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Honors Program
Course Description

Honors Program: A pathway to excellence.

HON 302 The Other Europe: Life across the Berlin Wall through Literature and Cinema

During the last century, Eastern Europe has been at the center of two World Wars and at least three major revolutions. The people of this region experienced the birth of independent national states after World War I and the overthrow of communism in 1989, but in between they suffered through decades of oppression by regimes of both the right and the left, and witnessed the monumental nightmare of World War II, the Holocaust and the struggles of the Eastern European peoples to create stable national lives in the unfavorable conditions during the imposition of Soviet-dominated regimes after 1945. This class will attempt to provide students with the opportunity to critically appreciate the everyday life of ordinary citizens in Central and Eastern Europe through literature and cinema. The course will have four distinct sections to it:

Paul Beck, et al, History of Eastern Europe for Beginners
Joseph Held, The Columbia History of Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century
Eva Hoffman, Exit Into History: A Journey Through the New Eastern Europe

Milan Kundera, The Joke
Harold B. Segel, The Columbia Literary History of Eastern Europe Since 1945

Andrzej Wajda, Ashes and Diamonds (Poland, 1957)
Paul Coates on Ashes and Diamonds (
Jiri Menzel, Closely Watched Trains (Czechoslovakia, 1966)
Richard Schickel on Closely Watched Trains (
Krzystof Kieslowski, Blind Chance (Poland, 1981)
Janina Falkowska, "The Political" in the Films of Andrzej Wajda and Krzysztof Kieslowski,"Cinema Journal
Florian Henckel, The Lives of Others (Germany, 2006)
Faye Ginsburg, "Rethinking Documentary in the Digital Age," Cinema Journal


Travel Abroad: This class will include a 10 day trip to Eastern Europe.

Tentative Schedule for Travel:
Day 1 Fly overnight to Germany
Day 2 Berlin
Day 3 Berlin-- Take a guided tour of Berlin: Rathaus Schoneberg; Reichstag; Brandenburg Gate; Visit the Checkpoint Charlie Museum; Visit the Pergamon Museum; Visit the Jewish Museum
Day 4 Berlin--Visit the Allied Museum; Take a guided tour of the Stasi Headquarters Museum; Lecture: Participate in a panel discussion addressing life on both sides of the Iron Curtain
Day 5 Transfer to Wittenberg-- Visit the Schillerhaus; Visit the Schlosskirche; Travel to Weimar
Day 6 Weimar-- Take a walking tour of Weimar; Visit the Goethe Museum
Day 7 Travel to Dresden/Prague-- Take a walking tour of Dresden, Semper Opera House, Visit the Zwinger Museum; Continue on to Prague
Day 8 Prague-- Take a guided tour of Prague: Hradcany, St. Vitus Cathedral, Golden Lane, Charles Bridge, Jewish Quarter, Lecture: Attend a lecture about the Velvet Revolution
Day 9 Prague-- Visit the Mucha Museum; Jazz on the River Cruise
Day 10 Depart for home

Contact Dr.Bill janus for details of this trip.


Substitutions: This course will substitute for ENG 280: Visions of America.
Pending approval, this course will substitute for HIST 360, ENG 166 (Literature and Politics), ENG 339 (Literary Regions).

Instructors: Bill Janus

Time: Spring 2010, Block 7, pm

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