Faculty Profile

Karl Qualls

Professor of History (2000)

Contact Information

on sabbatical Spring 2017


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

2015-2016 Academic Year

Fall 2015

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

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 550 Independent Research

Spring 2016

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.