WesMaps - Wesleyan University Catalog 2013-2014       Summer Session       Winter Session       Home       Archive       Search
Writing About War
HIST 369
Fall 2013 not offered

This course offers students the chance to read--and think--about war in various and often opposing ways, from the medical to the philosophical, the literary to the historical. Some of what we'll be reading makes for very tough reading. At times, no doubt, the questions we ask of certain books will seem outrageous, irrelevant, disrespectful. Still, we should be prepared to ask some of those "big" questions, if only to keep us from succumbing totally to outrage and horror: How do people understand and write about war? Do women, men, and children share identical experiences, or has war affected each differently over time? What, if anything, do all wars share in common? What, if anything, do the "prosecutors" of war share with war's "victims"? Is there a difference between prosecutors and victims, combatants and noncombatants? Can you study early modern wars, such as the American Revolution, in the same way that you might study, say, World War I or Vietnam? In ranging widely across time and somewhat widely across space, the course readings should provoke at least as many questions as they do answers. Such a scattershot approach may seem unorthodox at best, perhaps moronic at worst. But there's a point. Too often scholars isolate themselves from one another; they divide themselves into specialties (and subspecialties within subspecialties). And when they do, they become purveyors of a dangerous assumption: that nothing is consistent across time and space. We want to wrestle with that assumption and to grapple with how war transforms lives. Above all, we want to deepen our sense of human frailty and to expand our empathic powers, even as we train a discerning eye on the very sources that provoke in us the most distressing emotions.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS HIST
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)

Last Updated on MAY-21-2024
Contact wesmaps@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. Please include a url, course title, faculty name or other page reference in your email ? Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459