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HIST 2256 The Melancholy of War (Fall: 3 )

Course Description

What was it like to go “over the top,” to experience “shell shock,” to witness mass slaughter? This course explores the history of wartime emotions and, in particular, of soldiers’ combat trauma. First, we will cover medical thinking about the psychological harm induced by combat from Antiquity to post-traumatic stress disorder. Second, we will use soldiers’ narratives, literature, artwork, and film to ground this medical discourse within military and civilian wartime experiences. Throughout, our premise will be that war isn’t merely a geopolitical or a strategic question, but a social fact and a cultural act.

Schedule: Periodically

Instructor(s): Thomas Dodman

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:


Last Updated: 24-Jun-17