Universität Wien FIND

240067 VO+UE VM5 / VM6 - Lingering Postsocialism (2019W)

Lingering Postsocialism: Three Decades of Social Transformations in East-Central and Southeastern Europe

Continuous assessment of course work

Registration/Deregistration

Details

max. 25 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

note that there will be no session on the 30.10 2019 and 8.1.2020.

Wednesday 09.10. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum Internationale Entwicklung Afrikawissenschaften UniCampus Hof 5 2Q-EG-05
Wednesday 16.10. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum Internationale Entwicklung Afrikawissenschaften UniCampus Hof 5 2Q-EG-05
Wednesday 23.10. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum Internationale Entwicklung Afrikawissenschaften UniCampus Hof 5 2Q-EG-05
Wednesday 30.10. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum Internationale Entwicklung Afrikawissenschaften UniCampus Hof 5 2Q-EG-05
Wednesday 06.11. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum Internationale Entwicklung Afrikawissenschaften UniCampus Hof 5 2Q-EG-05
Wednesday 13.11. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum Internationale Entwicklung Afrikawissenschaften UniCampus Hof 5 2Q-EG-05
Wednesday 20.11. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum Internationale Entwicklung Afrikawissenschaften UniCampus Hof 5 2Q-EG-05
Wednesday 04.12. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum Internationale Entwicklung Afrikawissenschaften UniCampus Hof 5 2Q-EG-05
Wednesday 11.12. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum Internationale Entwicklung Afrikawissenschaften UniCampus Hof 5 2Q-EG-05
Wednesday 08.01. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum Internationale Entwicklung Afrikawissenschaften UniCampus Hof 5 2Q-EG-05
Wednesday 15.01. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum Internationale Entwicklung Afrikawissenschaften UniCampus Hof 5 2Q-EG-05
Wednesday 22.01. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum Internationale Entwicklung Afrikawissenschaften UniCampus Hof 5 2Q-EG-05
Wednesday 29.01. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum Internationale Entwicklung Afrikawissenschaften UniCampus Hof 5 2Q-EG-05

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

The past thirty years following the fall of state socialism in Eastern Europe witnessed impressive change in various aspects of political, economic, social and cultural life in the region, yet many anthropologists still use the frame of “postsocialism“ as a fruitful way to approach these societies. The course addresses the post-1989 social transformations by focusing on the impact of political and economic transition on civil society, labor, political culture, gender relations and other areas of social life. It will seek to address the diversity of ways that macro level processes (like political and economic transformation or “transition”) are experienced and understood by ordinary people, keeping in mind the lasting legacies of socialist modernization.

The course aims to introduce students to theories and concepts related to large and enduring phenomena (e.g. restructuring of the labor market, changes in gender relations, race, aesthetic transformations, memory and dealing with the past) which are further explored through the prism of everyday life. In contrast to the habitual viewpoint of social science literature, the course will go beyond the 1989 as an absolute starting point for Eastern European capitalisms, pointing out how previous entries into the international division of labor at various critical junctures during the Cold War greatly influenced the developments in the past three decades. It will thus make the students attentive to dis(continuities) of social change and varieties of socialist as well as postsocialist development paths, underlining similarities and differences between the regions and countries formerly ruled by communist parties.

Much of the scholarly literature to be discussed in the course will be ethnographic, grounded in the discipline of social anthropology and relying on a methodology of immersive participant observation, but the students will also be presented with texts from the fields of history of socialism, labor history and political economy.

Assessment and permitted materials

For each session, you have been assigned readings (provided as pdf files on moodle). You must read and be familiar with all the readings (usually two per session) and come to class prepared to discuss their content.

To facilitate the class discussion, every student should prepare two questions about the reading(s) for each session, which will be submitted to course instructors on the evening before the class. The questions might be something specific which was not clear to you, a broader topic you are interested in hearing your colleagues’ views on, or a methodological or theoretical aspect of a text or topic.

Each student should also present the assigned readings, its content and main arguments in one of the sessions.

Attending each session (and arriving punctually) is mandatory. All absences need explanation and any planned absences should be agreed in advance. In case of absence the student is required to write a position paper on the readings (500 words) for each missed session as evidence of having read and engaged with the assigned readings.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Your grade for the seminar is based on:
1. Participation in class discussions, preparing two questions per session based on the readings: 25%.
2. In class presentation 25%. The in-class presentation of the readings should be no more than 15 minutes and serves to convey the main themes of the readings
3. Final essay of 3,000-4,000 words (topic and essay question to be agreed upon with the course instructors): 50%

Examination topics

The final essay should show the student has understood the main themes and concepts introduced by the course readings and in class discussions and applied them in a chosen topic.

Reading list

-Pula, Besnik, Globalization Under and After Socialism: The Evolution of Transnational Capital in Central and Eastern Europe (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2018).
-Verdery, Katherine. What was Socialism and what Comes Next? (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996).
-Hann, Chris, Caroline Humphrey and Katherine Verdery, “Introduction: Postsocialism as a topic of anthropological investigation” in Chris Hann, ed., Postsocialism: Ideals, ideologies and practices in Eurasia (London: Routledge, 2002): 1-28.
-Bockman, Johanna, Markets in the name of socialism: The Left-wing Origins of Neoliberalism (Stanford: Stanford University Press 2011).
-Stenning, Alison, ‘Where is the Post-socialist Working Class? Working-Class Lives in the Spaces of (Post-) Socialism’ Sociology, 39, (2005): 983-999.
-Appel, Hilary, A New Capitalist Order: Privatization & Ideology in Russia & Eastern Europe (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004).
-Ghodsee, Kristen. The Red Riviera: Gender, Tourism and Postsocialism on the Black Sea (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005).

Association in the course directory

Last modified: We 02.10.2019 13:48