HIST3096: A Global History of WWII

Ideology, Culture, Politics

Instructor: Jeff Zalar

Offered: Mondays & Wednesdays, 2:30 - 3:50PM

Requires a study tour to the United Kingdom and France, December 13 - 21, 2024


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.

Not only did I learn about all aspects of this terrible war, I learned how to communicate my thoughts and feelings more effectively.

Student Evaluation

Program Fee

The program fee will be determined BEFORE students are asked to commit to the study tour course. UHP and UC International offer grant funding for all participants, which typically covers $800-$1200 of the sticker price. The total study tour fee, before grants, will be $4900. This is subject to change.

Traveling with a group through a university is the most affordable way to go abroad! The program fee covers all flights and on-ground transportation, as well as all lodging and some group meals. Students are responsible for individual meals and any souvenirs they may wish to bring home. You may discuss an ideal budget with the instructor, as they will have information specific to your travel locations and activities.


Day 1 - Friday, December 13: depart Cincinnati, travel

Day 2 - Saturday, December 14: arrive in London, check into hotel. 

Day 3 -  Sunday, December 15: tour HMS Belfast and Churchill War Rooms

Day 4 - Monday, December 16: tour Imperial War Museum

Day 5 - Tuesday, December 17: tour Bletchley Park

Day 6 - Wednesday, December 18: depart for Paris, check into hotel. 

Day 7 - Thursday, December 19: day trip to Normandy coast to visit D-Day sites. 

Day 8 - Friday, December 20: free day in Paris!

Day 9: Saturday, December 21: depart Paris for Cincinnati.

London Parliament
Buckingham Palace