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First World War in a Global Context

Course Description: 

In this course, scholars will provide rich content knowledge on the First World War in a global context.  Recent scholarship, spurred by the centenary of the war, has significantly enriched resources available to educators to teach about this seminal conflict that shaped the 20th century from a broader perspective than the classic focus on the Western Front.  Combining military, political, social and cultural approaches, we will explore how to use primary sources, literature, scholarly texts and film to help students understand the causes, conduct and consequences of World War I. Teachers will have the opportunity to experience being students again, deepen and broaden their content knowledge and build their curriculum.

Keywords: WWI centennial, world war I, history, stanford scholars, lesson planning

Audience: Designed for 6-12 and community college history teachers and professors

Dates & Times: Jul 31 - Aug 4, 2017

  • Mon | 10:00a - 4:00p
  • Tue - Thu | 9:00a - 4:00p
  • Fri | 9:00a - 1:30p
Format of Course: In-person at Stanford University with follow-up virtual learning communities throughout the school year


  • $450 (Individual)
  • $400 (Group - 3 or more teachers from the same school or district)

This course is offered at a reduced fee thanks to support from the US Department of Education's Title VI and the Stanford Global Studies division.  

Units: 2 Status: Open; Registration closes July 17, 11:59p PT

*Please note: The cost for this course includes morning coffee/tea service, lunch, and a reception. This cost does not include lodging or transportation. Please see the Festival Location, Lodging, & Transportation page.  

Connecting teachers from around the globe to share and grow in teaching excellence. This course is part of the Stanford Teaching Festival (STF). The STF aims to bring together teachers from varied classrooms and contexts worldwide. Teachers participate in a common, in-person, high-quality professional learning experience over the summer, and are provided with the resources, tools, and support to engage and grow with one another in meaningful learning communities throughout the school year.

Course Facilitators: 

Nicole Lusiani Elliott serves as a Professional Development Associate and Instructional Coach for CSET, primarily in areas of history education and instructional equity. In addition to serving as the lead on multiple site-based projects, Nicole also works on the Hollyhock Fellowship, AP Success Project, and in partnership with Stanford Global Studies. Prior to working for CSET, Nicole worked as an instructional coach and professional development associate for the Center for Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning and spent 19 years teaching at an East Bay public high school. She holds a BA in Political Science from Saint Mary’s College of California and an MA in Educational Leadership from California State University, Northridge.


War as Captivity:  The Experience of the First World War on the Eastern Front

Jovana Knežević is an historian whose research and teaching interests focus on belligerent occupation and the social and cultural history of the First World War; urban history; and the Habsburg Empire, the Balkans and Yugoslavia. She is author of several book chapters and articles on gender and war and the Habsburg-occupied Serbian capital of Belgrade during World War I, most recently a chapter on “Gender and Occupation” in the collected volume, Gender and the Great War (Oxford University Press, 2017).  A graduate of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and recipient of a diplome from Sciences Po-Paris, she received her PhD from Yale University.  She has been at Stanford since 2006, first as Acting Assistant Professor in the Department of History and now as Associate Director of the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies.

How Did Africans Experience the Great War?

Wendy Urban-Mead is an Associate Professor of History in the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program at Bard College. She also teaches at the undergraduate college and with the Bard Prison Initiative. She earned the Ph.D. in History at Columbia University. Her research up to now has been on the impact of Christian missions on African families and gender dynamics, and has appeared as chapters in a variety of edited volumes as well in The Gender of Piety: Family, Faith, and Colonial Rule in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe (Ohio University Press, 2015.) Since 2007, she has been Co-Editor of the journal Social Sciences & Missions (Brill.) A former high school teacher, Dr. Urban-Mead now has a far-flung network of former Bard MAT history students who teach in both public and private schools from California to Virginia.

The Russian Revolution
(visit to Hoover Institution Library and Archives)

Bertrand M. Patenaude is a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a Lecturer in history and international relations at Stanford. His first book, The Big Show in Bololand: The American Relief Expedition to Soviet Russia in the Famine of 1921 (Stanford University Press, 2002), won the 2003 Marshall Shulman Book Prize and was made into a documentary film for the award-winning PBS history series American Experience. His most recent book, Trotsky: Downfall of a Revolutionary (Harper, 2009), was serialized for radio by the BBC. He is also the author of A Wealth of Ideas: Revelations from the Hoover Institution Archives (Stanford University Press, 2006), a richly illustrated coffee-table book that showcases the extraordinary collections of the Hoover Institution Library & Archives. Patenaude lectures frequently for Stanford Travel/Study. He was educated at Boston College and the University of Vienna and received his PhD in history from Stanford in 1987.

The Great War as World War: Japan and the Dawn of an Asia/Pacific World

Frederick R. Dickinson is Professor of Japanese History, Co-Director of the Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies, and Deputy Director of the Penn Forum on Japan (PFJ) at the University of Pennsylvania. Born in Tokyo and raised in Kanazawa and Kyoto, Japan, he teaches courses on modern Japan, on empire, politics and nationalism in East Asia and the Pacific, and on World History. He received an MA (1987) and PhD (1993) in History from Yale University and holds an MA in International Politics from Kyoto University (Kyoto, Japan, 1986). He is the author of War and National Reinvention: Japan in the Great War, 1914-1919 (Harvard University Asia Center, 1999), Taisho tenno (Taisho Emperor, Minerva Press, 2009) and World War I and the Triumph of a New Japan, 1919-1930 (Cambridge University Press, 2013). Currently, he is working on a global history of modern Japan.

The Legacy of World War I in the Middle East and South Asia​

Robert D. Crews is an historian whose research and teaching interests focus on Afghanistan, Central and South Asia, Russia, Islam, and Global History.  A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he received an MA from Columbia University and a PhD degree in History from Princeton University.  His work has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and The New York Times.  His course offerings include “The Global Drug Wars,” “The Islamic Republics:  Politics and Society in Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan,” and “Modern Islamic Movements.”  His most recent book is Afghan Modern: The History of a Global Nation (Harvard University Press, 2015).

This series is sponsored by several centers that are part of the Stanford Global Studies Division, and is partially underwritten with funds from the U.S. Department of Education Title VI program.