This course uses primary source documents and on-site visits to memorials, museums and monuments in Washington, DC to examine how “war and peace” have evolved within the United States. At the core of the course is examination of how war begins, is carried out, and ends in a democracy as practiced in the U.S. Our primary goal is to see how accelerated technological innovation (in weaponry and communications), stirred together with the U.S. Constitution and “rule of law” have taken us far beyond any clear definition of or delineation between “war” and “peace.”As outlined below, each week, students visit sites in Washington, D.C. and use these visits to address key questions assigned. Documents essential to the study of U.S. democracy augment the visits. Students engage in class discussions and debates (often as teams), write brief “idea” papers, and submit journals on select site visits. Class discussions, presentations and debates focus on written papers as well as questions the assignments do not address.
Instructor: Joel Swerdlow