Instructor: Professor Jennifer Evans

 What is the history of Germany? Is it the story of a country destined for dictatorship, authoritarian government, and criminality the scale of which the world had never seen? Was the writing on the wall, so to speak, in the 19th century, during the Enlightenment, or even earlier still? Is the history of Germany solely a history of military elites and washed up painters? To trace its many histories, we will explore the multiple and overlapping histories of the people and events that influenced and shaped the making of modern Germany. We will do this by examining a wide range of themes through a mix of primary documents, literary, and historical texts. Instead of providing a simple chronological overview of historical events, this course employs multiple thematic focal points in order to analyze the impact of political events on historical change and everyday experience. Although the Nazis have dominated our understanding of Germans and their history especially in the 20th Century, this course will demonstrate that the path to destruction was more complicated that it initially appears.


The course consists of two one-hour lectures and a one hour discussion group per week. Evaluation includes of a mix of pop quizzes, discussion group participation, blogging, two short writing assignments, and a take-home exam.


Course books will be available for purchase at Octopus Books, 16 Third Avenue in the Glebe (613) 233-2589. Copies are also available on reserve at the library for 2 hr blocks.

Required Texts:

  • Hans Fallada, Little Man What Now? (2009)
  • Mary Fulbrook, A History of Germany. The Divided Nation (the 2014 edition)

And student choice of one of the following:

  • Gad Beck, An Underground Life (2000)
  • Hans Massaquoi, Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany (2001)
  • Jana Hensel, After the Wall: Confessions from an East German Childhood (2008)
  • Anonymous, A Woman in Berlin (2006)

Please feel free to contact me for more details: