Poslední úprava: Mgr. Martin Pácha (19.09.2019)
Name of the Course: Chapters from Social and Cultural History of Communist Dictatorship in Czechoslovakia
Teachers: Mgr. Pácha Martin, Mgr. Vlasáková Magdalena
Faculty: Faculty of Arts
Actual: from 2019
Examination process: winter semester
Hours per week, examination: winter s.:2/0 Ex [hours/week]
The course is intended primarily for Erasmus students. It gives them a clear overview of social and cultural history problems and topics of modern Czech history from the 1945 to the present. The main aim of the course is to trace social and cultural changes in communist Czechoslovakia.
Schedule of the topics:
1. Opening lesson
During the first lesson we will present the basic form of the course including requirements for attestation. In the second half of the lesson we will discuss basic scientific concepts regarding contemporary history such as totalitarism, revizionism and postrevizionism.
2. The War
The war experiences always intervene into the development of the society and form the self-perception of people and their role inside the conflicts. The Czechoslovaks were victims ( WW 2) but also they supported aggressors not only by supplying weapons. This lesson will be focused on roles that Czechoslovakia played during the wars of the restless 20th century.
3. Nationalism vs. Communism
We may perceive the concept of nationalism in different interpretation but its manifestations should be clear especially for its addressees. The narratives of the nationalism helped to postwar czechoslovakian society to self-identification with the Communism. The lesson will address history as an argument in general.
4. The Roman Catholic Church
The position of the religion changed after 1948 very radically when any notion of faith was in conflict with the atheistic doctrine. These changes affected the Roman Catholic Church the most. During the lesson we will focus on struggling between communists and Catholics through the example of religious education.
5. 1968: Between the emancipation and scientific-technical revolution
The 1968, which strived for so called “socialism with human face” is strongly embedded into the memory of Czechoslovaks. What was the kind of emancipation in this process? What was its manifestations? And what about scientific-technical revolution? Does it testify about then Czechoslovaks desires? Also about this questions we will think about.
6. From women tractor drives to gender equality
The analytic category of gender may be used as an interesting scientific tool of Czechoslovak history research. The roles of women and men changed between 1945 to 1992 but it always should correspond with the contemporary ideas. In this lesson we will look at particular form of these ideas and also on the character of women´s movement in Czechoslovakia.
7. Everyday life
The lesson will focus on everyday life within so called Czechoslovak normalization. We will pursue the question ´how could the mediality influenced the society´? In particular case we will focus on phenomenon of aerobic.
Propaganda is a purposeful action supported by an ideology that can take many forms. It is constantly up to date. We will focus on the propaganda in particular visual historical sources (posters, films of Vávra, TV´s serials such as Nemocnice na kraji města, Třicet případů majora Zemana).
The lesson will deal with selected socially and economically disadvantaged population groups in Czechoslovakia. Mainly we will discuss so called Roma question and we will focus on the changing position of Roma within the dictatorship of Communist Party.
10. Socialist´s architecture
The forty years of communist rule projected into the architecture as well. During this lesson we will deal with an incubator of socialist modernity – as was north Bohemian town Most. There is also the question about environmental impact of communist constructing in Czechoslovakia.
11. Memory – The interpretation of 1989
The lesson will be about transformation process that Czechoslovakia started after the fall of communist régimes in Europe. We will focus on different interpretative frameworks of the events.
12. Final lesson
The last meeting will focus on summarizing of whole topic and we will focus on the prospects of further research in form of a discussion.
Students will learn basic concepts and phenomenons that determined the form of communist rule in Czechoslovakia. They will be also able to interpret some of these forms on the basis of visual sources.
Active participation in the discussions.
Judt Tony, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, London 2006.
Pánek Jaroslav – Tůma Oldřich: A History of the Czech lands, Chicago 2016.
Mc Dermott Kevin: Communist Czechoslovakia 1945-1989, a political and social history, New York 2015.
Abrams, Bradley F.: The Struggle for the Soul of the Nation, 2004.
Machovec, Martin (ed.): Views from the Inside : Czech Underground Literature and Culture (1948–1989)
Further readings will be added during the course.
Mgr. et Mgr. Magdalena Vlasáková (* 1992) graduated from the Charles University in the Master's program Czech Contemporary History at the Institute of Czech History and Czech for Foreigners at the Institute of Czech Language and Communication Theory. She is currently a PhD student at the Institute of Czech History, where she is interested in the phenomenon of aerobics in the late normalization Czechoslovakia.
Mgr. Martin Pacha (* 1991) studied at the Charles University in the Master's Program of Social History at the Institute of Economic and Social History. Currently he is a PhD student at the Institute of Czech History, where he is interested in so-called religious sects during the communist dictatorship in Czechoslovakia.