Description: Class limited to 35 students.
The twentieth century witnessed unprecedented death and destruction from war, and this century seems to be off to less than a promising start. Is war an inevitable part of the human condition? Is our species by nature war-like? Can we identify cultural, ecological, or political factors that make war more or less likely, more or less intense? What part has war played in human evolution and culture? What are the effects of war on bodies, psyches, social groups, and cultures? Can what we learn about war in different times and places help us to understand and even affect our own situation? In this course we will address these and other questions through in-depth explorations of organized violence in a handful of specific cultures. These cultures are highly diverse in terms of the degrees and manners in which they carry out warfare, their historical and ecological contexts, and the meanings they assign to war and violence. By examining this diversity, we hope to reveal some underlying, general truths about war and the human condition.
Official UT Course Description: May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.
Prerequisites: 24 college hours, or consent of instructor.