Summer 2022 - HIST 338 OL01

World War II (4)

Class Number: 2421

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:


  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including six units of lower division history. Recommended: HIST 225.



An introduction to the history of the origins and course of the second world war.


The Second World War touched all continents, devastated entire countries, and left millions dead or displaced. It was the deadliest war in history, but it was the most consequential and far-reaching conflict in history in other ways too—militarily, technologically, politically, culturally, economically and so on. This course will chronicle many of the key events on the eve of, during, and just after this war to help you better make sense of its significance. The emphasis will be on trying to develop a deeper understanding and interrogation of the ‘total war’ conditions in which the war played out. We will pay particular attention to the experiences of ordinary peoples around the world—combatant and non-combatant alike—who found themselves embroiled in this war. This course considers the global ramifications of the war, though Europe and the Asia-Pacific world will be areas of particular focus. Along the way we will make sure to make stops in Africa and the Americas (including Canada).


You will encounter and work through historical sources in a variety of formats using critical thinking and historical analysis skills. You will also have the opportunity to develop your own lines of inquiry about the course topic, allowing you to pursue your own intellectual interests and goals in relation to the course themes.


  • WW2 on the Internet Assignment 10%
  • Participation in Online Discussion Forums (and ‘Discussion Portfolio’) 30%
  • Quizzes: 3 x 10% each 30%
  • Final Independent research project 30%



All required readings and other sources will be made available to you free via either the course homepage on Canvas, via SFU Library, or elsewhere online.

The main text for this course is a three-volume series, Cambridge History of the Second World War (2015), which can be accessed entirely online via the SFU library website. You are not required to purchase it.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.


Teaching at SFU in summer 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction.  Some courses may be offered through alternative methods (remote, online, blended), and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes. 

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote, online, or blended courses study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the summer 2022 term.