Seminar: Communism – What’s Left?
Ideology, practice, heritage
Date: 12-23 June 2017
Deadline for applications: 1 April 2017
What was communism, and what is left of it today? A century after the Russian Revolution and almost thirty years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, communism, arguably the defining political ideology of the twentieth century, seems to have dwindled into oblivion. How to assess its history and impact?
In this intensive ten-day course at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR), we discuss and research the history and heritage of communism in the country that in many ways symbolizes the communist experience: Italy, the country of Antonio Gramsci, the most influential Marxist ideologue after Marx; the country of the largest communist party in western Europe, and of the Red Brigades, the most lethal leftwing terrorist movement; and the country where many of the residues of communism are still visible in contemporary society and politics. Through the study of primary sources, on-site visits in Rome and discussions with (ex)communists, we will investigate what is left of communism from the Italian perspective, establishing comparisons with other countries in Europe.
[This course is a follow-up to the course Fascism & neofascism: ideology, representation, memory, organized at KNIR in 2016].
dr. Arthur Weststeijn (KNIR)
Target group and admission
The course is open to a maximum of 12 selected students in history, political science and related disciplines at BA2/3 or (R)MA level from KNIR partner universities (Universiteit van Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit, Universiteit Leiden, Universiteit Utrecht, Radboud Universiteit, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen).
Course format and assignments
The course is organised by and hosted at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR). It consists of an introductory meeting in the Netherlands in May 2017 (date to be announced) and an intensive seminar period in Rome, with lecturers, on-site visits and discussions. During the seminar, each participant delivers an oral presentation. Before and after the seminar participating students work independently on two written assignments:
– an exploratory literature survey (1000 words)
– a concluding essay (5000 words)
Credits and assessment
The study load is the equivalent of 6 ECTS (168 hours). Each student should arrange with his/her home coordinator whether the course can be a part of the existing curriculum. After successful completion of the course the KNIR provides a certificate mentioning study load and evaluation.
The study load is based on:
a) Before the seminar in Rome: independent study of course material and preparatory assignment: 1 ECTS (28 hours)
b) Intensive seminar in Rome (10 days): active participation, presentation and essay proposal: 3 ECTS (84 hours)
c) After the seminar (deadline 22 July 2017): essay of c. 5000 words: 2 ECTS (56 hours)
Assessment takes place on the basis of preparatory study of course material (20%), active participation and on-site presentation (30%), and the concluding essay (50%).
Tuition and lodging at the KNIR is free for selected participants from the above mentioned Dutch universities. Personal expenses, including meals, are not included. Students receive a €100 reimbursement of their expenses for travelling to Rome after submission of their final essay.
Facilities in Rome
All participants will be housed at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome’s Villa Borghese Park. From there, it is only a short walk to the historical centre of Rome. The KNIR accommodation consists of shared bedrooms and bathrooms, and includes a living and dining space, a large kitchen, washing machine and wireless internet. All residents have 24/7 access to the library and gardens of the Royal Netherlands Institute.
1 April 2017 via the link below, submitting a motivation letter, a recent C.V. and an updated overview of study results.