Lectures and films are asynchronous; Friday discussion sections are synchronous
The 20th century, as the historian Eric Hobsbawm has said, was an “age of extremes.” This course serves as an introduction to this turbulent age, exploring themes in European history such as the histories of world war, the rise and fall (and rise?) of fascism and communism, the Cold War and decolonization, postwar migrations, and the making and breaking of the European Community. Through our explorations of key moments in the recent European past, we will consider broader questions of citizenship and identity in modern political life.
Our discussions will be unified by our focus on the social and political function of film in European history. This course provides an opportunity for students to sharpen their skills in visual analysis, while considering the diverse historical uses of film.
Key texts will include Art Spiegelman’s Maus II, Heda Kovaly’s Under a Cruel Star, and Frantz Fanon’s A Dying Colonialism. Films will include Jean Renoir’s Grand Illusion, Sergei Eisenstein’s Ten Days that Shook the World, Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will, Billy Wilder’s One Two Three, Michael Verhoeven’s Nasty Girl, Gillo Pontecorvo’s Battle of Algiers, and Mathieu Kassovitz’s La Haine/Hate.
There will be a midterm, a final exam, and a 7-8 page paper based on the readings and films.
Center for West European Studies
Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies
University of Washington
Seattle WA, 98195-3650