Course code:



M - Intermediate

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • HY - History
  • HS - Human Studies

This course provides a broad historical overview of the early years of  “Cold War” period that shaped global politics generally, and American foreign policy specifically.

Beginning in the 1940’s and leading up to Richard Nixon’s election in 1968, we will examine the diplomatic relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union and how this relationship has impacted state actors, economic policies, cultural production, and conceptions of identity. While there will be a heavy focus on traditional state-level diplomatic history, students will also explore a broad array of methodological approaches. Class sessions will include a mix of traditional lecture formats, class discussion, and outside presentations.

An evening lab is scheduled in order to screen a variety of cultural artifacts from the various periods we will cover. The primary goal is to give students an intensive ten-week crash course into key events, concepts, figures, etc., that defined the early decades of Cold War diplomacy. At the same time there is also time allocated for students to explore their own independent research interests.

Given the far-reaching force of Cold War politics into everyday life, individuals with widely varying academic interests will find the course informative and productive. Evaluation will be based on a mix of class participation, individual research assignments, and exams. All students, regardless of their backgrounds, previous coursework, or interests are welcome.




Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.