HSTEU 274 A: European History and Film from the 1890's to the Present

Autumn 2022
Meeting:
TTh 10:30am - 12:20pm / SMI 304
SLN:
16532
Section Type:
Lecture
Joint Sections:
HSTEU 274 B
AUDITORS NOT PERMITTED IN THIS COURSE.
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):

A concrete wall with five movie posters on it. A ring of yellow stars (from the EU flag) is painted over the posters.

 

HSTEU 274: EUROPEAN HISTORY AND FILM FROM THE 1890S TO THE PRESENT

 

Autumn 2022                                                              Adrian Kane-Galbraith (they/them)

Tues, Thurs 10:30-12:20                                             Office: Smith 103B

Smith 304                                                                    akane14@uw.edu     

 

Office hours: Wednesdays, 2:30-3:20 (on Zoom) or by appointment

Join URL for office hours: https://washington.zoom.us/j/98678777435

 

COURSE INTRODUCTION

What does it mean to be European? And what does it mean to be "modern?" Over the course of the long twentieth century, European politicians, artists, and ordinary citizens struggled to remake their societies in the name of competing visions of modernity, with results that were sometimes inspiring, sometimes unthinkably tragic. This class tracks the history of these struggles from the 1890s to the present, using the lens of film--the quintessential "modern" art form--to examine the rise and fall of imperialism, communism, fascism, and the dream of a liberal, unified European Community. We will explore the way film was used to represent, and reshape, European concepts of race and class, gender and sexuality, power and citizenship. We will analyze primary texts and print media that place European cinema in its social context. And we will reflect on the unfinished history of the world wars, the Cold War, migration and decolonization--a history which, as 2022 draws to a close, has made Europe once again a site of protracted, deliberate state violence. 

In addition to introducing you to these key themes in European history, the course is also intended to help you develop key tools of historical analysis: how to approach a primary vs. secondary source, how to situate visual, written, and audio sources within their social context, and how to analyze change over time.

 

COURSE STRUCTURE

This class meets in person Tuesdays/Thursdays, 10:30-12:20 in Smith Hall 103. Attendance in person is strongly encouraged, particularly on Thursdays, when we will discuss the week’s readings. Panopto recordings will be uploaded to Canvas after each class—please watch the recordings if you are unable to make it to class in person.

While you're in class, I request that you follow UW's current COVID-19 Face Cover Policy. If you feel ill, please STAY HOME and check UW's Covid-19 Prevention Plan for next steps--I promise you'll be able to make up anything you missed!

In a typical week, the class meetings will include three components:

  1. Lectures: These are intended to introduce you to the political, social, intellectual, and cultural context for the films and readings. They will provide a chronological overview of major events and themes in twentieth century European history, including WWI and WWII, the Russian Revolution, the Cold War, the emergence of the EU, decolonization struggles, and contests over gender, migration, and youth culture. Prior to our Tuesday meeting each week, discussion questions will be posted in that week’s Canvas Module, including a list of key terms to focus on.
  2. Film: Each week we will screen a film, or a portion of a film, with thematic links to the subject of the lectures. We’ll discuss the films in class, and you’ll be asked to analyze and write about these films as part of your coursework.
  3. Reading Discussion: Readings are listed in the weekly schedule below. These, together with the films, will form the basis of in-class discussions, and should be completed prior to our meeting on Thursday. Links to all readings can be found in the Canvas Modules. Also in Canvas Modules, you’ll find discussion questions for the week. These are intended as a starting point for discussions, but they are by no means exhaustive—please come to class with your own questions, too!

 

ASSIGNMENTS

In addition to discussion participation, you’ll be assessed through two assignments and three short Canvas-based exams:

  1. Short Assignment: (2.5-page paper or equivalent in creative work) You will have a choice of three prompts, based on the primary-source readings for the first four weeks of class. One prompt will be an academic primary source analysis; the other two will involve a creative component.
  2. Paper: (5-7 page paper; 12-point font, double-spaced; 1-inch margins) You will be given a broad-based prompt which will ask you to synthesize your reflections on multiple readings and films, and on how they relate to the major themes of the class. The paper will NOT require additional research.
  3. Exams: (three short Canvas-based quizzes, short-answer format) The exams will be posted in the “Quizzes” section of Canvas. They are open-note and untimed. Each exam will open on Thursday after class (12:30pm) and close at 11:59pm on the following Monday: you can take the exam at any point during this open window. However, you’ll only be able to take each exam once.

 

GRADING BREAKDOWN

Discussion Participation ...............................................................................................................15%

Exam #1 (due Mon, October 17)………………………………………………………………………………..10%

Short Assignment (due Thurs, October 27)...............................................................................20%

Exam #2 (due Mon, November 14)…………………………………………………………………………….10%

Paper (due Thurs,  December 1)………………………………………………………………………………...35%

Exam #3 (due Mon, December 13)  ………………........................................................................10%

 

REQUIRED READINGS

All readings—both primary sources and secondary sources—are uploaded to Canvas and linked from the weekly Canvas Modules. There will be ~30 pages of reading in an average week. You will only be required to read the book sections included in the modules; however, in some cases I will provide links to full digital versions of these books for those who are curious to learn more.

 

LECTURE, DISCUSSION, AND ASSIGNMENTS SCHEDULE

 

*THIS IS A LIVING DOCUMENT: IT MAY CHANGE OVER THE COURSE OF THE QUARTER*

 

Week 1: Mapping 20th-Century Europe

CLASS MEETING: September 29

FILM: A Trip to the Moon, dir. Georges Méliès (1902)

NO READING!

 

Week 2: The Great War and Modern Memory

CLASS MEETINGS: October 4 and 6

FILM: Grand Illusion, dir. Jean Renoir (1937)

READING: Samuel Lynn Hynes, “Introduction: A Gap in History” (1991); War poets: Guillaume Apollinaire, “The Little Car” (1914);  Geritt Engelke, “To the Soldiers of the Great War” (1918); Eva Dobell, “Night Duty” (1919)

 

Week 3: Social Revolutions

CLASS MEETINGS: October 11 and 13

FILM: Ten Days That Shook the World, dir. Sergei Eisenstein (1928)

READING: Alexandra Kollontai, “Communism and the Family” (1920); “Prostitution and Ways of Fighting It” (1921)

 

***EXAM #1 OPENS 12:30pm THURS, OCT 13; CLOSES 11:59pm MON, OCT 17***

 

Week 4: Making “New” Nations in the 1930s

CLASS MEETING: October 18 and 20

FILM: Triumph of the Will, dir. Leni Riefenstahl (1935)

READING: Alva Myrdal, “Social Security and Social Care of the Handicapped” (1941)

 

Week 5: World War II and Modern Holocausts

CLASS MEETINGS: October 25 and 27

FILMS: London Can Take It! (dir. Humphrey Jennings and Harry Watt, 1940); Shoah (dir.

Claude Lanzmann, 1985)

READING: Elie Wiesel, Night (1960; 2006 translation)

 

***SHORT ASSIGNMENT DUE 11:59pm on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27***

 

Week 6: Europe Between the US and the USSR

CLASS MEETINGS: November 1 and 3

FILM: One, Two, Three (dir. Billy Wilder, 1961)

READING: Vasili Aksenov, A Ticket to the Stars (1961)

 

Week 7: Wars of Youth, Wars of Memory

CLASS MEETINGS: November 8 and 10

FILM: Germany in Autumn (dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Alexander Kluge, et al., 1978)

OPTIONAL READING: Geoff Eley, “Nazism, Politics, and the Image of the Past: Thoughts on the West German Historikerstreit, 1986-1987,” Past and Present 121 (1988), 171-208

***EXAM #2 OPENS 12:30pm THURS, NOV 10; CLOSES 11:59pm MON, NOV 14***

 

Week 8: The Empires Fight Back

CLASS MEETINGS: November 15 and 17

FILM: The Battle of Algiers (dir. Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966)

READING: Frantz Fanon, A Dying Colonialism (1959)

 

Week 9: NO CLASS — THANKSGIVING BREAK

 

Week 10: The End of History?

CLASS MEETING: November 29 and December 1

FILM: The Way I Spent the End of the World (dir. Cătălin Mitulescu, 2006)

READING: Timothy Garton Ash, “The Magic Lantern” (1990)

 

***PAPER DUE 11:59pm on THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1***

 

Week 11: Conclusion — Re-Mapping 20th-Century Europe

CLASS MEETINGS: December 6 and 8

FILM: La Haine/Hate (dir. Mathieu Kassovitz, 1996)

READING: the news from Europe, December 2022 *TBD*

 

***EXAM #3 OPENS 12:30pm THURS, DEC 8; CLOSES 11:59pm MON, DEC 12***

 

CONTENT WARNING

This class deals extensively with issues of violence: racism, antisemitism, colonialism, gender-based violence, and genocide. Please let me know if you have questions or concerns about the content of lectures or films.

 

EXTENSION POLICY

I’m always willing to grant extensions on assignments for issues related to disability, neurodiversity, or unexpected life events (family crises, job changes, housing instability, etc.) If you anticipate you’ll have trouble completing a paper or an exam on time, please let me know by email as soon as possible and we’ll decide on a new due date. This is an honor system—first extensions will be granted, no questions asked. However, to keep administration time at a minimum, I ask that you not request a second extension on the same assignment unless a second emergency arises, or you’re dealing with chronic illness, Covid and/or disability.

 

EMAIL POLICY

Group emails will go through a class listserv, which uses your official UW email address. Please check your UW inbox regularly. If you haven’t received an email from the listserv in a while, please check in with me.

I’ll reply to emails ASAP on Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm. If you email over the weekend I’ll respond on Monday.

 

Any hard copies of papers, notes, etc. should be delivered to Adrian’s office at Smith 103B. Adrian’s mailbox is located in Smith 315, but this box is not secure and is only available when the office is open. Office locations and hours are posted on a bulletin board outside of 315 Smith.

 

HISTORY WRITING CENTER

For consultation on your short assignments and papers, the History Writing Center offers 30-minute individual appointments with the writing center director, an experienced instructor in the Department of History. You can schedule appointments by emailing the Director, Julie Osborn, at histwctr@uw.edu or through the History Writing Center’s website.

 

UW STUDENT RESOURCES AND ACADMIC HONESTY POLICIES

The link to the UW student resources attachment can be found here.

The Department of History has also compiled a guide to resources for helping students with a variety of issues, from financial to emotional: https://history.washington.edu/student-resources-times-need

Catalog Description:
Introduces the histories of world war, the rise and fall of fascism and communism, postwar migrations, the Cold War and decolonization, and the making of the European Community through film. Historical content unified by methodological focus on the social and political function of film.
GE Requirements Met:
Social Sciences (SSc)
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Credits:
5.0
Status:
Active
Last updated:
February 25, 2024 - 8:22 pm