Modern Europe

General Information / About the Field:

The UCSB program in Modern European History offers a comprehensive range of courses from the eighteenth century to the present. Coverage includes major national histories – Britain and its Empire, France, Germany, and Russia/Soviet Union – and thematic courses with strong comparative, transnational and cultural dimensions. UCSB’s Modern Europe program blends political, cultural, social, diplomatic and economic approaches. Our emphases include the history of radical movements of the left and right (the Russian Revolution, Fascism/Nazism, genocide and the Holocaust), public memory, gender studies, urban history, consumer culture, food studies and the global history of capitalism. We also have a focus on empire, race and nation, and the history of the Cold War.

The Modern Europe graduate program provides an integrated combination of reading and research seminars and preparation for university teaching. Our program keeps specific requirements to a minimum in order to allow students maximum flexibility in designing (in consultation with their advisors) the course of study that best suits their needs and interests. Particular emphasis is given to making theoretical and comparative connections with other fields of history. Modern Europe faculty are core members of thematic clusters in women, gender and sexuality studies, labor, capitalism and political economy, Borderlands and Empire, the history of the Cold War, history of science and technology, and Jewish Studies. Members are also affiliated with Feminist Studies, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Global Studies, English, Cold War Studies, Public History, the Southern California Russian History Program, and Environmental Studies.

Core Courses / Requirements:

All graduate students with a dissertation field in Modern Europe take Hist 200E, a reading seminar that surveys key historiographical debates in modern European history, as well as a selection of specialized reading and research seminars, and independent studies.

Recent Specialized Reading Courses in the Field:

  • 201E: The Making and Unmaking of Class in Victorian Britain
  • 201E: The British World: Nation, Empire and the History of Globalization
  • 201E: Commodities, Objects and other Things: Victorian Material Culture
  • 201E: Empires, Nations and Identities: Readings in 20th Century British History
  • 201E: Gender, Politics and the State in Europe, 1870-1970
  • 201E: Empire and Nation in Russian and Soviet History.
  • 201E: Ethnic and Racial Mixing in the Modern World

Recent Publications

  • Elena Aronova, “Big Science and “Big Science Studies” in the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War,” in N. Oreskes & J. Krige, eds., Science and Technology in the Global Cold War (MIT Press, 2014), 393-429.
  • Adrienne Edgar, “The ‘Laboratory of Peoples’ Friendship’: People of Mixed Descent in Kazakhstan from the Soviet Era to the Present,” (with Saule Ualiyeva), in Miri Song et al., eds., Global Mixed Race (New York: New York University Press, 2014), 68-90.
  • Adrienne Edgar, “Nation-Making and National Conflict under Communism,” in Stephen A. Smith, ed., The Oxford Handbook of World Communism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 522-541.
  • Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, “The Soviet Factor in US-Japanese Defense Cooperation, 1978-1985,” Journal of Cold War Studies 15:2 (2013), 72-103.
  • Harold Marcuse, “Holocaust Memorials: The Emergence of a Genre” American Historical Review, 115:1 (Feb. 2010), 53-89.
  • Erika Rappaport, Sandra Trudgen Dawson and Mark J. Crowley, eds. Consuming Behaviours: Identity, Politics and Pleasure in Twentieth Century Britain (London: Bloomsbury, 2015).
  • Erika Rappaport, “Sacred and Useful Pleasures: The Temperance Tea Party and the Creation of a Sober Consumer Culture in Early Industrial Britain, Journal of British Studies 52:4 (October 2014), 990-116.

The following faculty are in this field:





  • Dimitri Akulov
  • Megan Barber
  • Justin Bengry
  • Sandra Dawson
  • Brian Ernst
  • Mira Sczygiol Foster
  • Alan Mason
  • Jean Smith
  • Tara Tubb

The following courses are in this field

  • History 200E Historical Literature: Europe
  • History 201E Advanced Historical Literature: Europe
  • History 223A Seminar in Modern European History
  • History 233A Seminar in Modern German History
  • History 233B Seminar in Modern German History
  • History 235A Seminar in Russian History
  • History 235B Seminar in Russian History
  • History 290 US-Soviet Relations in the Cold War
  • History 290B US-Soviet Relations in the Cold War

Page last modified: April 13, 2017