Department of History

Cathleen M. Giustino

Cathleen M. Giustino Mills Carter Professor of History
Thach 333
(334) 844-6630
Personal web site

Office Hours

  • Tuesday 11:00-12:00
  • Wednesday 11:00-12:00


Cathleen M. Giustino is the Mills Carter Professor of History. She earned her PhD in Modern Central European History from the University of Chicago, where she worked with John W. Boyer, Michael Geyer, and František Svejkovský, and her BA in History and Germanistik from Grinnell College. She is the author of Tearing Down Prague's Jewish Town: Ghetto Clearance and the Legacy of Middle-Class Ethnic Politics around 1900, a study of the local politics of architecture and urban design in Prague around 1900. She co-edited, along with Catherine Plum and Alexander Vari, Socialist Escapes: Breaks from Ideology and the Everyday in Eastern Europe, 1945-1989, a collection exploring Communist Party efforts to engineer society through leisure and consumption. She has published numerous articles, including "Rodin in Prague: Modern Art, Cultural Diplomacy and National Display" which appeared in Slavic Review, and "Socialist Industrial Design and the Czechoslovak Pavilion at EXPO '58" published in the Journal of Contemporary History.

Dr. Giustino's specialization is the history of the politics of art, architecture, design and display in modern Central and Eastern Europe. She teaches courses on the history of modern Germany, the Nazi Holocaust, Eastern Europe, mass culture in 20th-century Europe, and world landscapes, giving special attention to methodology for the study of cultural politics and state-society relations. Her teaching awards include the College of Liberal Arts Award for Excellence in the Teaching of the Humanities, the Panhellenic Outstanding Professor Award, and the Favorite Educator Award from the Mortar Board National Senior Honorary.

In 2010 Dr. Giustino was a Fulbright Research Scholar in Prague, where she gathered research for her book-length project on the fate of confiscated cultural property, including castles, chateaux, art, and antiques, in postwar Czechoslovakia. This detailed study of paths of dispossession and repossession in the tumultuous twentieth century will deepen our appreciation of how heritage is determined, advance our understanding of property, war and revolution, and contribute to the study of meaning and material culture. She has also held research awards from IIE Fulbright, the American Council of Learned Societies, the International Research Exchange Board, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the American Philosophical Society, and the TEMA Erasmus Mundus European Master’s Programme, for which she served as a Visiting Professor at the Charles University in Prague.

Dr. Giustino serves on the Editorial Board of HABSBURG, the H-Net list dedicated to the history of the Habsburg Monarchy and two academic councils in Prague, including one for the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes and the other for the Charles University’s Urban Studies publication series. She is a member of the committee planning the 2016 symposium to honor John W. Boyer, Ryerson Professor of History and Dean of the College of the University of Chicago. She has served on grant and prize committees for Fulbright (both in the United States and the Czech Republic), the Center for Austrian Studies, and the Central European Conference Group.

During 2015 she will deliver papers on migration and material culture in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia at the Neubauer Collegium at the University of Chicago, on technocracy and the politics of urban planning in interwar Prague at the University of Vienna’s Institut für Geschichtsforschung, and on historic preservation and nostalgia in postwar Czechoslovakia at the 47th Annual Convention of the Association of Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies in Philadelphia. In early 2016 Dr. Giustino and her AU colleague, Dr. Tiffany Sippial, will participate in “Women and Cold War Border Crossings,” a panel they created for the 130th Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association in Atlanta


  • PhD, University of Chicago
  • BA, Grinnell College

Representative Publications


  • Socialist Escapes: Breaks from Ideology and Everyday Life in Eastern Europe, 1945-1989 (Berghahn Books, 2013)
  • Tearing Down Prague's Jewish Town: Ghetto Clearance and the Legacy of Middle-Class Ethnic Politics around 1900 (East European Monographs, 2004)


  • “Ein Roman als Ausstellungsparcours in der sozialistischen Tschechoslowakei Fiktion, Wirklichkeit und Interieurs im, Großmuttertal,” Wohnen Zeigen, ed. Irene Nierhaus and Andreas Nierhaus (Vienna: Transcript, forthcoming).
  • “Czech Heritage since 1945,” eds., Thomas Gensheimer and Celeste Guichard, World Heritage and National Registers in Context (New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, forthcoming).
  • “Open Gates and Wandering Minds: Codes, Castles, and Chateaux in Socialist Czechoslovakia before 1960,” eds. Cathleen Giustino, Catherine Plum and Alexander Vari, Socialist Escapes: Breaks from Ideology and Everyday Routines in Eastern Europe, 1945-1989 (Berghahn Press, 2013): 48-73.
  • “Industrial Design and the Czechoslovak Pavilion at EXPO ’58: Artistic Autonomy, Party Control and Cold War Common Ground,” Journal of Contemporary History, 47, no. 1 (January 2012): 185-212.
  • “Otevřené brany k nostalgii: Zdeněk Wirth i Ratibořice,” Zdeněk Wirth pohledem dnešní doby, eds. Jiří Roháček and Kristina Uhlíková (Artefactum: Prague, 2011), 253-272.
  • “Rodin in Prague: Modern Art, Cultural Diplomacy, and International Display,” Slavic Review, 69, no. 3 (Fall 2010): 591-619.
  • “Persistent Anti-Jewish Hostility and Modern Technologies: The Entanglement of Old and New and the Radicalization of Politics in Prague around 1900,” Reflexions Historique/Historical Reflections 31, no. 3(Fall 2005): 1-22.
  • "Municipal Activism in Late-Nineteenth-Century Prague: The House Numbered 207-V and Ghetto Clearance," Austrian History Yearbook 34(2003): 247-278.

Last Updated: July 25, 2016