Fragmented Memories: Polish and Polish Jewish Culture Through Film.

Analyzes, compares, and assesses representations of Polish Christians and Polish Jews—their life experiences, interactions, shared and separate fates—in documentaries and fiction films made in Poland from the 1930s to the present day. Includes films by Wajda, Polanski, Munk, Kieslowski; also a 2008 documentary about pre-World War II Christian-Jewish relations in Poland by Jolanta Dylewska. All films screened with English subtitles. One course.

Revealing Histories: Polish Cinema

Explores the films of four famous Polish directors – Andrzej Wajda, Andrzej Munk, Krzysztof Kieœlowski, and Agnieszka Holland – whose artistic approaches and ethical/political themes greatly influenced Polish and European cinema as well as Polish politics. Through viewing their movies and consulting biographical, historical, and critical materials, we’ll examine how these directors use film to reconstruct history, challenge politically or religiously orthodox myths, and suggest new ways of valuing the complexity and spiritual capacities of the individual. All texts in English translation.

Trauma and Nostalgia: East European Film in the 21st Century

Examines the major thematic focus of East European filmmakers in the 21st century: their efforts to reconstruct and reassess the experience of the Cold War (1945-1989) and the Yugoslav wars (1991-1995). These films from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Croatia, and Serbia include ironic/sentimental tales of Cold War childhood, thrillers about sleeping with the enemy (political informers), and psychological dramas centering on political trauma, resistance, and compromise. All films shown with English subtitles. No prerequisites. One course.

The Frontiers and Minorities of the Tsarist and Soviet Empires

Introduces multiconfessional, multilingual, multicultural composition of Russian & Soviet empires with questions concerning minorities in an imperial context. Learn about construction, interaction, and manipulation of cultures and identities. Balance Tsarist & Soviet efforts to modernize and Russify minorities, such as Ashkenazi Jews, Poles, & Turkic Muslims, against negotiated transformation and cultural resilience of minorities.

Orhan Pamuk and World Literature

Studies the novels and non-fiction of Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk as an introduction into ethics and politics of World Literature. Addresses social consequences of Pamuk's role as an intellectual-author who mediates between the national tradition and an international canon. Political implications of Sufism, cultural revolution, Orientalism, and post-colonialism. Secondary focus on cosmopolitan Islam and the Ottoman Empire. No prerequisites; taught in English. One course.