On the eve of the First World War the educated classes of the Habsburg and Romanov Empires remained a tiny elite, even if the universities had begun to facilitate upward social mobility, and more functions for the "intellectual" were gradually taking form. This course explores themes connecting intellectuals and the formative experiences of the wider European war. The "mobilization of intellect" involved more than literary figures offering patriotic rationales for victory. We seek to understand how the war accelerated prior trends or initiated new ones in various cultural domains, and what legacies the war had for intellectual life after Trianon and Brest-Litovsk.
In this course we will spend most of our time on the "home front." It is true that many intellectuals became cannon fodder at the front, and on occasion this would later feed into growing popular cynicism about how the war was being prosecuted. But intellectuals qua soldiers are marginal to our enterprise here, while at the same time we need to understand that their domestic roles extended beyond sustaining (or, more rarely, criticizing) ruling and/or popular views of the war. The war haltingly facilitated new forms of expertise, even if it did not yield a total mobilization in this respect. But insofar as the war contributed to our understanding of the role of the intellectual in modern society, we shall cast our nets widely.
A few caveats: political, diplomatic, and military history are marginal to this course. And even insofar as our focus is on culture, I take it as crucial to the objectives of this course that we study more than "high culture" and the avant-garde. Our focus will be on Central and Eastern Europe, and reference to the British and French experiences will largely be limited to any historiographical lessons we might take from the vast literature on the Western Front. The German (not to say Austrian) case will loom somewhat larger for pragmatic reasons, if only because a larger secondary literature in English can provide us with points of entry for topics still inadequately represented in English for the regional languages that concern us. Where possible we will make use of Russian, Czech, Polish, Austrian, Hungarian, and (resources permitting) Ukrainian readings as crucial to the scope of the course.
Requirements and assessment: 12-15-page (double-spaced) research paper (40%); annotated bibliography (10%); class presentation (20%); discussion leader (10% + 10%); class participation (10%)
Research paper due December 22
Learning outcomes: Students will gain a working acquaintance with the role of a variety of forms of expertise in the depiction and prosecution of the first world war, with special emphasis on intellectuals from Central and Eastern Europe. Our aim is to introduce students already familiar with the main outlines of the immensely rich historiography of the Great War to fresh avenues of approach that can contribute to a more sophisticated understanding of the intellectual legacies of this conflict.
Regular attendance is mandatory in all classes. A student who misses more than two units (two 100-minute sessions) in any 2 or 4 credit class without a verified reason beyond the student's control must submit an 8-10 page paper assigned by the professor, which as a rule covers the material in the class missed. The paper is due no later than 3 weeks after the missed class.
Instructor's office hours: TBA.
-  September 16 - Generations
Karl Mannheim, "The problem of generations," in Essays on the Sociology of Knowledge (1952 ), 276-320.
Stephen Lovell, “Introduction,” in Generations in Twentieth-century Europe (2007): 1-18.
Stephen Lovell, "From genealogy to generation: The birth of cohort thinking in Russia," Kritika 9 (2008): 567-594.
Robert Wohl, The Generation of 1914 (1979).
Please make an effort to complete the reading in time for the first class meeting!
-  September 17 - Mere intellectuals
Jan Wacław Machajski (A. Vol'skii), excerpts from The Intellectual Worker (1904–1905), in The Making of Society: An Outline of Sociology, ed. V. F. Calverton (1937), 427–436.
Max Weber, "Science [scholarship] as a vocation" (1918), From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, eds. Hans Gerth and C. Wright Mills (New York, 1948 ), 129–156.
-  September 23 - Purity, utility, and unity: Scientist and citizen in the modern state
From Physical Reality: Philosophical Essays on Twentieth-Century Physics, ed. Stephen Toulmin (1970):
Max Planck, "The unity of the physical world-picture" (1908), 1–7, 21–27.
Ernst Mach, "The guiding principles of my scientific theory of knowledge and its reception by my contemporaries" (1910), 28–43.
Max Planck, "On Mach's theory of physical knowledge: A reply" (1910), 43–52.
-  September 24 - Timekeeping and military logistics
David Stevenson, "War by Timetable? The Railway Race before 1914," Past and Present 162 (1999): 163-194.
Peter Galison, Einstein's Clocks, Poincaré's Maps (2004), 84-107, 155-161.
Stephen Kern, “Temporality of the July Crisis,” The Culture of Time and Space 1880–1918 (1983), 259–312.
Anthony Heywood, "Spark of Revolution? Railway Disorganisation, Freight Traffic and Tsarist Russia's War Effort, July 1914–March 1917," Europe-Asia Studies 65 (2013): 753-772.
Keir A. Lieber, War and the Engineers: The Primacy of Politics over Technology (2005).
Daniel Pick, War Machine: The Rationalisation of Slaughter in the Modern Age (1993).
-  September 30 - We alone are the face of our time
A. Koptiaev, "At the futurists' 'opera'" (1913), from Bartlett and Dadswell, Victory Over the Sun: The World's First Futurist Opera (2012).
A. Kruchenykh, "Declaration of the word as such" (1913).
V. Mayakovsky, "A drop of tar" (1915), both in Words in Revolution: Russian Futurist Manifestoes (2004).
Roman Jakobson, "Futurism" (1919), in Language in Literature, K. Pomorska and S. Rudy, eds. (1987), 28–33.
Marjorie Perloff, "The Great War and the European avant-garde," Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the First World War (2006).
Bohumil Kubišta [click on image to see original]
-  October 1 - Art must be unexpected
Readings taken from Between Worlds: A Sourcebook of Central European Avant-Gardes, 1910-1930, eds. Timothy O. Benson and Éva Forgács (2002):
Lajos Kassák, "Program" (1916) [Original Hungarian text in A Tett.]
Vlastislav Hofman, "The spirit of change in visual art" (1914)
Béla Balázs, "The futurists" (1912) [Original Hungarian text in Nyugat.]
Bruno Jasieński, "To the Polish nation: A manifesto concerning the immediate futurization of life" (1921) [Original Polish text.]
S. A. Mansbach, "Methodology and meaning in the modern art of Eastern Europe," in T. O. Benson, ed., Central European Avant-Gardes: Exchange and Transformation, 1910-1930 (2002), 289-303. [NB: Mansbach barely mentions the war, but his revisionist critique should provide some structure to our discussion of the primary sources. Be prepared in class to speculate more than Mansbach does about the relation of the war to the historical location of the art historical modes of explanation he describes.]
[Some modernist typography of "The Great War"; click to see original Russian document]
An early Hofman furniture set:
-  October 7 - Beyond "the ideas of 1914"
“Go ye and teach…” Budapesti Hírlap no. 248 (7 October 1914) [Original Hungarian text via Arcanum.]
S. Kotliarevskii, “War,” Journal of Philosophy and Psychology [Moscow] no.124 (September-October 1914), I-VII. [Original Russian text.]
Ernst Troeltsch, “On standards for assessing historical matters," Historische Zeitschrift 116 (1916): 1-47 (brief excerpts) [Original German text.]
Aleksej M. Rutkevic, "The ideas of 1914," Stud. East Eur. Thought (2014). [on-campus access only]
Walther Schücking, Die deutschen Professoren und der Weltkrieg (1915).
Rudolf Kjellén, Die Ideen von 1914: Eine weltgeschichtliche Perspektive (1915).
Hans Wehberg, Wider den Aufruf der 93! Das Ergebnis einer Rundfrage an die 93 Intellektuellen über die Kriegsschuld (1920). [available via North American VPN]
Anne Rasmussen, "Mobilizing minds," The Cambridge History of the First World War, vol. 3 (2013). [on-campus access only]
[click to enlarge]
-  October 8 - Beyond "the ideas of 1914" (II)
-  October 14 - Philosophy militant
Max Scheler, “Table of categories of English thought,” from Der Genius des Krieges und der Deutsche Krieg [The Genius of War and the German War] (1915), 442-443.
Wilhelm Jerusalem, The War in Light of Social Theory (1915), 1-20. [original German text here]
Vladimir Ern, "From Kant to Krupp" (1914). [original Russian text here]
Christopher Stroop, "Nationalist War Commentary as Russian Religious Thought: The Religious Intelligentsia's Politics of Providentialism," Russian Review 72 (2013): 94-115. [on campus only]
Daniel R. Huebner, "Wilhelm Jerusalem's sociology of knowledge in the dialogue of ideas," Journal of Classical Sociology 13 (2013): 430-459. [on campus only]
Randall A. Poole, "Religion, War, and Revolution: E. N. Trubetskoi's Liberal Construction of Russian National Identity, 1912–20," Kritika 7 (2006): 195-. [on campus access]
-  October 15 - Philosophy militant (II)
Please choose one text and prepare to present it in class. (We will agree on the distribution beforehand.)
Czech: Edvard Beneš, "Válka a kultura," Lumír (23 April, 28 May 1915).
Frant. Krejčí, "Právo eksistence malého národa," Česká mysl no. 3 (1915): 225-240.
Hungarian: Kornis Gyula, "A háborús filozófia," Athenaeum 2 (1916): 97-140.
Polish: Solomon Besser, Wojna evropejska jak walka ducha (1915).
Russian: Sergei Bulgakov, "Voina i russkoe samosoznanie" (1915).
German: Magnus Hirschfeld, Warum hassen uns die Völker? (1915).
English [French]: Émile Boutroux, Philosophy and War (1916).
English: J. H. Muirhead, German Philosophy in Relation to the War (1915).
-  October 21 - Raw materials and total war
Optional background reading: Alison Frank, "Blood of the earth: The crisis of war," Oil Empire: Visions of Prosperity in Austrian Galicia (2005), 173-204. [This is not treating a contemporary intellectual debate as such, and will not directly inform our discussion, so you may read "efficiently." But it is an excellent account of the wartime economic context, and in general a book you should note.]
Walther Rathenau, "The organization of raw materials supply" (1915) [German original]
V. I. Vernadskii, "War and the progress of science" (1915). [Russian original]
-  October 22 - The chemists' war
Prof. Iar. Przheborovskii, “Achievements of chemistry during the world war,” Krasnaia nov’ no. (1922): 301-309. [Original Russian text]
Jeffrey Johnson, "Military strength and science come together: The Kaiser's chemists at war," from The Kaiser's Chemists: Science and Modernization in Imperial Germany (1990), 180-199.
Alternative Hungarian text: Ilosvay Lajos, "Az ellenséges nagy államok természettudományos mozgalmai a chemiai ipar fejlesztése érdekében," Természettudományi Közlöny no. 693-694 (1918): 145-167.
Fritz Haber, Fünf Vorträge aus den Jahren 1920 - 1923 (1925).
Alexei Kojevnikov, "The Great War and the invention of Soviet science," Stalin's Great Science (2004), ch. 1.
-  October 28 - Food, nutrition, and provision (I)
Discussion leader: Oliver P.
Maureen Healy, "Food and the politics of sacrifice,"Vienna and the Fall of the Habsburg Empire: Total War and Everyday Life in World War I (2004): 31-72. [PDF file below]
Hedwig Heyl, Kleines Kriegskochbuch (1914).
Alfred Maylander, "Food situation in Central Europe, 1917" Bulletin of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics no. 242 (1918).
Belinda J. Davis, Homes Fires Burning: Food, Politics, and Everyday Life in World War I Berlin (2000).
[click to enlarge]
-  October 29 - Food, nutrition, and provision (II)
Choose ONE primary source to present in class:
Jaroslav Kříženecký, "O smrti hladem a porušování organismu nedostatečnou výživou," Lidove rozpravy lékařské 144 (1918): 3-36.
Julius Stoklasa, "Výživa obyvatelstva ve válce!" Ročnik agrární revue 2 (1916).
J. Mańkowski, Dwa systemy: szkic z dziedziny aprowizacji Królestwa Polskiego (1917).
Ludwig Nordeck zur Rabenau, Die Kriegsernährungswirtschaft in Österreich (1918).
H. Kuttenkeuler, "Nahrungsmittelchemie und Nahrungsmittelkontrolle im Kriege," Die Naturwissenschaften 28 (1917): 469-473.
N. Orlov, Prodovol'stvennaia rabota Sovetskoi vlasti. K godovshchine oktiabr'skoi revoliutsii (1918). Concentrate on "Nasledstvo" (3-18) and "Khoziaistvennyi razval i proletarskaia diktatura," (40-55).
M. P. Fedorov, Prodovol'stvie Petrograda za vremia voiny (1915).
Harvey W. Wiley, "Food and efficiency," Records of the Columbia Historical Society 20 (1917): 1-18.
Ernest B. Roberts, "What is food control?" (1918).
Ernest H. Starling, "The food supply of Germany during the war," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society 83 (1920): 225-245.
Herbert Hoover, "Food in war" .
-  November 4 - On the medical front
Roger Cooter and Steve Sturdy, "Of war, medicine and modernity: Introduction," in War, Medicine and Modernity (1998), 1-22.
Choose ONE text to present in class:
Emil Grósz, "Az orvosi tudomány a háborúban," Budapesti szemle 161 (1915): 75-83. [on-campus access only]
David John Davis, "Bacteriology and the war," The Scientific Monthly 5 (1917): 385-399.
Bailey K. Ashford, "The application of sanitary science to the Great War in the zone of the Army," Proc. Amer. Phil. Soc. 58 (1919): 317-336.
Tivadar Saile [Szél], "A bejelentésre kötelezett fertőző betegségek nemzetközi összehasonlítása. (1919-23)," Statisztikai szemle no. 1-4 (1925): 16-32.
Karl Kassowitz, "Der österreichisch-ungarisch Truppenarzt an der Front," in Clemens Pirquet, ed., Volksgesundheit im Krieg (1926), 133-142.
Jan Piltz, "Zaburzenie nerwowe i psychiczne, spostrzegane podczas mobilizacji i w chasie wojny," Przegląd lekarski no. 3 (1915): 40-44.
V. M. Bekhterev, "Voina i psikhozy," Voprosy mirovoi voiny (1915), 590-604.
John F. Hutchinson, Politics and Public Health in Revolutionary Russia, 1890-1918 (1990), 108-143.
-  November 5 - Trauma
Isaac Babel, "My first goose," from Red Cavalry Stories.
S. Ferenczi, "Two types of war neuroses" (1916), from Selected Writings.
From the special issue of Journal of Contemporary History devoted to "shell shock":
Tijana, Anna: Mosse
Buday Dezső, "A haború hatása a szellemi munkára," Természettudományi Közlöny (1917), 635-639.
-  November 11 -
The war in the air hydrodynamic fluids
We will tentatively plan to hold this class session at the Museum of Technology (details forthcoming).
Scott W. Palmer, Dictatorship of the Air: Aviation Culture and the Fate of Modern Russia (2006), §§104-133.
David Bloor, The Enigma of the Aerofoil: Rival Theories in Aerodynamics, 1909-1930 (2011), 1-8, 410-412.
[click to enlarge]
-  November 12 - Attitudes: Measuring public opinion
W. Trotter, "Prejudice in time of war," from Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War (1919), 214-224.
Sigmund Freud, "The herd instinct," Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego (1919), 117-121. [original text available here]
Questionnaire from War and the Kostroma countryside (according to data of the Statistical Department’s questionnaire) (1915), 140–142.
Peter Holquist, "'Information is the alpha and omega of our work': Bolshevik surveillance in its pan-European context," J. Mod. Hist. 69 (1997): 415-450.
Hungarian alternate: István Dékány, "Tételek és paradoxonok a közvélemény problémájához," Társadalomtudomány 1 (1921): 242-247.
Stefan Jonsson, "The revolving nature of the social: Primal hordes and crowds without qualities," Crowds and Democracy: The Idea and Image of the Masses from Revolution to Fascism (2013), 119-141.
David Hoffmann, "Surveillance and propaganda," in Cultivating the Masses: Modern State Practices and Soviet Socialism, 1914-1939 (2011).
Ferdinand Tönnies, Kritik der öffentlichen Meinung (1922).
-  November 18 - Radical engineers
Albert Fonó, "The proletarian dictatorship and the engineers," Magyar Mérnök- és Épitész-Egylet Közlönye 53 no. 13 (1919): 97. [original Hungarian here]
Jeffrey Herf, "Engineers as ideologues," Reactionary Modernism: Technology, Culture and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich (1984), 152-188. [on campus access only]
Harley Balzer, "Soviet engineers: The rise and decline of a social myth," in Loren R. Graham, ed., Science and the Soviet Social Order (1990), 141-167. [NB: it's only the first ten pages that immediately concern us, so you can skip lightly over the remainder, but do take note of the conclusion.]
- [19/2] November 18 - Managing the managers
[With two sessions collapsed into one, we'll agree in class which readings to leave aside...]
Wichard von Moellendorff, "Efficiency," Zeitschrift des Vereines Deutscher Ingenieure 64 no. 42 (1920): 853-856.
S. Raetskii, "Managing the managers," Trudy Pervoi Vserossiiskoi initsiativnoi konferentsii po nauchnoi organizatsii truda i proizvodstva (1921).
Choose ONE primary source to discuss in class:
"A mérnöki rendtartás," Belügyi Közlöny 28 (1923): 599-621.
V. I. Grinevetskii, Poslevoennye perspektivy russkoi promyshlennosti, ch. 6 (1919).
N. I. Bukharin, Ekonomika perekhodnogo perioda, ch. 6 (1920).
Stanislav Špaček, "O osmihodinné době pracovní," Obzor národohospodářský XXIV. (1919), 27-31, 65-70.
M. Rybczyński, "Zarys organizacyi władz technicznych w Państwie Polskiem," Czasopismo techniczne 36 no. 8 (1918), 61-63. [Time permitting, look at the article after this one as well...]
Thorsten Veblen, The Engineers and the Price System, ch. 4 (1921).
Optional background reading: Mark Beissinger, Scientific Management, Socialist Discipline, and Soviet Power (1988), 19-40.
-  November 19 - Spenglerism
Oswald Spengler, "Introduction," The Decline of the West (1918) (abridged)
Choose ONE response reading according to language preference. (NB: Bazarov is the default English-language option.)
V. Bazarov, “O. Spengler and his critics,” Krasnaia nov’ no. 2 (1922), 211-231. (Original Russian text here.)
Hornyánszky Gyula, review of Spengler, Társadalomtudomány 1 (1921): 230-241.
Pauler Ákos, "Uj kultúrfilozófia," Athenaeum 6 (1920): 82-87.
Florian Znaniecki, Upadek cywilizacji zachodniej. Szkic z pogranicza filozofji kultury i socjologji (1921).
A. Vul'fius, "Osval'd Shpengler kak istorik," Annaly: Zhurnal vseobshchei istorii 2 (1922), 17-30.
Jos. Šusta, review of Spengler, Český Časopis Historický 27 (1921): 175-197.
Ernst Troeltsch, review of Spengler, Historische Zeitschrift 120 (1919): 281-291.
Otto Stoeffl, "Weltgeschichte als Urphänomen," Pester Lloyd (28 December 1918), 2-3.
Otto Neurath, "Anti-Spengler," in Empiricism and Sociology (1973 , 158-213.
Vladimir Mayakovsky: "All Spenglers are just Stinnes brains" [click to enlarge]
- [future iteration] - Amerikanizm
Alfred Weber, "The predicament of intellectual workers"
Rudolf Kayser, "Americanism"
Stefan Zweig, "The monotonization of the world"
(All from The Weimar Republic Sourcebook)
[Karel Čapek], "We alarm and amuse M. Capek," The New York Times (May 16, 1926)
Ignotus [Hugó Veigelsberg], “America and culture,” Nyugat no. 13 (1927)
Polish option: Roman Dyboski, "Ameryka a Europa," Przegląd Polityczny T. 11, z. 6 (1929): 177-189.
[click to enlarge][with subscription]
-  November 25 - The geographers' peace
Presentation: Tijana and Oliver
"Geography at the Congress of Paris, 1919," The Geographical Journal 55 (1920): 309-312.
Maciej Górny, "Space (geography)," in Science Embattled: Eastern European Intellectuals and the Great War (2019), 119-162.
Stepan Rudnytskyi, "Ethnographic boundaries of Ukraine," in Ukraine: The Land and its People: An Introduction to its Geography (1918): 118-147.
Stepan Rudnytskyi, "[Outline of the geography of Ukraine]," in Украинский народ в ее прошлом и настоящем, vol. 2 (1916): 361-380.
[click on image to see larger version]
-  November 26 - The economic consequences of the war
Otto Neurath, "Through war economy to economy in kind" (1919), from Empiricism and Sociology.
Ludwig von Mises, "War and the economy," from Nation, State, and Economy: Contributions to the Politics and History of our Time.
Hungarian alternative: Bud János, review of Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace, Közgazdasági szemle (1920): 118-123.
"John Maynard Keynes," Pester Lloyd, 30 March 1920.
"Károlyi denunciál," Budapesti Hírlap, 3 October 1922.
"Károly Mihály cikke Keynes lapjában," Bécsi Magyar Ujság, 4 October 1922.
Jan Dmochowski, Nowe teorje monetarne (1927).
-  December 2 - Mental labor and intellectual property: New regimes
Kazimierz Ossowski, “Comments on the draft project of the Polish patent law,” Przegląd techniczny 56 no. 1-4 (1918): 3-12. (excerpts)
"Decree of the Soviet of People's Commissars. 341. On inventions" (1919)
Zoltán Schilling, "The new code of the patent law," Herald of the Hungarian Engineers and Architects Association (MMEEK) 54 no. 44-45 (1920): 174-175.
F. Ruffini, "Report on scientific property," Committee on Intellectual Co-operation, League of Nations (1923). (excerpts)
-  December 3 - All Quiet on the Eastern Front?
Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front (1929), excerpt.
Aladár Komlós, “Remarque’s novel All Quiet on the Western Front,” Nyugat no. 10 (1929). [original Hungarian here]
Karen Petrone, The Great War in Russian Memory (2011), 8-15, 224-235.
Czech alternative to Komlós: Otto Rádl, "Půl milionú výtisků," Přitomnost 6 no. 17 (1929): 261-264.
Russian alternative to Komlós: review of Remarque, Oktiabr'
Peter Gatrell, "Russia's First World War: Remember, forgetting, remembering," in Extending the Borders of Russian History: Essays in Honor of Alfred J. Rieber (2002), 285-298.
-  September 16 - Generations