Youth in Revolt: Post-1945 Europe through Film

History N100.005

Summer 2018
Second 6 Week Session
180 Tan
Day & Time: 
TuTh, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. | July 2–August 10
Class Number: 

• This is a 2 unit course. It does not fulfill a major requirement.

Thoroughly devastated by war and the Holocaust, the Europe of the 1940s was poor, ethnically homogeneous, and politically divided into democratic-capitalist and Communist blocs. By the 1990s, Germany was reunified, the Soviet Union withdrawn from Eastern Europe, and the European Union expanded to include states formerly under Soviet rule. But the road to prosperity and unity required the revolutionary ideas and actions of youth.  In this course, we use award-winning feature films from the 1940s through the 1990s as our major primary sources for evaluating the major social, political, and cultural upheavals through which contemporary Europe emerged from its darkest decade. Topics addressed include the psychological aftershocks of fascism and Nazism; the decolonization of the British and French empires and the rise of racial and religious minorities in London, Paris and Berlin; the Sovietization of Eastern Europe and the rise of a dissident culture; the sexual revolution; the rise of television, rock n’roll, and the mass media; and the politics of Communism and anti-Communism in the Cold War.Focusing on films from England, France, West Germany, and East Germany, our major theme is generational revolt. In postwar Europe, each generation of youth revolted against  different aspects of politics and culture: outdated gender and sexual norms, the repression of wartime memory and guilt, political parties, universities and professions, the shallowness of consumer society, conformity under dictatorship.