• Credits: 3

This course will examine American domestic life during the era of the Cold War (roughly 1945-1991), when U.S. culture was shaped decisively by its geopolitical rivalry with the Soviet Union. Subtopics to be discussed include anti-communism, McCarthyism, the “military-industrial complex,” conformity and its discontents, civil rights, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and the post-Cold War era, including two conflicts shaped in part by the Cold War’s end (the so-called “War on Terror” and the Russia-Ukraine wars). Though we will introduce basic concepts in international relations, this course will focus primarily U.S. society and culture, in order to show how superpower conflict helped to shape not only politics and law but also fiction, film, art, and the public reception of amateur sports. Assignments will range from history and social theory to popular movies and novels.