Topics in Modern European History, 1789-1989

History 101.007

Spring 2014
Instructor (text): 
Margaret O'Donnell
Day & Time: 
MW 4-6P

Europe has remade itself repeatedly in modern times. The 19th and 20th centuries saw the high and low extremes of European civilization and global power. As its title implies, this 101 is intentionally broad, and is open to those who wish to write about some aspect of European history during this period. The instructor encourages a variety of topics; those focusing on political, scientific, religious, social, and cultural aspects of modern European history, among others, are all welcome. In this course, students will identify topics that will result in a 30 to 45 page research paper based on primary sources. This not-insignificant task will be undertaken in consultation with the instructor, in collaboration with fellow students, and with the occasional baked good provided by the instructor, all of which are intended to make the experience as enjoyable and rewarding as possible. Students should arrive in January prepared to discuss some topic ideas, because we’ll be hitting the ground running. The instructor would be happy to hear any questions about the course, topic ideas, and source questions at

Peggy O’Donnell is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History. Her work focuses on human rights and international criminal justice in 20th century Europe, specifically on the development scientific and medical techniques used to prove human rights violations. Her background and previous interests have run the gamut from Jewish history, religion in the ancient world, the Holocaust, and Nazi history. As one might gather from her intellectual background, Peggy is open to a variety of topics and approaches.