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

2018-2019 Academic Year

Fall 2018

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 107 Modern Europe, 1789-2000
We know that we live in a modern society, but 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, fascism, secularization, urbanization, warfare, gender roles, the arts, and more. These topics allow us to understand many present-day problems in Europe—and much of the rest of the world--including ethnic and national tensions, economic and gender inequality, refugee crises, global economic and political competition, minority rights, environmental degradation and many other topics.

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

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

HIST 550 Independent Research

Spring 2019

HIST 254 Revolut/War/Daily Life Mod Rus
Cross-listed with RUSS 254-01.

RUSS 254 Revolut/War/Daily Life Mod Rus
Cross-listed with HIST 254-01.

HIST 500 Independent Study