Spotlight: GLOA 400 Global Affairs Capstone: Post-Soviet Life, Spring 2023


In GLOA 400, students draw from interdisciplinary core and concentration coursework in order to synthesize, compare and consolidate the various approaches and theories explored throughout the major through a focus on a pressing global issue.

Additionally, the course is designed to further develop research, writing, presentation, and organizational skills.


GLOA 400 Global Affairs Capstone: Post-Soviet Life is taught by Professor Johanna Bockman in the Spring 2023 semester on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons in Horizon Hall. Professor Bockman works in globalization studies, economic sociology, urban studies, and East European Studies.

My GLOA 400 course is about Post-Soviet Life, the social, cultural, political, and economic worlds of the countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, as well as their former allies elsewhere. The class is cross-listed with RUSS 354, so we have a great mix of students.

We start by examining Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader of the Soviet Union in 1985, and what he was trying to do. We compare the experiences of late socialism in Soviet Union with those of other countries in the region. Then we turn to life after 1991, exploring such topics as nationalism, environmentalism, politics, oligarchs, violence, vampires, workers, gender, the self, religion, vacation houses, memory, and socialism today.


In class, we have active learning, group discussions, analysis of videos and other images, and exploration of ideas through fiction, journalism, and real professional history and social science writing about the region for up-to-date knowledge of the trends in Post-Soviet Life.