Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Professor James Krapfl

Fellow Professor James Krapfl

October 2018 - March 2019
e-mail: james.krapfl(at)mcgill(dot)ca

James Krapfl is an associate professor of European history at McGill University in Montreal. He is a specialist on the history of political culture. His first book, Revolution with a Human Face: Politics, Culture, and Community in Czechoslovakia, 1989-1992, won the George Blażyca Prize in East European Studies from the British Association for Slavonic & East European Studies, as well as the Czechoslovak Studies Association Book Prize. With Barbara J. Falk he recently edited a special issue of East European Politics and Societies to mark the fortieth anniversary of Václav Havel’s essay The Power of the Powerless; in connection with this effort Prof. Krapfl received the Michael Henry Heim Prize in Collegial Translation. Professor Krapfl has been a visiting scholar at the Institute for Contemporary History in Prague, the Historical and Sociological Institutes in Bratislava, and Palacký University in Olomouc. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, following an M.A. at the Central European University in Budapest.

Main areas of research

  • History of mentalities
  • Political culture
  • Revolution
  • Central Europe since 1918


James Krapfl, Revolution with a Human Face: Politics, Culture, and Community in Czechoslovakia, 1989-1992 (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2013).

James Krapfl, Revolúcia s ľudskou tvárou: Politika, kultúra a spoločenstvo v Československu po 17. novembri 1989(Bratislava: Kalligram, 2009).


Edited Volume

James Krapfl and Barbara J. Falk, eds, ‘The Power of the Powerless Today’, special issue of East European Politics & Societies,32, no. 2 (May 2018).



Kieran Williams and James Krapfl, ‘For a Civic Socialism and the Rule of Law: The Interplay of Jurisprudence, Public Opinion, and Dissent’, in Eastern Europe in 1968: The Impact of the Prague Spring, edited by Kevin McDermott and Matthew Stibbe (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), 23-44.

James Krapfl, ‘Boredom, Apocalypse, and Beyond: Reading Havel through Patočka’, East European Politics & Societies 32, no. 2 (May 2018): 278-84.

James Krapfl, ‘Passing the Baton, Despite Bananas: The Twentieth-Anniversary Commemorations of 1989 in Central Europe’, Remembrance and Solidarity 3 (June 2014): 63-101.

James Krapfl, ‘Sites of Memory, Sites of Rejoicing: The Great War in Czech and Slovak Cultural History’, Remembrance and Solidarity 2 (March 2014): 109-46.

James Krapfl, ‘The Discursive Constitution of Revolution and Revolution Envy’, in The 1989 Revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe: From Communism to Post-Communism, edited by Kevin McDermott and Matthew Stibbe (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013), 271-84.

James Krapfl, ‘The Diffusion of “Dissident” Political Theory in the Czechoslovak Revolution of 1989’, Slovo (London) 19, no. 2 (Autumn 2007): 83-101.

James Krapfl, ‘Revolution and Revolt against Revolution: Czechoslovakia 1989’, in Revolution and Resistance in Eastern Europe, edited by Kevin McDermott and Matthew Stibbe (Oxford: Berg, 2006), 175-94.


Review of Nigel Swain, Green Barons, Force-of-Circumstance Entrepreneurs, Impotent Mayors: Rural Change in the Early Years of Post-Socialist Capitalist Democracy (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2013), in Journal of Modern History 88, no. 3 (September 2016): 726-27.

Review of Jonathan Larson, Critical Thinking in Slovakia after Socialism (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2013), in Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe 24, no. 1 (Spring 2016): 96-97.

Review of David Doellinger, Turning Prayers into Protests: Religious-Based Activism and Its Challenge to State Power in Socialist Slovakia and East Germany (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2013), in American Historical Review 120, no. 1 (February 2015): 354.

Review of Jonathan Bolton, Worlds of Dissent: Charter 77, the Plastic People of the Universe, and Czech Culture under Communism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012), in Canadian Journal of History 48, no. 3 (Winter 2013): 521-23.

Review of Günter Bischof, Stefan Karner, and Peter Ruggenthaler, eds, The Prague Spring and the Warsaw Pact Invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010), in Canadian Slavonic Papers, vol. 54, no. 1-2 (March-June 2012): 230-31.