The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the complex historical role of Central Europe on the larger canvas of European history in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The focus is on imperial and then national cultures, the legacies of the First and Second World Wars, communism and its downfall in 1989 and after. The Czech Republic’s dynamic second largest city, Brno, the pearl of Moravia, will provide the starting point for regional travel. Students will visit the three great cities of the former Habsburg Empire, Budapest, Prague and Vienna, each with its own unique churches, museums and castles. Students will also visit Wroclaw, once German city but now a Polish one. There are four modules – an introductory session on the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires followed by period-specific studies of Central Europe and the First and Second World Wars, Communist Central Europe and finally the region since 1989.
Prerequisites: 1 FCE in History or relevant academic preparation.
Can be counted toward both the History and the European Studies programs at the University of Toronto.
HIS367Y0 Course Outline
Field Trips: In addition to activities in Brno, three-day excursions to Vienna, Prague, Budapest and Wroclaw will take place at the ends of weeks one, two, three and four. Return transportation and two nights’ overnight accommodation will be arranged for all course participants. Students may opt to spend additional time in these cities at their own expense. The course also includes three days in Rejviz, a mountain resort with the highest elevation in Silesia. The cost of the trips is CAD$1,900, paid to U of T for onsite transportation, guides and some entrance fees.
Instructor: Robert Clegg Austin (PhD University of Toronto) is a specialist on East Central and South-eastern Europe in historic and contemporary perspective. In the past, Austin was a Tirana-based correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; a Slovak-based correspondent with The Economist Group of Publications; and a news writer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Toronto. Austin has written articles for The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, Southeast European Times, Orbis, East European Politics and Societies and East European Quarterly along with numerous book chapters and two books published separately in Tirana and Prishtina. He has lectured widely in Europe and North America and was a Guest Professor in 2009 – 2010 at the University of Graz’s Centre for Southeast European Studies. His most recent book, “Founding a Balkan State”, was published with the University of Toronto Press in October 2012. At CERES, he coordinates the Undergraduate European Studies Program, the Hellenic Studies Initiative and the Hungarian Studies Program.
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