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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Uta G. Poiger
HSTEU 334
Seattle Campus

Germany 1871-1989

Society and politics from Germany's first unification to its reunification; domestic and foreign policy; political, economic, social, and cultural developments; high emphasis on German society's self-perception and on the variety of interpretations of this period's history

Class description

This course will trace the history of Modern Germany from the founding of the Second Reich in 1870/71 through the unification of the two German states in 1989/90. We will address central themes that relate to both German domestic politics and Germany's quest for international domination. These include authoritarianism and resistance; the success or failure of modernization; gender and German identities; citizenship and racism.

Major topics of the course are state and society in Imperial Germany; anti-semitism; imperialism; World War I and Revolution; the Weimar Republic; the "new woman"; the rise of National Socialism; World War II and the Holocaust; occupation and reconstruction; the cold war; immigrants in postwar Germany; the "Sixties;" the revolution of 1989 and unification.

Student learning goals

In lectures and discussions, a major goal is create a community of learners characterized by intellectual rigor and mutual respect who will debate a diverse set of readings.

Students will hone their skills in identifying and critiquing key arguments in texts ranging from political speeches, to films, to writings by historians.

Students will also hone their writing skills, composing essays that formulate and back up an original thesis.

General method of instruction

Lecture and discussion of readings, film segments, and slides. This is a W course.

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites.

Class assignments and grading

Assignments include weekly readings of documents and articles by scholars; 2 papers (5 pages); participation in peer review groups; participation in class discussions; two in-class exams.

10% class participation; 20% 1st paper; 20% 1st exam; 25% 2nd paper; 25% 2nd exam


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Uta G. Poiger
Date: 01/27/2009