Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Professor Jan Plamper

Fellow Jan Plamper

April - September 2016

Since 2012 Jan Plamper is Professor of History at Goldsmiths, University of London. Prior to that he held fellowships and appointments at the Center for the History of Emotions, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, in Berlin; Historisches Kolleg in Munich; and the University of Tübingen. He obtained a Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2001, and a B.A. at Brandeis University in 1992. His books have been translated into several languages, The Stalin Cult: A Study in the Alchemy of Power (Yale UP, 2012) won the University of Southern California Book Prize in Literary and Cultural Studies, and he was a fellow at Wissenschaftkolleg in Berlin in 2014-15.

Research project at the Kolleg

The New Germans: An Optimistic History of Migration
This German-language book project is a narrative history of migration to Germany, esp. post-1945 (both West and East), told through life stories of individuals/families who represent the major immigrant groups. This is unabashedly engagé, political history-writing: the book moves toward the positively connoted goal of a different concept of the German nation, more akin to e pluribus unum in the U.S.-it is good to have a particularist identity, e.g. being of Turkish descent, and this particularist identity can coexist with an umbrella identity of Germanness that is much more broadly conceived than is currently the case, where even third-generation Germans of Turkish heritage are called Deutschtürken (German Turks), rather than Türkendeutsche (Turkish Germans).

Main areas of research

  • Modern European and Russian History, esp. 19th and 20th Centuries
  • History of Emotions
  • History of Migration

Positions and memberships

  • Board of Editors, American Historical Review (2013-2016)
  • Associate Editor, Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History (2007-2013)
  • Editorial Board, Forschungen zur osteuropäischen Geschichte (2012-)
  • Student Mentor (Vertrauensdozent) for Scholarship Foundation ELES
  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society


Jan Plamper, The History of Emotions: An Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).

With Ute Frevert et al., Learning How to Feel: Children's Literature and the History of Emotional Socialization, 1870-1970 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).

Jan Plamper, The Stalin Cult: A Study in the Alchemy of Power (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012).

Edited Volumes

Nikolai Mikhailov and Jan Plamper, eds, Malen'kii chelovek i bol'shaia voina v istorii Rossii, seredina XIX - seredina XX v. (St. Petersburg: Nestor-Istoriia, 2014).

Jan Plamper and Benjamin Lazier, eds, Fear: Across the Disciplines (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012).

Jan Plamper, Schamma Schahadat, and Marc Elie, eds, Rossiiskaia imperiia chuvstv: Podkhody k kul'turnoi istorii emotsii (Moscow: NLO, 2010).

Klaus Heller and Jan Plamper, eds, Personality Cults in Stalinism - Personenkulte im Stalinismus (Göttingen: V&R unipress, 2004).


Jan Plamper, 'Ivan's Bravery', in Learning How to Feel: Children's Literature and Emotional Socialization, 1870-1970, multi-authored with Ute Frevert et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 191-208.

Jan Plamper, 'Beyond Binaries: Popular Opinion in Stalinism', in Popular Opinion in Totalitarian Regimes: Fascism, Nazism, Communism, edited by Paul Corner (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 64-80.

Jan Plamper, 'Fear: Soldiers and Emotion in Early Twentieth-Century Russian Military Psychology', Slavic Review 68, no. 2 (2009): 259-283.

Jan Plamper, 'Georgian Koba or Soviet 'Father of Peoples'? The Stalin Cult and Ethnicity', in The Leader Cult in Communist Dictatorships: Stalin and The Eastern Bloc, edited by Balázs Apor, Jan C. Behrends, Polly Jones, E. A. Rees (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2004), 123-140.

Jan Plamper, 'Foucault's Gulag', Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 3, no. 2 (2002): 255-280.

Jan Plamper, 'Abolishing Ambiguity: Soviet Censorship Practices in the 1930s', Russian Review 60, no. 4 (2001): 526-544.

Jan Plamper, 'The Russian Orthodox Episcopate, 1721-1917: A Prosopography', Journal of Social History 34, no. 1 (2000): 5-34.


Ian Morris, Foragers, Farmers and Fossil Fuels: How Human Values Evolve (Princeton, 2015) in Times Literary Supplement, 30 Oct. 2015: 12.

Martha Nussbaum, Politische Emotionen: Warum Liebe für Gerechtigkeit wichtig ist (Berlin, 2014) in Zeitschrift für Ideengeschichte 9, no. 4 (2015): 135-137.

Orlando Figes, Hundert Jahre Revolution: Russland und das 20. Jahrhundert (Berlin, 2015) in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 21 April 2015: 10. Stephen Kotkin, Stalin, vol. 1, 'Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928' (London, 2014) in Times Literary Supplement, 10 Dec. 2014: 13.

A full list of publications can be found on the website of the Goldsmiths University of London.