Five College Consortium

Mass Man, Mass Mov't,

Subject Name: 

Critical Social Inquiry

Course Number: 
Hampshire College
Although we talk readily of "postmodernism," do we really know what "modernism" was about? Never did change seem to be as dramatic and rapid as in the first half of the twentieth century. Leftists and rightists, avant-gardists and traditionalists alike, spoke of the age of the masses, characterized by conscript armies and political mass movements, mass production of commodities, and mass media. The European "great powers" achieved domination over the globe, only to bleed themselves white in wars that devastated the continent physically and psychologically, weakened the colonial empires, and undermined faith in progress itself. The real victors were two rival systems of modernity: American consumer capitalism and Soviet communism. Although the age witnessed great violence and despair, it also brought forth great hopes and achievements in social thought, the arts, and technology, many of whose effects we are still pondering.

Writing and Research Some background in European history or the history of other region in this period strongly recommended. Class will meet occasionally outside of class for screenings of films from and about the era.

Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
Schedule #: 

Course Sections

Mass Man, Mass Mov't,
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
1 4.0

James Wald

01:00PM-02:20PM M,W

Adele Simmons Hall 112