Jesse Kauffman

A photo of Jesse Kauffman


History and Philosophy; Jewish Studies interdisciplinary program

701G Pray Harrold


[email protected]


  • BA, UCLA
  • MA, PhD, Stanford University

Interests and Expertise

Jesse Kauffman studies modern European political and cultural history with a focus on Germany and Poland. He regularly offers graduate and undergraduate courses on Western Civilization, modern German history, European military history, and historical research and writing. He also team-teaches a course on the Second World War with Professor Steven Ramold. 


  • HIST 102 Western Civilization, 1648-World War II
  • HIST/ARTH 151 (Honors) Reason and Revolution
  • HIST 179/379/592 (JSTS 179/379) WWII the Holocaust in Poland
  • HIST 200 War, Culture, and Society: A Global History
  • CASI 206 Culture and the Holocaust
  • HIST 300W Researching and Writing History
  • HIST 333 Europe since 1919
  • HIST 338 Germany since 1815
  • HIST 379/591 World War II and the Holocaust in Poland (Travel study course)
  • HIST 438 Nazi Germany
  • HIST 450 European Military History, 1815-1945
  • HIST 451 World War I
  • HIST 452 World War II
  • HIST 518 Recent German History
  • HIST 522 20th Century Europe
  • HIST 550 20th Century Russia
  • HIST 692 Thesis

Publications and Presentations

  • Blood-Dimmed Tide: Central Europe's Long Great War, 1905-1921, under contract with Harvard University Press.
  • Elusive Alliance: The German Occupation of Poland in World War I (Harvard University Press, 2015). Polish Translation: Iluzoryczne przymierze, PIW, 2018.
  • “National Self-Determination and Political Legitimacy after Versailles: the German-Polish Borderlands, 1919-1939.” In Marcus Payk and Roberta Pergher, eds. Beyond Versailles: Governance, Legitimacy, and the Formation of New Polities after the Great War (forthcoming from Indiana University Press).  
  • “German State-Building in Occupied Poland as an Episode in Postwar Reconstruction, 1915-1918.” In James Retallack and Ute Planert, eds., Decades of Reconstruction: Postwar Societies, State-Building, and International Relations from the Seven Years War to the Cold War (Cambridge University Press, 2017).
  • “Nationalism, Imperialism, and Occupation in the Shatterzone of Empires.” In John Deak, Heather Perry, and Emre Sencer, eds., Russia’s Great War and Revolution: The Central Powers (Forthcoming from Slavica Publishers/ Indiana University).
  • “The Colonial U-Turn: Why Poland is not Germany’s India.” In Andrew Demshuk and Tobias Weger, eds., Cultural Landscapes: Transatlantische Perspektiven auf Wirkungen und Auswirkungen deutscher Kultur und Geschichte im östlichen Europa (Munich: De Gruyter Oldenbourg, 2015): 50-67.
Conference and Workshop Presentations
  • “From the Great War to the Central European Civil War: Warsaw and L’viv, 1914- 1921,” Presented at the Conference “The Multiplicity of Exits from the First World War,” held at the Center for Urban History, L’viv, Ukraine, August 2018.
  • “Brest-Litovsk at 100: Re-evaluating a Misunderstood Peace.” Presented at the Annual Conference of the Max Weber Foundation, held at the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC, March 2018.
  • “Race, Nation, and Self-Determination in Poland and Germany, 1918-1939.” Presented at the joint meeting of the Polish-American Historical Association and American Historical Association, Washington, DC, January 2018.
  • “An Answer in Search of a Question: Colonialism and the History of German-Polish Relations.” Presented at the conference “Imperial Comparison,” All Souls College, Oxford University, July 2016.
  • Discussant for the panel “Narratives of Identity in Central Europe.” Association for the Study of Nationalities meeting, Columbia University, April 2016.  
  • “German Occupation Regimes in Poland, 1915-1945.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, Atlanta, January 2016.
  • “National Self-Determination and Political Legitimacy after Versailles: The German-Polish Borderlands, 1919-1939.” Presented at the workshop “Beyond Versailles: Governance, Legitimacy, and the Formation of New Polities after the Great War,” May 2015, Humboldt University of Berlin.
Public Presentations
  • “Reflections in a Shattered Mirror: The First World War in Russian, Polish, and German History.” Invited talk given at the Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia, University of Wisconsin-Madison, October 2017.
  • “German Occupation and the Road to Polish Independence, 1915-1918.” Annual Lecture in Modern European History, Department of History, University of Tennessee.
  • “Never such innocence again: the Great War and Western Culture.” Pre-recital lecture for “The Lads in their Hundreds,” a performance by EMU music faculty member Robert Peavler, Pease Auditorium, Eastern Michigan University, November 2014.
  • “German Society and the Holocaust.” Talk given at the Dexter District Library, July 2014.

Additional Information