HISTORY 224 - Global Nuclear Proliferation
Section: 001
Term: FA 2014
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
Requirements & Distribution:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course presents a global perspective on the history and politics of nuclear weapons. It examines the science and technology of these weapons; the politics of their growth, spread, and control; environmental and health consequences of their development; and the cultural responses and social movements they have engendered. We begin with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Next we examine the unfolding of the Cold War, focusing particularly on the superpower arms race and exploring both U.S. and Soviet perspectives on these developments. Why and how have different states pursued nuclear weapons development? We first pose this as a general question and then move on to case studies. Along the way, we also examine the health and environmental consequences of uranium mining and nuclear testing, as well as the history of anti-nuclear protest movements.

The course aims to introduce students to the complex, multi-layered history of nuclear policy issues. Students will be challenged to move past their political beliefs and ideologies (whatever these may be) in order to understand decisions and developments in historical context, and in relation to different cultural and national perspectives. They will be exposed to a variety of conceptual tools and theories to help them make sense of the material, drawing not only on the discipline of history but also on political science theory and anthropology.

Course Requirements:

Weekly reading and reading responses. Two short papers (based on lectures, the common assigned reading, plus a modest amount of additional research.) Two midterms. No final exam.

Intended Audience:

The course assumes no prior knowledge — students of all backgrounds are welcome. It is of special interest to students in History, International Studies, Enviornmental Studies, Political Science, Public Policy, Science and Technology Studies, Public Health, and some fields of science and engineering, but ANYONE can take it!

Class Format:

Lectures will draw film clips and images in order to give students a greater sense of immediacy about the history they’re studying. Discussion sections will offer students an opportunity to dissect primary documents and readings in detail.

HISTORY 224 - Global Nuclear Proliferation
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
003 (DIS)
W 12:00PM - 1:00PM
004 (DIS)
W 1:00PM - 2:00PM
005 (DIS)
W 2:00PM - 3:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 0393920100
The spread of nuclear weapons : an enduring debate, Author: Scott D. Sagan, Kenneth N. Waltz., Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co. 3rd ed. 2013
ISBN: 0199855765
Plutopia : nuclear families, atomic cities, and the great Soviet and American plutonium disasters, Author: Kate Brown., Publisher: Oxford University Press 2013
Other Textbook Editions OK.
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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