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HIST 387
Going Nuclear: American Culture in the Atomic Age Fall 2020
Division II
Cross-listed HIST 387 / SOC 386

Class Details

This course will examine the historical development and use of the nuclear bomb. Among other features of the early atomic age, the course will look at the Manhattan Project, the delivery of the bombs for combat, and the destructive effects of the bomb’s initial use in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and ongoing testing in the Marshall Islands. The class will investigate the role of the nuclear arms race in the Cold War, the consequences of nuclear production on specific communities, and the implications of the atomic age on our critical understanding of technological innovation more generally. We will also consider the saliency of competing narratives interpreting America’s decision (and continuing policies) to build, use, and stockpile nuclear weapons. Employing both sociological and historical perspectives, we will explore the interactions between science, politics, and culture in the nuclear age.
The Class: Format: lecture; This will be a hybrid class. The class will meet in person with a synchronous remote option during the scheduled class period.
Limit: 20
Expected: 20
Class#: 2011
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: a midterm, a final exam, and a 10- to 12-page research paper
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Preference given to sociology and history majors.
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
HIST 387 Division II SOC 386 Division II
Attributes: HIST Group F Electives - U.S. + Canada

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