HIS 383 • AFTER THE WAR: EUROPE, 1945-68
3:30 PM-6:30 PM
How does a culture recover from destruction on the order of World War 2? In the 1940s and 50s, intellectuals in Europe and the United States grappled with questions that seemed newly urgent, searching for keys to understanding the past and reconstructing the present. Issues ranged from the roots of democracy and dictatorship to the organization of economic life, colonialism and civil rights the power of new media, and the need to rethink personhood, sexuality and psychology. We will look at some of the "big social science" of the period and resituate some of the most important works - The Origins of Totalitarianism, The Second Sex, Black Skin, White Masks in an international context. And we will look at how historians have tried to reconstruct international conversations and the circulation of ideas and projects. Students from all areas are welcome. All will write short papers on 7-8 weeks of common readings, and a longer paper on the topic of their choice within the broad parameters of postwar social thought.
Judt, Postwar Arendt, Origins of Totalitarianism Beauvoir, The Second Sex, America Day by Day Adorno et al. The Authoritarian Personality, Dialectic of Enlightenment Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks Philip Rieff Freud: The Mind of a Moralist (1959/61) David Riesman, The Lonely Crowd David Jeneman, Adorno in America Vanessa Schwartz, It's So French Sarah Igo, The Averaged American