Faculty Profile

Karl Qualls

Professor of History (2000)

Contact Information


Denny Hall Room 201


His teaching interests include Russian and German history, comparative revolutions (political, social, and cultural), dictators, urban history, and more. His book "From Ruins to Reconstruction: Urban Identity in Soviet Sevastopol after World War II" (Cornell, 2009) challenges notions of totalitarianism, investigates the creation of historical myths, and outlines the role of monuments and urban space in identity formation in a city torn between Ukraine and Russia. He is currently working on a new book about children who fled the Spanish Civil War and were raised in the Soviet Union.


  • B.A., University of Missouri at Columbia, 1993
  • Ph.D., Georgetown University, 1998

2014-2015 Academic Year

Fall 2014

HIST 253 Russian History to 1894
An examination of the early formation of multi-ethnic clans into a large multinational empire. The course explores state formation, the role of women, church power, the arts, nationality conflict and figures such as Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, and Catherine the Great.

HIST 375 Europe's Dictators
Contrary to the hope of contemporaries, World War I was not "the war to end all wars." Instead, at its end Europe emerged into a world of unprecedented turmoil and confusion, a time that was nonetheless permeated with hope, idealism, and possibility. This course explores European politics, society, gender, and culture between 1918 and 1945, focusing on the extreme developments in Germany, Russia, Spain, and Italy during this time. We will examine the emergence, development, form, and consequences of the rule of Hitler, Stalin, Franco and Mussolini and explore the relationship of these dictators to the states that sustained them. Offered occasionally.

HIST 550 Independent Research

HIST 550 Independent Research

Spring 2015

HIST 107 Modern Europe since 1789
What does it mean to be "modern?" The course will examine the changing relationship between state and society, the growth of nationalism, the industrial revolution, liberalism, imperialism, socialism, secularization, urbanization, warfare, gender roles, the arts, and much more.

HIST 254 Russian History since 1894
This course explores Russia's attempts to forge modernity since the late 19th century. Students will explore the rise of socialism and communism, centralization of nearly all aspects of life (arts, politics, economics, and even sexual relations), and opposition to the terror regime's attempts to remake life and the post-Soviet state's attempts to overcome Russia's past.

HIST 550 Independent Research

HIST 550 Independent Research

HIST 550 Independent Research