Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

This module is inactive in the selected year. The information shown below is for the academic year that the module was last running in, prior to the year selected.

2014/15 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST3721 Europe's Communist Dictatorships: Totalitarianism and its Consequences, 1945-2000

20 creditsClass Size: 26

Module manager: Dr Lara Cook
Email: L.Cook@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2014/15

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Between 1945 and 1989, Eastern, Central and South-Eastern Europe were governed by Communist dictatorships. In the 1990s, these lands were stereotyped as Europe's Wild East. Totalitarianism, apparently, was followed by the consequences of totalitarian 'implosion'.But what does 'totalitarianism' mean, and how exactly was it dismantled? Through a close reading of key primary sources, a detailed exploration of particular events, and a careful analysis of central concepts and themes, this course invites students precisely to define Communist 'totalitarianism' and precisely to define what replaced it.All relevant Communist dictatorships and their successor states will be part of the course: the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Albania, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Bulgaria, and Romania.

Objectives

- development of skills of historical inquiry, interpretation, analysis and synthesis
- development of skills of locating, selecting and evaluating primary and secondary sources.

Learning outcomes
- a knowledge and understanding of the history of the Central, Eastern and South-Eastern regions of Europe between 1945 and 2000 (the Soviet Union, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, East Germany, Albania, Yugoslavia);
- a knowledge of how historians have studied modern dictatorship and how they have debated the problem of totalitarianism as it applies to the post-1945 Communist regimes;
- a close appreciation of a range of primary sources and foundational theoretical texts associated with the Communist dictatorships;
- a critical awareness of how 'totalitarianism' was dismantled in the 1990s and of the problems of studying this phenomenon historically.


Syllabus

This is not a survey course, though students will be provided with help in establishing a chronological framework for their study of the Communist dictatorships. Lectures and seminars will instead have two distinct foci. Some will explore particular events in individual countries, from the establishment of Communist power in Yugoslavia to the rule of Boris Yeltsin in 1990s Russia.

Others will be thematic, and will explore such problems as the development of totalitarian theory in the United States and Western Europe in the 1940s and 1950s, and the relationship between Communist dictatorship and human rights.

The scope of the course includes all European countries that were subject to Communist regimes, and their successor states: Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, the USSR, Albania, Yugoslavia.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Seminar112.0022.00
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Through seminars, assessment of coursework essay and seminar papers, and feedback sessions.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Written Work4 short seminar papers6.00
Essay1 x 2,000 word assessed essay to be submitted by 12 noon Monday of week 930.00
Oral PresentationShort source review4.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 27/03/2015

Disclaimer

Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019