Swarthmore College

Department of History

 

HISTORY 27

Living With Total War: Europe, 1914-1921

Spring 2015

 

Bob Weinberg

Trotter 218

Telephone: 328-8133

Office Hours:  Monday and Wednesday 1-3

                            Tuesday 1-3

                            By appointment

 

This research seminar explores the experience of Europeans in the trenches, under military occupation, and at home during the turbulent years during and immediately after the First World War.  The goal is for you to complete a research project based on primary documents from this period.

 

The course consists of two parts.  In the first part we will read a variety of secondary sources (monographs, articles, and chapters of monographs) on diverse aspects of World War I.  Many of the readings offer examples of distinctive ways in which authors use sources—documents, elements of material culture, and other forms of evidence—to create historical narratives, arguments, and interpretations about the war.  In the second part of the course each student will develop an individual research project that culminates in a paper of 20-25 pages. 

 

The twin goals of the course are 1) to focus your attention on how historians use sources to construct narratives.  What it is that historians actually do? and 2) to give you a strong understanding of the events, issues, interpretations, and unresolved questions surrounding the First World War.

 

Course Requirements

 

1) You are required to attend and participate in all class discussions during the first part of the course (10 percent).  Not surprisingly, it is crucial to your success in the course that you come to class prepared to discuss the assigned reading for each session. Keep in mind that the History Department has a draconian policy on attendance:  unexcused absences will be penalized by a lower grade.  If you are unable to attend a class session due to illness or some other issue, you are responsible for contacting me in advance.

 

2) You are required to submit an analysis of one class reading in which you identify the following aspects of the reading: statement of problem or topic; thesis and premise; sources used; and whether the author had a particular research strategy or methodology.  In addition, did the author discuss the historiography and what end did this discussion serve? Finally, did the author develop a persuasive narrative or explanation based on the sources?  Your essays should be a minimum of five pages and is due any time after Week 1 and before Spring break, March 6.

 

3) You are required to meet the following deadlines in regard to your project:

     March 27: Preliminary Topic Statement and Short Bibliography (secondary and

     primary sources)

     April 3: Four-page Analysis of One Primary Source (20 percent)

     April 24: First Version of Paper Due (15 percent)

     April 28 and 30: Presentations and Peer Critiques (15 percent)

     May 15: Final Version of Paper (40 percent)

 

4) You must submit all written requirements on time in order to receive credit for

      the course.

 

An optional language attachment worth a half-credit is available if you use a significant number of sources in French, German, or Russian for the final project.

 

I have ordered the following books for purchase; the are also on reserve in McCabe.

 

Maureen Healy, Vienna and the Fall of the Habsburg Empire: Total War and Everyday 

      Life in World War One

George Mosse, Fallen Soldiers: Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars

Joshua Sanborn, Imperial Apocalypse: The Great War and the Destruction of the

     Russian Empire

 

All other readings are on Moodle.

 

Your best friend in this course will be Sarah Elichko, Social Sciences librarian in McCabe.  She will work with you to develop research strategies and locate materials.  McCabe Library, the Peace Collection, and the Friends’ Historical Library have oodles of primary and secondary sources about World War and Tripod allows you to access online databases.  I encourage you to consult with her.  Her email is: selichk1.

 

January 20: Introduction

 

January 22: Why War?

 

Barbara Tuchman, The Guns of August, 17-43; 56-68

David Stevenson, Cataclysm: The First World War as Political Tragedy, 2-35

 

January 27: War and Violence

 

Omar Bartov, “The European Imagination in the Age of Total War” and “Man and the Mass: Reality and the Heroic Image in War”

Stephane Audoin-Rouzeau and Annette Becker, “Battle, Combat, Violence: A Necessary History”

 

January 29:  Life as a Soldier

 

Denis Winter, Death’s Men: Soldiers of the Great War, 23-49; 80-106; 141-161

Pierre Minault, In the Trenches https://notevenpast.org/category/wwi-diary/

 

February 3:  The Face of Battle

 

Denis Winter, Death’s Men: Soldiers of the Great War, 107-128; 170-208

Leonard Smith, Stephane Audoin-Rouzeau, and Annette Becker, France and the Great War, pp. 76-112 and 114-131

Pierre Minault, In the Trenches https://notevenpast.org/category/wwi-diary/

 

February 5: Civilians and Occupation

 

Stephane Audoin-Rouzeau and Annette Becker, “Civilians: Atrocities and Occupation”

Veijus Liulevicius, War on the Eastern Front: Culture, National Identity, and German Occupation in World War One, pp. 54-81 and 89-108

Ruth Harris, “`The Child of the Barbarian’: Rape, Race, and Nationalism in France During the First World War  http://www.jstor.org/stable/651033 .

 

February 10: Propaganda and War

 

Guest Lecture: Professor Andrew Lees (Rutgers University-Camden)

 

February 12: Captivity

 

Alon Rachamimov, “The Disruptive Comforts of Drag: (Trans)Gender Performances among Prisoners of War in Russia, 1914-1920” http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/ahr.111.2.362 .

Stephane Audoin-Rouzeau and Annette Becker, “The Camp Phenomenon: The Internment of Civilians and Military Prisoners”

Watch the Film “The Grand Illusion” for class (Approximately two hours)

 

February 17:  “Gimme,  Gimme Shock Treatment”

 

Paul Lerner, Hysterical Cures: Hypnosis, Gender and Performance in World War I and Weimar Germany http://www.jstor.org/stable/4289551

 

 

February 19: The Home Front and the Crisis of Legitimacy

 

Maureen Healy, Vienna and the Fall of the Habsburg Empire: Total War and Everyday Life in World War I, pp. 31-121

 

February 24: Finding Primary and Secondary Sources

 

Presentation by Sarah Elichko, Social Sciences Librarian

 

February 26: War in the East

 

Joshua Sanborn, Imperial Apocalypse: The Great War and the Destruction of the Russian Empire

 

March 3: A Global War

 

Richard Fogarty, Race and War in France: Colonial Subjects in the French Army, 1-14; 55-66; 202-269

 

March 5: War and Revolution in Russia

 

Vladimir Lenin, “State and Revolution” and “The April Theses”

Leon Trotsky, “The Peculiarities of Russia’s Development”

 

March 6: Analysis of Class Reading Due

 

March 17: The Breakdown of the Social Contract

 

Maureen Healy, Vienna and the Fall of the Habsburg Empire: Total War and Everyday Life in World War I, pp. 163-299

 

March 19:  Counter-Revolution

 

Robert Gerwarth and John Horne, “Bolshevism as Fantasy: Fear of Revolution and Counter-Revolutionary Violence, 1917-1923”

Roebert Gerwarth, “Fighting the Red Beast: Counter-Revolutionary Violence in the Defeated States of Central Europe”

Watch the Film “Rosa Luxemburg” for Class (Approximately two hours). Streamed on Moodle

 

March 24:  

 

March 26: Remembering War

 

George Mosse, Fallen Soldiers: Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars

 

March 27: Preliminary Topic Statement and Short Bibliography

 

April 3: Analysis of Primary Source

You must see once a week between April 3 and April 24.  We can meet during class time or during office hours.

 

April 24: First Version of Paper

 

April 28: Presentations and Peer Review

 

April 30:  Presentations and Peer Review

 

May 15: Final Version of Paper