Monday, 4 August 2008

more of the same...

Look, I know I didn't give you the quiz I promised. In fact, I just ignored you all. Then I show up again demanding more love and attention. Intolerable, isn't it? In my defence I was away, for a bit: Chelsea Boy & I had 3 days' blissful holiday in Siena. If I can find the time, I shall write about it. We have some nice pics.

Anyway here is a draft syllabus for my Europe since 1945 course:

Sep 1 Europe and WWII: an introduction

Sep 3 Europe in Ruins: the aftermath

Sep 8 The search for a settlement: peace treaties and political resolutions

Sep 10 Reconstruction: the West

Sep 15 Soviet Reconstruction: the East

Sep 17 The beginnings of the Cold War

Sep 22 From the ECSC to the European Community

Sep 24 The 50s boom: economy and demographics

Sep 29 The USSR and the end of Stalinism

Oct 1 Social change and the European social model

Oct 6 The Cold War: escalation and the Cuban Missile Crisis

Oct 8 Decolonization I: Asia & the Far East

Oct 13 Decolonization II: Africa


Oct 20 1960s: Discontent in Eastern Europe

Oct 22 1968 & Discontent in Western Europe

Oct 27 Feminism & civil rights

Oct 29 Cultural transformation: pop culture since 1945

Nov 3 Terrorism in Europe: ideological and nationalist violence

Nov 5 European integration and the growth of the EC

Nov 10 1980s I: the "Second Cold War"

Nov 12 1980s II: Prosperity and Reform

Nov 17 The end of communism in Eastern Europe & the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Nov 19 The Collapse of the USSR

Nov 24 De-Sovietization of Eastern Europe

Nov 26 Ethnic conflict and the Balkan wars

Dec 1 EU Enlargement and the New Europe

Dec 3 Europe in 2001: Conclusions and class discussion

any comments? do your collective worst....


garibaldy said...

No room for Thatcherism and the destruction of Keynesianism?

garibaldy said...

Or is that prosperity and reform?

ursus arctos said...

I'm with Garibaldy. I think you need something on the triumph of the "liberal" economic model in Britain (and much of the rest of the EU, though one can make intersting comparisons with dirigiste France and the less whole hog transformations in the Nordic countries and the Netherlands). The question of whether that transformation was linked to prosperity (and whether it qualifies as "reform") is of course an interesting one.

I also think there is a gap in the EU narrative (but then I would). I think you need something on the whole "1992" phenomenon (the Single Market, the Euro, Schengen) as a bridge between integration (which from the timing would seem to be more Iberia and Greece) and Enlargement. There are also points to be made there about the increasing importance of autonomous (and non-autonomous) regions in the EU, though that is a hobby horse of mine that has proven not to be as important as I thought when I used to think about such things more rigorously.

And given where you and your students are, is there any value to trying to sketch the madness that is the post-WWII history of Italy?

Needless to say, the traditionalist in me doesn't consider much of this to be "history".

TrentToffee said...

...aaahhhh Siena. Wonderful place. I'm in love with all of the dogs who bark - on cue - at the church/Duomo bells :0)

philcafc said...

I caught Gasperini of Genoa window shopping in Siena before the game in April, but wussed out of getting my Gazzetta signed.

Beautiful place though, up there with my faves. From about 10am the centre was overtaken by Genoa tifosi climbing the campanile, filling up the gelateria shops, taking photos of the duomo (bloody ultras!).. Imagine doing that in England, maybe in Middlesbrough or Blackburn...

joejoejoe said...

Still looks a little light on Scandanavia to me. Be sure to mention ABBA a lot in the pop culture section to compensate!

ian said...

You may already be operating at a higher plane than this, but I'd be happy to send the pair of you a copy of the quite excellent CNN series "Cold War", should you want one.

Reed said...

I have nothing constructive to add, but this post made me think of this SNL classic.

chris c paul said...

In agreement with the othes for once- I'd call it prosperity and economic liberalistion.

I'd also have something on technology and the changing face of industrialisation.

I'd also make a mention of trade and its role in replacing colonialism.

I think it is too recent to look at EU enlargement yet- I think this and the balkans crisis need to be seen in the context of the collapse of communism.

Spangly Princess said...

ok I shall rejig the 80s economic stuff. eurgh. I could absolutely not have less interest in teaching that topic.

I guess 1992/Maastricht fits in with the 90s expansion as well, perhaps? I'm not sure what you mean, Chris, by it being "too soon" to think about expansion - we've gone from 12 to 27 members in a very short space of time, that surely needs looking at?

technology & changing facer of industry is a good one. But maybe can't sustain a whole class? (or rather, I can't sustain a whole class on it...) I shall see if it might fit in somewhere else. Globalization might be another valid economic class but you may have noticed that I loathe economic history with a passion. So a bit of global trade can go in with decolonization.

I will try to incorporate some of the Italian stuff, yes; it's not exactly a typical experience though, is it? As for Scandinavia, other than the European social model, what is there? Other than ABBA and herrings?

chris c paul said...

I don't really have a firm line on when it is 'too soon' to cover current affairs as history, but until at least the constitution/reform treaty is done and dusted it just feels, to me, too current. I agree it needs looking at though. It is very significant. I would look at it as part of the collapse of russian communism lecture. This too seems imperfect however. While the EU is in adminastrative limbo there seems nothing much to study though-other than a pervading sense of federal and/or neoliberal optimism.

fuggit, dunno. I marvel at how you put these courses together really, all this is nothing more than pinches of salt.

garibaldy said...

Dude, surely Thatcherite economics aren't that complicated? Sell all the public stuff cheap through share issues, funded by oil revenues, sell off all the council houses to create a property bubble, raise interest rates so that finance capital booms while you destroy manufacturing, criminalise trade unions as far as possible. New conservative strata created, and job done. Cain and Hopkins might have something to say about this in the updated edition of their book on imperialism and gentlemanly capitalism (which goes up to 2000), but then again they may not. It's ideology anyway rather than complex economics.

As for the EU. I agree that it'd be easiest to teach it (especially to Americans from a range of courses) in terms of its geopolitical importance (or lack thereof). Fits well with the Balkans theme and the strategic imperative to pen Russia in as far as possible. I'd also use the Celtic Tiger thing as a perfect example of why the eastern Europeans are so keen on it - what they expect to get from it, how the single market and EU funding can help transform and economy etc. And how populations still worry about the democratic deficit and the potential for EU imperialism, as demonstrated by Yugoslavia or Chad. You could draw comparisons with Cyprus and Turkey maybe and what they expect to get out of it. I think actually that Ireland as case study in comparative context would be a very handy way of teaching the issues raised by the EU. And help show decolonisation up seeing as we starve the Africans to protect our farmers.

chris c paul said...

self plug- "surely Thatcherite economics aren't that complicated"

"economics keeps itself ostentasious, deliberately opaque, and dull, because at its core any idiot can grasp it. Mirror mirror on the wall, how you like them apples."