SOCIOL 133: War, Revolution, and Organized Crime: In Theory, in Film, and in Reality

SOCIOL 133: War, Revolution, and Organized Crime: In Theory, in Film, and in Reality

SOC 133

War, Revolution and Organized Crime:

In Theory, in Film and in Reality

Harvard College/GSAS: 159926
Spring 2018

Meeting Time: Monday, Wednesday 14:00 - 15:00.

Meeting Location: B1 William James Hall

Professor: Danilo Mandic

Mandic Office Hours: Mondays, 15:00-17:00 in WJH 604. 

      *Including University Holidays, feel free to drop by.

Syllabus: [right here]

Sections: Thursdays, 12-1pm, 2-3pm; Fridays, 12-1pm, 1-2pm

TF Thursdays: Keye Tersmette


Office Hours: Mondays 3-5pm, Tozzer Anthropology Building, Room 215: use


TF Fridays: Ignat Kalinov:


Office Hours: Fridays, 2-4pm, CGIS Café


Departmental Writing Fellow: Charlotte Lloyd (

DWF resources:

Course Description: This course explores war, revolution and organized crime as interrelated social phenomena. Students will read sociologists, historians, political scientists and philosophers addressing the nature, causes and consequences of these phenomena in different national and historical contexts. The course will combine influential theoretical frameworks (by Karl Marx, Max Weber, Sigmund Freud, Hannah Arendt), middle-range social scientific approaches (by Charles Tilly, Michael Mann, Theda Skocpol), and empirical and historical analyses (by Eric Hobsbawm, Benedict Anderson, James C. Scott, Eugen Weber). The three phenomena will further be scrutinized through their (mis)representation in movies by Mike Nichols, Milos Forman, Bernardo Bertolucci and others.

The course is divided into three parts according to the major themes: (1) war; (2) organized crime; and (3) revolution. Each week’s readings will be accompanied by two films intended to visualize the topics at hand (students will be required to watch one, of their choosing). Throughout the semester, students will develop an increased awareness of the overlap among the three themes, as well as their cinematic renderings. Through discussions, weekly email responses and an independent research paper, students will become aware of the veracity and limitations of portrayals of wars, revolutions and gangsters in film.

Lecture Powerpoints will be uploaded under "Files" with the readings.

Week 1. Introduction to the Course

Week 2. Major Themes


Week 3. Propaganda, Militarism and the Thrill of War          | visual motif from Cabaret |

Week 4. Violence as an Organizational Challenge                | visual motif from Full Metal Jacket |

Week 5. Crime and Rationality                                           | visual motif from Catch-22 |


Week 6. Mafias, Old and New                                            | visual motif from Once Upon a Time in America |

Week 7. Favelas, Ghettos and Peripheries                          | visual motif from City of God |

Week 8. Gangsters, Bandits and Other Patriots                   | visual motif from Third Man |


Week 9. "Impossible" until they Happen; Then, "Inevtiable"         | visual motif from Reds |

Week 10. Tamed Revolutionaries: Dreams of 1968                     | visual motif from Strawberry Statement|

Week 11. Colonialism and its Discontents                                   | visual motif from Man Who Would Be King|  

Week 12. Student Presentations #1

Week 13: Student Presentations #2


Course Summary:

Date Details Due