HSTEU 276 - Postwar: European History and Film After 1945
M, W 10:30-12:20 (synchronous);
Prof. Jordanna Bailkin (she/her): firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Bailkin's office hours: Wednesdays, 2:30-3:20 or by appointment
Teaching Assistant: Emily Lantz: email@example.com
Emily's office hours: Tuesdays, 3:30-4:30
Welcome to HSTEU 276!
How did Europeans attempt to come to terms with the aftermath and legacy of the Second World War? As they sought to rebuild their cities, laws, empires, economies, and social relations in the wake of the war, the place of Europe in the world seemed ever more fragile. In this course, we will explore efforts to reconstruct Europe and European identity after 1945, as well as assessing the successes and failures of these efforts. We will address the themes of poverty and affluence, postwar justice, Americanization, the expansion and collapse of communism, decolonization, migration, and ongoing ethnic tensions that threatened new forms of warfare.
Throughout this tumultuous period, film offered a powerful way for Europeans to rethink their identity. We will focus on films that illustrate how Europe tried to memorialize (and forget) the wartime past, and what arguments Europeans made about how they might build a new future. The course thus provides students with an opportunity to explore the historical uses of film, and to sharpen their skills of visual analysis, along with an overview of key themes in post-1945 European history.
Films will include Roberto Rossellini's Germany Year Zero, Wolfgang Becker's Goodbye, Lenin, Stephen Frears' Dirty Pretty Things, and Quentin Tarentino's Inglourious Basterds. Readings include Primo Levi's Reawakening, Frantz Fanon's A Dying Colonialism, and Slavenka Drakulic's Cafe Europa: Life After Communism.
Assignments will include a midterm, final exam, and 7-8 page paper.
For the full syllabus, discussion questions, and links to the readings and films, please see the Modules.
This is an unusual year, and I know that many of you are facing unprecedented challenges. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can help in any way, even if just by listening. The Department of History has also compiled the following guide to resources to help with a variety of issues, from financial to emotional: https://history.washington.edu/student-resources-times-need