Lectures

History 314: Outsiders: Modern German History, George Mason University

This course is a survey of German history from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the present. It covers Germany’s unification in 1871, European Imperialism, the two World Wars, Nazism, the Holocaust, Communism, the Cold War, and today’s migration crisis. Throughout the semester we will focus on how social, political, and cultural changes affected and were affected by outsiders—often-marginalized groups including the working classes, women, queer people, Jews, and people of color. In your writing assignments you will be asked to imagine how ordinary Germans would have experienced the events they lived through, from wars to revolutions, and how they in turn might have shaped those events.

Seminars

History 499-005: Germany after Nazism, George Mason University

In the years following the end of World War Two, Germany underwent a series of radical changes. It was occupied by the four Allied Powers—the United States, Soviet Union, UK, and France—and divided into four individually governed occupation zones. Prominent Nazis were put on trial at Nuremberg, while thousands of ordinary Germans were tried, imprisoned, or removed from their jobs on suspicion of Nazi sympathies. Other Germans, many of them women whose husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons the war had claimed, took it upon themselves to rebuild a country that Allied firebombing had reduced to rubble. The newly-formed United Nations labored to help millions of displaced persons across Europe, in particular survivors of the Holocaust and those brought to Nazi Germany as forced laborers. The United States and the Soviet Union worked with German leaders who had resisted Nazism to found two competing political systems in what would become West and East Germany, respectively. These years saw the beginning of the Cold War, including the dramatic Berlin blockade and airlift. In this seminar, you will research and write a substantial paper on some aspect of German politics, society, or culture during the occupation, and present your findings at the end of the semester.

Hist 4S/Germ 45: Crimes Against Humanity, Stanford University

What is a crime against humanity and how can it be punished? Starting with the Nuremberg Trials, this seminar will consider how the juridical category of crimes against humanity came into existence and has evolved over the past half century. Thinking through core questions posed by Hannah Arendt, we will consider how crimes against humanity are to be understood in the context of modern jurisprudence, who perpetrates such crimes, and what relationship exists between crimes against humanity and modernity.