Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitAustralian Centre for Jewish Civilisation
OfferedNot offered in 2015
Coordinator(s)Dr Paula Michaels


This unit will examine how Communism transformed everyday life for East European populations by reshaping social structures and communal ties. Through literature, films, photography, and other primary sources, students will study and analyse the impact of politics on popular culture, religion, rituals of work, family life, the environment, education, humour, architecture, and living spaces. Readings, lectures, and tutorial discussions will explore the degree to which individuals carved out private spaces at home, at work, and in social circles to limit the impact of politics on private life. The unit will look at individual countries as case studies for broader themes that are relevant to the entire region. The unit will begin with a background on East European politics and culture before the establishment of Communist governments and will end with an examination of the post-Communist period. Discussions of primary sources in tutorials will provide students with the skills to analyze similar primary sources in their written work.


  1. This unit contributes to the making of responsible and effective global citizens who engage in an internationalised world and exhibit cross-cultural competence. Understanding the history of other cultures and countries as well as the political systems that have shaped those cultures is central to engaging in an internationalised world.
  2. Engage in international issues through the study of the political and social history of Eastern Europe as well as the relevance of this history for broader political debates over national identity from the mid-nineteenth century to the contemporary period.
  3. Be familiar with theoretical works about the history of everyday life, the varied methodologies that historians have used to research this history, and the intersections between political and social history.
  4. Be familiar with memory studies by focusing on the politics of memory of the Second World War and the Holocaust in Eastern Europe during and after the Communist period.
  5. Develop research skills and analyse primary sources.
  6. Develop skills of critical reading and understand differences in historians' interpretations of the past.
  7. Strengthen effective communication skills through group discussions during tutorials.


Within semester assessment: 80%
Exam: 20%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.