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Handbooks Courses Units

HYM4490 - Fascism, Nazism, and racial and social utopias

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Dr Michael Hau


Not offered in 2008


Some historians have argued that Nazi racial and social utopias were an articulation of the destructive potentials of modernity. Others point to a longer history of racism. The unit introduces students to key historical debates concerning whether Nazism was a form of radical fascism or was unique in its racial utopianism. What were the relationships between Nazi racial and social policies? Was Nazism supported for rational and pragmatic reasons or were people enthralled by its ideology of racial supremacy? The unit also explores connections between the bio-medical sciences, racial hygiene, and the euthanasia program and looks at Nazi genocides in the context of Nazi bio-politics.


After successfully completing the unit students should be able to

  1. Explain historical concepts such as fascism and totalitarianism.
  2. Distinguish between and be able to discuss the most important historiographical interpretations of Nazism.
  3. Formulate their own positions on key issues based on a critical engagement with the historiography and relevant primary sources.
  4. Review and critically analyse historical monographs.
  5. Develop an independent research project on the history of Fascism, Nazism, or Nazi genocide.
  6. Situate their research within larger historiographical debates


Book Reviews (2x10% 800-1000 words each): 20%; Research Proposal (1500 words): 20%; Research Essay (5500-6000 words): 50%; Seminar participation: 10%

Contact hours

2 hour seminar per week


HSY4490, HYM5490

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