WORLD WARS I & II: DIGITAL HISTORY
The First and Second World Wars were human-made catastrophes that engulfed the globe and killed upwards of eighty million people, including tens of millions of civilians. Each war remade the world. Their aftershocks reverberate today and continue to shape global politics.
Welcome! We're excited to have you here in this crazy online quarter.
HOW THIS CLASS MEETS & WHERE TO FIND STUFF
This canvas page is the main hub for the class -- check back here when the quarter begins for all of the information you'll need. All roads flow from this page, the syllabus page.
This class meets in real time, during the time schedule by the registrar, on Zoom. Access the Zoom meeting through Canvas, either at the Zoom tab or through the calendar.
The class includes an async option but that option is intended to be used by students facing crisis -- read additional info about how async works here. Students are strongly encouraged to attend the live sessions and expected to do so unless they have extenuating circumstances.
Taylor Soja, PhC
firstname.lastname@example.org, Office hours on Zoom, Wednesdays 2:30-3:30
Laurie Marhoefer, PhD
email@example.com, Office hour on Zoom, Wednesdays 12-1 pm, no office hour Nov. 11.
Darby Ward, Teaching Assistant
firstname.lastname@example.org, Office hours on Zoom, Thursdays 12-1 pm
Click the link below for more info about how to attend and how to sign up! Note that you must sign up at least 24 hours in advance for office hours -- if no one signs up at least 24 hours prior, the office hour is cancelled. We'll check the sign up 24 hours before the scheduled office hour and if no one is signed up, we won't check it again, so don't put your name down in that case.
THERE'S AN EXTERNAL WEBSITE, TOO
It's here, all will be explained.
INTRO TO THE CLASS
This class explores the history of both wars, focusing on military technology, ethics, racism, empire, gender and sexuality, and social history. We will use digital methods to uncover and share stories from the wars that shaped the modern world. No prior tech experience needed.
This course has two core objectives:
- to investigate the histories of World Wars I and II, introducing students to major narratives and questions along the way, and
- to teach students to use and evaluate digitized historical data and the data science and digital humanities tools that can be used to analyze and represent the World Wars to an audience outside of our class.
Major themes in the history of the world wars include:
- What is/was a “world war,” and how were diverse parts of the world affected (or not) unevenly?
- What roles did gender and sexuality play in politics and warfare?
- How did war alter societies forever?
- What ethical problems did the wars raise and how did people react to them?
- Is there such a thing as a “good” war?
- Was it ethical to use various new technologies in warfare?
- Are civilians properly targets of modern warfare? Is encampment an ethical and/or practical means of political or military control in wartime?
- What were the long-term political consequences of the wars, from the fate of communism to the character of international law to the Cold War to decolonization?
This class is digital!
The final project in the class is a digital project that examines the history of the First or Second World War. No prior knowledge of digital tools or digital humanities is required. Absolute beginners are welcome and encouraged. At the same time, people who already have digital skills are just as welcome and will find much that is new to them. Your project will be in one of two areas (you pick): (a) a data science project (data visualization or analysis) or b) a podcast.
The three digital workshops
Three workshops in digital humanities and data skills form the spine of this course. These workshops begin in lecture, and students complete online modules at home. They're on the external website and we'll explain it all. The aim of these workshops and the final project is to teach students to transfer their skills as historians – critically evaluating different kinds of information and sources – to the realm of digital work and data science.
CLASS INFO, POLICIES, ALL THAT STUFF
Books to buy! You have to buy three books!
We'll read all sorts of cool stuff, but most of it we'll provide to you as PDFs or free e-books. You only have to buy or otherwise acquire (borrow from your local library if possible) three. If you can, get these books before the quarter starts! They're ordered at the UW bookstore FREE SHIPPING:
- Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front, any edition, e-book or otherwise. (You may be able to find a free PDF copy somewhere on the interwebs; it's also available used for 5 bucks on giantsoulsuckingwebretailer.com.)
- Gerhard L. Weinberg, World War II: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2014) e-book or paper your choice. This one retails for about 10$ used and 15$ new you-know-where, or buy it from the UW bookstore.)
- George Takei, They Called Us Enemy (Top Shelf, 2019), runs about $20, a used copy is fine. Ordered at the UW Bookstore.
Library Ebooks -- We'll read these but don't buy them:
These ebooks are available to read for free with UW Libraries. Be sure you are signed in to the Library Website with your UW Netid before you try to access them.
- John H Morrow, The Great War: An Imperial History (London: Routledge, 2004). Free ebook available through UW Libraries. Linked here.
- Ruth Kluger, Still Alive: A Holocaust Girlhood Remembered (2001, Feminist Press). Free ebook through the UW libraries linked here.
Details on your assignments are here.
Course Policies Vis a Vis Increased Stress and Anxiety in the Pandemic, due to Violence, Wildfires, etc.
Details on course policies in times of increased stress and anxiety here.
This class includes content about sexual violence (though only occasionally) as well as extreme violence that is not sexual (that kind of violence comes up a lot) as well as other difficult topics. If that's a daunting challenge, reach out to us. Everyone -- including professional historians -- finds some of the stuff we'll study hard to read about and to talk about. It's best not to read the more difficult material (Japan at War, stuff on the Holocaust, some parts of All Quiet, stuff on the a-bomb, etc.) after dinner -- that is, these readings may be traumatic and your brain will do best if you don't read them at night, close to bed time, but rather read them during the day. We've put some trigger warnings below on particularly horrific readings, but if you're worried, reach out to us because we haven't necessarily flagged everything, this blanket warning is meant to cover the entire class.
Policy on Late Work and Extensions
Student Conduct, Class Rules, and Plagiarism:
All students please read this.
History department policies that apply in this class
All students please read, very important History Dept. guidelines and rules for class.
How to Do Citations In This Class (footnotes, etc.)
Here are the learning objectives, dudes!
If you're taking this class from a location where government officials may be concerned about some course content (sensitive content), read this.
SCHEDULE OF CLASS
Thursday, October 1 - Intro. What is Military History? How is this class digital? Today's slides here.
- Nothing to read
Tuesday October 6 - Camps Pt. 1 in the Empires of 1900 Today's slides here.
- John H Morrow, The Great War: An Imperial History (London: Routledge, 2004), Chapter 1 “The Origins of War, 1871-1914” (pages 1-36) online at UW Library
- Winston Churchill, The River War Vol. II: An Historical Account of the Re-Conquest of the Soudan (London: Longmans, Green, & Co., 1899) pages 155-164, 198-200, 219-227
- Maja Lynn, “Mapping the Herero and Nama Genocide, 1904-1907,” ARCGIS Storymaps (Read all content on this website) https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/94376513466f416f9ea86f4c4e51122b
-- FYI, In addition to our textbook, use this optional resource to follow along on our study of WWI. The 1914-1918 Online Timeline has links at each event on their timeline which take you to detailed secondary source articles written by leading scholars:
- “Timeline of the FWW,” 1914-1918 Online International Encyclopedia of the First World War --
Thursday October 8 - 1914, The Great War Begins / Digital Workshop 1: What is Data? What are the Digital Humanities? (Workshop discussed today in class; you'll complete it for homework, it's due Sunday.)
- Morrow, The Great War: An Imperial History, Chapter 2 “1914: The ‘Big Show” Opens’” (pages 37-72) online at UW Library
- 3 short accounts of the beginning of the war by Charles Walter Barton/Julian Grenfell/Franz Blumenfeld
- Chapters 1 ("Hello, Reader") & Chapter 2 ("Hello, World"), Meredith Broussard, Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2018). Whole book available as a UW Library ebook.
- Roy Rosenzweig, Clio Wired: The Future of the Past in the Digital Age (NY: Columbia University Press, 2011) — Becoming Digital (entire chapter)
Sunday, October 11 - First workshop assignment due, upload to Canvas.
Tuesday October 13 - Soldiers
- David Olusoga, “Chapter 1: ‘Weltkrieg’ A New Concept: The World’s War,” in The World’s War (London: Head of Zeus, 2014), 40 pages
- All Quiet on the Western Front (AQWF) (CH 1-3)
- Two Pamphlets Concerning African American Troops on the Western Front (3 pages)
Readings about colonial troops and laborers in Europe:
Students with last names A-M only, read: A Chief is a Chief by the People: An Autobiography of Stimela Jason Jingoes (London, OUP 1975) (20 pages, this is a primary source)
- [the PDF is linked here, but a text-only version is also available through the Hathi Trust online. Contact Taylor if you have questions about getting this alternative version]
- Students with last names N-Z only, read: Chapter 5 “To Meet Death Far Away: The Senegalese in the Trenches,” Joe Lunn, Memoirs of the Maelstrom: A Senegalese Oral History of the First WW (Portsmouth NH: Heinemann 1999) (27 pages, this is a secondary source that quotes extensively from primary sources)
- Students with last names A-M only, read: A Chief is a Chief by the People: An Autobiography of Stimela Jason Jingoes (London, OUP 1975) (20 pages, this is a primary source)
Thursday October 15 - Civilians & Home Fronts
- AQWF (CH 7-8, we are skipping ahead)
- Part of Chapter 7 “Civilians Behind the Wire,” (p. 203-219) of Tammy Proctor, Civilians in a World at War 1914-1918 (New York: NYU Press, 2010). Whole book available online at UW Library if you are interested.
- Archival accounts by WWI nurses:
Sunday, October 18 - Mini Quiz A due.
Tuesday October 20 - 1915, The Armenian Genocide & New Technology
- Morrow, The Great War: An Imperial History, Chapter 3 “1915: An Insignificant Year?” (pages 73-123) online at UW Library
- AQWF (CH 4-6)
- Two very short documents on the Armenian Genocide (Leslie Davis, U. S. Consul, “Report on Armenian Genocide,” 1915 & Viscount Bryce (British), “Report on Atrocities Against Armenians,” 1915)
- Selections from the 1907 Hague Convention Agreement (5 pages)
- Wilfred Owen, "Dulce et Decorum Est" (1920). If you are interested, watch the analysis video from Dr. Santanu Das at the top of this British Library page on Owen's poem, or read his analysis below the video. We will discuss Owen's poem in class.
Thursday October 22 - 1916, The Turning Point? / Digital Workshop 2: Analyzing and Visualizing Historical Data (Workshop discussed today in class; you'll complete it for homework, it's due Sunday.)
- Morrow, The Great War: An Imperial History, Chapter 4 “1916: Total War” (pages 124-178) online at UW Library
- Chapter 3 ("Hello, AI") and Chapter 7 ("Machine Learning: The DL on ML"), in Broussard, Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World. Whole book available online at UW Library.
Selections from W. E. B. Du Bois, Whitney Battle-Baptiste, and Britt Rusert, W.E.B. Du Bois’s Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America: The Color Line at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (Princeton Architectural Press, 2018).
- "Introduction" and "American Negro at Paris, 1900" - both are here (30 pages total), for background on the images
- Look in detail at these selected data visualizations created by Du Bois and his team for the 1900 Exposition. If you are pressed for time, focus on these images.
- “Go Set A Watchman While we Kill the Mockingbird in Cold Blood, with Cats and Other People” Abstract from Digital Humanities Conference 2016, Kracow (Poland).
- Voigt, Camp, Vinodkumar et al., “Language from Police Body Camera Footage Shows Racial Disparities in Officer Respect,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114(25) (2017) 6521-6526.
Sunday, October 25 - Workshop 2 Assignment due, upload to Canvas.
- You'll find the workshop assignment details here, just click here for Workshop #2 directions!
Tuesday October 27 - 1917, The Russian Revolution, America Joins the War
- Morrow, The Great War: An Imperial History, Chapter 5 “1917: Climax” (pages 179-237) online at UW Library
- AQWF (Ch 9-10)
- Chapter 8 “Civil War and Revolution,” in Tammy Proctor, Civilians in a World At War 1914-1918 (pages 239-266). Whole book available online at UW Library if you are interested.
- Selected pages from Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration (New York: Vintage Books, 2010), pages 8-15, 36-46, bottom of 160-164. Only the assigned pages are in the PDF linked here. A screen-reader compatible version of the book is available at UW Libraries, ebook here.
Thursday October 29 - 1918, The Day(s) the War Ended…
- Morrow, The Great War: An Imperial History, Chapter 6 “1918: Denouement” (pages 238-285) online at UW Library
- Finish AQWF (Ch 11-12) and come ready to discuss the whole book
Listen to Nancy Bristow (author of American Pandemic and leading expert on the 1918-19 flu pandemic) give a lecture on June 2, 2020 for the UW History Department “Pandemic Then (And Now): Covid-19 Through the Lens of the 1918 Influenza Crisis” (1 hour, starts at about 5 mins in).
- Come prepared to talk about the 7 parallels Bristow draws between the 1918 flu pandemic and Covid-19. What is the influence of WWI on each of these 7 parallels?
- Be sure to listen to the Q&A at the end for more on WWI.
Sunday, November 1 - Mini Quiz B due
Tuesday November 3 - Interwar & Democracy and Fascism Face off in Spain!
- John H Morrow, The Great War: An Imperial History, Chapter 6 “The Postwar World: A ‘Peace to End Peace?”” (pages 286-323) online at UW Library
- Letter from “S.” to Magnus Hirschfeld and the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, 1915
Thursday November 5 - - Digital Workshop 3: Public Digital History (Workshop discussed today in class; you'll complete it for homework, it's due Sunday.)
Listen and compare the content, narrative styles, and goals of these podcasts. Take good notes and come ready to talk about them. All three links will take you to podcast transcripts and a link to play the podcasts. You can also find them, especially the RadioLab episode, "on Spotify, Stitcher, in the Apple App Store, or wherever you get your podcasts."
- RadioLab (WNYC Studios) Episode “Fu-Go” (April 25, 2019), featuring our very own Ross Coen , 35 mins https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/articles/fu-go
- Angela King, "These Black Women Got the Mail Delivered in Europe in WWII. A Push is On to Honor the 6888th," KUOW (Sept. 1 2020) https://www.kuow.org/stories/these-black-women-got-the-mail-delivered-in-europe-in-ww2-a-push-is-on-to-honor-the-6888th
- Angela King, "A Conversation with One of the Last Survivors of the 6888th - The Only Black Women's Unit to Serve Overseas in WW2," KUOW (Sept. 2 2020) https://www.kuow.org/stories/a-conversation-with-one-of-the-surviving-women-from-the-6888th-unit
NOW DUE THE 15th!- Workshop 3 assignment due, upload to Canvas.
Tuesday November 10 - The Second World War, Japanese Invasion of China through German Invasion of Poland to Japan’s Surrender, a Quick Overview Slides here
- Weinberg, World War II: A Very Short Introduction (you have to buy this one), page 1 through 10 (stop at the section heading "Germany after WWI and the rise of Hitler," we're skipping that) plus pages 12 - 65.
- Kort, Columbia Guide, Chapter 3, The Pacific War.
** Weinberg is an excellent speedy overview, and for a lot of people who have only studied WWII from the American perspective it'll fill in some fuzzy spots, but as you'll see, he phones it in on the Pacific War, hence Kort's brief overview, which will repeat a bit of Weinberg but leave you with a much better grasp of the blow-by-blow in the Pacific Theater.
Collab Document for today, here.
Thursday November 12 - The German-Soviet War & the Turning Point (?) at Stalingrad Slides here
- Weinberg, 66-125 (finish the book for today)
- Karl Fuchs, “A German Soldier’s Letters from the Eastern Front,” 1941.
- OPTIONAL Glennys Young on civilians at Stalingrad and a heroic Spanish teacher who saved lives.
Sunday, November 15 -Quiz Cancelled, Workshop 3 due instead.
Tuesday November 17 - Japan’s Empire /Discussing the Final Digital Project Final Project Proposal Assignment Directions Here! ... and the slides for today are here: slides linked here!
**Please note that all of these readings are very troubling and contain graphic descriptions of violence, including kids dying horribly, suicide, and the desecration of dead bodies. If you need to skip all or parts of them that's OK.
- Cook and Cook, Japan at War, Part A. Cook and Cook's classic book is a collection of oral histories of people about the Pacific War.
- Cook and Cook, Japan at War, Part B.
- E.B. Sledge, With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa (Oxford, 1981), excerpt. Sledge was a US Marine and this is his memoir. We'll read the beginning of the section on Okinawa; you read an oral history from a person on the other side of this same important battle in Cook and Cook.
- The collaborations document for today is in the Collaborations section.
Thursday November 19 - Night Witches, Rubble Frauen, and Hamsters: Women and the Second World War SLIDES FOR TODAY ARE HERE (WE MOVED NIGHT WITCHES TO DEC. 1 FYI)
- Kluger, Still Alive, Part I, Vienna, pages 13-60, stop at the start of Part II. Note: Kluger is a free ebook through UW libraries.
- Soviet sniper oral histories (primary source)
Sunday, November 22 - Mini Quiz D due
Tuesday November 24 -NO CLASS (Final project proposal due tomorrow, directions for this assignment are here)
Start Takei (which you must buy) need to have it finished by Dec. 1. Also consider getting a jump on Klueger, we're assigned to read 100 pages of it next week. Read over Thanksgiving as necessary.
Wednesday, November 25 - Final project proposal due
Thursday November 26 - Thanksgiving/No Class
- Read Takei this week, have the whole book done by Dec. 1.
Camps II, Part I (includes the Holocaust)
- George Takei, They Called Us Enemy (whole book for today!)
Thursday December 3 - Here are today's slides.
CAMPS II, Day 2 (includes the Holocaust)
** This reading contains disturbing stuff and graphic violence.
Klueger, Still Alive, Part II "The Camps" plus Part III "Germany," pages 73-170. I can't require you to read the rest of the book because that would be too much reading, but you're welcome to, the rest of it is really good.
- OPTIONAL Susan Glenn: Listen to Prof. Susan Glenn talk about the Holocaust as an event in American history, about how the US responded, including after 1945.
Sunday, December 6 - Mini Quiz E due
Tuesday, December 8 -The Tech of WWII: The Computer, The Long-Range Bomber, and the Nuclear Bomb
- Kort, ed. Columbia Guide to Hiroshima and the Bomb, Chapter 4 on the decision to drop the bomb.
- Kort, Chapter 5 on the Japanese regime in the end phase of the war. Optional: Explore more of the Kort ebook, especially the section on key questions and the documents he includes (I'd say especially the documents from within the Japanese government).
- Sheldon Garon, “On the Transnational Destruction of Cities: What Japan and the United States Learned from the Bombing of Britain and Germany in the Second World War,” Past and Present 247 (1) (2020), 235-271.
Thursday, December 10 - 1945, the Zero Hour (?) & the World the Wars Made: War Crimes Trials -- Did the Ethics of War Change? The Cold War. Decolonization. World Wars: Did the Ethics of Foreign Affairs Change?
- No reading. SLIDES FOR TODAY ARE HERE
Final Projects Last Chance Freak Out!
Tuesday, December 15 - FINAL DIGITAL PROJECT DUE