Course code:



M - Intermediate

Meets the following requirements:

  • HY - History
  • HS - Human Studies

Lab fee:


Typically offered:


This online course will explore a series of “flash points” or case studies from across the entirety of the Cold War period. Some of these case studies will be prominent and well known to students, while others may be more obscure. Topics covered may include, but are not limited to, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Berlin Airlift, Kennedy and the construction of the Berlin Wall, NSC 68, Operation Popeye, the Greek Civil War, Able Archer, the “New Look” Doctrine of the Eisenhower administration, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the development of spaced-based weapons during the 1980s. The actual cases covered will vary depending on the term and student interests. This class will be offered in a non-linear and asynchronous online format. Students will tackle each case study as an individual module. Each module will include an overview from the instructor, readings, and an assignment relevant to that module. Depending on the module, these assignments might involve reflective writing responses, primary document analysis, virtual archival work, or some other form of creative expression. Students will be able to select the modules they are most interested in from a series of options. They can explore them in whatever order they choose and on their own timeline for completion. In addition, there will be regularized real time virtual discussion sessions with the instructor and other members of the class as well as a more asynchronous message board for group posting. There will be multiple such sessions per week, and the timing will vary in order to accommodate student scheduling. Students will be expected to participate in a minimum number of these sessions. Final projects for the class will involve individual students selecting a case study of their own and building their own “module” that might be used by students in a future course. This includes recording (audio or video) a short overview, curating a series of readings, and also developing an assignment.  This final project will likely involve undertaking additional primary and secondary research, including potentially mocking up FOIA requests for documents. Evaluation will be based on completion of the various module assignments, engagement with the discussion sections, and the final project. This course is ideally suited for students who have taken either of our existing Cold War offerings (early or later years). However, those students who have not taken either of these classes, but who have a background or interest in the topics we are covering are also welcome. In the latter case, they should contact the instructor directly to determine if the class is well suited for them.



Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.