Outline of Psychohistory II

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SUNY Rockland Community College

 Course Outline for Psychohistory II
(History 214)


  • Rudolph Binion, Hitler Among the Germans (De Kalb, Ill.: Northern IllinoisUniversity Press, 1984). Peter Loewenberg, Decoding the Past (New Brunswick, NJ and London: Transaction Publishers, 1996).
  • We’ll also be using parts of both texts from Psychohistory I (History 213): The Best of Clio’s Psyche, 1994-2004 (Student Edition), edited by Paul Elovitz; and, David R. Beisel, The Suicidal Embrace: Hitler, the Allies, and the Origins of the Second World War (Nyack, NY: Circumstantial Productions, 2003).

Both books, available from the College Bookstore, will be used in class. Reading assignments will be announced in class. Final grades: 85 per cent determined by exams, 15 per cent by class participation. All exams and writing assignments, assigned readings, and attendance are required. Failure to fulfill any of these requirements will result in an automatic F grade for the course.

 The topical focus of the course is fourfold:

  • Theories—both traditional and psychological—on the causes of war.
  • In-depth analyses of Hitler, Nazism, and the Holocaust using additional studies, theories, and insights beyond those introduced in Psychohistory I.
  • Exploration of some of the methods used in psychological history.
  • On-going observations and analysis of the contemporary U.S. group-fantasy duringthe four-months of the course.

Each student will keep a Group-Fantasy Log containing observations and illustrations of the emotional and fantasy images found in the media, and elsewhere, during the four months of the course. The Log will be turned in at mid-term, and again at Final’s Week. It will constitute 20 per cent of the final grade.

The remainder of the grade will be determined by class participation (10 per cent) and from the several exams (70 per cent) given in class, or as take-home writing assignments.

Several films relevant to the various topics will be shown.

Since there are several topics under review, the course will move from one to the other on the basis of where discussion is leading at any given time. Students are expected to be flexible regarding content, although the general topic area for the next week will always be announced in class.

Have a good time.

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