Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1996

M.A., University of Minnesota, 1991

B.A., Boston University, 1987


John C. Swanson joined the UTC Department of History in August 2012 after teaching at Utica College in New York state. His research specialities are modern Central and Eastern European history, nationalism and ethnic identity, minorities, Holocaust studies, and historical representation on film. Dr. Swanson's current research explores forms of Germanness (of being German) for the German minority in twentieth-century Hungary. He has also begun a project that examines how assimilated Hungarian Jews integrated into Communist Hungary after the Holocaust.

In addition to his work as a historian, Professor Swanson is an accomplished documentary filmmaker. His film About a Village, which explores questions of lost childhood, Heimat, and nostalgia for current and former members of the Hungarian village of Máriakéménd, has been screened at film festivals in London, Montreal, Los Angeles, and New York. He has also directed and produced films about Holocaust education and about music, some of which have been awarded prizes at international film festivals.


Under  Hitler's Shadow: Europe 1929-1945

The Holocaust: Perpetrators, Victims, and Bystanders

Minorities in Twentieth-Century Europe: Jews, Germans, and Roma

Nationalism and Ethnic Identity in Europe 


Dr. Swanson has received grants from the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Fulbright-Hays, IREX, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Fulbright, European Institute Budapest, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Rotary International.

Publication Highlights

“Being German: German-Speaking Villagers in Hungary Discover Germany” in National Socialism and Regional Identity in Eastern Europe. Ideology, Expansion of Power, Persistence, edited by Burkhard Olschowsky and Ingo Loose. Forthcoming.

“Returning to History: Memory and Holocaust Education,” in The Future of Holocaust Memorialization, edited by Andrea Petõ and Helga Thorson. (Budapest: Tom Lantos Institute, 2015).

About a Village. Documentary Film. 2013.

“Nation, Volk, Minderheit, Volksgruppe: Die deutsche Minderheit in Ungarn in den Begriffskämpfen der Zwischenkriegsära.” Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung, 55 (2006): 526–547.

The Remnants of the Habsburg Monarchy: The Shaping of Modern Austria and Hungary, 1918–1922. (Boulder, Colorado: East European Monographs, distributed by Columbia University Press, 2001).


American Historical Association

Society for Austrian and Habsburg History

Association for Slavic, East European, & Eurasian Studies

Hungarian Studies Association