Syllabus: Europe Since 1945

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Enormous changes have taken place in Europe since the end of the Second World War.  This course will cover the period from the end of hostilities to the fall of communism and beyond.  The course is divided into four sections.  The first part will cover the end of the war and the period of reconstruction and the early cold war.  The two middle sections of the course will focus on the tremendous changes experienced in Europe during the fifties and sixties.  The final portion will cover the period between the sixties and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Dr. Robert Stephens
1317A Ambler Johnston Hall
Phone: 231-5326
Email: rosteph2@vt.edu
http://www.history.vt.edu/stephens

Office Hours: Monday 1:30-3:30, or by appointment

Course Evaluation: onsyllabus

Four Exams: 72%
Writing assignments: 15%
Professionalism: 13%

Exams:

Format: The exams will include two sections: 1) an out-of-class essay and 2) an in-class objective exam (i.e. multiple choice, matching, true/false, etc.).  The essay questions will be posted one week in advance of the exam. Students must bring their printed essay to class on the day of the objective portion of the exam.

Grading: The essays will be graded for content and style. Each essay must contain: a clear and convincing thesis, specific evidence from the readings and other course content, a conclusion, and proper Chicago Manual of Style footnotes (http://www.lib.vt.edu/find/citation/chicago.html). Grammar and spelling count!

Writing Assignments:

Throughout the semester, there will be both in-class and out-of-class writing assignments.  These assignments will vary based on the particular set of skills we are working on at the time.  You will only be allowed to make up these assignments with an acceptable documented excuse.

Professionalism:

This is not merely an attendance grade.  This grade will gauge your approach to the course: your preparedness, your comportment in class, your participation in discussions, and your enthusiasm.  Since this course is partly discussion-based, it will behoove you to attend every class.  Repeated absences will seriously diminish your final grade.  But I want to see much more than just attendance. I want to see you grapple with the issues; I want to see you think out loud; I want you to form your own opinions and articulate them.  I want you to treat this course as a professional-in-training, which is what you already are.

Some Policy Matters:  

1. Completion of all assignments is required, even if you are taking the course pass-fail.
2. Late exams will be given only with an official, documented excuse.
3. Please make sure your cell phones are turned off when you enter class.
4. Laptops may not be used during film screenings or discussions.  During the screenings, the lights disturb other students, and during the discussions I want you focused on talking not typing.

Special Needs:

If you need adaptations or accommodations because of a disability (learning disability, attention deficit disorder, psychological, physical, etc.), if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible.

Honor Code:

Virginia Tech has a stringent honor code. The honor pledge states: “I have neither given nor received unauthorized assistance on this assignment.” If you are not familiar with the honor code system, I strongly encourage you to do so immediately; by attending this university you tacitly agree to be governed by this set of rules. The honor code is available at the following URL:  http://www.honorsystem.vt.edu/

Any infractions will be reported to the Honor System Review Board and could lead to a failing grade in the course, community service, probation, or even expulsion from the university.

Books:

The following books are required reading and are available at the bookstore:

1. Tony Judt, Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945 (New York: Penguin Books, 2005).  ISBN: 0143037757

2. Henri Alleg, The Question (Lincoln, NB: University of Nebraska Press, 2006).  ISBN: 0803259603

3. Ian Buruma, Murder in Amsterdam: Liberal Europe, Islam, and the Limits of Tolerance (New York: Penguin, 2006).  ISBN: 9780143112365

Articles:  

In addition to the three required texts, you will be required to read a number of scholarly articles and chapters from books.  The articles will be available in Adobe Acrobat PDF format in Scholar.

Many of the articles for this course are also available from various electronic vendors to which the University Library subscribes. In the cases in which it was possible, I have included a stable URL link to the article. These links will only work if the sites recognize you as an authorized VT user. You can accomplish this in one of two ways: 1) you can use a computer connected to a campus network (ethernet or wireless), or if you are not on campus, 2) you can sign on to the library’s off campus ezproxy, using you pid and password. Most of these articles are large files. In particular, the JSTOR articles are too large to download over a 56k modem connection. If you have problems accessing the readings through the stable URL links, please use Scholar.

Elizabeth Heineman, “The Economic Miracle in the Bedroom: Big Business and Sexual Consumption in Reconstruction West Germany” The Journal of Modern History 78, no.4 (2006): 846-877.  http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdf/10.1086/511204

Jeremi Suri, “The Promise and Failure of ‘Developed Socialism’: The Soviet ‘Thaw’ and the Crucible of the Prague Spring, 1964-1972” Contemporary European History 15 (2006): 133-158. http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?aid=433541

Belinda Davis, “Activism from Starbuck to Starbucks, or Terror: What’s in a Name?” Radical History Review, 85 (2003): 37-57. http://rhr.dukejournals.org/cgi/reprint/2003/85/37

Scholar:

The URL for scholar is: https://scholar.vt.edu/portal

You should be able to sign on with your pid.  If you have problems logging on, please contact technical support at 4help http://www.computing.vt.edu/help_and_tutorials/4help/index.html.

Schedule:

Week 1: August 27-29
Introduction: Readings:
Thursday: Judt, 1-41

Week 2: Sept. 3-5
Readings:
Tuesday: Judt, 63-99
Thursday: Documents: “Beveridge Report Summary,” and Aneurin Bevan, “In Place of Fear: A Free Health Service” (Available on Scholar)

Week 3: September 10-12
Readings:
Tuesday: Judt, 129-164
Thursday: Film: 7 Up

Week 4: September 17-19
Tuesday: Judt, 197-237
Thursday: Exam

Week 5: September 24-26
Readings:
Tuesday: Judt, 241-277
Thursday: German Historical Institute Documents, “The Shadow of the Wall” http://germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org/sub_doclist.cfm?sub_id=29&section_id=15

Week 6: October 1-3
Readings:
Tuesday: Judt, 278-323
Thursday: Discussion of Alleg, The Question, xiii-102

Week 7: October 8-10
Readings:
Tuesday: Judt, 324-359
Thursday: Film: 21 Up

Week 8: October 15-17
Readings:
Tuesday: Elizabeth Heineman, “The Economic Miracle in the Bedroom: Big Business and Sexual Consumption in Reconstruction West Germany” The Journal of Modern History 78, no.4 (2006): 846-877.  http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdf/10.1086/511204

Thursday: Exam

Week 9: October 22-24
Readings:
Tuesday: Judt, 390-421
Thursday: Arthur Marwick, “Youth, Consumption, and Politics in the Age of Radical Change,” in Between Marx and Coca Cola: Youth Cultures in Changing European Societies (New York: Berghan Books, 2006), 39-58. (Available on Scholar)

Week 10: October 29-31
Readings:
Tuesday: Judt, 422-452
Thursday: The Digital History Reader, 1968 Module. http://www.dhr.history.vt.edu/modules/eu/mod05_1968/index.html

Week 11: November 5-7

Readings:
Tuesday: Jeremi Suri, “The Promise and Failure of ‘Developed Socialism’: The Soviet ‘Thaw’ and the Crucible of the Prague Spring, 1964-1972” Contemporary European History 15 (2006): 133-158. http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?aid=433541
Thursday:  Film: 56 Up

Week 12: November 12-14
Tuesday: Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch, excerpts. (Available on Scholar)

Thursday: Exam

Week 13: November 19-21
Reading:
Tuesday: Judt, 453-503
Thursday: Belinda Davis, “Activism from Starbuck to Starbucks, or Terror: What’s in a Name?” Radical History Review, 85 (2003): 37-57. http://rhr.dukejournals.org/cgi/reprint/2003/85/37

Week 14: November 26-28
Thanksgiving Holiday
Begin Reading Buruma, Murder in Amsterdam, for discussion on December 3.

Week 15: December 3-5
Reading:
Tuesday: Judt, 535-558, 586-633
Thursday: Discussion of Buruma, Murder in Amsterdam

Week 16: December 10
Tuesday: Optional Final

Final Exam: During regularly scheduled final exam period

 

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