American Culture in the Atomic Age
General Catalog Course Title:
Examining U.S. Cultures in Time
Terms Offered:
Spring 2016
Spring 2014
Spring 2013
Spring 2010
Course Thread: 
Sciences and Society
Palmer, Christine
Mark Brilliant

The atomic bomb changed the world. In this course, we will examine how the development of the bomb, the decision to use it, and the nuclear arms race have influenced American culture and society. The threat of nuclear annihilation, the rise of anti-Communist ideology, the development of a powerful military-industrial complex, the reliance on covert and proxy warfare, changing family dynamics, and postwar sexuality are among the topics to be considered. Our task in this class is to figure out how people use and respond to the rhetoric of progress and annihilation in the United States. We will study a variety of literary and visual media, and research scientific and political publications, aesthetic and artistic movements, and spectacular public events.

For more detailed information about classes, please visit the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.