Women bidding farewell to the troops, 1914 (b/w photo), Jacques Moreau (b.1887) / Archives Larousse, Paris, France


Welcome to HIST268 – The First World War

Instructor:       Steve Marti
Email:               smarti[at]
Office:              JMH 232
Office Hours:  Tuesdays 10:30-12:30; Thursdays 14:00-16:00; or by appointment.

Recommnded texts:

Winter, J. M. ed. The Cambridge history of the First World War. 3 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

These three volumes are not required but students may find them useful for providing context for the weekly thematic discussions, situating case studies within a longer historical narrative, and for finding secondary sources as they write their final research paper.

The 1914-1918-online – International Encyclopedia of the First World War may also prove to be a useful reference to situate course readings and to provide an entry point for secondary research. The articles cover a very wide breadth, but the searching and browsing features of the encyclopedia can make some articles difficult to find. The articles are contributed by established scholars of the First World War.

Other Resources:

Details about weekly readings and assignments are listed on Canvas

Course Description:

The First World War caused the downfall of four European empires and initiated such a wave of transformation that many historians use this conflict to mark the transition from the nineteenth to the twentieth century. Due to the scale of the conflict, the war shaped the course of world history and touched the lives of millions across the globe. This course will explore the events of the First World War by examining with a wide variety of primary sources and by making use of digital methods to uncover the social and cultural impact of the conflict.

Course Objectives:

This course will develop students’ skills as historians through a study of the First World War. In particular, this course will focus on:

  • Finding primary sources;
  • Exploring and applying methods to analyze primary sources;
  • Assessing, evaluating, and engaging with the secondary literature; and,
  • Writing and working collaboratively.