War and Society
06/18/2007 - 06/22/2007
Monday-Friday 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Public Affairs Center 421
Social existence involves both cooperation and conflict, and social conflict often spills over into physical violence. While most societies condemn physical violence between individuals, they condone and encourage collectively organized violence in the form of warfare. There is no modern society that has not taken part in warfare, so an understanding of war is clearly essential to any understanding of human existence.
We examine war as a social, political, and historical phenomenon, looking at the way wars have led to consolidation of political power, the acceleration of social change, and gender relations. Our focus is on the role played by technology in the interaction between war and society, studying examples including medieval Europe, the gunpowder revolution, colonial wars, the American Civil War, World War II, Vietnam and Iraq.
Readings for the course include John Keegan, The Face of Battle; Robert O'Connell, Of Arms and Men; Barbara Ehrenreich, Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War; William McNeill, The Pursuit of Power; M.Knox & W. Murray, eds., The Dynamics of Military Revolution; John Ellis, The Social History of the Machine Gun, and clips from documentaries and other media.
Students will be responsible for three short reports and a research paper
All required texts should be read in advance of the course.
A syllabus for this course is available at:
Peter Rutland (B.A. Oxford University; D. Phil. York University) is professor of government and author and editor of numerous books, including Business and State in Contemporary Russia (Westview, 2001); The Politics of Economic Stagnation in the Soviet Union: The Role of Local Party Organs in Economic Management (Cambridge University Press, 1993); and The Myth of the Plan: Lessons from Soviet Planning Experience (Open Court, 1985). Click here for more information about Peter Rutland.
Consent of Instructor Required: No
|Level: GLSP||Credits: 3||Enrollment Limit: 18|
Texts to purchase for this course:
Barbara Ehrenreich, BLOOD RITES: ORIGINS AND HISTORY OF THE PASSIONS OF WAR (Owl Books), Paperback
John Ellis, THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF THE MACHINE GUN (The Johns Hopkins University Press), Paperback
A.C. Grayling, AMONG THE DEAD CITIES: THE HISTORY OF MORAL LEGACY OF THE WWII BOMBING OF CIVILIANS IN GERMANY AND JAPAN (Walker and Co.), Paperback
John Keegan, THE FACE OF BATTLE (Penguin), Paperback
Macgregor Knox & Williamson Murray, THE DYNAMICS OF MILITARY REVOLUTION (Cambridge University Press), Paperback
William McNeill, THE PURSUIT OF POWER (University of Chicago Press), Paperback
Robert O'Connell, OF ARMS AND MEN (Oxford University Press), Paperback
READING MATERIALS AVAILABLE AT BROAD STREET BOOKS, 45 BROAD STREET, MIDDLETOWN, 860-685-7323
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