Center for International Education
Spring 2009

Smetana ‘08 publishes book from her Slovakian family’s oral histories

Laura Smetana ‘08 presented a copy of her book to her great uncle, Martin Smetana, and his wife, Viera.
Laura Smetana ‘08 presented a copy of her book to her great uncle, Martin Smetana, and his wife, Viera.

In summer 2006, international affairs and political science dual major Laura Smetana’08 traveled to Slovakia with support from a UNH Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) to study the effects of the transition from communism to democracy and capitalism. With translation help from her father, she collected oral histories from twenty-four people in her extended family ranging in age from 18 to 87. Most of her time was spent in the town of Myjava, where her family has been situated for hundreds of years.

From the oral histories she collected, Laura wrote a series of stories which she published this past fall under the title Reflections on Communism and Democracy in Slovakia. The book is available at Blurb! on line at http://www.blurb.com/bookstore.