Ludwig Meidner, The Burning City, 1913




Michael L. Hughes

Department of History

Wake Forest University





Links to History Sites


My areas of specialization are 20th-century German History, Late Modern European History, and European Social and Economic History.

Willi Brandt In Warsaw, 1972




HST 101 WESTERN CIVILIZATION TO 1700 (in a Mediterranean context): This course will introduce you to the perennial problems of human existence in complex societies by focusing on a historically important but diverse area of the world, the Mediterranean basin and its outliers, over an extended period of time. Some of the problems that will concern us are: the nature of divinity and people's relationship to the divine; the nature of evil; the nature and sources of human knowledge; forms of social intercourse; the organization and legitimation of political power. Two particular emphases will be environmental history (why did the Mediterranean remain a center of world power for 4500 years-and then become a backwater?) and cultural interaction (why and how did human groups develop different cultures within similar, neighboring environments and how did their interaction with one another affect their development?). Americans are, perforce, cultural heirs to this part of the world, and a study of its development should give you some understanding of how the culture you live in-and some of your own modes of thought-came to be.

HST 102. Europe and the World in the Modern Era. Europe was backward and poor, compared to China, India, and the Middle East, as late as the 16th century. Yet it dominated the world in the late 19th century. Brutal wars, 1914-1918 and 1939-1945, dramatically eroded its influence, as did economic development elsewhere in the world. Yet it still remains rich and powerful. Moreover, the Untied States derived its major institutions and values from its European origins. This course will examine the ways in which Europe developed and exported, and other parts of the world adopted and adapted, the key ideologies and institutions that characterize the world in which we live. We will talk about intellectual movements, economic development and competition, and political institutions and cultures; about bureaucracies, markets, corporations, trade unions, political parties, and social movements. We'll start in the 17th century and end with the collapse of communism and beginnings of a post-Cold War world.

HST 318 Weimar Germany. This course is an exploration of the arts in Central Europe, 1905-1933, in historical context. We will read novels, stories, and poems; view some of the best of the early films; listen to challenging and stimulating music; and look at vibrant and provocative paintings, etchings, woodprints, and sculptures. All along we will be seeking to understand how these works of art, which speak to us still, are nonetheless rooted in a particular time and place, in the economic, social, and political institutions and developments of their day. The course is team taught with Prof. Rebecca Thomas of the German Dept.

HST 320 GERMANY, UNIFICATION TO UNIFICATION: For much of the 20th century, Germany was at the center of world history. At first, it was a great power seeking to dominate Europe (ca. 1890 to 1945); then it became the center of the conflict between the United States and its liberal democratic allies on the one hand and the Soviet Union and its communist satellites on the other (1945 to 1990). Since 1990 it has been at the center of European efforts to define an identity that would allow Europe to reassert an autonomous and powerful position in the world. This course will examine the complex, fraught, and all-too-often horribly fascinating history of Germany, as it came together into a unified nation, set out to seize hegemony in Europe, collapsed in catastrophic defeat and division, and eventually managed to unify once again under very new conditions in 1990. We will also be looking at how another industrial and post-industrial society grappled with the economic, political, and social problems that have challenged the nations of the world over the last 150 years.

HST 369. Modern Military History. After the Vietnam War, where the US won all the battles and lost the war, the Department of Defense and others began asking how that could happen. This course is designed to help Americans put military experience in a broader political, economic, cultural, and social context. We will talk about military technology, tactics, and strategy and about battles and wars, but we will always seek to situate them within the larger historical context. We can't understand how the narrowly military elements developed and how and why they were successfully-or unsuccessfully-deployed unless we recognize the complex range of factors that influence both military choices and ultimate outcomes.




American Historical Association

German Studies Association

Deutsches Historisches Museum

German History Links

German History Sources

Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

History of Germany: Primary Documents

Best History Web Sites

Internet History Source Books


Below are several links to sites about HTML and web site creation:

  • Maintaining Personal Web Pages on the WFU web server
  • Using Macromedia Dreamweaver
  • Using Cascading Stylesheets (CSS)
  • Yahoo! HTML Authoring Links
  • NCSA's "Beginner's Guide to HTML"
  • Project Cool Sightings