History 1040
The Great War in Comparative Perspectives

Spring Term 215

"The Great War was the 'incomprehensible.'" Duroselle 1994

"What was thinkable, what was imaginable about human brutality" shifted between 1914 and 1918, and that shifting of perspective, made the worst events of the Second World War and the modern age, including 9-11, possible."

"The hat flies off the burgher's pointed head. There's an echo of screams and shouts in the air. Roofers are crashing and breaking in two. Along the coast, the papers say, the flood is rising. The storm is here, wild oceans are hopping ashore to crush big fat embankments. Most people have a runny nose and sniffle, and trains are falling off the bridges." Jakob van Hoddis, 1910

Table of Contents:

Course Information

We will spend the first three weeks studying the origins of the Great War. Then, we will examine the front experience, developments in the arts, and the expanding role of states as a result of the war-related mobilization of the population. Furthermore we attempt to analyze social change in the workers and middle classes and shifts in gender roles. In the end, we try to answer the question why Russia experienced two revolutions, Germany a "failed" one, and why there was none in Britain. In out last two weeks we will deal with the "Construction of Memory and " and how people remember the war.  Then in the last class, we will deal with the "Legacy of the Great War." Military operations and weapons technology will be only of minor importance for this course.

We will break this course up into the following sections:

Time: 4:30-5:45
Days:  Monday and Wednesday
Room: CL 216
Instructor: Tony Novosel, Ph.D.
Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday - 2-4pm at Einstein's in Posvar Hall - If you can't make that make an appt. with me at:  http://www.appointmentquest.com/scheduler/2170039321
Office Phone: 648-7464
Home Phone: 412-425-2352
e-mail address: pugachev@pitt.edu 
Skype: novoawl
Lync:  If you use Lync you can simply add me as a "friend" and we can chat face to face outside class.


Required Books: 

  • Strachan, Hew, ed. The Oxford Illustrated History of the First World War. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

  • 14-18: Understanding the Great War. Stephane Audoin-Rouzeau and Annette Becker

  • Not a book, but a resource we will use throughout the course: The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century (PBS/BBC)



A number of your readings will be online on E-Reserves.  The password is on Courseweb under the Syllabus



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Academic Integrity Guidelines

All students are expected to observe the same code of academic honesty required of all University of Pittsburgh Students.  The conduct below constitutes a violation of this code.

  • Taking of Information
    • Copying graded assignments from another student. 
    • Each written assignment must be the student’s own work.
  • Tendering of Information
    • Giving your work to another student to be copied.
  • Plagiarism
    • To present as one's own work, the ideas, representations, or words of another, or to permit another to present one's own work without customary and proper acknowledgement of sources. (University of Pittsburgh Guidelines on Academic Integrity, p. 5)
  • Honors Pledge
    • You will do your exams for this course according to my “Honor System.”  Your signature, either typed or physically signed, on the exam verifies that you completed the exam independently.  You may not collaborate with anyone.
  • University of Pittsburgh's Guidelines

Disability Resources and Services

If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and Disability Resources and Services, 216 William Pitt Union, 412-648-7890/412-383-7355 (TTY), as early as possible in the term. DRS will verify your disability and determine reasonable accommodations for this course.  You can view a comprehensive description of the services of that office at www.drs.pitt.edu.  

  • Course Requirements:

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  • Class Schedule - Week- by-Week:


    Week-2 Week-9
    Week-3 Week-10
    Week-4 Week-11
    Week-5 Week-12
    Week-6 Week-13
    Week-7 Week-14
    Week 15

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  • Email Policy:

    The University of Pittsburgh e-mail Policy 09-10-01 states:


    Each student is issued a University e-mail address (username@pitt.edu) upon admittance.  This e-mail address may be used by the University for official communication with students.  Students are expected to read e-mail sent to this account on a regular basis.  Failure to read and react to University communications in a timely manner does not absolve the student from knowing and complying with the content of the communications.  The University provides an e-mail forwarding service that allows students to read their e-mail via other service providers (e.g., Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo).  Students that choose to forward their e-mail from their pitt.edu address to another address do so at their own risk.  If e-mail is lost as a result of forwarding, it does  not absolve the student from responding to official communications sent to their University e-mail  address.

     The link to this policy is located at:  http://www.bc.pitt.edu/policies/policy/09/09-10-01.html

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    Texting and Cell Phone Policy


    When you enter this class you are to put away your cell phone and turn it off.  For each time that I see any student using a cell phone to text in the class I will take off 5 points on the next assignment for ALL students in the class.  So, it is your collective responsibility to make sure that there is no texting in the class.   


    Computer and Tablet use in the classroom: 

    I have no problem with the use of Computers or Tablets in the classroom.  HOWEVER, if I see anyone using your computer for anything other than for our classroom work during class, then I will not allow the use of Computers or Tablets the rest of the term.

    Statement on Classroom Recording

    To ensure the free and open discussion of ideas, students may not record classroom lectures, discussion and/or activities without the advance written permission of the instructor, and any such recording properly approved in advance can be used solely for the student’s own private use.

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    Important documents for Class. 
    Resources for Studying History
    Comprehensive research sites we will for this class.
    Print these and keep them for Reference:
    More important Sites for Studying the Great War that we will use in class. Primary and Secondary Sources.
    Primary Resources:


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