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HIS 2342 Syllabus Winter 2013.pdf

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University of Ottawa
Naomi Davidson

HIS 2342: EUROPE IN THE 20 TH CENTURY WINTER 2013 Monday 13h00-14h30, Wednesday 11h30-13h00 Arts 257 Professor Naomi Davidson Desmarais 9160 613-562-5800, x1276 [email protected] Office Hours: Monday 15h-16h30, Wednesday 13h00-13h30, or by appt. T.A. : Eric Stewart, [email protected] Course description: This course provides an introduction to European History since World War I. We will explore the century’s many conflicts (the First and Second World Wars, the wars of decolonization, the Cold War, and the conflict in Yugoslavia); its socio-economic transformations (the Depression, the creation of welfare states, changing gender roles, post-colonial immigration); and its political movements (the interwar Left and Right, the rise of fascisms, the protest movements of the 1960s). We will conclude with the challenges to national and regional political, social, and religious identities posed by immigration, membership in the EU and globalization. Texts: There is no basic textbook assigned for this class. Should you want to read more about any given topic or make up for a missed lecture, copies of Robin Winks’ Europe 1890- 1945 and Europe 1945-the Present have been placed on reserve at Morisset Library for your use. Instead, you willthe asked to read selected chapters from Eric Hobsbawm’s non-textbook narrative of 20 century history, The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1914-1991. Hobsbawm’s text is thematic rather than strictly chronological. In addition, there is a course packet available at Rytec. Certain assigned articles have not been included in the course pack because they are available online through the library catalogue. These articles are indicated by an asterisk. The Age of Extremes is available for purchase at Agora, and has also been put on reserve at Morisset. Requirements: Source Analysis (rolling deadline) 15% WWI Paper (January 28) 20% Mid-term exam (February 27) 30% Take-home final exam (April 11) 35% *Please note: your final grade will be primarily based on your written work as listed above. However, I will also take into account factors which may raise or lower your final note, like improvement over the course of the semester or repeated disruptions in class.* 2 1. You are responsible for ONE 3-page source analysis of a primary source class reading. It is up to you to choose which week to turn in your analysis, but I will only accept source analyses turned in at the beginning of class on the day the source is discussed. Primary sources are indicated by the # symbol. In other words, you may not turn in an analysis of The Young People of Today (January 11) any time other than at the beginning of class on January 11. In your paper, you must do a close reading and analysis of the text you have chosen in order to bring to light its significance as a document for understanding the topic under discussion that week. Be sure to pay attention to the source as a text, not merely to its historical context. You will want to attend to the identity/ies of the author(s), their intended audience, their aims, their rhetorical strategies, and their references to internal and external debates (and to other thinkers). Why does the author use the words she does? Why does he structure his arguments the way he does? What is left unsaid in her words? These are some of the questions you might think about as you analyze your chosen source. You are not required to consult any secondary sources for your close reading. This particular assignment may not be turned in late for any reason; it is designed to demonstrate your original analysis of the document before we discuss it together. 2. The WWI paper must be between 4-5 pages. Your assignment is to choose a piece of cultural production (a painting, sculpture, novel, poem, play, song or other piece of music, dance, philosophic or scientific treatise) by an artist, writer, poet, philosopher, theorist, or musician from any of the European countries engulfed by the trauma of the First World War. You may also use a source produced by a European colonial subject affected by the war with the exception of those from Canada. You will use that source to construct an argument about one of the ways the war shaped Europeans’ lives. Your source, textual or visual, can be one produced during the war itself, or in its immediate aftermath. You can rely on class readings to contextualize your analysis of the source, but must use at least THREE additional secondary sources (historical monographs or peer-reviewed journal articles, not websites or encyclopedia entries). Some artists you might consider: Käthe Kollwitz, Max Beckmann, Alfred Kubin, Guillaume Apollinaire, Pablo Picasso, Otto Dix, Egon Schiele, George Grosz, Wyndham Lewis, John Nash, Erich Maria Remarque, Wilfred Owen, Virginia Woolf…and many more. Please come see me to discuss potential sources and arguments. 3. The midterm exam will consist of a choice of short essay questions to be taken in class. The final will be one long essay question to be completed at home. Please note that the final is a take-home exam. You must turn it in to me in my office between 9am and 12pm on Wednesday, April 11. THIS IS A FINAL EXAM AND MUST BE TURNED IN ON TIME. NO LATE EXAMS WILL BE ACCEPTED. Your grades for written assignments will depend not only on the originality, clarity, and depth of your historical reasoning but also on your written expression. If you are still working on how to structure an essay (organization, transitions between paragraphs, integrating citations) or express yourself in writing (clarity, problems with grammar or 3 spelling, etc), I strongly advise you to seek advice before turning in papers. You may consult the T.A., the Academic Writing Help Centre (, or me. Some tips for effective writing: 1. Remember that you are being asked to analyze historical problems, not describe or narrate them. In other words, make sure your work asks and answers a historical question and does not simply describe a series of events. 2. Show rather than tell. Use examples to demonstrate your arguments rather than simply stating your case. 3. Integrate citations into your work by introducing the author and her argument(s), do not insert them into your own text without a transition. 4. Transitions are also important to mark the movement between the different sections of your paper: make sure your reader can follow you as you move from one topic to another. 5. Strive for clarity. Show your work to someone else and see if your reader understands your meaning. If all else fails, try reading your work aloud: you will quickly realize if it is not clear! 6. Avoid vagueness, generalities, and (usually) thethassive voice. Rather than beginning your essay with “[t]he history of Europe in the 20 century has been very dramatic,” start with a strong, relevant, opening. Similarly, avoid vague and passive constructions such as “many peoples’ lives were changed.” Rather, demonstrate what changed peoples’ lives and how. 7. Last but not least, pay close attention to verb tens
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