A Global History of World War II: Ideology, Culture, Politics

A Global History of World War II is an University Honors seminar with a study tour to the United Kingdom and France in 15FS!

Class meeting times: T, 6:00 - 8:20pm  BOK: DC, HP

On the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, the class released their course website.

Read an article about this class released by the University of Cincinnati in December 2013.

Read an UC News Record article about student Evan Sale and his engagement in this course.

WATCH: UC Student’s Spectacular Photos Detail  WWII Honors Study Abroad Trip.

Check out a blog on the 13FS class' trip to the UK & France by student Victoria Roser. 

Its Content: This course examines the Second World War in its global contexts.  It emphasizes the comprehensive impact of warfare not only on the battlefield, but also on the intellectual, cultural, and political life of belligerent states, above all Germany, the Soviet Union, Japan, and the United States.  It attends to everyday life during the war, to the experience of women and children, and to the “barbarization of warfare” that led to the enslavement, murder, and genocide of millions of noncombatants.  It addresses, finally, developments that portended the division of Europe and the world after 1945.

Its Importance: World War II was the largest single event in human history.  It mobilized seventy million people for military service and affected countless more through economic disruption, family separation, physical and emotional suffering, and grievous loss.  Destroying some sixty million lives worldwide, it convulsed the symbolic and moral order so profoundly that its impact reverberated well past 1945 in Cold War animosities and “proxy war” conflicts, decolonization in Africa and Asia, international relations, international law, humanitarian intervention, and Postmodern intellectual, cultural, and artistic life, among many other facets of human experience. Indeed, its impact can still be felt today in manifold ways.

Its Relevance to You:  Rarely does a topic of university study speak to all of who we are as integrated and inescapably embodied intellectual, feeling, and ethical human persons.  World War II is such a topic.  Its violence was so terrible, its crimes so pitiless, its valor so breathtaking, that its history confronts us with disturbing and urgent questions about ourselves as selfsame members of the human family.  Students with the courage to approach these questions have radically changed their minds about themselves and others, very often becoming more intently studious, humble, emotionally mature, and sensitive individuals.  If “transformative education” is what you want, if this is what you expected to find when you enrolled in university, then this course is a good choice for you.

Tentative Intinerary

Dec. 11    Depart Cincinnati
Dec. 12    Arrive and explore London
Dec. 13    HMS Belfast & Churchill War Rooms
Dec. 14    Imperial War Museums
Dec. 15    Take a train through the Chunnel to Paris
Dec. 16    Guided tour of the Normandy Beaches
Dec. 17    Explore Paris
Dec. 18    Return to Cincinnati

Course Information

Course details:

     •  Course number is HIST3096

     •  Class times: T, 6:00 - 8:20pm

     •  Course Attributes: H, I

     •  BoK: DC, HP

     •  Credit hours: 3

     •  Honors Seminar

Course Expectations

Students are expected to meet the instructor's academic and behavioral expectations during the class time leading up to the travel component. Students who do not meet academic and/or behavioral expectations will not be permitted to travel. Students in this situation will not receive a refund.


Total expected cost to be paid to UC is $2,400. The actual cost per person for UC is $3700, but this will be offset by a $1,300 grant from University Honors and a grant from UC International (TBD). All participants will receive these grants.

Costs include airfare, accommodations, some meals, some ground transportation, admissions and tickets, and guides.

Costs do not include passport, some ground transportation, tips, some meals and snacks, personal supplies or souvenirs.


To apply, please fill out an application. Applications are due Feb. 23rd. 

UC undergraduates who are not in the University Honors Program are welcome and encouraged to apply, provided the student has a cumulative university GPA of 3.4 or above. Graduate students are not eligible to enroll. Priority is given to University Honors students, but we are often able to offer spaces to other students as well. A waiting list will be maintained.

Travel Documents

In order to travel outside the United States, you will need to have passport that is valid for at least six months after your return; for this course, that means June 19, 2015.  To find the forms you need to apply for or renew your passport, go to the Passport page on the US State Department's website.  New passports regualrly cost $135 while renewals cost $110.


Please visit and re-visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's webpages for the UK and France so that you can be up-to-date on any health concerns occuring in either country.  Talk to your doctor about which vaccines to get, if any.


Please contact seminar professor Dr. Jeff Zalar or Neil Choudhury of the University Honors Program.