Instructor: Dr. David Pugh
Office: Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Kingston Hall 413
Description: The course is designed as a treatment of fascism on a broad historical and interdisciplinary basis. The chronological frame begins with Napoleon in order to highlight the origin of modern nationalism, of which fascism is the extreme expression, in his era. The main focus, however, will fall on the period between the two World Wars, since the ascendancy of fascism throughout Europe is tied to the disruptions caused by the end of World War I. The course is conceived on an interdisciplinary basis in order to take account of the multiple nature of its object, for example, as a sequence of events taking place in historical time, as a body of ideas, as a movement aimed at acquiring power, as a system of government, as a means of controlling populations, as a mentality, and as a way of life. Time will also be devoted to considering some of the most prominent interpretations of fascism, for example, the Marxist, the psychological, the cultural and the modernization theses.
Required texts: Martin Blinkhorn, Fascism and the right in Europe 1919-1945; John Pollard, The Fascist Experience in Italy; David G. Williamson, The Third Reich (4th ed.); Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain; Recommended: Kevin Passmore, Fascism: A Very Short Introduction.
N.B.: Regarding The Magic Mountain, you should be familiar with the characters Settembrini and Naphta, who respectively embody the liberal and anti-liberal mentalities. They are introduced at pp. 54-62 and 362-80. Their most important debate is at 380-404. Other relevant sections are: 146-57, 237-47, 432-60. For the end of the story, see pp. 683-96. For students who are interested in reading the whole novel, it is guaranteed that there will be question about it on the final exam.
Some standard works:Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951); Fritz Stern, The Politics of Cultural Despair(1961); Ernst Nolte, Three Faces of Fascism (1963); Eugen Weber, Varieties of Fascism (1964); George Mosse, The Crisis of German Ideology(1964); Walter Laqueur (Ed.), Fascism: A Reader’s Guide (1976); Roger Griffin, The Nature of Fascism (1991); Stanley Payne, History of Fascism 1914-1945 (1995); Roger Eatwell, Fascism: A History (1995); Robert Paxton, The Anatomy of Fascism(2005). All are in Stauffer, some in multiple copies.
Evaluation: Midterm 20%; Term paper 30%; Final (3 hours) 40%; Weekly assignments 10%.