(Offered as HIST 130 [EU/TE] and EUST 130) The image of the First World War is so iconic that it can be evoked through a handful of tropes: trenches, machine guns, mud, “going over the top,” crossing “no man’s land.” Yet in many ways this is a partial vision, one that focuses myopically on the experiences of European soldiers who occupied a few hundred miles of trenches in northern France. Why is it that a conflict as unprecedented in its size and complexity as “the Great War” has been reduced in our minds to this very limited scale? This course both explores the role of World War I in our cultural imagination and aims to create a broader, messier, and more complicated portrait of the history. It will examine the conflict on multiple fronts, studying the perspectives of both European and non-European soldiers and civilians, and analyze the war’s role in shaping the twentieth century. Two class meetings per week.
Limited to 40 students. Fall semester. Professor Boucher.
How to handle overenrollment: Preference to History majors, European Studies majors, seniors, juniors, and so on.
Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Close analysis of historical evidence, which may include written documents, images, music, films, or statistics from the historical period under study. Exploration of scholarly, methodological, and theoretical debates about historical topics. Extensive reading, varying forms of written work, and intensive in-class discussions.