Department of History

Photograph of soviet soldier 'liberating' bulgarian women and children

Statue of Soviet soldier "liberating" Bulgarian women and children.

Drawing of Romanian WWI memorial-the Marasesti Memorial, The 'Verdun' of Romania

Drawing of Romanian WWI memorial—the Marasesti Memorial, the "Verdun" of Romania.

Eastern European History

Indiana University has a long tradition as a center for the study of East European history. History department faculty include Maria Bucur, a specialist in modern Romania and the Balkans, with a special focus on cultural and gender history; Owen Johnson from the School of Journalism, a specialist on Czechs, Slovaks and the Habsburg empire, and who works on the history of mass media in the East Central European area generally; Matthias Lehmann, a specialist in Ottoman Jewish history, who focuses on the intellectual history of Sephardi Jews in the Ottoman empire; and Toivo Raun, a specialist in Estonia and more broadly, the Baltic states, with a focus on nationalism. The department’s special strength lies in the modern period. Other colleagues in the department complement this array of specialization: Mark Roseman works on the history of the Holocaust, Hiroaki Kuromiya specializes in Ukrainian history, and Jeffrey Veidlinger works on Jewish history in Russia and the Soviet Union, with an interest in East European Jewish history and culture more broadly speaking. In addition, the Ranki chair in Hungarian Studies regularly brings to campus historians who focus on Hungary.

The East European history field benefits from Indiana’s exceptional interdisciplinary resources, including its connection to the Russian and East European Institute. During the academic year the Slavic Department teaches Russian, Czech, Polish, Ukrainian, Romanian, and Bosnia/Croatian/Serbian. The Department of Central Eurasian Studies teaches Hungarian and Estonian. SWEESL, the Summer Workshop in Slavic, East European and Central Asian Languages, offers intensive summer courses in Russian, Albanian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Slovene, and Yiddish, in addition to the languages of Central Asia, Tatar, and the Caucasus. Generous graduate funding is usually available for SWEESL summer courses.

As a Title VI center, the Russian and East European Institute, includes a rich, interdisciplinary group of more than sixty scholars who work in the languages of this area in fields throughout the humanities, social sciences, as well as in professional disciplines such as law and public administration. The Polish Studies Center established at Indiana in 1977, hosts annually an array of workshops, conferences and other events related to Polish history and culture. The Hungarian Studies center brings to campus faculty who lecture on Hungarian history and regularly organizes conferences of interest to faculty and students. The Romanian Studies program has a strong interdisciplinary presence and has been the recipient of the first Romanian government graduate student fellowship.

In addition, Indiana University recently won a grant from the European Commission to establish a new European Union Center of Excellence. The new European Union center serves as a focal point for the coming together of scholars focusing on all parts of Europe.

For information on our Graduate program requirements and guidelines see the “Guide to Graduate Study in History”, “Graduate School Bulletin” and the “Ph.D. Qualifying Exam Guidelines”.

Templates of reading lists are available at

Affiliated Faculty


E104  Film and History: Virtual realities. Film and History in Eastern Europe
B303  The Idea of Europe
B323  History of the Holocaust
B303/D300  Modern Scandinavia and the Baltic States
D304  History of the Jews in Eastern Europe
D325/525  Nationalism in the Balkans: 1804-1923. The Path to Emancipation
D328/R500  Eastern Europe under Communism: From the Iron Curtain to the Velvet Revolution
D327/D527  Nation-Making and Imperial Decline in East Central Europe, 1780-1918
D329/R500  Eastern Europe in the Interwar Period
D330/R500  Eastern Europe under Communism
U370/U520  Uralic Peoples and Cultures
T500  Modern Ukraine: Cossacks to Independence
U520  Ethnic Relations in the Post-Soviet West
U543  Estonian Culture and Civilization
U544  The Baltic States since 1918
H640/U518  Empire and Ethnicity in Modern Russian History
H640  History of the Jews in Eastern Europe
H645  Problems in Modern Eastern European History
H645  Opposition and Survival under Communism
H645  Problems in Historiography of Modern Romania
H645/H699  Socialism and Post-Socialism in Comparative Perspective: Eastern Europe and China
H645/H620  History and Memory in Europe and America
J624  Russian and East European Media Systems
J660  European Journalism History
H720/745  Cultural History: Theory and Methods
H720/745  Cultural History: Memory and Culture
H720/745/780  Gendering Modern Europe, East and West

Please see links for individual classes at