Course Listings


HIST 388W Democracy and Nazism (4)

Why does democracy fail? How does authoritarianism arise? This seminar course explores several competing explanations for the failure of the Weimar Republic (1919-1933) and for the consolidation of the Nazi Third Reich (1933-1945). To do so, it considers evidence in salient primary source texts, film, art and imagery (all in translation), and engages with relevant secondary scholarship. Ultimately, in exploring the particular historical record, this course seeks insights into the constitutive elements of democracy in general at the political institutional, socio-cultural, and personal cognitive levels, and lessons about what makes democracy alternately vigorous or vulnerable. Students will lead discussion, take exams, and write a research term paper.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered; Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences
  • Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or above
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Basu

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