While modern European history is usually told as a rapid succession of political revolutions, social reforms, and expanding civil rights, this course centers demographics as the driving force of change and presents Europe's turbulent 20th century as a struggle for population control. Beginning at the turn of the century, the course critically examines what it meant to understand and govern society as a population and interrogates the state tools used to record and stratify populations by attributes of race, ethnicity, sex, and age. It then considers how the tenet of biopolitics has influenced policies towards health care, schooling, social security, the food economy, urban development, and migration in Europe and across its overseas empires. The course also explores how individual historical actors, including colonial subjects, refugees, and women's rights activists, have challenged and evaded this pervasive government of life.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; BU IS; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM