A Description of Our Course
The Cold War, which dominated world politics between 1945 and 1991, pitted the United States and its western allies against the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact. Though no direct confrontation brought the Americans and Soviets onto the battlefield against one another, half a century of proxy wars, arms races, and nuclear blackmail kept their peoples in perpetual fear of apocalyptic war. In this seminar, we will study the cultures of conflict that emerged from decades of cold war. Looking beyond the politico-military narrative of the bipolar world, we will explore representations of the Cold War conflict in music, film, and fiction. From James Bond to Star Trek, we will see how popular culture responded to the struggle and will study the espionage, intrigue, shadow wars, and conflict that came to define generations. Our studies will prove theoretically rich and will appeal to those who have interest in rigorous textual analysis.