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Homework for Thursday Week 4

Homework for Thursday, April 21
A. Slovakia became an independent country in 1993, when Czechoslovakia split into two parts. As a
relatively unknown country, how does it market itself to tourists in this video? (2‐3 sentences)
B. Read “Women and the Politics of Gender in Communist and Post‐Communist Central and Eastern
Europe,” by Sharon Wolchik and write answers to your choice of 3 of the following questions (3‐4
sentences each).
1. What were some of the advantages gained by women in the Soviet period?
2. Which period in the Soviet period does Wanda (from Ida) most typify as a women with political
power: the early, transitional days, the 1960s, or the final years (1980s)? Explain.
3. What led to a shift to a more “maternal” framing of women’s roles, as reflected in policies of the
1960s and beyond? How did this influence people’s lives?
4. In what ways has the transition to a market economy benefited many women? In what ways has
it made life more difficult for many women?
5. What may be behind the fact that many women in the former Soviet‐Bloc countries reject the
label “feminist?” What specific aspects of their experience might influence this view?
C. The current Slovak president Zuzana Čaputová, was elected in June, 2019. An environmental activist,
she came to prominence in a wave of protest against corruption following the murder of an investigative
journalist (Ján Kuciak) in 2018.
Read a few of her Tweets at https://twitter.com/zuzanacaputova and write a brief paragraph of 3‐4
sentences, considering either
1) how she navigates her role as a prominent political figure in a society in which women
politicians are very rare
or 2) how she presents her leadership in reaction to current issues.
D. Review the Powerpoints from Wednesday and Thursday, Week 3 and take the online quiz. The quiz
will be available by Sunday morning.
Optional, for those who have time:
1. Music ‐ Read an article about the role of music in recent political protest in Slovakia and listen to
the songs linked in it: https://www.calvertjournal.com/articles/show/11913/new‐generation‐
Beatles fans will recognize one of protest songs, “Predstavujem si krajinu” (“Imagine the
Country,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lR3qcLSlRyE), “recycled” from protests during
Soviet domination. If rap is your style, try “Chceme pravdu” (“We want the truth,”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mb‐EsiWghSs); you’ll see some familiar images in the
2. Visual arts ‐ Watch videos from the Wende Museum (Culver City) exhibit "The Medea Insurrection:
Radical Women Artists Behind the Iron Curtain:" https://vimeo.com/showcase/6875553