George S. Vascik Associate Professor of History and Humanities
580 Mosler Hall
A graduate of the University of Michigan, my research interests have included 19th and 20th century German politics and political economy, the Industrial Revolution, and the sugar industry. You can read more about my research here.
In the last decade, I have become interested in the ways that GIS technology and spatial analysis grants us fresh insights into the past and allows us to reopen previously "settled" historical questions. This has required a huge investment of time. In addition to learning a new technology and reading deeply in the literature on historical geography and spatial thinking, I have created a georeferenced map of northwest Germany (+3000 hours/work) and populated it with data (+2000 hours/work). Collecting the data for this project has led me to 42 archives and libraries in Gremany, the US and the UK. In April 2016, I completed the next-to-the-last of many German excursions; in June I visited Yad Vashem, the Central Zionist Archive and the Central Archive for the History of the Jewish People. I plan a final trip to the Bundesarchiv Berlin in May 2017, at which time I will present portions of my research to collegues at German universities. You can follow the state of my project at www.peasantsandjews.org.
I describe my project and how I have applied GIS to the study of rural politics in "Peasants and Politics: How GIS Offers New Insights into the German Countryside" forthcoming in Fall 2016 as a chapter in The Routledge Handbook of Spatial History, edited by Ian Gregory, Don DeBats, and Don Lafreniere. A part of this project - Anti-Semitism and Rural Politics in Northwest Germany - will be published as a monograph in Fall 2017 by Bloomsbury Press.
My primary role at Miami University is
as a classroom teacher. In addition
regularly offering sections of Western Civilization, World
Civilizations, and the
historical methods seminar, I teach a variety of upper division classes
focusing on Modern Europe. I have led spring break workshops to Vienna,
and Berlin, and in Summer 2009 taught at Miami's Luxembourg campus. I
involved in campus initiatives to effectively integrate advanced
into the classroom and provide access to non-traditional,
underprivileged students. I offer my
Western Civilization sequence in both traditional and online formats, and maintain
teaching blogs for my Western
and my Great
learn more about my teaching here.
My reader, The Stab-in-the-Back Myth and the Collapse of the Weimar Republic: A History in Documents and Visual Sources, written with my former honors advisee Mark Sadler, will be available for purchase August 2016 from Bloomsbury Press. We have also created an ancillary site - dolchstosslegende.com - to provide readers with material that could not fit into the book. My goal is to ultimately use this text and the material that we have collected for it as the core text of a MOOC to be created to mark the centenary of the collapse of Imperial Germany in 2018.
Public and Professional