20th Century Europe

History 275B

Spring 2018
Section: 
1
Instructor: 
Location: 
2303 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
Tu 2-4
Class Number: 
25022
Units: 
4

This course aims to stimulate conversation on a series of provocative questions relating to the history of modern Europe, a continent alternately coming together and tearing itself apart, reminiscent of the old oscillating universe theory. Remarkable is the persistence of the national question and its power to overwhelm every agenda – including that of social welfare – until its demands seem satisfied. Course readings touch upon following issues:

Total War and its causes
Revolutionary era: socialism and national self-determination
Enemies of democracy and their programs
Leninist and fascist "civilizations"
Submersion of the world wars in European collective memory
Collaboration: "Victims" as collaborators.
Collaborators as "democrats"
Intellectuals and the Cold War: totalitarian temptation?
The dialectics of German unity in a divided Europe
Revolutionary era: 1989 and the era of "democratization"
Europe unified and divided: the Bosnian crisis

Throughout the emphasis is on readability and new questions, rather than on panoramic view or systematic geographic and thematic coverage. Students write one twenty page paper on a subject of their choice, as well as a number of short reviews, and make one presentation to the class (on a book of their choice).