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Seminar Requirements

Read this page closely, print this page, and put it with all of the other printed material for our seminar.


This is a reading-intensive course. To save you money, I do not ask you to purchase a huge number of books or other materials. Happily, there are less expensive ways to acquire information in the 21st century. I expect you to treat your books and articles as objects of quasi-religious devotion. You should read them, as well as any other class readings, as carefully and as closely as you can.


  • Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto
  • Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon
  • Rosenberg and Young, Transforming Russia and China
  • John Scott, Behind the Urals
  • Vaclav Havel, Open Letters:  Selected Writings

No Course Reader!  In addition to the books, most of your readings are linked to this Web Syllabus. Occasionally, I will provide you with hand-outs. Our class discussions will only work well if you have these readings physically in front of you. Therefore, you are required to do two things: 1) Copy and print all of the readings on this site that are marked PRINT (otherwise, you do not need to copy them); 2) Bring each required reading to class on the day we are to discuss it. To make your life easier, I strongly recommend that you print all of the required readings immediately and put them into some kind of orderly binder.

Other Media.  I am very visual.  We will watch several films. Other types of media are available on the Course Syllabus.  I encourage you to use visual and audio media in your class presentations.


It is a special privilege to take a seminar. You should treat our seminar accordingly. Seminars are small and they allow for intimate and lively discussions. They also provide me with the pleasant opportunity to work closely with each of you as individuals. My aspirations are modest. I merely want to teach you to speak, read, write, think critically, and persuade. If I accomplish these tasks, I will be pleased. These objectives are reflected in the breakdown of my grading standard.

  • Participation (30%)
  • Sakai Discussions and Short Assignments (10%)
  • Two Reflective Essays (15% each)
  • Semester Essay (30%)

Paper assignments will be docked 1/3 of a letter grade for each day they are late. To receive a passing grade in this class, you must visit me during office hours at least one time this semester.  Please do not make me sweat over your inclination to undertake this difficult requirement.


Class attendance is MANDATORY.  Unless you are ill, you must consult with me beforehand if you know you will miss a class.  If you are ill, please send me an email so that I do not worry about you.  University-approved absences are fine, but please tell me beforehand if you will be gone.

Office Hours

I enjoy meeting with all of my students, and I hope to see each of you on a regular basis. You do not need to have specific questions about the class. I view your education holistically, and I am interested in learning about you personally. I hold my office hours at the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, 211 Brownson Hall. This building is behind the Main Building. Go through the black, wrought iron gate at the north end of Brownson and make an immediate right up the stairs. My office hours are:

Monday, 11:00-12:00 and Tuesday, 2:00-4:00, as well as by appointment.

If you are waiting to see me during your visit, you should take the opportunity to ask about Nanovic sponsored research trips to Europe.


Salvador Dali, “Six Apparitions of Lenin on a Grand Piano”


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