Instructor: Briana Smith
Meeting time: Tuesday, 9:45-11:45 am
In the summer of 1989, political scientist Francis Fukuyama infamously declared the “end of history,” marking the “unabashed victory” of liberal market capitalism and defeat of communism. A few months later, East Germans poured through the Berlin Wall. The Cold War was over. But what came after? This course examines the history of Europe since 1989 and questions how the aftermath of the Cold War in Germany, France, and the former Eastern Bloc has shaped politics and culture in contemporary Europe and beyond. Course topics include: post-socialism and Ostalgie, Holocaust memory, neoliberalism, Islam, the 2010s migrant crisis, and right-wing populist and authoritarian movements from Hungary’s Viktor Orbán to Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland party. Course materials include texts by May Ayim, Ingo Schulze, Jürgen Habermas, Svetlana Boym, Vaclav Havel, Michel Houellebecq, Joan Scott, Jenny Erpenbeck, and Fatima El-Tayeb; art by Christoph Schlingensief, Maziar Moradi, Seraphina Lenz, and the Center for Political Beauty, as well as films like the 1993 French drama La Haine, 2004 documentary Czech Dream, and the 2016 German comedy Toni Erdmann.