American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

A Professional Partner of The

Alexander von Humboldt - Foundation



Gregory Caplan (1999-2000)
Greg is Director for Energy and Environment in the government relations office of Lockheed Martin Corporation. He has been at Lockheed Martin for five years, working in business development and program operations prior to his current assignment. Previously, he served on the political staff of Wes Clark’s presidential campaign. Prior to that he served as Assistant Director of the American Jewish Committee’s Berlin Office. Greg completed his doctoral work in modern European history at Georgetown University, where he also earned a Master of Arts degree in German and European Studies. His dissertation, “Wicked Sons, German Heroes: Jewish Soldiers, Veterans, and Memories of World War I in Germany,” explores the question of how the centrality of the military in the German national imagination influenced German-Jewish life before the Holocaust. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, Julianna Evans Caplan, and their twin daughters, Norah and Josephine. (12/2/09)

Rachel Cylus (2010-11)
Rachel Cylus graduated with a BA in History from the Johns Hopkins University in 2008. She has worked for two years as the Program Coordinator at the Vilna Shul, Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture, an historic synagogue museum and cultural center in Boston, Massachusetts. As a German Chancellor Fellow, Rachel will be studying how Jewish historic sites throughout Germany are being preserved and reopened as museums, cultural centers and other public spaces. Rachel will be working primarily with the Stiftung Neue Synagogue – Centrum Judaicum in Berlin. Through her work at the Centrum Judaicum and visits to other Jewish historic sites around Germany, she will study how these institutions transmit and present Jewish history to diverse audiences. Rachel aims to enhance the dialogue between American and German Jewish museums to make museum-going a more satisfying experience for an array of museum visitors—Jewish, non-Jewish, local, and foreign. (5/8/10)

Catherine Dollard (1994-95)
Catherine is Chair and Associate Professor of History at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where she teaches European and German history courses. She divided her year as a German Chancellor Fellow between Bonn and Berlin while conducting archival research for her dissertation and subsequent book on The Surplus Woman: Unmarried in Imperial Germany, 1871-1918. Cathy received her Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina. (2/15/10)

Catherine Epstein (1994-95)
Catherine Epstein is Dean of the Faculty and Winkley Professor of History at Amherst College. As a German Chancellor Fellow, Catherine spent the year in Berlin researching her dissertation, a study of East German Old Communists.  That work culminated in The Last Revolutionaries: German Communists and Their Century (Harvard University Press, 2003).  In 2010, Catherine published Model Nazi: Arthur Greiser and the Nazi Occupation of Western Poland (Oxford University Press); the book won the Arthur-Kronthal Prize.  Recently, Catherine authored a textbook, Nazi Germany: Confronting the Myths (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015).  Since July 2014, Catherine has been Dean of the Faculty and Chief Academic Officer (CAO) of Amherst College. (7/17/17)

Sean Forner (2001-02)
Sean is Associate Professor of History at Michigan State University.  His interests center on 20th-century Europe and Germany, with a focus on intersections of intellectual history and the history of political culture.  As a German Chancellor Fellow, he was based in Berlin but also conducted dissertation research in libraries and archives in Bonn, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Koblenz, Marbach, Amsterdam, and elsewhere.  This work laid the foundation for what eventually became his first book, German Intellectuals and the Challenge of Democratic Renewal: Culture and Politics after 1945 (Cambridge UP, 2014).  Sean’s current research explores the emergence of Europe’s “First New Left” in the 1950s. (7/13/15)

Cora Granata (1998-99)
Cora completed her doctoral work in Modern German History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2001 she began as an Assistant Professor of History at California State University at Fullerton.

Ronald Granieri (1993-94)
Ron Granieri is currently Director of Research and Lecturer in International Studies at the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, where he helps manage the MA/MBA program. He is also Director of the Center for the Study of America and the West at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, where among other things, he hosts a monthly talk show entitled “Geopolitics with Granieri.” He previously taught History and International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania, Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, Syracuse, and Temple, as well as serving as a guest professor in Tübingen. He is the author of The Ambivalent Alliance: Konrad Adenauer, the CDU/CSU, and the West, 1949-1966 (Berghahn, 2003), based on his dissertation, for which he conducted research as a German Chancellor Fellow. Ron, who is presently working on a history of European Christian Democracy and European Integration and a history of the Atlantic Community, received a Humboldt Research Fellowship for the 2006-2007 academic year to continue his studies of the “always fascinating and occasionally dysfunctional European-American relationship.” Ron and his wife Jenni live outside of Philadelphia with their son, Vance). (7/7/17)

J. Laurence Hare, Jr. (2003-04)
Laurence earned a Ph.D. in modern European history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2007. He is currently Associate Professor of History at the University of Arkansas, where he is also director of the European Studies program. Hare is the author of Excavating Nations: Archaeology, Museums, and the German-Danish Borderlands, which was published in 2015 by the University of Toronto Press.  His recent articles include “Creating Nazi Archaeology: German Prehistorians and the International Dynamics of Collaboration,” in Patterns of Prejudice (2014), and “Promising the World: Surveys, Curricula, and the Challenge of Global History,” in The History Teacher (2015). (7/8/15)

Crystal Johnson (2002-03)
Crystal is the Program Director for the Wentcher Foundation, an organization that provides college scholarships to students with high academic merit, character, and financial need. Prior to joining the Wentcher Foundation, Crystal served as the executive director and education director for the Chicago Metro History Education Center, a nonprofit organization that promotes historical inquiry experiences for students and provides professional development to teachers. Crystal received her master’s degree in comparative education at Loyola University Chicago. Research for her thesis, “Building Citizens or Building Nations? Alternative Visions for Learning History in Germany and the United States: The Geschichtswettbewerb Des Bundespraesidenten and National History Day, 1974-1984,” was conducted through Alexander von Humboldt foundation support. She spent her Buka year at the Haus der Geschichte museum in Bonn studying museum education. (6/24/15)

Michael Kimmage (2004-05)
Michael Kimmage is a professor of history at the Catholic University of America. He is the author of In History’s Grip: Philip Roth’s Newark Trilogy (Stanford 2012) and The Conservative Turn: Lionel Trilling, Whittaker Chambers and the Lessons of Anti-Communism (Harvard 2009); and the translator of Wolfgang Koeppen’s Journey through America (Berghahn 2012). His next book, The Decline of the West: An American Story, is forthcoming with Basic Books. From 2014 to 2016, Michael served as a member of the Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State where he held the Russia/Ukraine portfolio. He lives with his family in Washington, DC. (7/7/17)

Deborah Lynn Kisatsky (1998-99)
Deborah is an associate professor of History at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. She spent her year as a German Chancellor Fellow in Bonn, researching U.S. interactions with right-wing political forces in West Germany during the first decade after World War II. Deborah earned her Ph.D. in History at the University of Connecticut in 2001, the year she began teaching at Assumption College. Her book The United States and the European Right, 1945-1955 was published in fall 2005 by Ohio State University Press. She has also co-authored American Foreign Relations: A History (6th ed, 2005; 7th ed, 2010) and American Foreign Relations: A History, Brief Edition (1st ed, 2006) with Thomas G. Paterson, J. Garry Clifford, Shane J. Maddock, and Kenneth Hagan. (6/26/09)

Ricky Law (2007-08)
Ricky is a Ph.D. candidate in Global History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His dissertation compares mutual German-Japanese perceptions in the interwar period and analyzes their role in foreign relations. He is currently researching for his project as a Japan Foundation Doctoral Fellow (2008-9) and is affiliated with the Graduate School of Law and Politics of the University of Tokyo. (6/26/09)

Molly Loberg (2003-04)
Molly has been an Assistant Professor of Modern European History at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo since September 2007. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2006. Her dissertation was entitled Berlin Streets: Politics, Commerce, and Crowds, 1918-1938. She gathered much of her research material during her year as a German Chancellor Fellow in Berlin in 2003-04. In contrast to studies that explore the meaning and practices of consumption in societies experiencing material abundance, her work focuses on how conflicts between social groups shape consumer sites and the urban landscape in times of scarcity, depression, political instability, and war. (6/26/09)

Kristie Macrakis (1990-91)
Kristie, a writer, historian and professor, received her Ph.D. in the history of science from Harvard University in 1989, the year the Berlin Wall fell. She is professor of History of Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. She has received grants and awards from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and the National Science Foundation as well as Fulbright and Humboldt Foundation grants. Kristie’s books include Seduced by Secrets: Inside the Stasi’s Spy-Tech World. (Cambridge, 2008),Surviving the Swastika: Scientific Research in Nazi Germany (Oxford, 1993) and Science under Socialism: East Germany in Comparative Perspective (Harvard, 1999) and East German Foreign Intelligence (Routledge, 2009). In addition to writing numerous scholarly articles she has also written popular magazine articles like: “The Case of Agent Gorbachev.” American Scientist, Nov-Dec. 2000, 88, 534-542, which was also reprinted in The Intelligencer and “Ancient Imprints: Fear and the Origins of Secret Writing.” Endeavour, 2009. As a German Chancellor Fellow, she researched and wrote about the then current changes in science and technology while starting the research for the second book on science under socialism. The re-activation of her fellowship in 2004 allowed her to do some research for her her last book Seduced by Secrets. (6/26/09)

Benjamin Martin (2001-02)
In January 2008, Ben will begin teaching in the History Department at San Francisco State University. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Berlin Program in Advanced German and European Studies at the Freie Universität, Berlin. His dissertation (A New Order for European Culture: the German-Italian Axis and the Reordering of International Cultural Exchange, 1936-1943, Columbia University, Department of History, 2006) was a study of how German and Italian intellectuals and cultural organizers collaborated and competed in an effort to reorganize international cultural exchange in Europe in the late 1930s and during World War II, in order to support the Axis’s bid for European hegemony. As a German Chancellor Fellow, Ben explored this topic from the German side; he also conducted research on Italian sources in Rome. He is at work on converting his dissertation into a book manuscript. (4/3/07)

Patricia Mazón (1995-96)
Patricia is associate professor in the Department of History at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she teaches courses on modern Germany and Europe. Her book, Gender and the Modern Research University: The Admission of Women to German Higher Education, 1865-1914, which she revised during part of her year as a German Chancellor Fellow, appeared in 2003 with Stanford University Press. A volume edited with Reinhild Steingrover, Not So Plain as Black and White: Afro-German History and Culture, 1890-2000, was published in 2005 with University of Rochester Press. The working title for her current project is “Gender, Public Life, and National Discourse in the Postwar Germanies, 1945-2005.” She lives in Buffalo with her husband, Joshua Feinstein (German Chancellor Fellow, 1992-93). (6/26/09)

Brian McCook (2000-01)
Brian lives in the UK and is Head of Department for History, Politics and Philosophy and Associate Dean for Internationalisation at Manchester Metropolitan University. His main academic interests revolve around historical and contemporary migration within, to, and from Europe; Currently, Brian’s research and teaching focus is on post-World War II refugee re-settlement and the contested politics of citizenship from 1945 to the present. While a German Chancellor Fellow in 2000-01, Brian lived in the Ruhr and was affiliated with the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the University of Osnabrück. He has lived throughout different parts of Germany and also spent time in residence at the University of Mainz, Viadrina University, and the Free University Berlin. Please feel free to contact Brian via e-mail or LinkedIn. (6/23/15)

Sean McMeekin (1999-2000)
Sean writes: “I am Assistant Professor of International Relations at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. Prior to participation in the German Chancellor Fellowship Program, I was a Ph.D. Candidate in History at UC Berkeley, where I completed my doctorate in 2001. As a German Chancellor Fellow, I spent most of my year researching and writing my dissertation in Berlin, with assorted research trips to Bonn and Munich as well. The resulting book, on the German Communist Willi Munzenberg, was published by Yale University Press in 2003 as The Red Millionaire. A political biography of Willi Munzenberg, Moscow’s Secret Propaganda Tsar in the West, 1917-1940. In 2007, I received a Humboldt renewal grant for my research on Turco-German relations during the First World War. In 2008, my second book was published, also by Yale, called History’s Greatest Heist. The Looting of Russia by the Bolsheviks. Currently I am a fellow in International Security Studies at Yale University, while on leave from Bilkent.” (6/26/09)

Gregory Moynahan (1997-98)
Gregory is assistant professor of History and co-director of the Science, Technology, and Society Program at Bard College in New York. His research interests include history of theoretical biology, systems theory, and “scientific” racism and political history of computing and cybernetics in the two Germanys. Greg has had articles published inScience in Context, Simmel Studies, and Qui Parle. He spent his year as a German Chancellor Fellow at Humboldt-Universität Berlin. (6/8/07)

Susan Pisarcik (2017-18)
Susie Pisarčik is a recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh History Department. While completing her BA in European History and German Culture, she also conducted research within the Anthropology Department at the University, contributing to a comprehensive study of German immigration in the field of Medical Anthropology. Her BUKA research will comprise of a continuation of this study, and she will spend her Fellowship researching the integration system and practices in rural Germany while attending graduate symposia at Ludwig-Maximilians Universität. Her research is largely influenced by her background-having grown up on a flower farm in northwestern Pennsylvania-as well as her position as an in-home integration worker at the Pittsburgh Jewish Family and Children Services Center, where she works to help integrate resettled refugees in the Pittsburgh area. Her Fellowship will begin in September of 2017 and conclude the following September of 2018. (7/13/17)

Andrew Port (1995-96)
Andrew I. Port is an Associate Professor of History at Wayne State University in Detroit. After receiving his BA from Yale University and PhD from Harvard University, he served as a Lecturer in Social Studies at Harvard and as a Visiting Lecturer in History at Yale. During a brief respite from academe, he worked for the Human Rights Office of the City of Nuremberg, where he organized a series of international conferences. Port’s first book, Conflict and Stability in the German Democratic Republic, appeared with Cambridge UP in 2007 and in German translation 2010 as Die rätselhafte Stabilität der DDR. It received a great deal of media attention in Germany, and is based on research that he performed during a two-year stay in southeastern Thuringia, where he visited more than a dozen archives as a German Chancellor Fellow. He resumed his fellowship during the summers of 2006 and 2013 to work on a new project, “What Germans Talk About When They Talk About Genocide,” which looks at German reactions to genocide in other parts of the world after the Holocaust, with a special focus on Cambodia, Rwanda, and Bosnia. Port is the Editor of the journal Central European History. He was the recipient in 2013 of the DAAD Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in German and European Studies, awarded by the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He will spend the first half of 2016 in Freiburg, Germany, as a Marie Curie FCFP Senior Fellow at the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies (FRIAS). (6/15/15)

Matthew Price (1994-95)
Matt is in the History Department at the University of Toronto. (5/18/05)

Terence (Terry) Renaud (2012-13)
Terence Renaud is a Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer in the Humanities and History at Yale University as well as a Fellow in the Whitney Humanities Center. He earned his Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Berkeley, and while a German Chancellor Fellow he conducted research at archives in Berlin, Bonn, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam for his dissertation, “Restarting Socialism: The New Beginning Group and the Problem of Renewal on the German Left, 1930-1970.” This project examines how crises of renewal and moments of generational conflict shaped the theory and organization of German socialism; it also tries to determine when and how socialism ceased to be a viable political alternative to democratic capitalism. His further research interests include the intellectual and cultural history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe, critical theory, aesthetics, human rights, and comparative revolutions. (7/20/15)

Edith Sheffer (2002-03)
Edith Sheffer is Assistant Professor of Modern European History at Stanford University. She came to Stanford as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Humanities in 2008 and joined the History Department faculty in 2010.  As a German Chancellor Fellow, she conducted research for her book, Burned Bridge: How East and West Germans Made the Iron Curtain, examining how the fortified barrier between East and West Germany was not simply imposed by Cold War superpowers, but was an outgrowth of anxious postwar society on both sides.  Her future research will also examine the intersection of public events and private choices, from Germans’ “zero Hour” diaries in 1945 to the development and dissemination of corporate cultures.  Research and teaching interests span modern Europe and Germany, especially the social and cultural history of the twentieth century. (7/21/11)

Lauren Stokes (2013-14)
Lauren is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Chicago, where she earned an MA in 2011. As a German Chancellor Fellow based in Berlin, she researched attempts to regulate family reunification and marriage migration in West Germany. Her dissertation project is tentatively titled “Locating the Migrant Family: Foreign Workers, Kinship Networks, and the West German State, 1960-1995.” Other German pastimes include drinking regional beers, riding overnight trains, and puzzling over the gender relations in Tatort. (6/16/14)

Sarah Thomsen Vierra (2008-09)
Sarah is currently an assistant professor of history at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire.  She earned her Ph.D. in modern European history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was awarded the Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize in 2012.  Her current book project, tentatively entitled “Everyday Integration: Turkish-German Spaces of Belonging in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1961-1990”,  examines the intersection of space, place, and belonging in the history of Berlin’s Turkish community from the 1960s through reunification.  Sarah spent most of her Buka year in Berlin at the Institute for European Ethnology at Humboldt Universitaet. (7/8/15)

Lisa (Swartout) Zwicker (1999-2000)
Lisa Fetheringill Zwicker is Assistant Professor of History at Indiana University, South Bend. Her specialty is modern German history. She completed her undergraduate and graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley and is presently revising a book manuscript with the title, “Dueling Students in a Slowly Democratizing Germany: Conflict, Masculinity, and Politics within German Student Life 1890 to 1914.” She was a German Chancellor’s fellow academic year 1999-2000 and was based in Wuerzburg. Recent published articles include work on antisemitism within university life, religiously informed conceptions of academic honor, Jewish students’ identities, diverse constructions of masculinity, and everyday life at universities. In addition to her support through the Alexander Humboldt Foundation, she has been awarded fellowships from the DAAD, the Leo Baeck Institute, the FLAS Foundation, the Fulbright foundation, the Simon Dubnow-Institute, U.C. Berkeley, Stanford University, and Indiana University. (7/2/09)