:30 AM- 10:50 AM
Description: The HIV/AIDS pandemic has drastically altered the global social, political, economic and demographic landscape. Delivering education concerning the virus, expanding prevention programs, monitoring the needs of countries and communities affected by HIV and AIDS, making treatment accessible and providing care continues to challenge the capacities of families, communities, countries and international organizations. While based within a socio-demographic tradition, this course draws on literatures from many disciplines to highlight the general contours, continuing debates, and ethical challenges related to the pandemic globally, nationally and within Illinois. As an introductory course, we will share strategies to enhance core academic skills focusing on effective approaches to college level reading, note taking strategies and formal writing skills. Participants will become more informed of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, learn core social science theories and develop a strong tool box of academic skills.

SOCW 325 International Development with Grassroots Organizations
Benjamin Lough
March 13 – May 03
Tuesday 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Description: This is an 8-week course in the Spring and uses a blended learning approach. In addition, students complete a service learning placement with a grassroots organization in Russia or an Eastern European country for two months during the summer. Students apply for these service experiences from within the Omprakash network of over 40 Partner Organizations in Russia/Eastern European countries. Alternatively, the student can work with existing department or university-level partnerships in the region. During their service learning experience, participants engage with local communities, document local perspectives, and work with the grassroots organization to promote social change. Each student develops this experience into a final Capstone Project.

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