Eckert, Payne, and Undergraduates Explore Roots of Contemporary Conflict in “History of Now”

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The Emory News Center recently published a profile on the spring 2017 course “History of Now,” taught by Drs. Astrid M. Eckert and Matthew Payne. The co-taught class is structured around the examination of contemporary events — ranging from Russian presidential politics to Brexit — in historical context. Pitched an introductory level, the course has drawn an array of students across disciplines and year from Emory’s College of Arts and Sciences. Read the full Emory News Center article (“‘History of Now’ helps students understand roots of current conflicts”) and check out the course description below.

The course covers European history from the devastation of World War II to Europe’s current predicaments, such as the Ukrainian crisis, the Brexit decision, and refugee movements. Team-taught by specialists on German and Russian history, the course takes an expansive view of what constitutes Europe and considers select topics in European postwar history such as postwar affluence, détente, war memories, environmental challenges, and others, from western, central and eastern European perspectives. It traces how experiences of the war years rippled through postwar Europe, merged with Cold War exigencies, and reverberated in new ways after the fall of Communism. The course offers students not only an overview of postwar European history but also introduces them to ways of analysing current events in regard to their deep roots in the continent’s past.