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The World Wars: Experience, Memory, Legacy

No events transformed the twentieth century as did the two World Wars. During World War I, from 1914 to 1918, some 15 million people died. National boundaries changed; new governments formed. Illusions of peace and human progress were shattered. From the ashes of World War I emerged a communist takeover in Russia, and the vindictiveness of the Treaty of Versailles, which brought an end to the conflict, sowed the seeds for the rise of fascism and the Second World War. Twenty-one years after Germany surrendered, World War II erupted. Pitting nations from five continents against one another, an estimated 60 million people lost their lives. Combat wreaked devastation throughout Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa, with a level of depravity and brutality that superseded anything ever witnessed. World War II also produced a weapon thousands of times more destructive than anything people had known previously.

Both World Wars also marked critical developments in medicine, science, technology, literature, the social sciences, the arts, and society. Many of those advances and shifts affect our lives today. The cluster on the two World Wars offers you an opportunity to study these defining events of twentieth-century global history.


Course Title Gen Ed
PWAD 350 National and International Security (core course)  
ASIA/HIST/PWAD 281 The Pacific War, 1937−1945: Its Causes and Legacy BN, HS, GL
ENGL/PWAD 659 War in 20th-Century Literature GL, LA
HIST/JWST/PWAD 262 History and the Holocaust: The Destruction of European Jews HS, NA
HIST/PWAD 373 The United States in World War II GL, HS, NA
JWST/SLAV/PWAD 465 Literature of Atrocity: The Gulag and the Holocaust in Russia and Eastern Europe BN, GL, LA
POLI/PWAD/SOCI 260 Crisis and Change in Russia and Eastern Europe BN, SS

Course Availability

Please consult ConnectCarolina for the most current information

  • Fall 2012 (as of 2/16/2012): PWAD 350; PWAD/HIST/ASIA 281; PWAD/ENGL 659; PWAD 465
  • Spring 2012: PWAD 350; HIST/JWST/PWAD 262; HIST/PWAD 373; POLI/PWAD/SOCI 260
  • Fall 2011: ASIA/HIST/PWAD 281; ENGL/PWAD 659; HIST/JWST/PWAD 262; PWAD 350
  • Spring 2011: HIST/JWST/PWAD 262; POLI/PWAD/SOCI 260; PWAD 350
  • Fall 2010: HIST/JWST/PWAD 262; PWAD 350