The F-Word: Confronting Fascism in a World on Fire (POL4259.01)

John Hultgren

In the United States, recent years have witnessed an upsurge in right-wing organizing and violence, culminating in the 2021 insurrection at the United States Capitol that sought to overturn the legitimate results of a democratic election. This is not a uniquely American problem. Across much of the globe, political parties organized around hyper-nationalism have gained steam, in some cases mobilized through charismatic leaders wrapping their hateful politics in faux-populist rhetoric. And yet, the term “fascism” is freighted with enormous historical weight and carries with it profound political implications for the present. This course asks: should we use the F-word? What do we mean by fascism? When and how did fascism emerge? Is it accurate to speak of contemporary right-wing politicians and activists as fascists, or are there alternative conceptual tools that more aptly describe what is occurring (e.g. authoritarianism, white supremacism)? This course will provide an introduction to these vital questions by engaging with historical works, theoretical debates, and contemporary analyses of fascism.

Learning Outcomes:
-practice close reading of dense theoretical and historical texts

-enhance your understanding of 20th century political theory and history

-critically reflect on the relationship between historically consequential struggles and our
current political moment

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Send the instructor ( a one paragraph description of why you want to take this class, and how it fits into your plan of study.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
T/F 8:30AM - 10:20AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 16
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Politics