Postwar: The Consequences of Conflict in the Modern Period

History 103U.003

Fall 2014
Section: 
003
Instructor: 
Location: 
106 MULFORD
Day & Time: 
Th 4-6P
CCN: 
39477
Units: 
4

"After every war," Nobel Laureate Wislawa Symborska reminds us, "someone has to clean up. Things won't straighten themselves up, after all." This seminar looks at the consequences of conflict in transnational perspective during the 19th and 20th centuries and explores how conflict altered international law, political belonging and the everyday experiences of people living in war's wake. While our readings will draw heavily on American and European stories of the modern period, we will cast our gaze to Africa, the Middle East and Asia as well.  We will use reflective diaries, letters penned by powerful diplomats, transcripts from international meetings, poetry and film footage alongside traditional historical monographs to interrogate when postwar periods begin, the changes they unleash and their complex legacies.   Further, we will try to understand  how war unleashes psychological trauma, social revolution and new cultural practices. Finally, we will probe how events, battles and tragedies within wars become memorialized in postwar eras.