European Radicalism in the 19th Century

History 103B.002

Spring 2007
Instructor (text): 
211 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
Thurs 10-12

Historians have applied the term, 'radicalism' to a broad array of phenomena, from the Reformation of the early-modern period to twentieth-century Nazism and neo-Nazism. This course will focus on the nineteenth century, with Britain, Russia and France as the center of analysis. Students will subject both the concept and the phenomena it refers to to systematic and comparative analysis. Do the specific movements historians label as radicalism have anything in common? What origins do historians ascribe to radicalism (social, cultural, political, or intellectual)? Were nineteenth-century radical movements local in nature, arising among specific communities for specific reasons, or could radicalism spread (for example, were there links between British and Russian radicalism)? We will attempt to answer these questions primarily by studying secondary literature, including works by Gareth Stedman Jones (Languages of Class), Tony Judt (Socialism in Provence) and Abbott Gleason (Young Russia), and the debates about them. A few primary sources, such as Dostoevsky's The Possessed will also be thrown in. Depending on the size of the class, students will be asked to make presentations, submit 2-page reading reviews, and one 10-page paper.

Those students who think they may write their senior thesis on a topic within the general subject of this seminar will be asked to write a brief(non-binding) thesis pre-prospectus describing a potential thesis topic. They will be provided with the necessary information about basic research tools and sources.