The Cold War

Course Dates: 09/10/20 - 11/12/20
Time: 14:45 - 16:45
Location: Online

Cold War history courses often adopt chronological or geographic approaches, tying in with either broader Western or narrower national narratives from 1945 to 1989. Instead, this course explores the Cold War through a range of themes that address this globally pivotal moment in time, and looks forward to the Cold War's relevance in the present and future.

This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.


What is the course about?

The Cold War typically evokes associations of the Iron Curtain, the arms race, threat of nuclear war, protest movements, and spies. Yet we all see the Cold War differently. Historians are re-interpreting the Cold War in an increasingly global conversation on different events, themes, periods, places, dynamics and people. Looking beyond academia, some societies care little for the Cold War. For others, it is central to national identity. This also connects to how the Cold War was a lived experience for some people and not for others. What, then, are we to make of the Cold War today? How can we use it to understand our world of today and the challenges we face?

Typically, Cold War history courses adopt chronological or geographic approaches, often tying in either with broader Western or narrower national narratives from 1945 to 1989. Instead, this course explores the Cold War through a range of themes that address our globally pivotal moment in time and onwards challenges.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

1) Typical Cold War Interpretations and Themes: What to Rethink?
2) Looking beyond 1945-1989: The Cold War as Global History
3) Not just Energy: Oil and Nuclear Power as Imperial Technologies
4) From Nuclear Weapons and Military Alliances to (In)security and Conflict: Global Base Politics, Civil Wars, Small Arms Trade and Military Aid
5) Development and Technology: Seeing Cold War Modernisation as part of the Anthropocene
6) International Organisations: Agents of Decolonisation, the West and Whiteness, or Both?
7) Media and (Popular) Culture: Fighting for Hearts and Minds
8) People Power Everywhere
9) The End of the Cold War and its legacies around the World
10) Memories of and Traumas from the Cold War: A Global Tour.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

This course will help you look beyond established Western narratives and apply more nuanced perspectives on what the Cold war was (and is) from a position of seeing history as a dynamic and engaging way of thinking.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course will have both lecture and seminar elements and use exercises, texts, videos.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

There are no additional costs, but you might find a notebook or electronic device useful for notes.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

There are no additional costs, but you might find a notebook or electronic device useful for notes.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Please see the City Lit website: for further courses in the contemporary history and politics section.

Tutor Biographies
Martin Jorgensen

Martin Ottovay Jorgensen is a historian by education (BA, MA and PhD in Denmark and Belgium). Overall, his research focuses on how forms of international cooperation were new international undertakings but also reflected deeper imperial practices that lingered on long after decolonization in various ways. As a university teacher, he has taught courses on world and global history; imperial and colonial history; the history of international organisations; peace and conflict; global issues and international relations as well as how memory is an active dimension in community-building, society, politics, international relations, conflict as well as corporate branding. Perhaps more importantly, Martin sees the active promotion of robust historical thinking as both a democratic practice of vital importance to the maintenance and continued strengthening of democracy and thus society as a whole. At City Lit, Martin combines these interests with his student-centric approach that aims to both promote history as a socially relevant way of thinking and give each class and course a horizon beyond itself.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: HWH40

Fri, day, 09 Oct - 11 Dec '20

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

Full fee: £189.00
Senior fee: £151.00
Concession: £83.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.