HSTCMP 340 A: The Cold War: Realities, Myths, Legacies

Spring 2022
T 12:30pm - 2:20pm / GWN 301
Th 12:30pm - 2:20pm / THO 101
Section Type:
Joint Sections:
JSIS B 340 A
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):

This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the Cold War, a global conflict with political, cultural, economic, and military tensions. In this course, we will explore the wide-ranging ramifications of the confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union. We will pay attention to the impact of that confrontation around the world, including in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Our goal is to approach the Cold War from a variety of perspectives. Not only will we cover its impact on places around the world, but we will also pay attention to what it meant for ordinary citizens, for the development of science and technology, and for international institutions that have survived beyond the end of the conflict. Your essay assignments will give you plenty of leeway to explore places or themes that are important to you, beyond what we will study in class.

By the end of this course, you will have a broad familiarity with the international history of the Cold War. You will understand the ideological conflict at the core of the conflict and be able to appreciate its continuing relevance. You will gain an appreciation for the way scholars study and write about the Cold War. And you will have read primary sources in a variety of genres, by authors from every continent. Going forward, you will be able to apply what you have learned about global trends to help you understand the trajectories of individual countries. The first of the paper assignments in this class will help you become more adept at finding and analyzing historical sources. The second paper assignment will help you think about the cultural impact of the Cold War.

In accordance with the revised UW Covid policy, this course will happen live and in person. As of now, we expect that students will be encouraged, but not required, to wear masks. Our two classrooms (Gowen 301 on Tuesdays and Thomson 101 on Thursdays) are both quite large, so students should be able to spread out and not breathe right on top of one another. We will, of course, accommodate students who feel sick or who know that they have been exposed to Covid, and you should not come to this class if you might be sick. At the end of the quarter, we will have an in-person, closed-book final exam.

Because our assigned classrooms are quite large, this course will be open to auditors and Access students.

Catalog Description:
Provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the Cold War (1947-1991), a global conflict, with political, cultural, and military tensions, between the two post-World War II superpowers: the USA and its "Western" allies, and the USSR and its "Eastern" allies. Attention given to diplomatic, military, and cultural ramifications. Offered: jointly with JSIS B 340.
GE Requirements Met:
Social Sciences (SSc)
Last updated:
February 26, 2024 - 12:35 am