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  Educators Course Syllabi Interdisciplinary, Gold-Hiroshima and After

Hiroshima and After: The First 50 Years of the Atomic Bomb
Interdisciplinary: College 120, Fall 1995

Instructors
Barbara Gold (Classics), Isserman (History), Ring (Physics), and Rabinowitz (Comparative Literature)

Institution
Hamilton College, Clinton, New York

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Description
College 120 is an interdisciplinary course with four instructors. Each of the four sections in the course will meet independently and as part of the larger group. We will have a varying schedule of section meetings and group meetings, and two regular meeting places.

Assignment
S ix short essays.

Assigned Books

  • John Hersey, Hiroshima
  • Martin Sherwin, A World Destroyed
  • Stephen Ambrose, Rise to Globalism
  • Homer, The Iliad
  • Sophocles, The Three Theban Plays (Robert Fagles trans.)
  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
  • Herman Bondi, Relativity and Common Sense
  • William A. Myers, Replacing the Warrior
  • Richard Wolfson, Nuclear Choices

Xeroxes of all other assigned reading will be distributed in class the week before they are due.

Week One: Introduction
8/28 Introdution to the course
8/30 Section meetings
9/1 Film: "The Day after Trinity"
Reading: John Hersey, Hiroshima, pp. 1-90; xerox of Hideo Tamura; Friedman, "Hiroshima Memories."

Week Two: The Good War, America and World War II
9/4 Film: "Prelude to War" from the "Why We Fight Series"
9/6 Lecture by Isserman on "The Good War"
9/8 Section meetings
Reading: Stephen Ambrose, Rise to Globalism, pp. 1-74; Martin Sherwin, A World Destroyed, introduction and pp. 3-63; "Early History" xeroxed documents.
The first paper due in class on September 8th.

Week Three: The Physics of the Bomb
9/11 Lecture by Ring on "E=mc2"
9/13 Joint meeting of Ring and Rabinowitz sections
9/15 Joing meeting of Gold and Isserman sections
Reading: Herman Bondi, Relativity and Common Sense, chapter 1-8; Richard Wolfson, Nuclear Choices, chapters 2 and 5.

Week Four: The Manhattan Project and the Enola Gay Exhibit
9/18 Class meeting with Martin Sherwin, evening talk by Sherwin.
9/20 Section meetings.
9/22 Film: "A Conversation with I.I. Rabi"
Reading: Sherwin, pp. 67-238; xerox of Robert Jay Lifton and Greg Mitchell, "Commemortion Hiroshima: The Smithsonian Controversy."
The second paper due in class on September 18th.

Week Five: Heroism and War in Western Culture
9/25 Lecture by Gold on "Heroism and War"
9/27 Joint meeting of Gold and Isserman sections
9/29 Joint meeting of Ring and Rabinowitz sections
Reading: Homer, The Iliad, Books 1-3, 6, 7, 9, 16-18, 21-22, 24; William A. Myers, "Replacing the Warrior."

Week Six: The Ethics of the Bomb: Part 1. Scientists and Creation
10/2 Section meetings
10/4 Section meetings
10/6 Film: "Building of the Bomb"
Reading:Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, xeroxes on post-war scientists' movement.
The third paper due in class on October 2nd.

Week Seven: The Ethics of the Bomb: Part 2. Women and War
10/11 Section meetings
10/13 Lecture by Carol Cohn on "The Legacy of Antigone, Women and War"
Reading: Antigone; xeroxed articles by Charlene Spretnak, "Naming the Cultural Forces That Push Us Toward War"; Carol Cohn, "Sex and Death in Palace"; Jane S. Wilson, "Not Quite eden."

Week Eight: The Ethics of the Bomb: Part 3. Just Wars
10/16 Lecture by Professor Rick Werner on "Just Wars"
10/18 Section meetings
Reading: xeroxed selection from Michael Walzer, "Just Wars" and other readings to be announced.
The fourth paper due in class on October 16th.

Week Nine: The World the Bomb Made: Part 1. International Relations
10/23 Lecture by Professor Vincent Auger on "International Relations and Bomb"
10/25 Section meetings
10/27 Film: "Dr. Strangelove"
Reading: Rise to Globarism, pp. 75-189; xeroxes of Kegley and Wittkopf, World Politics, 405-410, 496-502; Kenneth Waltz, "Nuclear Myths and Political Realities"; Barry Blechman and Cathleen S. Fisher, "Phase Out the Bomb."

Week Ten: The World the Bomb Made: Part 2. Domestic Politics
10/30 Lecture by Isserman on "The Bomb, Espionage, and Domestic Politics"
11/1 Section meetings
11/3 Film: "The Atomic Cafe"
Reading: xeroxes of documents concerning the Rosenberg case.

Week Eleven: Biological Effects of Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Reactors
11/6 Class meeting with Jim Werner, Director of Strategic Planning and Analysis for Environmental Management, Department of Energy, and evening talk by Werner.
11/8 Section meetings
11/10 Film: "The Final Epicemic" and "The China Syndrome
Reading: Richard Wolfson, Nuclear Choices, chapters 3,4,8,9,10,13; xeroxes of Jonathan Schell, "Nuclear Holocaust"; Carl sagan,"Nuclear Warand Climatic Catastrophe: A Nuclear Winter"; Linda Tothstein, "Nothing Clean about 'Cleanup'".
The fifth paper due in class on November 10th.

Week Twelve: Defense Against Nuclear Attack
11/13 Lecture by Rig on "Is there a Denfense Against Nuclear Attack?"
11/15 Section meetings
11/17 Film: "Panic in the Year Zero"
Reading: Wolfson, chapters 14-17, and other xeroxed articles to be announced.

Thanksgiving Week
11/20 Section meetings

Week Thirteen: The Bomb and the Arts
11/27 Section meetings
11/29 Section meetings
12/8 Film: "Day of the Triffids"
Reading: Walter Miller, "A Canticle for Liebowitz"

Week Fourteen
12/4 Lecture by Rabinowitz on music and the bomb
12/6 Section meetings
12/1 Section meetings
Music: Blitzstein, "Airborne Symphony"; Vaughan Williams, six symphony; Penderecki, "Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima." Note: Recording of these compositions will be available in the Music Library: students should listen to all three recordings in the week before our 12/4 class.
The final paper due in class December 8th.