The Second World War: Media, Technology, Remembrance
This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of the central conflict of the twentieth century. Our approach to the topic will be roughly chronological and will attempt to treat each of the major theaters and battles, themes, and ideas of the conflict. We will trace its origins in the aftermath of WWI, see the growth of fascism, the expansion of the Japanese Empire, and the rise of Hitler. In an effort to cover all the theaters of the war, both in Europe and in the Pacific, we will first examine the campaigns and battles in a conventional “military history” sense. In addition to this, we will consider the accelerated pace of technological advances, from sonar and radar to the proximity fuse and the atom bomb. Finally, we will follow innovations in media techniques used in the propaganda war on all sides and the creation of national mythologies through film and television.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE SPRING BROCHURE HAS THE TIME LISTED INCORRECTLY. The class meets for three hours from 9 to noon.
Keegan, John. The Second World War. Penguin Books, 2005. ISBN-10: 9780143035732.
Isaacs, Jeremy. The World at War. 1973. (British TV series with Lawrence Olivier, Anthony Eden, Averell Harriman, Albert Speer, and Siegfried Westphal, and many others). DVD set released in 2004. 26 episodes, with additional materials. (Cost varies with packaging). ASIN: B00MEXA90C.
Klemperer, Victor. I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years, 1933-1941. Modern Library Paperbacks, Vol. 1. ISBN-13: 978-0375753787.
Klemperer, Victor. I Will Bear Witness 1942-45: A Diary of the Nazi Years. Modern Library Paperbacks. Vol. 2. ISBN-13: 978-0375756979.
RICHARD POSS is Associate Professor of Astronomy and former Director of the Humanities Program. His research examines the role of astronomical themes in European poetry; he has published articles on Petrarch, Dante, Veronica Gambara, Walt Whitman, Thomas Hardy, and the exploration of Mars. In addition to his other activities, he regularly teaches a course in the Astronomy department called “Science and Science Fiction.” He is a frequent instructor in the Humanities Seminars Program and has won many university teaching awards.