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Faculty Profile

Karl Qualls

Professor of History; W. Gibbs McKinney Chair in International Education (2000)

Contact Information

quallsk@dickinson.edu

Denny Hall Room 201
717.245.1774
http://blogs.dickinson.edu/karlqualls

Bio

Karl's teaching interests include Russian and German history, the Holocaust, comparative revolutions (political, social, and cultural), dictators, urban history, refugees, childhood, and more. His new book "Stalin’s Niños: Educating Spanish Civil War Refugee Children in the Soviet Union, 1937-51" (Toronto, 2020) examines refugee children of the Spanish Civil War who were raised in the Soviet Union and the special boarding schools designed for them and the educational methods used to develop the children into Hispano-Soviets. His previous 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 and identity formation in a city torn between Ukraine and Russia. These and other publication have been supported by grants from the J. Paul Getty Foundation, Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, Library of Congress, American Council of Learned Societies, National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, and the International Research and Exchange Board, among others.

Education

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

Awards

  • Ganoe Award for Inspirational Teaching, 2003-04

2022-2023 Academic Year

Fall 2022

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 Autocracy/Uprisings/Daily Life
Cross-listed with RUSS 253-01. This course will survey the first 1000 years of the eastern Slav lands that are now Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus and the expanding empire of the former into Central Asia and the Caucasus. Students will gain a better understanding of the region’s political, economic, social, and cultural development and how it can inform our understanding of Russia today. We will examine the early formation of multi-ethnic clans into a large multinational empire while highlighting state formation, the role of women, church power, the arts, and nationality conflict. The course concludes with the impending collapse of the Russian empire under Tsar Nicholas II.

RUSS 253 Autocracy/Uprisings/Daily Life
Cross-listed with HIST 253-01. This course will survey the first 1000 years of the eastern Slav lands that are now Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus and the expanding empire of the former into Central Asia and the Caucasus. Students will gain a better understanding of the region’s political, economic, social, and cultural development and how it can inform our understanding of Russia today. We will examine the early formation of multi-ethnic clans into a large multinational empire while highlighting state formation, the role of women, church power, the arts, and nationality conflict. The course concludes with the impending collapse of the Russian empire under Tsar Nicholas II.

HIST 404 Modern Children's History
We all have one, but why do we not historicize it? Childhood is the only thing that all humans share. As historian Peter Stearns points out, understanding childhood is key to understanding a lot about who we are and where we came from – not only personally, but collectively – as humans living in human societies. In short, the study of childhood(s), and the children who experience them, is an important part of the study of history. Some of those childhoods may be tragically short, but we all have one even if our experiences vary widely by place and across time. Not all people have adolescence or adulthood. Until recently childhood was not a concept, much less a site of scholarly inquiry. This exciting subfield is relatively new and examines topics as diverse as education, children’s leisure (e.g. toys, games, play), child rearing, criminality, children’s literature, children as victims of war and violence, and many more. Following a study of the historiography and methods, students will begin their own original research on an approved topic of modern children’s history for their final paper.