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Jesse Kauffman

Associate Professor and Section Chair

 701-G Pray-Harrold



MA, PhD, Stanford University

Professional Associations/Memberships

Representative Courses Taught

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


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. 

Selected Publications


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.


“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.


“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.