Marc Flandreau

Marc Flandreau
  • Howard S. Marks Professor of Economic History

Contact Information

Teaching

Past Courses

  • ECON0620 - Financial Meltdown

    Economic history is increasingly recognized as a crucial source of policy advice and is invoked with growing frequency in public debates. In particular, the subprime crisis in 2008 and after has generated a demand for "historical perspective" that would improve the understanding of the causes of financial turmoil and facilitate the prevention of comparable catastrophes. This course begins with a review of the principal features of the subprime crisis of 2008 and asks, so to speak, "how did we get there?" It answers by providing historical insights that shed light on crucial aspects of financial disasters. This is a history course, engaging with topics pertaining to economics, law and politics (national and international). Students with diverse backgrounds are expected to benefit from this course through acquiring a concrete knowledge of the historical evolution of fundamental institutions of financial capitalism. Ultimately, students enrolling in this course are expected to achieve proficiency in historically informed discussion of the mechanisms that were played out in the subprime crisis and beyond.

  • HIST1310 - Africa Slave Trade

    This course focuses on the history of selected African societies from the sixteenth through the mid-nineteenth centuries. The primary goal is to study the political, economic, social, and cultural history of a number of peoples who participated in the Atlantic slave trade or were touched by it during the era of their involvement. The course is designed to serve as an introduction to the history and culture of African peoples who entered the diaspora during the era of the slave trade. Its audience is students interested in the history of Africa, the African diaspora, and the Atlantic world, as well as those who want to learn about the history of the slave trade. Case studies will include the Yoruba, Akan, and Fon, as well as Senegambian and West-central African peoples.

  • HIST1731 - Financial Meltdown

    Economic history is increasingly recognized as a crucial source of policy advice and is invoked with growing frequency in public debates. In particular, the subprime crisis in 2008 and after has generated a demand for "historical perspective" that would improve the understanding of the causes of financial turmoil and facilitate the prevention of comparable catastrophes. This course begins with a review of the principal features of the subprime crisis of 2008 and asks, so to speak, "how did we get there?" It answers by providing historical insights that shed light on crucial aspects of financial disasters. This is a history course, engaging with topics pertaining to economics, law and politics (national and international). Students with diverse backgrounds are expected to benefit from this course through acquiring a concrete knowledge of the historical evolution of fundamental institutions of financial capitalism. Ultimately, students enrolling in this course are expected to achieve proficiency in historically informed discussion of the mechanisms that were played out in the subprime crisis and beyond.

  • HIST2250 - Hist, Memory, Nostalgia Europe

    Karl Marx compared history to a nightmare weighing on the brains of the living, but it can also be a refuge, a source of inspiration, and a constant companion. In this course, we will consider our own relationship to the past as we navigate the boundaries and intersections of history, memory, and nostalgia. Reading will consist of plays, novels, music, film, television, and painting. From the traumas of the Holocaust and of Stalinism to the conflicted memory of empire, from preservation to imagination, we will consider a wide array of methods through which Europeans have engaged their past over the last two hundred and fifty years. How does the academic study of the past relate to individual and collective memories of it? If "living in the past" seems often seems counterproductive, and yearning for it often seems reactionary, in what ways can nostalgia be a force of progress? We will consider these questions as we study topics such as the birth of heritage movements in the nineteenth century, the formation of national museums, representations of war and violence, legacies of imperialism, and the history of memory after the cataclysms of the twentieth century.

  • HIST2251 - Machiavelli & Mod Pol Thought

    Niccolò Machiavelli, the Renaissance author best known for The Prince, is frequently regarded as a consummate cynic. Yet he has been not only a provocation but an inspiration throughout the subsequent history of political thought. This was true for the entire twentieth century, which witnessed an ever-growing interest in the Florentine thinker among historians and philosophers alike. One of the most surprising dimensions of this modern engagement with Machiavelli is surely his recurring presence as figure and motif within left-wing philosophical discourse. In light of the failure of the twentieth-century’s revolutionary experiments, as well as its own entanglements with those experiments, how could radical theory understand its past and imagine its future? What vision could supplant the dimming of utopia? Such questions have frequently led recent theorists into melancholic resignation, but they have also provoked innovative and rigorous attempts to rethink the project of radical politics as radical democracy. How is it that Machiavelli, a thinker indelibly associated with the cynical and amoral manipulation of politics, could become an inspiration for theorists of a robust democratic life? This course will examine this curious history of influence and transformation. Starting with an examination of key texts by Machiavelli himself, we will then trace his reception in European intellectual history, focusing upon the twentieth century. Among authors we will consider will be Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Hannah Arendt, Leo Strauss, John Pocock, Quentin Skinner, Antonio Gramsci, Louis Althusser, John McCormick, and Antonio Negri.

  • HIST2252 - Euro Intellct Since 1945

    This course concentrates on French intellectual history after 1945, with some excursions into Germany. We will explore changing conceptions of the intellectual, from Sartre's concept of the 'engagement' to Foucault's idea of the 'specific intellectual'; the rise and fall of existentialism; structuralism and poststructuralism; and the debate over 'postmodernity.'

  • HIST2253 - Human Rights and History

    The idea of universal, inalienable rights--once dismissed by the philosopher Jeremy Bentham as "nonsense upon stilts"--has become the dominant moral language of our time, the self-evident truth par excellence of our age. Human rights have become a source of inspiration to oppressed individuals and groups across the world, the rallying cry for a global civil society, and not least, a controversial source of legitimation for American foreign policy. This seminar asks: how did all this come to be? We will investigate human rights not only as theories embodied in texts, but as practices embedded in specific historical contexts. Are human rights the product of a peculiarly European heritage, of the Enlightenment and protestantism? How did Americans reconcile inalienable rights with the reality of slavery? Did human rights serve as a "civilizing" mask for colonialism? Can universal rights be reconciled with genuine cultural diversity? Through case studies and close readings, the seminar will work toward a genealogy of human rights.

  • HIST2254 - World War I

    The First World War marks a watershed in European and world history. We will examine the preconditions for the war--such as European imperialism, the arms race, and the rise of international law. We then move to study the outbreak of the war, and the debate over "war guilt." Our seminar covers the key battles and the course of the war on the various fronts (Western Europe, Italian Front, the Eastern Front, the Middle East), and the war on sea and in the air. We close with an examination of the war's outcome--fascism, communism, revolution, the mandate system and postwar European and colonial order. We will read classics and recent works on what many consider to be the foundational moment for the twentieth century. No prior knowledge is assumed.

  • HIST2255 - Modern Spain 1930-1977

    This course will examine the social, cultural, intellectual, economic, and political history of Spain from the 1890s loss of the colonial empire through the end of the Francoist regime (1970s). The history of 20th-century Spain offers the opportunity to study events, processes and ideologies that were and are central to the history of the West in the modern period: imperialism, the rise of communism and fascism, civil war, dictatorship, post-war reconstruction, and wars over cultural memory to control how societies remember their pasts. This course is divided into four parts. Introduction: the loss of the last colonies (1898) and the effect in Spain, and on Spain’s participation in the scramble for Africa. First Part: the Spanish Republic and Civil War (1931-1939), focuses on the rise of a democratic system and its demise after three years of violent civil war. Second Part: Post-war Reconstruction (1939-1975), focuses on the reconstruction of Spain led by an authoritarian and anti-democratic dictator, General Franco, the winner of the Civil War. Third Part: Memory Wars, focuses on the period after 1975 with the restoration of a democratic system. In this section, we will study the different and often conflicting ways Spaniards remembered the origins and causes of the Civil War, the victims of the Civil War, and the characteristics of Franco’s regime. Course readings will be a mixture of primary and secondary sources, and classes will combine short lectures by the instructor and discussion. Requirements: weekly short papers (reactions to weekly readings), oral presentations, and a final paper of 15 pages. Students can opt to write a research paper (20 pages) using original primary sources, to fulfill the department research requirement.

  • HIST3500 - Women in Mod. South Asia

    This course on women in South Asian history has four objectives - 1. To acquaint ourselves with the historiography on South Asian women. 2. To gain an understanding of evolving institutions and practices shaping women's lives, such as the family, law and religious traditions. 3. To understand the impact of historical processes - the formation and breakdown of empire, colonialism, nationalism and decolonization - upon South Asian women between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries. 4. To become familiar with some of the significant texts written about and by women in this period. We will read a wide variety of primary sources including a Mughal princess' account, devotional verse authored by women, conduct books, tracts, autobiographies and novels.

  • HIST6700 - Transregional History

    Reading and discussion course on selected topics in Transregional History

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