Capitalist conspicuous consumption has been often contrasted to the socialist “economy of
shortages”. Even though waiting lists and a scarce supply of goods were widespread, citizens
of the Eastern Bloc also found many joyous moments in their everyday life.
In this seminar, we will analyze both concepts, aiming at a balanced account between official discourses andconsumerist experience. We will look into phenomena like moving into the first personal
apartment, automobility and leisure time, using a variety of primary sources, such as advertisements, memoires, caricatures.
The Master Class will be in English with Power Point Presentation!
Bren, Paulina: Weekend Getaways: The Tramp, the Chata, and the Politics of Private Life after the Prague Spring, in: Crowley, David/Reid, Susan (Eds.): Socialist Spaces: Sites of Everyday Life in the Eastern Block, Oxford 2002, 123-140.
Siegelbaum, Lewis: On the Side: Car Culture in the USSR, 1960s-1980s, in: Technology and Culture, 50 (2009), 1-23.
Reid, Susan E: Khrushchev Modern. Agency and Modernisation in the Soviet Home, in: Cahiers du Monde Russe, 47 (2006), 227–268
Recommended additional readings:
Crowley, David/Reid, Susan (Eds.): Style and Socialism. Modernity and Material Culture in Post-War Eastern Europe, Oxford 2000.
Crowley, David/Reid, Susan (Eds.): Socialist Spaces: Sites of Everyday Life in the Eastern Block, Oxford 2002.
Judt, Tony: Postwar. A History of Europe since 1945, London 2005.
///Non-GCSC participants should register for the event with Lyubomir Pozharliev – Lyubomir.Pozharliev@gcsc.uni-giessen.de
Any participants wishing to submit questions regarding the Master Class or their own projects should also email Lyubomir Pozharliev. ///