New course, book series bring the words of George L. Mosse into contemporary discussions

George Mosse sitting in his library

A renowned historian’s lectures are still relevant today—and now revived for wider learning.

The UW-Madison Division of Continuing Studies and the George L. Mosse Program in History, along with the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, are partnering to offer a new course that brings Mosse’s notable work in modern European cultural and intellectual history in conversation with current events such as the Me Too and Time’s Up movements.

“As our campus and the country confront a year of political and social uncertainty, Mosse’s teachings on the perils of sectarianism and the history of how societies construct and mistreat outsiders remain extraordinarily prescient. Our course will address the origins of our own stereotypes of physical beauty, the idealization of masculinity and the interconnectedness of nationalism and sexuality,” says Skye Doney, director of the Mosse Program.

Mosse, a great historian, teacher, mentor, and friend, graced the UW–Madison campus for some 40 years and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem for some 20 years, creating a vital and variegated international intellectual community.

cover of George Mosse book
The Continuing Studies course will feature the University of Wisconsin Press’s forthcoming publication of Nationalism and Sexuality.

A course entitled What History Tells: European Gender, Sexuality, and the Borders of Tolerance, 1914-2020, will be taught by the Mosse Program’s historian-in-residence James Ungureanu, Doney and Hebrew University professor of modern history Moshe Sluhovsky. This online class is open to noncredit and community learners anywhere. Nine of Mosse’s famous lectures, available digitally for the first time, will be contextualized by nine expert historians, many of whom were his students.

“We are fortunate the UW–Madison Mosse Program in History has been collecting and preserving these recordings [of George Mosse’s lectures] so future generations of scholars can hear how influential his ideas were and how strongly they resonate with the times we live in today. Reading his books and hearing his voice, one is able to gain a greater appreciation of his work and ideas,” says William P. Tishler, senior media specialist in the Division of Continuing Studies.

The course will also prominently feature the University of Wisconsin Press’s forthcoming publication of Nationalism and Sexuality, which includes a new critical introduction by UW professor Mary Louise Roberts.

“UW Press is delighted to be the publisher of Mosse’s Collected Works, the most recent collaboration between the Press and the Mosse Program. The full range of Mosse’s thought now will be more readily available to a new generation of readers, and Nationalism and Sexuality will be an ideal starting point for students,” says Nathan MacBrien, editor-in-chief at the University of Wisconsin Press.

The book will be published as part of the new Collected Works of George L. Mosse series, which will include reissued editions of Mosse’s landmark volumes with critical introductions from leading scholars. Also publishing in September is Toward the Final Solution, one of the first in-depth studies of the evolution of racism in Europe, and Spring 2021 will see the publication of the ground-breaking title The Crisis of German Ideology.

The What History Tells course will run September 2 through October 28, 2020. Registration will close on the first day of the course. Books in the Collected Works series are available to purchase through the UW Press site or your favorite bookseller.