Tag Archives: Cold War history

Teaching Awards Excitement

22 Apr

teachingawardsTonight is the annual Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) Teaching Awards. I’m thrilled that this year my Nuclear Cold War course has been shortlisted in the ‘Best Course’ category.

It’s immensely flattering that the students who took the course thought enough of it to both nominate and give such positive comments that I made it to the shortlist of two. There are two sets of people who really make a course work: students and the admin staff. The latter never get the credit they deserve. Without the fantastic administrative support I’ve received from the department, the course would have been far more difficult to implement.

Students are the heart of any course. Yes, enthusiasm and knowledge on the part of the tutor/lecturer are vital components, but keen, willing, critical, engaged students really make a course work. I’ve been lucky enough to have excellent classes in my first year of honours teaching, for which I’m very grateful.

So, by about 10pm tonight I’ll know if I’ve won or not. Even if it’s ‘not’, I’m delighted to have go this far.

Teaching the Nuclear Cold War: Week 11, The Final Countdown

12 Dec

The_Final_Countdown_singleThe hectic nature of the end of semester means that this penultimate post about the nuclear Cold War course has been more than a little bit delayed. Apologies for that.

Our final class examined the end of the Cold War and the influence of nuclear arms (and related issues) on the conclusion of nearly five decades of confrontation. Did ‘the atom’ have any influence? In the big scheme of things, did the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty – as an example of arms control – actually do anything to help? I argued (and many students agreed) that the end of the Cold War is in fact even more complicated than the beginning of the Cold War. Disentangling the various threads (no pun intended) is one of the challenges of studying this period.

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