Academic Courses: Deep Politics, Espionage, Propaganda...

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Academic Courses: Deep Politics, Espionage, Propaganda...

Postby Joao » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:29 am

The intent of this thread is to capture information on interesting courses I (we) stumble upon. Content should be more or less limited to deep politics and related topics (conspiracy, propaganda, cultural manipulation, interrogation, the Cold War, etc.). Despite the title, it need not consist strictly of academic courses (eg, professional trainings could be included).

Much of the value will come from the courses' lists of materials, which I won't include here for the sake of readability. Interested readers are encouraged to click through.

In the unlikely event that associated students / faculty come across this thread, I would be very grateful to receive any related materials you might feel like sharing (readings, recordings, notes, etc.). I considered titling the thread "Courses I wish I could take." Any such materials would only be for used personal edification.

Discussion and additions are welcome.

This top post may be edited in the future.
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Re: Academic Courses: Deep Politics, Espionage, Propaganda..

Postby Joao » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:12 am

Jeffrey Burds
Associate Professor of Russian & Soviet History
Northeastern University, Boston, MA

Fields of Interest: Modern Russian and Soviet History; 20th-century Ukraine; Soviet secret police, Espionage

"I do research in the international history of modern Russia, Ukraine, and the Soviet Union. My current work is devoted to studies of collaboration in the German-occupied Soviet zones during World War II, and the postwar Soviet counterinsurgency in western Ukraine. My undergraduate courses include surveys of European and Soviet history as well as specialized courses on violence, espionage, World War II in the East, and the Soviet Secret Police. My graduate courses include seminars on the historiography and research in Modern European and World history."

HIST2304 Cold War Spies


“There are very few reliable histories of espionage, and with good cause. The sources lie, are lost, are nonexistent, are withheld. Journalists (often) lack the patience, scholars (often) lack the clout to gain access, to stay the course, to outlast those who would with both good and malign intent seek to influence the writer’s conclusions.” --Robin Winks, 1994

This course explores the history of espionage during the Cold War era (1943-1991) and its immediate aftermath through a series of case studies. This lecture course will lead students through the history of covert operations over the past 50 years focusing on these sub-themes: the origins of the Cold War in World War II; the postwar battle for German scientists; Containment and Rollback; Operation Gladio; Venona and codebreaking; nuclear spies; defectors; proxy wars; insurgencies and counterinsurgencies; terrorism; technological espionage; cyberespionage; propaganda; the psychology of betrayal; and mind control.

  • Origins of the Cold War in World War II
  • U.S. Operation Paperclip versus Soviet Operation Alsos
  • Foundations of the U.S. National Security Apparatus, 1947-1952
  • The Control of Secret Information
  • Atomic Spies, Rosenbergs
  • VENONA: Signals Intelligence
  • The Culture of Cold War Spies
  • Defectors
  • The Psychology of Betrayal
  • Cuban Missile Crisis
  • Nosenko Affair
  • Proxy Wars: The Vietnam Wars
  • Proxy Wars: Arab-Israeli Conflicts; Latin America
  • Mind Control, MKULTRA
  • Sex & Espionage
  • Terrorism, Guerrilla Warfare & Counterinsurgency
  • Assassination
  • Technological Espionage
  • Cyberespionage
  • Propaganda Wars
  • Counter-Intelligence in America in the Last Years of the Cold War

HIST1389 History of Espionage


Commonly referred to as the world's "second oldest profession," espionage is an intrinsic part of the relationships between communities, institutions, states. This course explores the history of espionage through a series of case studies: from ancient Rome, Greece, China; the Reformation; the Age of Discovery; the French Revolution; the American Civil War; World War I and the Russian Revolution; World War II; the Cold War; and the post-Cold War era.

  • Espionage Among the Ancients
  • The Age of Exploration, Part One: Espionage in the Time of the Religious Wars; Part Two: The British Gunpowder Conspiracy, 1605
  • Native American Intelligence & the European Settlers in New England; Pirates as Non-State Agents
  • The American Revolution
  • Spies and the French Revolution; Spies in the Age of Napoleon
  • American Civil War
  • The Great Game: The Russian-British Confrontation in Central Asia; The Age of Colonial Empires
  • The Information Revolution: Intelligence & the Rise of Modern European Nation-States
  • Spies & the Russian Revolution
  • The Interwar Period
  • World War II
  • Cold War
  • The Dawn of the Cold War: Operation Rollback: From World War to Cold War
  • Atomic Spies; VENONA & the McCarthy Era
  • Espionage & the Cuban Missile Crisis
  • Late Cold War; Post Cold-War
  • Spying and Guerilla Wars of the Late-Twentieth Century; Corporate Espionage
  • The Main Enemy: Soviet-American Espionage in the Late-Cold War Era

HIST2387 Soviet Secret Police


"The Chekist has two paths--promotion, or prison." -Joseph Stalin, 1951

". . . violence does not consist so much in injuring and annihilating persons as in interrupting their continuity, making them play roles in which they no longer recognize themselves, making them betray not only commitments but their own substance." -Emmanuel Levinas, Totality and Infinity

No theme has more powerfully captured the Cold War imagination than the virtual obsession with Soviet spies. Repressing their own citizens at home, the Bolsheviks craved world domination. They sent spies abroad to sabotage our progress, to infiltrate our governments, to penetrate into the hearts and souls of freedom-loving peoples everywhere. Or so the story went.

The collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1991 and the opening up of the archives of Soviet and East European totalitarian regimes, has provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to glimpse those clandestine institutions from the inside, to test our beliefs and challenge our most fundamental views about Soviet police and society at home and abroad. Studying Soviet history through the prism of clandestine police and espionage organizations, we will survey the institutions, role, and significance of Soviet state power, 1917-1998. Using a vast array of primary and secondary sources, some of which have been translated from KGB archives specially for this course, supplemented by literature and film, we will trace the roles of the domestic and international branches of the Soviet secret police throughout its seventy-year history. Besides a general chronological survey, we will develop specific themes: the role of ideology in Soviet clandestine organizations; the use and limits of memoirs and other sources in Espionage history; the role of political terror and denunciations; informants' networks; recruitment of agents at home and abroad; the British spy scandals of the 1930s-1950s; Soviet intelligence successes and failures in World War II; the origins of the Cold War; the Atom Spy networks; the popular culture of spymania in the McCarthy era; the Cuban missile crisis; the Brezhnev era; the KGB and the Soviet collapse; spies and spying in the post-Soviet era.

  • Introduction to the History of Soviet Espionage. Themes.
  • Antecedents. From the Third Department to the Tsarist Okhrana
  • The Origins of the Soviet Secret Police. Red Terror and the Cheka
  • Soviet Espionage in the 1920s. Soviet Industrial Espionage
  • A Popular Culture of Denunciation?
  • Verbovka: Soviet Recruitment Strategies
  • Stalin's International Security Networks
  • Soviet Interrogation
  • Soviet Intelligence on the Eve of Operation Barbarossa
  • Razvedka: The Role of Intelligence in the Soviet Victory
  • Espionage in Modern History
  • The Soviet Union vs. OPERATION ROLLBACK
  • Case Study of Soviet Sister Services: The East German Stasi
  • The Red Scare, Venona
  • The Soviet Nuclear Program & Atomic Spies
  • Red Defectors: Soviet Defectors since the Second World War
  • Context, Course & Aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis
  • Oswald in Russia, Nosenko Affair

Joao: I contacted Prof. Burds to ask for copies of some his PowerPoints. He declined, stating that they were too closely connected to his research. The pages for the individual courses make my mouth water--they're practically bursting at the seams with references to great source materials. Enterprising Northeastern students or gutsy Boston residents with audio recording capability: contact me, seriously.
Last edited by Joao on Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Academic Courses: Deep Politics, Espionage, Propaganda..

Postby Joao » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:17 am

"Though this be madness, yet there is method in it": Cold War fantasies

Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
Department of History
CEU Instructor: Istvan Rev
External instructor: Ioana Macrea-Toma

The two-credit course that is intended both for PhD. and advanced M.A. students, approaches post-World War II history through the lens of Cold War social science on both sides of the ideological divide; their interdependencies and mutual influences on each other. It will explore, based on unique, up-till-now barely used archival sources, how the social sciences contributed to the emergence of the fantasy of past, present and future that guided both the programs of the sciences and perceptions of the world.

Members of the class will work on two sets of documents: The Harvard Refugee Interview Project, 1950-1954 (available online), and the Central European refugee interviews, including the Vera and Donald Blinken digital refugee interview archive at OSA. The research on surprisingly unexplored primary sources, will be complemented by a comprehensive analysis of contemporary research techniques, including early public opinion research, clandestine investigation and interrogation techniques, real and imagined biological and environmental manipulation, cybernetics, applied system analysis, etc.

The course will try to demonstrate the impact of ideologically driven wild imagination on scientific theories and methods; the influence of phantasmagorical scientific ideas on the perception of the present and projections into the future. Fantasy, as much as empirical exploration of tangible reality shapes the course of actions that, for a retrospective view, solidifies the past as history.

We are in the process of trying to open up the historical archive of IIASA, the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria, and hope that the members of the class will have the opportunity to explore this underutilized archive of quintessential Cold War institute as well.

  • Tabula Rasa theories of the mind
  • Frames and phantasms of the ‘closed world’ discourse: the birth of ideational and informational complex
  • History of experts of the Other
  • Homo Pavlovius: from behavioral experiments to a manchurian philosophy of science
  • Engineering opinions (1): history of (mass) (public) opinion research
  • Engineering opinions (2): serendipities of strategic radio and communication research
  • Methods and criticism of surveys – the case of interviewing refugees
  • Communist hermeneutics of the soul: questioning, interrogating, investigating
  • Subservient science? Assessing public opinion in the Soviet bloc
  • Spying and its fantasies
  • Secrecy
  • Optimizing the unknown: machine dreams and cyborg sciences in East and West
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Re: Academic Courses: Deep Politics, Espionage, Propaganda..

Postby Joao » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:47 am

ISS World Americas
Intelligence Support Systems for Lawful Interception, Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Gathering
September 25-27, 2013, Washington DC

Where Law Enforcement, Public Safety, Telecoms and the Intelligence Community turn for Technical Training and Product Selection

ISS World Americas is the world's largest gathering of North and South American Law Enforcement, Intelligence and Homeland Security Analysts as well as Telecom Operators responsible for Lawful Interception, Hi-Tech Electronic Investigations and Network Intelligence Gathering. ISS World Programs present the methodologies and tools for Law Enforcement, Public Safety and Government Intelligence Communities in the fight against drug trafficking, cybermoney laundering, human trafficking, terrorism and other criminal activities conducted over today's Telecommunications networks, the Internet and Social Networks.

Seminar #1: Online Social Media and Internet Investigations
  • What Investigators & Analysts Need to Know about Online Social Media.
  • OSINT and Criminal Investigations
  • Successful Use of Online Social Media in Criminal Investigations
  • Counterintelligence & Liabilities Involving Online Social Media
  • Facebook: Tools, Tricks, & Techniques Investigators Need to Know
  • What Investigators Need to Know about Hiding on the Internet
Seminar #2: Understanding ISS Technologies and Products Deployed in Telecommunications Networks and Monitoring Centers for Law Enforcement and Intelligence Analysts
This one day pre-conference seminar covers the spectrum of ISS Technologies and Products deployed in today's fixed wire, mobile wireless and Internet Service Provider networks and LEA Monitoring and Intelligence Gathering Centers. This all day seminar is ideal for those law enforcement, public safety and intelligence analysts who need an understanding of the ISS technologies to be discussed in the conference sessions and the ISS products displayed at the exhibit hall as well as an understanding of the buzz words and jargon used by telecom operator engineers and their vendors.
  • Understanding Wireline Telecom Infrastructure, Interception and Related ISS Products
  • Understanding Mobile Wireless Infrastructure, Interception and Related ISS Products
  • Understanding the Internet, Interception and Related ISS Products
Seminar #3: Introduction to Cell Phone & Mobile Device Investigations
(This Seminar Only Open to Law Enforcement and Other Government Attendees)
  • What is Communications Data & What is Communications Intelligence?
  • How is the Data Used in Investigations & Prosecutions?
  • Legal Issues Regarding Communications Data?
  • Introduction to Physical Forensics for Mobile Devices.
  • Interpretation vs. Analysis of Data: Making the Data "Intelligent".
  • Introduction to Surveillance Capabilities, Courtroom Presentations, &, the Future.
Seminar #4: The Dark Side of the Internet - The Hidden TOR and I2P and How they Function

Seminar #5: Smartphone Application Challenges Encountered and Opportunities Presented to Law Enforcement
A user overview of Smartphone applications, what they can do, implications, challenges and opportunities for law enforcement in obtaining results and coordinating our response to the overwhelming new apps appearing daily.

Seminar #6: Facial Recognition Technology for Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Gathering
This seminar is for law enforcement and intelligence analysts who have to understand facial recognition technology applications which can be offered today and which ones are a work in progress.
  • Facial Recognition Readiness: An Overview of What Criminal Investigators and Intelligence Analysts Need to Know
  • Panel of Government Executive Currently or Planning to Deploy Facial Recognition Technology Programs
  • "Best Practices" for Deploying Facial Recognition Technology into Existing Law Enforcement and Intelligence Gathering Operations
Conference Tracks
  • Track 1: ISS for Lawful Interception and Criminal Investigations
  • Track 2: ISS for Big Data Analytics and Social Network Monitoring
  • Track 3: ISS for Mobile Location, Surveillance and Signal Intercept
  • Track 4: Encrypted Traffic Monitoring and IT Intrusion Product Training
  • Track 5: Cyberthreat Information Sharing – Business Opportunities and Cyber Security Initiative Developments
  • Track 6: Facial Recognition Technology for Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Gathering
  • Track 7: ISS Product Training and Demonstration
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Re: Academic Courses: Deep Politics, Espionage, Propaganda..

Postby Joao » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:39 pm

It drives me nuts when conferences aren't recorded and posted to the web...


Brainwashing, Mind Control, and the Inner History of the Cold War
An Interdisciplinary Colloquium of the Consortium for Intellectual and Cultural History

March 5, 2010
Deutsches Haus, Columbia University
Organized by Stefan Andriopoulos and Andreas Killen Deutsches Haus

Located at 420 West 116th Street, between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive.

Schedule of Events

10 am to 12 pm:
Timothy Melley (U of Ohio):
Terrorism, Mind Control and the Cultural Legacy of the Cold War

Andreas Killen (CUNY):
Homo Pavlovius: Conditioning, Cinema, and the Cold War Subject
Respondent and Moderator: Andreas Huyssen (Columbia)

2 pm to 4 pm:
Alison Winter (Chicago):
Manchurian Candidates: Forensic Hypnosis in the Cold War

Stefan Andriopoulos (Columbia):
The Sleeper: Hypnotism, Mind Control, Terrorism
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Re: Academic Courses: Deep Politics, Espionage, Propaganda..

Postby Joao » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:47 pm

Joao » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:12 am wrote:
HIST1389 History of Espionage
Commonly referred to as the world's "second oldest profession," espionage is an intrinsic part of the relationships between communities, institutions, states. This course explores the history of espionage through a series of case studies: from ancient Rome, Greece, China; the Reformation; the Age of Discovery; the French Revolution; the American Civil War; World War I and the Russian Revolution; World War II; the Cold War; and the post-Cold War era.

Well well well...

The Modern Scholar: The Second Oldest Profession, Part 1: A World History of Espionage
Written by: Jeffrey Burds
Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins


Professor Jeffrey Burds of Northeastern University delves into the history of espionage in this eye-opening lecture series. The course opens with espionage activity in the ancient world and the Roman Empire and continues with the American Revolution, Age of Napoleon, and American Civil War. Throughout this compelling discussion it becomes evident that spying is not only a never-ending source of fascination but also a major contributor to world history and the development of nations.
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Re: Academic Courses: Deep Politics, Espionage, Propaganda..

Postby Joao » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:57 am

I'm pushing the topic a bit to include a documentary series, but rules were made to be broken.

Hidden Hands: A Different History of Modernism (1995)
This four-part series argues that leading figures of modernism were driven by motives which were often less than worthy and sometimes bizarre and that they were guilty of intellectual deception.

Hidden Hands: Art and the CIA
In the 1950's the CIA used covert funding to promote the work of American Abstract Expressionist painters such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Franz Kline. This programme reveals the reasons why.

Director: CASH, Tony
Producer: SAUNDERS, Frances Stonor
Production Company: Fulmar Television and Film

Yes, it's the same material that Saunders also covered in the book Cultural Cold War. I contacted the single library in the US has that has this on DVD, but they wouldn't lend it out. I can't find it for sale or online.
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