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PSCI 221
Cold War Intellectuals: Civil Rights, Writers and the CIA Spring 2021
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed AFR 224 / PSCI 221 / AMST 201 / LEAD 220 / INTR 220

Class Details

This tutorial focuses on US-based views of the Cold War. It examines how intelligence agencies and intellectuals, as well as government officials, viewed civil rights, human rights, and US hegemony. Readings include: Williams J. Maxwell (F. B. Eyes: How J. Edgar Hoover’s Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature); James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time); Ralph Ellison (The Collected Essays of Ralph Ellison); Report to the President by the Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States (1975, VP Nelson Rockefeller, chair); Hugh Wilford (The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America); Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism; On Violence; “Reflections on Little Rock”); Frances Stonor Saunders (Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War). Students alternate weekly between 5-page primary and 2-page secondary papers on assigned readings.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 4175
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Attend all classes; submit completed papers 24hours before seminar meets.
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Juniors and Seniors.
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AFR 224 Division II PSCI 221 Division II AMST 201 Division II LEAD 220 Division II INTR 220 Division II
DPE Notes: This tutorial examines the Cold War between the US and the USSR and attempts to use intellectuals to shape and promote the objectives of powerful state entities. The power struggle between the two "superpowers" impacted cultural production and authors. Some of those authors influenced or enlisted into the Cold War sought equity and equality for their communities and eventually fought against the very political powers that employed them.

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