Dr Theodor Weeks

Curriculum Vitae

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