Topic: Intimacy and Terror
|Time||Days||Location||Instructor||GER||Credit||OPUS Class Number||Syllabus (Tentative)|
Candler Library 124
Intimacy and Terror is a new course offering that explores the repressions of the Soviet totalitarianism through the lived experience of those who lived through it. Taking a humanistic approach towards such traumatic historical events as the Stalin Revolution, the Terror Famine, forced labor camps (the Gulag), the Great Terror, the horrors of World War and the Cult of Personality, this course will focus on autobiography, memoirs, letters, diaries and other, deeply personal texts to understand how average Soviet citizens dealt with the repercussions of Stalinism. While excellent background works such as Figes, The Whisperers will be provided, our primary source material in the class will be on witnesses to this history, not its interpreters. We will read texts or excerpts from persons as diverse as a Kazakh nomad and a Gulag camp commandant, the diary of a Communist true believer and the diary of a rebellious schoolgirl, the account of a political prisoner (zek) and the interviews of an architect of terror. We will also sample contemporary film (and later) film, poetry and fiction to understand the heavy burden Soviet citizens bore for living in the first socialist society. Too often the story of Stalinism is reduced to vast generalities and stereotypes of a soulless state machinery that ground down an atomized society. In fact, each event of repression, each grandiose project or mind-numbing statistic related to real people, both as victims and perpetrators (not rarely, both). This class hopes to explore the personal caught up within the sweep of vast historical events.As a writing intensive class, this course will emphasis writing through weekly discussion responses and the completion of a twelve to fifteen page, research paper on some component of the subject. It will also require a midterm take-home exam.
|Assignment/Exam||Details||% of Total Grade|
|Final Research Paper||40%|
|Mid-Term Essay Exam||25%|
|Unit Reaction Papers||20%|
|Grading Rubric||In other words, 85% of the grade will be based on written proficiency. This is not a lecture course and class discussion will be the primary manner we deal with the topic.|
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