LSO225 - Totalitarianism in the Modern World

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Last revision date Sep 30, 2019 12:08:39 AM
Last review date Dec 2, 2019 12:15:05 AM

Subject Title
Totalitarianism in the Modern World

Subject Description
Why is the 20th century remembered, in part, as a century of war and genocide?  LSO225 answers this and other fundamental questions about the 20th Century through the lens of "totalitarianism".  We will explore the concept of "totalitarianism" as it relates to Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and Fascist Italy.  Students are encouraged to think critically about the ongoing debate over the meaning of totalitarianism and whether it accurately describes the dictatorships we traditionally refer to as "totalitarian" systems. 
This course also aims to provide students with a broader understanding of the major social, political, economic, cultural and intellectual developments of the 20th century. Together we will explore the major "isms" that have shaped our world: liberalism, nationalism, imperialism, socialism, communism and fascism. We will also explore why and how the years of European cultural development culminated in the repressive and destructive regimes of Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini. Finally, we will explore the phenomenon of totalitarianism in the modern world, with a look at current global regimes that apply these methods of governance and control.

Credit Status
One lower level Liberal Studies elective credit for degree students.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a knowledge of the crucial turning points in the rise of the regimes of Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini by identifying, describing, and analyzing the drivers of social, economic and political change over this period.
2. Apply the methods, concepts and theories learned in the various cases we examine to an analysis of contemporary global political, cultural and ideological fault lines.
3. Communicate themes and ideas explored in class to apply this knowledge to further scholarly research.
4. Demonstrate analytical thinking skills through a critical interrogation of a wide range of textual and media sources.
5. Produce concise and coherent written assignments, including a short essay, which demonstrates the ability to identify a defined thesis question, and produce a strongly researched and written paper which clearly supports its thesis.

 By the end of this course, students will have a deeper appreciation of the impact that the rise of totalitarian regimes had on subsequent developments in global history. The course will also sharpen skills in analyzing scholarly sources and ‘texts’, in the process refining critical reading and thinking skills. Written work (including a short essay) and collegial seminar discussions, in addition, will allow students to explore new ideas in more depth, as well as sharpen research and writing skills. My objective is that the course leaves participants with more questions than definitive answers, creating an awareness of the complex social, political and cultural relationships that make up the world we today inhabit. Solving complex problems, after all, first requires an understanding and acknowledgement of the complexities of the problem itself.

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

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Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.