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The Role of Women in Resistance to Totalitarian and Post-Totalitarian Regimes in East and Central Europe

Class at Faculty of Arts |

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Course Description

A deeper and more thorough understanding of anti–regime resistance in the former East and Central European totalitarian and post–totalitarian regimes is gained by highlighting participation of women in individual national systems. At the start, the forms of gender stereotyping characteristic to teleological communist ideology will be compared to everyday practices of real socialist systems. Subsequently, national variations of women's role in cultural and political protest will be presented in the form of individual case studies of prominent intellectuals and activists: e.g. the Soviet case through the contributions of human rights activist Yelena Bonner, the Romanian case through the activities of human rights activist Doina Cornea, or the Czech case by the experiences of human rights activist Anna Šabatová. Presentation of published materials about dissent activities of women in East and Central Europe will be complemented by presentation of new/recent data about cultural and political protestations in the former Czechoslovakia.

The requirement for the credit is debate about final essay (10 pages).