Tag Archives: John Mueller

Teaching the Nuclear Cold War: Conclusions

13 Jan

NCWIt’s well over a month now since the conclusion of my first foray into teaching honours-level history (and only a couple of days until I start teaching my second course). Time to take stock, to assess, and to examine the good and the bad. In this post, I aim to summarise the course, look at how things ended up when compared to how I imagined they would, and think about ways to improve the course for future offerings. Hopefully, this reflection and analysis will make me a better teacher and make the course better in future.

The Good

I was delighted to see students responding to my enthusiasm for nuclear history, engaging with subjects they had never studied before, and coming to their own considered conclusions. Furthermore, I was very pleased to see from the feedback that the course had encouraged many students to think more about contemporary nuclear issues and how they relate to the Cold War.

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John Mueller vs the World!

30 Jul

Now that the PhD is done and dusted (even though it still feels funny to think that it is over), there’s still plenty to do in terms of trying to scratch out an academic career. The lot of the newly minted Doctor is far from easy. Few jobs/postdocs, many applicants, crowded market, etc.

However, I’m lucky enough to have been offered some adjunct teaching work at the University of Edinburgh. Even better, I’m allowed to design and offer my own honours-level (3rd and 4th year undergraduate) courses. The first to come up is Confrontation, Proliferation, Representation: The Nuclear Cold War in Policy and in Public, 1945-1989. You can find out more about the course here. The syllabus is pretty much done, so I thought I would share the outline of the introductory class.

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‘The Metaphor That Ate New York,’ and Other Seminars

5 Apr

Now that the thesis is handed in, the mind of the aspiring academic turns to other things. Like, what now? I’m lucky enough to have secured some honours-level teaching here at the University of Edinburgh. It’s great in that I get to design my own courses and see how they stand up in practice.

The first course I’m working on rejoices under the snappy title of Confrontation, Proliferation, Representation: The Nuclear Cold War in Policy and in Public, 1945 to 1989 (see, I told you it was snappy).

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Interesting Nuclear History Reads

8 Feb

For want of something substantive to say (I’m currently mired in the documents I harvested from The National Archives last month), I though it might be useful to highlight some recent scholarship in the field of nuclear history. Rather than give substantive reviews of these works (although I am working on a full review of Nuclear Apartheid) I’ll offer brief comments, plus links to reviews as appropriate.

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Why Should You Be Interested In Nuclear History?

23 Jan

There is a degree of arrogance involved in publishing your thoughts at random on the internet. A vain assumption that there are people out there who will be interested in what you have to say (and as an aside: hello and welcome to both of you!) This is perhaps even more apparent when you are dealing with the obscurities and super-specific geekiness of academic history. One reason for this particular blog is the hope that it might interest an audience outside of what is often called ‘the academy.’

That leads into the main question: why in heavens name should you be interested in nuclear history? I for one am not going to pretend that I have all – or even a minority of – the answers to this question. But, I’m enough of a bloviator to think that I might be able to stumble towards a few basic thoughts on the matter.

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