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.