John Connelly


Sidney Hellman Ehrman Professorship of European History 


PhD, 1994, Harvard University, History
MA, 1988, Harvard University, History
BSFS, 1982, Georgetown University, International Relations, magna cum laude

Research Interests

  • Modern East and Central European Political and Social History
  • Comparative Education
  • History of Nationalism and Racism
  • History of Catholicism

Academic Honors & Awards

Humanities Research Fellowship, University of California, Spring 2007
Membership, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, 2002-03
George L. Beer Prize of the American Historical Association, 2001 (for Captive University)
Spencer Fellow, 1996-98
German Marshall Fund Fellow, 1996-97
82nd Airborne Division Association Scholarship, Georgetown University, 1978-82

Professional Service

Co-director, UC Berkeley History Social Science Project (an outreach program for high schools), 2002-06
North American Editor, Contemporary European History, 2002-2010
Editorial Board, Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropaforschung, Marburg, 2001-present
Editorial Board, Slavic Review, 2007-present


From Enemy to Brother: The Revolution in Catholic Teaching on the Jews (Harvard University Press, 2012)

Universities Under Dictatorship (State College: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2005), co-edited with Michael Grüttner

German Translation: Universitäten in den Diktaturen des 20. Jahrhunderts: Zwischen Autonomie und Anpassung [Universities in the Dictatorships of the Twentieth Century: Between Autonomy and Accomodation] (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2003).

Captive University: The Sovietization of East German, Czech, and Polish Higher Education, 1945-1956 (University of North Carolina Press, 2000).

Czech translation: Zotročená univerzita: Sovětizace vysokého školství ve východním Německu, v českých zemích a v Polsku v letech 1945-1956(Prague: Carolinum, 2008)

Ukrainian translation: Ponevolenni universitet: Sovetizatsia vishoi osviti u Schidnii Nimechchini, Chechii ta Pol'shi, 1945-1956 (Kharkov: Ribalka D.L., 2011)

Referreed Publications (Selections)

"The Paradox of East German Communism: From Non-Stalinism to Neo-Stalinism," in Vladimir Tismaneunu, ed., Stalinism Revisited. The Establishment of Communist Regimes in East-Central Europe (Budapest, New York: Central European University Press, 2009), 161-94

"Catholic Racism and Its Opponents," Journal of Modern History 79:4 (December 2007), 813-847

"Why the Poles Collaborated So Little—And Why That Is No Reason for Nationalist Hubris," Slavic Review 64:4 (2005)

"Mity i kontrmity, przyczynek do dyskusji o polskiej tożsamości historycznej" (Myths and Countermyths: a Contribution to Discussions on Polish Historical Identity), Pamięć i Sprawiedliwość, nr. 8 (December 2005)

"Reflections of Social Change: Polish Rural Sociology, 1930-1965," Trondheim Studies on East European Cultures and Societies 14 (2004)

"The Sovietization of Higher Education in the Czech Lands, East Germany, and Poland During the Stalinist period (1948-54)," in György Péteri and Michael David-Fox, eds., Academia in Upheaval (Greenwood, 2000).

"Nazis and Slavs: From Racial Theory to Racist Practice," Central European History, 32:1 (1999), 1-33.

"The Foundations of Diversity: Communist Higher Education Policies in Eastern Europe, 1945-1955," in Kristie Macrakis and Dieter Hoffmann, eds., Science under Socialism: East Germany in Comparative Perspective (Cambridge, MA, 1999), 125-139. [Reprinted in German in Hoffmann and Macrakis, eds., Naturwissenschaft und Technik in der DDR (Berlin, 1997)]

"Stalinismus und Hochschulpolitik in Ostmitteleuropa nach 1945," ["Stalinism and Higher Education Policies in East Central Europe after 1945"] Geschichte und Gesellschaft 24:1(1998), 5-23.

Other Publications (Selections)

"Nazi Racism and the Church: How Converts Showed the Way to Resist," Commonweal, 24 February 2012, 12-16

"Gypsies, Homosexuals and Slavs" in John Roth and Peter Hayes, eds., The Holocaust Handbook (Oxford, 2010), 274-292.

"Karl Thiemes theologischer Umkehr," Freiburger Rundbrief 17:4 (2010), 256-271.

"Hat denn Gott sein Volk verstossen? Das Zweite Vatikanum und der Streit um die christliche Missionierung der Juden," Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 10 April 2010

"The Price of Freedom: What Came Down with the Berlin Wall," Commonweal, 20 November 2009, 10-15.

"Benedict, German Catholics and the Holocaust, " Commonweal, 20 June 2008, 11.

"Reformer and Racialist," Commonweal, 18 January 2008, 10-13.

"Universities that are Catholic in Every Sense of the Word: A Response to Father Halik,"in C. Garbowski, P. Gutkowski, and A. Kijewska, eds.,Catholic Universities in the New Europe (Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL, 2005), 45-56 (also printed as an ErasmusInstitute Occasional Paper, 2005-1, University of Notre Dame).

"Cultural Revolution: Studentocracy in Czech Higher Education, 1948-54," in M. Svatos, L.Velek, and A. Velkova, eds, Magister noster. In memoriam Prof. PhDr. JanHavranek, CSc. (Prague, Karolinum 2005), 167-174.

"Reflections of Social Change: Polish Rural Sociology, 1930-1965," Trondheim Studies on East European Cultures and Societies, No. 14 (Norwegian University of Technology, 2004).

"Historikerstreit [Historians' controversy] in Post-Socialist Poland and Czech Republic," in Michael Minkenberg and Timm Beichelt, eds., Cultural Legacies in Post-Socialist Europe. The Role of Various Pasts in the Current Transformation Process (Frankfurt an der Oder, 2003), 49-56.

Review Essays (Selections)

"In Sheep's Clothing," Review of Hubert Wolf, Pope and Devil: The Vatican's Archives and the Third Reich (Harvard, 2010) in The Book: an Online Review of the New Republic, 8 February 2011.

"Totalitarianism: Defunct Theory, Useful Word," Review of Sheila Fitzpatrick and Michael Geyer, eds., Beyond Totalitarianism: Stalinism and Nazism Compared (Cambridge, 2008) in Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 11:4 (Fall 2010), 819-835.

"It Never Occurred to Them," Review of Götz Aly, Hitler's Beneficiaries: How the Nazis Bought the German People (Verso, 2007), London Review of Books (27 August 2009), 33-34.

"Memorial Day's A Reason to Buy a Beach Bag": Reflections from the USA on István Rév's Retroactive JusticeEast Central Europe, Vol. 36 (2009)

"The First Cold Warrior?": Review of Pius XII, the Holocaust and the Cold War by Michael Phayer (Indiana University Press, 2007), Commonweal, 26 September 2008, 20-24

"No Excuse": Review of In Defense of Christian Hungary: Religion, Nationalism, and Anti-Semitism, 1890–1944 by Paul A. Hanebrink (Cornell University Press, 2006) Commonweal, 18 May 2007.

Peter F. Dembowski, Christians in the Warsaw Ghetto: An Epitaph for the Unremembered, in Zaglada Zydow: Pismo Centrum Badan nad Zaglada Zydow IFiS PAN (Wasaw) 3: 2007, 421-25

"Ordinary Poles": Review of Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland after Auschwitz by Jan T. Gross (Random House, 2005), Commonweal 23 February 2007, 28-30

"Rampaging": Review of Catherine Merridale, Ivan's War: The Red Army 1939-46 (Faber, 2005); Anthony Beevor, ed., A Writer at War: Vassily Grossman with the Red Army (Harvill, 2005), London Review of Books (22 June 2006).

Richard Overy, The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia (Norton, 2004), Kritika :Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 7.4 (2006) 919-929

"Rule by Inspiration": Review of Christopher Browning, The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy 1939-42 (Arrow, 2005), London Review of Books (7 July 2005), 27-28.

"Those Streets over There": Review of Norman Davies, Rising '44: 'The Battle for Warsaw' (Pan, 2004), London Review of Books (24 June 2004), 19-20

"Poles and Jews in the Second World War: the Revisions of Jan T. Gross," Contemporary European History, 11, 4 (2002), 641-58.

Portrait of Professor John Connelly


2218 Dwinelle Hall

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