WMU Home > About WMU > WMU News

WMU News

Historian receives fellowship to conduct research in Germany

May 31, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Dr. Eli Rubin, an assistant professor of history at Western Michigan University, has received a two-year fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

The foundation was established by the Federal Republic of Germany to promote international research cooperation and enables highly qualified U.S. scholars who are non-German residents to conduct research in Germany for extended periods of time.

Rubin will use his Humboldt Fellowship to examine communist-era housing projects in the East Berlin suburb of Marzahn. The study, called "Material Memory: Marzahn, Socialism and the GDR," will form the basis of the second book in a planned trilogy.

The three texts are intended to form an "arc" on material destruction and replacement in postwar Germany, and will help frame a developing "new materialist" history of Germany.

The first book, "Plastics and Dictatorship in the German Democratic Republic," has been submitted for publication. Rubin expects to finish researching "Material Memory" next academic year as well as to start gathering preliminary research for the final book project, titled "The Summer of 1945: Picking up the Pieces in Germany."

Rubin came to WMU in 2004 and teaches introductory and survey courses for undergraduates in addition to upper-level undergraduate courses in modern European history.

His research interests encompass consumption, industrial design, architecture, urban geography, material culture, oral history, the history of technology and science, and the connections between generations, memory objects, and ideological and political legitimacy.

Rubin earned a doctoral and master's degree in history from the University of Wisconsin in 2004 and a bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College in 1997.

For more information, contact Eli Rubin at eli.rubin@wmich.edu or (269) 387-4646.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400