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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.
Format: lecture; This will be a hybrid class. The class will meet in person with a synchronous remote option during the scheduled class period.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
a midterm, a final exam, and a 10- to 12-page research paper
Preference given to sociology and history majors.
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
HIST Group F Electives - U.S. + Canada