Full course description
This course in historical studies studies the discussions and debates surrounding the much-contested concept of totalitarianism. The course shall explore and compare movements and regimes, such as the National Socialist, the Fascist and the Soviet communist, that aimed to radically transform societies and aspired to rule in a totalizing manner. We shall link their histories to those of mass violence and human rights. We shall also discuss cultural life under such regimes as well as their aftermath and memory. Explicitly drawing on intellectual history, cultural and literary studies as well as legal studies, the course shall address relevant philosophical concerns, most particularly questions in epistemology and ethics. The course closes with analyses of contemporary discussions of the supposed fascist revival and an ongoing case of genocide.
- To introduce students to major theories on totalitarianism and their aftermath and familiarize them with academic discussions and debates on the applicability of this concept to various 20th century movements and regimes and instances of mass violence.
At least two of the following courses: HUM1013 The Idea of Europe: The Intellectual History of Europe, COR1003 Contemporary World History, HUM2007 States and Nations in Europe, from the Middle Ages to the First World War.
Geyer, Michael and Sheila Fitzpatrick (2009). Beyond Totalitarianism. Stalinism and Nazism Compared. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.