The Cold War

HIST 211/3.0


The course explores the origins and changing nature of the conflict between postwar superpowers, as well as its outcome and lasting impact on global affairs. The Cold War is viewed not only from the Western perspective, but also from the Soviet perspective and from a variety of global perspectives. The course will focus on major geopolitical, ideological, economic, military, and cultural factors that shaped the Cold War as well as on specific individuals, their mindsets, interactions, and critical choices. Students will have an opportunity to formulate and discuss major historical questions, but also experience Cold War history through a variety of primary sources and multi-media tools.

Learning Outcomes

After completing HIST 211, students should be able to:

  1. Identify and describe issues and problems of Cold War history in their historical context.
  2. Articulate, summarize, and discuss historical problems.
  3. Develop a more nuanced and analytical way of thinking about the history of modern conflict in relation to the Cold War.
  4. Develop and polish research and writing skills in a research paper format.
  5. Develop in-depth analysis of primary historical sources.
  6. Demonstrate a broader knowledge of relevant Cold War scholarship.


Fall 2023
Course Dates
Exam Dates (if applicable)
Delivery Mode


0%    Mandatory Ungraded Online Tutorial Discussion 

20%  Online Tutorial Discussions

30%  Content Quizzes(2)

10%  Group Project

20%  Essay 

20% Proctored Final Exam*

**Evaluation Subject to Change**

Live Sessions

This course has required and optional live sessions (e.g. webinars, synchronous activities). Please consult the Timeline in the first week of class.

Proctored Exams

  • Students who have on-campus courses (or course sections) will write their final exams in-person and on-campus. These final exams will be administered through the central Exams Office
  • Students who have courses (or course sections) that are remote or online, but who have other on-campus courses (or course sections) in their timetable, will write all of their final exams in-person and on-campus. These final exams will be administered through the central Exams Office
  • Students who have only remote or online courses (or course sections) in their timetable, and who require remote proctoring, will have their exams proctored using Examity.


Once the exam schedule has been finalized the exam date will be posted on your SOLUS account. The exam dates for each Term are listed on the Faculty of Arts and Science webpage under "Important Dates." Student exam schedules for the Fall Term are posted via SOLUS immediately prior to the Thanksgiving holiday; for the Winter Term they are posted on the Friday before Reading Week, and for the Summer Term they are individually noted on the Arts and Science Online syllabi. Students should delay finalizing any travel plans until after the examination schedule has been posted. Exams will not be moved or deferred to accommodate employment, travel/holiday plans or flight reservations.

Instructor Information

Dr. Leonid Trofimov (

Textbook and Materials

ASO reserves the right to make changes to the required material list as received by the instructor before the course starts. Please refer to the Campus Bookstore website at to obtain the most up-to-date list of required materials for this course before purchasing them.

Required Texts

  • John Lewis Gaddis. The Cold War: A New History (New York: The Penguin Press, 2005).
  • Thomas Paterson and Dennis Merrill, eds. Major Problems in American Foreign Relations, vol. II., 7th edition (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2010).

Additional historical documents will be assigned online.

Time Commitment

Students can expect to spend approximately 10 hours a week (120 hours per term) on study/practice and online activity for this course.