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Eric Weitz

Faculty and Staff Profiles

Eric D. Weitz

Distinguished Professor of History

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Eric D. Weitz is Dean of Humanities and Arts and Distinguished Professor of History at The City College of New York. He was previously on the faculty of the University of Minnesota, where he was Distinguished McKnight University Professor of History and the Arsham and Charlotte Ohanessian Chair in the College of Liberal Arts. Trained in modern European and German history, his work in recent years has extended to the history and politics of international human rights and crimes against humanity. He received his Ph.D. from Boston University in 1983.

As Dean of Humanities and Arts, Weitz has been building the faculty and identifying new resources for faculty research and creative activity. He has promoted interdisciplinary collaborations across the College, and has sponsored new programs for students that provide them with major educational experiences outside of New York City. One highlight is the cooperation with Stanford University, in which 10 of CCNY's best Humanities students engage in research projects over the summer with Stanford faculty mentors. The goal is to prepare them for doctoral programs in the Humanities and, ultimately, to help diversify the professoriate in the United States. In turn, CCNY provides teaching experience for advanced Stanford Ph.D. students.

Weitz has been the recipient of many fellowships and awards from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Council for Soviet and East European Research, and the American Council of Learned Societies, among others. He sits on the Academic Advisory Board of the Center for Contemporary Historical Research in Potsdam, Germany, and on the boards of many journals.

His major publications include Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy(2007; second expanded edition 2013),Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation(2003), and Creating German Communism, 1890-1990 (1997), all with Princeton University Press. Weimar Germany was named an "Editor's Choice" by The New York Times Book Review, and was included in the "Year in Books" of the Financial Times(London) and "The Best Books of 2007" of The Independent(London). It has been translated into Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Polish, and Chinese. Most recently, he co-edited with Omer Bartov, Shatterzone of Empires: Coexistence and Violence in the German, Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman Borderlands(Indiana University Press, 2013), the result of a multi-year, international, and interdisciplinary project. In all his work he combines political, social, and intellectual history.

Weitz is a frequent lecturer in public and academic settings, especially on the historical development of human rights and on comparative genocides. He has written and lectured on the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, and the genocide of the Herero and Nama of Namibia. In 2006 he initiated a book series with Princeton University Press, Human Rights and Crimes against Humanity. Weitz is currently writing A World Divided: A Global History of Nations and Human Rights from the Age of Revolution to the Present.

Curriculum Vitae


Boston University, Ph.D., 1983, Modern European History.
Graduate study at Ruhr-Universität, Bochum, with Prof. Dr. Hans Mommsen, 1979-80.
Boston University, M.A., 1976, Modern European History.
State University of New York at Binghamton, B.A., 1974, History.

Research Interests

International Human Rights and Crimes Against Humanity

Modern Germany

Social and Intellectual

Modern Russia/Soviet Union

Early Modern Germany


Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007), xii, 435 pp., paperback ed. 2009: 2nd ed. with new chapter, "The Weimar Legacy: A Global Perspective," 2013.
     Chinese edition (fothcoming 2012).
     Polish edition: (Cracow: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellonskiego, forthcoming 2012).
     Italian edition: La Germania di Weimar: Utopia e tragedia (Turin: Einaudi, 2008)
     Swedish edition: Weimartyskland: Löfte och tragedia (Stockholm: Dialogos, 2009)
     Spanish edition: La Alemania de Weimar: Presagio y tragedia (Madrid: Turner Noema, 2009).
     Reviews in New York Times Book Review, New York Sun, Economist, Financial Times, Times Literary Supplement, London Review of Books, Harper's, Book Forum, Philadelphia Inquirer, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Christian Science Monitor, Jerusalem Reporter, Commonwealth, La Repubblica, among others.
"Editor's Choice" in New York Times Book Review, 21 October 2007; "The Year in Books – History"
selection, Financial Times, 8 December 2007; "The Best Books of 2007" selection, Independent, 30
December 2007; starred reviews in Publisher's Weekly and Library Journal.

A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), viii, 360 pp., paperback ed. 2005.
     Selected as a Chioce Outstanding Academic Title for 2003.

Creating German Communism, 1890-1990: From Popular Protests to Socialist State (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997), xviii, 445 pp., paperback ed. 1997.
     Honorable Mention, Allan Sharlin Memorial Award of the Social Science History Association, 1998.

Popular Communism: Political Strategies and Social Histories in the Formation of the German, French, and Italian Communist Parties, 1919-1948. Western Societies Program Occasional Paper number 31 (Ithaca: Cornell University Institute for European Studies, 1992), 84 pp.

Weitz_Weimar        Weitz_Genocide        Weitz_Shatterzone       Weitz_Communism

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