Faculty Profile

Karl Qualls

Professor of History; John B. Parsons Chair in the Liberal Arts and Sciences (2000)

Contact Information


Denny Hall Room 201


His teaching interests include Russian and German history, the Holocaust, 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. His forthcoming book about refugee children of the Spanish Civil War who were raised in the Soviet Union examines the special boarding schools designed for them and the educational methods used to develop the children into Hispano-Soviets.


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


  • Ganoe Award for Inspirational Teaching, 2003-04

2019-2020 Academic Year

Fall 2019

HIST 234 Europe: 1914-1945
Europeans between the two world wars experienced dramatic changes. The economy collapsed, exciting and controversial art movements emerged, developments in psychology and physics changed the way we understood humans and the physical world, and of course extreme forms of politics arose across the continent, particularly fascist and communist countries building on the politics of division, hatred, and violence. This highly dynamic period often gets ignored because it is overshadowed by the two world wars that preceded and followed it. Part of this course will be to examine how the ripples from one war led to developments that anticipated the second. Moreover, we will examine how some of the democratic societies allowed themselves to slip into authoritarian dictatorships.

HIST 253 Autocracy/Uprisings/Daily Life
Cross-listed with RUSS 253-01.

RUSS 253 Autocracy/Uprising/Daily Life
Cross-listed with HIST 253-01.Taught in English.

HIST 550 Independent Research