War and Society in the Twentieth Century


This class investigates the connection between wars and the societies that fight them. The 20th Century has been marred by almost uninterrupted warfare, and we will examine how these wars impacted society across a wide range of human experience. We’ll explore such questions as: Why and how have certain societies waged war? What ideas have motivated and sustained people as they fight? What social, political and cultural consequences has war had in these societies? What means do societies use to justify, legitimate, and canonize war?  What ethical problems have these wars raised? And how do we write about war? A major goal of the course is to develop critical perspectives on the ways that a “war culture” is constructed.

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904


(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
Department Contacts