About the Course

Professor Leng will examine a volatile era in world history: from the end of WWI through a turbulent interwar period, to even more cataclysmic war, to start over again in what became known as “year zero” in 1945.

Themes will include: 

  • Diplomacy: Between friends and between enemies, between traditional statesmen and ideological leaders.
  • War: Causes of WWII, and what it was like on the battlefield and on the home front. 
  • Social Change: The positive and negative effects of the war on society—particularly women and members of minorities in the United States—and the movements for social and economic equality that came later.

In keeping with Middlebury’s liberal arts tradition, the course will combine tools and media from several disciplines in the social science and humanities. Along with some basic theory and concepts from social science, the course will incorporate videos, images, music, and even poetry to provide a fuller expression of the physical and social environment, as well as key events and personalities.

Time required to complete the course

This course officially started February 2015 and unfolded over 6 weeks. All sessions are currently available.  Each session is made up of 5-7 episodes.  If you watched a session, start to finish without stopping, it would take  about an hour.  There is a great deal of supplemental information, however, so the time it takes depends a great deal on how much you choose to explore the supplemental material.

Currently participants are able to see online discussions and watch recordings of weekly Q&A session with Professor Leng.

All of the sessions will be available for several months so there is plenty of time to enjoy them.  

Please look for additional information, including topics for each session, on the Format page.

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