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Central European Myths and Memory

Class at Faculty of Social Sciences |


1) Introduction, topics, concepts, requirements

2) National holidays and culture of commemoration in CE

3) Myth of origin (Great Moravia, Ugrofin or Turan? Sarmatism, Germans - colonists or natives...)

4) Has history meaning?

5) Creating national (fairy)tales

6) National traumas and betrayals

7) Monuments and sites of memory

8) Cities and public spaces (Budapest, Bratislava, Warszawa, Prague, Lublana...)

9) Memory lost - memory altered (Sudetenland, Cluj, Lwów, Košice...)

10) Lost paradise (Transylvania, Ruthenia, Kresy...)

11) Central Europe and its stereotypes

12) Final class


IMPORTANT! In summer semester 2021/22 course is going to be taught not only in classes but also via walking tours, so you need to be in Prague in May (as hopefully in May pandemic situation allows us to do so)

The aim of the course is to show how history has been used as a tool in politics in Central Europe. During the course basic teoretical concepts (myths, politics of memory, collective memory, site of memory...) will be discussed. Course focuses on two main issues: use (and misuse) of history in nationalistic discourse (from 19th century until today) and how public space was shaped by politics (monuments, representative role of capital cities...). The main goal is to show how useful history is to understand present. Course requires basic knowledge of Central European history.