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Course Description

A historical survey of the rise and fall of communism as an ideology, system of state power, and lived experience in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, Cuba, Africa, and Cambodia. The course will begin in mid-19th century Europe with the origins of communist thought. From there, the course will chart the development of communist states, beginning in Russia in 1917, then moving to postwar Eastern Europe, China in 1949, Cuba in 1959, experiments with African socialism following decolonization, the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia in the late 1970s, and finally, to the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in 1989/1991. The course will conclude with a brief examination of how the world’s existing communist countries define the ideology of communism, and by examining the contemporary legacy of the history of communism. Topics to be discussed include industrialization campaigns and the collectivization of agriculture; attempts to restructure the family and gender roles; cultural aesthetics and politics; planned economies and socialist labor; the organization of education and youth; and statesponsored violence. The course will be run in a mixed lecture-discussion format.

Basic Enrollment Requirements: Unofficial Transcript – High School Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, or progress towards a Bachelor’s Degree – 3.0 GPA

Instructor Approval: Not required

Remission Eligible: Yes; first day of term; all university policies apply

Refund Policy: For-Credit 3+ Weeks

Affiliated With:

School of Arts & Sciences