Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Professor Theodor Weeks

Fellow Theodor Weeks

October 2012 - August 2013
Mail tadeusz(at)siu(dot)edu

Theodore R. Weeks is professor of history at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Since 1993 he has taught World, European, Polish, Russian, and „East-European“ history there. He has done research, worked, and/or studied in a number of European countries from Finland to France, and most recently spent five months at the Slavic Research Center of Hokkaido University (Japan). His original university studies were in language and literature, culminating in a BA and MA in German language and literature studies before he found the true path to a Ph.D. in history (at the University of California, Berkeley). Asian by birth, he spent his first school years in Europe and prides himself on being a citizen of the world.

Research project at the Kolleg

„City, Cultures, Empire: Vilna-Wilno-Vilnius 1795-2000“
The city of Vilnius, like many other urban sites in East-Central Europe, has witnessed intense national contestation in the twentieth century and, indeed, throughout the modern era. My research project at the Imre Kertész Kolleg brings together history, politics, the rhetoric of nationalism, and the uses of architecture and city planning as methods of establishing and reinforcing national-ethnic rhetoric. By taking as my subject Vilnius, a city in which no one ethnic group has ever dominated absolutely, I aim to contribute to our understanding of how nationalism defines itself and what “objective facts” it chooses to deny or – more often – to ignore or explain away. My core interest in this project is both the city as a physical entity inhabited by a culturally and religiously diverse population and the city as a space which members of different cultures/nations filled with contradictory meanings. I am both interested in how the state (whether that be the Russian Empire, Poland, the USSR, or the Republic of Lithuania) fostered a certain “national physiognomy” in the city and in the methods used by non-dominant ethnicities (Poles under Russian rule, Lithuanians under Polish rule, Jews …) to “claim” the urban space. The intersection of “objective history” and “historical myth” – in particular in its various national forms – will be a major topic in my study.

Main areas of research

  • Modern Russia / USSR ; Poland ; Lithuania
  • Nationality Policy (esp. in Russian Empire / USSR)
  • Interethnic relations and anti-Semitism
  • Urban history

Positions/ Memberships

  • Professor of History (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale)
  • Editorial board, Nationalities Papers, Journal of Baltic Studies
  • Member: Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN), Association of Polish Studies


Nation and State in Late Imperial Russia: Nationalism and Russification on Russia's Western Frontier 1863-1914. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1996.
From Assimilation to Antisemitism: the "Jewish Question" in Poland, 1850-1914. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2006.

Edited Volumes

Making Europe: People, Politics and Culture (chapters 20-25 [1815-1918]; co-author with Frank Kidner et al.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. Across the Revolutionary Divide: Russia 1861-1945. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.


"Russification: Word and Practice 1863-1914." Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 148, no. 4 (December 2004), pp. 471-489.

"Urban History in Eastern Europe" (review essay), Kritika:Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, vol. 10, no. 4 (Fall 2009), pp. 917-33.

"Vilna, Wilno, Vilnius 1863-1939: Une étude de cas sur les cultures parallèles et sur 'l'Autre' invisible," Revue Germanique Internationale, special thematic volume Villes baltiques: Une mémoire partagée, vol. 11 (2010), pp. 79-102.

"Remembering and Forgetting: Creating a Soviet Lithuanian Capital. Vilnius 1944-1949" in Jörg Hackmann and Marko Lehti, ed. Contested and Shared Places of Memory: History and Politics in North Eastern Europe (London: Routledge, 2010), pp. 134-150.

"Adam Mickiewicz" in Stephen M. Norris and Willard Sunderland, eds., Russia's People of Empire: Life Stories from Eurasia, 1500 to the Present (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2012), pp. 139-147.

(with Scott Ury) "O Brother, Where Art Thou? The Search for Interethnic Solidarity in the Late Imperial Era," Gal-Ed: On the History and Culture of Polish Jewry, vol. 23 (2012), pp. 97-130.


Nancy M. Wingfield. Flags and Stone Saints. How the Bohemian Lands Became Czech. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007, in Choice (2008).

Delphine Bechtel and Xavier Galmiche, eds. Les Villes multiculturelles en Europe centrale. Paris: Belin, 2008, in Annales: Histoire, Sciences Sociales (2011).

Christian Westerhoff. Zwangsarbeit im Ersten Weltkrieg. Deutsche Arbeitskräftepolitik im besetzten Polen und Litauen 1914-1918. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2012, in First World War Studies (2012).

Antony Polonsky. The Jews in Poland and Russia. Oxford and Portland, Oregon: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2010. Volume 1: 1350-188, volume 2: 1881-1914 in The Polish Review (2012).

Dieckmann, Christoph, Deutsche Besatzungspolitik in Litauen 1941-1944, 2 vols. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2011 in Russian Review (2012).

Please find more information on Theodor Weeks on the websites of the Southern Illinois University.