U.S.: INTELLECTUAL HISTORY

Anno accademico 2016/2017 Programmi anni precedenti
Titolo corso in inglese U.S.: INTELLECTUAL HISTORY
Codice insegnamento LMJ210 (AF:216560 AR:113040)
Modalità Convenzionale
Crediti formativi universitari 6
Partizione Classe 1
Livello laurea Laurea magistrale (DM270)
Settore scientifico disciplinare SPS/05
Periodo I Semestre
Anno corso 2
Obiettivi Formativi
The course aims at providing an in-depth and critical knowledge of the coming into being and evolution of one of the crucial concepts of US foreign policy from the end of WWII to the present: the "Cold War". From its birth in the aftermath of WWII to the present, the phrase "Cold War" has been a regular ingredient of US foreign policy speeches and discourses, first as a presciptive notion for policy, then as a descriptive tool, and finally as model for "post-Cold War" policies. How has this concept materialized? What implications did/does it have? How has its conceptualization changed over time? The course will confront these and other questions, by taking a fresh look at the works of both intellectuals and policymakers throughout the last 70 years. Besides the emphasis on this specific subject, the course will provide critical insight into the making of historiographical research.

At the end of the course, students will be able to:
a) manage confidently the intellectual history of the US's "Cold War", and discuss the role of ideas in the formulation of US foreign policy and US history more generally;
b) display a confident knowledge of the most updated literature on the subject, including the ability to critically compare diverging views and approaches;
c) retrieve, read and interpret the public speeches of US presidents as primary sources, and to make use of such ability in the preparation of their own research projects;
d) communicate their work and research in English and taking part in a global debate about these topics. Please note: the course is tought entirely in English;
t) consolidate their competence in the field of US history in an autonomous and self-organized manner.
Prerequisiti
The course has no formal prerequisites. However, as an advanced course in US history, it de facto requires a basic knowledge in US history. Students who do not possess such a basic knowledge already, can use as a complementary text the following textbooks:

A. Testi, La formazione degli Stati Uniti, Il Mulino, 2006 (or later editions)
A. Testi, Il secolo degli Stati Uniti, Il Mulino, 2006 (or later editions)
Contenuti
The course aims at providing an in-depth and critical knowledge of the notion of "Cold War", one of the main ideas that have guided US foreign policy from WWII to the present.
Testi di riferimento
The course will be based on a selection of excerpted pieces from the following volumes, articles, speeches, documents and videos. Each week, students are advised to prepare the material in advance, so as to make classes interactive.

PLEASE NOTE #1: The detailed list of the material to prepare, complete with indications on where to find it, is available in the ISA materials of the course (file US Intellectual History.pdf).

PLEASE NOTE #2: Students who do not attend the class regularly should add, to the following list, also the study of a volume of their choice between:
a) M. Leffler, For the soul of mankind, 2009
b) J.L. Harper, The Cold War, 2011

General reading list:
H. Clinton interview on The Atlantic Monthly, 2014
J.L. Gaddis, We now know, 1997
M. Leffler, For the soul of mankind, 2007
J.L. Harper, The cold war, 2014
R. McMahon, The cold war, 2003
A. Stephanson, “Fourteen notes on the very concept of the cold war”, H-Diplo essay, 2007
G. Orwell, “You and the atomic bomb”, The Tribune, 1945
B. Baruch speech on New York Times, 1947
X (G. Kennan), “The sources of Soviet conduct”, Foreign Affairs, 1947
W. Lippman, The Cold War, 1947
H. Truman, Commencement address at the University of California, 1948
US. Policy Planning Staff, NSC-68, 1950
R.G. Springsteen, The red menace, 1949: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KWHDNPdoCg
H. Kissinger, “Force and diplomacy in the nuclear age”, Foreign Affairs, 1956
W.W. Rostow, The stages of growth, 1960
J.F. Kennedy, Inaugural address, 1961
T. Bailey, America faces Russia, 1950
A. Schlesinger, “Origins of the Cold war”, Foreign Affairs, 1967
W.A. Williams, The tragedy of American diplomacy, 1962
G. Kolko, “War crimes and the nature of the Vietnam war”, Journal of contemporary Asia, 1970
R. Nixon, “Asia after Vietnam”, Foreign Affairs, 1967
National Security Council, First Annual Report to the Congress on United States Foreign Policy, 1970
R. Nixon, Toast at a dinner in Moscow, 1972
J.L. Gaddis, “The emerging post-revisionist synthesis on the origins of the Cold war”, Diplomatic History, 1983
R. Pipes, “Can the Soviet Union Reform?”, Foreign Affairs, 1984
J. Milius, Red Dawn, 1984: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T834Uvg5BG8
J.L. Gaddis, “The tragedy of Cold War history”, Diplomatic History, 1993
M. Leffler, “The Cold War: what do 'we know now'?”, American historical review, 1999
R. Emmerich, Independence day, 1996: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kA2WzBi2grE
B. Obama, Interview With ITAR-TASS/Rossiya TV, 2009
A. Stephanson, “Cold war degree zero”, in Uncertain empire, 2012
W. Hixson, The Myth of American diplomacy, 2008
F. Fukuyama, “The end of history?”, The National Interest, 1989
R. Legvold, “Managing the New Cold War”, Foreign Affairs, 2014





Modalità di esame
scritto e orale
Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento
The written exam is a short essay on a topic provided by the teacher, among those treated in class. It aims at verifying the students' critical understanding of the basic questions raised by the course. The written exam is "open notes, open books", that is students may consult their study material and refer to it (provided that they cite it appropriately). It has a duration of three hours. The oral exam is a discussion of the written, plus other questions on the program. The oral exam has to be taken in the same session as the written exam.
Metodi didattici
Class discussions led by the professor.
Lingua di insegnamento
Inglese
Altro
The written exam is a short essay on a topic provided by the teacher, among those treated in class. It aims at verifying the students' critical understanding of the basic questions raised by the course. The exam is "open notes, open books", that is students may consult their study material and refer to it (provided that they cite it appropriately). It has a duration of three hours. The oral exam is a discussion of the written, plus other questions on the program. The oral exam has to be taken in the same session as the written exam.
Sostenibilità
  • Dispense e materiali di approfondimento e di autovalutazione disponibili online; testi di riferimento in formato e-book
  • Utilizzo strumenti open-source