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Regular version of the site
Master 2021/2022

20th-Century Personality Cults

Type: Elective course (Global and Regional History)
Area of studies: History
Delivered by: Department of History
When: 2 year, 1, 2 module
Mode of studies: offline
Open to: students of one campus
Instructors: Alexander Reznik
Master’s programme: Глобальная и региональная история
Language: English
ECTS credits: 6

Course Syllabus

Abstract

The objective of the course is to introduce the issue of the personality cults of political leaders, on the basis of the materials of the 20th century . The cult of personality is a global phenomenon that allows one to look at the particularities of the political development of different societies in terms of their inter-connectedness, inter-contextuality, similarity and distinction. The course will examine the practices of sacralization of widely known leaders such as Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler and Mao Zedong, as well as less famous ones such as Alexander Kerensky, Nelson Mandela and Evita Perón. The concept of the "modern cult of personality", introduced by Jan Plamper, will be the object of the discussion in the class. By analysing both sources (narrative and visual) and current historiography, participants will be able to address the question of the multiplicity of the historical contexts of contemporary cults of personality.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Learn contemporary approaches to the modern personality cults
  • Able to analyse the regional political cults in the global context
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Know and able to apply contemporary research approaches to the personality cults
  • Able to analyse the regional political cults in the global context
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction
    What is a personality cult? The definition of a modern personality cult. Contemporary research approaches. The course outline.
  • Bismarck and Garibaldi’s personality cults.
    Images of Bismarck and Garibaldi as political symbols and myths in the early XX c.
  • Revolutionary Russia and the cults of leaders
    The cases of Alexander Kerensky and Vladimir Lenin's cults
  • The cults of leaders in the European totalitarian states
    Stalin, Mussolini, and Hitler
  • Revolutionary China and the cult of Mao Zedong
  • Eastern european cults of leaders
    Josip Broz Tito, Enver Hoxha, Mátyás Rákosi, and Nicolae Ceaușescu
  • The cults of leaders of the Global South
    Evita Perón, Nelson Mandela
  • The cult of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
  • Final discussion
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking leading discussion
  • non-blocking final essay exam
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.5 * final essay exam + 0.5 * leading discussion
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Anson Rabinbach, & Sander L. Gilman. (2013). The Third Reich Sourcebook. University of California Press.
  • Boris I. Kolonitskii. (2020). Images of A.F. Kerensky and the Political Struggle in 1917 (based on the newspapers of A.A. Suvorin) Authors. Historia Provinciae: Журнал Региональной Истории, 4(3), 834–883. https://doi.org/10.23859/2587-8344-2020-4-3-5
  • Brunk, S., & Fallaw, B. (2006). Heroes and Hero Cults in Latin America: Vol. 1st ed. University of Texas Press.
  • Ibrahim, V, & Wunsch, M (eds.) 2012, Political Leadership, Nations and Charisma, Taylor & Francis Group, Florence. Available from: ProQuest Ebook Central. [11 July 2021]. https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/hselibrary-ebooks/reader.action?docID=956995&ppg=113
  • Kirill Postoutenko, & Darin Stephanov. (2020). Ruler Personality Cults From Empires to Nation-States and Beyond : Symbolic Patterns and Interactional Dynamics. Routledge.
  • Reyes, A. (2020). I, Trump: The cult of personality, anti-intellectualism and the Post-Truth era. Journal of Language & Politics, 19(6), 869–892. https://doi.org/10.1075/jlp.20002.rey
  • Ssorin, C. N. (2006). On heterochrony: birthday gifts to Stalin, 1949. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 12(2), 355–375. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9655.2006.00295.x
  • Tumarkin, N. (1983). Political Ritual and the Cult of Lenin. Human Rights Quarterly, 5(2), 203–206. https://doi.org/10.2307/762257

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • B. Apor, J. Behrends, P. Jones, & E. Rees. (2004). The Leader Cult in Communist Dictatorships : Stalin and the Eastern Bloc. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Ivanovich Kolonitskii, B. (2018). The Genealogy of the “Leader of the People”: Images of Leaders and the Political Language of the Russian Revolution of 1917. Russian History, 45(2/3), 149–177. https://doi.org/10.1163/18763316-04502002
  • Leese, D. (2006). Performative politics and petrified image : the Mao cult during China’s cultural revolution /.
  • Vivian Ibrahim, & Margit Wunsch. (2012). Political Leadership, Nations and Charisma. Routledge.