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COMPLIT 125: The Art of Authoritarianism

Hitler. Stalin. Che Guevara. Eva Perón. Darth Vader. Whether they make you tremble with fear or with excitement, some leaders lead by charisma as much as by their policies. This course explores representations of authority and authoritarianism to interrogate the charms and dangers of charismatic leadership. Focusing on single-leader societies, primarily from the twentieth century, we consider examples from visual culture, literature, film, and propaganda, along with readings from political science. In analyzing power through aesthetic and political frames, students will develop a critical understanding of the intersections between governments, rulers, and art in recent history and today.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
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