Photo of James Casteel

James Casteel

Associate Professor – Modern and Contemporary European History

Degrees:Ph.D. (Rutgers University), M.A. (University of Chicago), B.A. (Tulane University)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 1934
Office:3308 Richcraft Hall (the building formerly known as the River Building)

James Casteel is a historian of modern and contemporary Europe and is cross-appointed between the Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies and the Bachelor of Global and International Studies in Kroeger College. He is serving as undergraduate advisor for EURUS for the Winter term 2024.

Professor Casteel holds a B.A. in German and Philosophy from Tulane University (1994), an M.A. in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago (1997) and a Ph.D. in modern European history from Rutgers University (2005).  He spent significant time studying in Germany at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, the Universität Hamburg, and the Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz.  He has held fellowships and grants from Fulbright, the Rutgers Centre for Historical Analysis, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). He has been a visiting scholar at the Institute for East European Studies at the Free University of Berlin and the Selma Stern Centre for Jewish Studies Berlin-Brandenburg. From January 2019-December 2022 he served as the founding Program Director for the MA and Graduate Diploma programs in Migration and Diaspora Studies.

Research Interests Relates to European, Russian and Eurasian Studies:

Professor Casteel’s research interests include transnational relations between Germany and Russia from the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries, nations and empires in central and eastern Europe, diasporic cultures and belonging, European Jewish history including the Holocaust, and transnational and global approaches to the European past. His current research focuses on post-Soviet migrants in Germany (mostly Jews and ethnic Germans from the countries of the former Soviet Union) and issues of memory.

Current Research Projects:

Post-Soviet Migrants and Changing Memory Regimes in Germany, 1987-2018 (funded by SSHRC Insight Grant)

Current Teaching

Fall 2023

  • on Sabbatical

Winter 2024

  • GINS 1000: Global History
  • EURR 4303/5303 / HIST 4606 Contemporary Europe: From Postwar to the E.U.

Courses taught (selected)

  • EURR 1000 Introduction to European, Russian and Eurasian Studies
  • EURR 4201/5201/MGDS 5002 Migration and Muticulturalism in Europe and Eurasia,1945 to present (co-taught with Jeff Sahadeo)
  • EURR 5001A/B “Interdisciplinary Seminar in European and Russian Studies (team taught course)
  • EURR 5010A/B Research Design and Methodology in Europe, Russia, and Eurasian Studies (team taught course)
  • MGDS 5001 Introduction to Migration and Diaspora Studies (co-taught with Blair Rutherford)
  • MGDS 5010 Research Seminar in Migration and Diaspora Studies (co-taught with Blair Rutherford)
  • EURR 4202/5202 Nazism and Stalinism (co-taught with Jeff Sahadeo)

Selected Publication relating to European, Russian and Eurasian Studies:


Journal articles and book chapters:

Recent Papers Presented (selected):

  • “Post-Soviet Migrants and Transcultural Memories in Germany,” Paper presented at the Association for the Study of Nationalities 2023 World Convention, New York, NY, May 18-20, 2023.
  • “Decolonizations, Legacies of Empires, and Migrations in German Histories: Post-Soviet Perspectives.” Montreal Central European Studies Workshop, March 9-10, 2023.
  • “Russian German History as Global History: Beyond Ethnonational Frames,” International Conference “Russian Germans on Four Continents: Global History and Present,” Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies, University of Osnabrück, Germany (conference held virtually due to COVID-19). November 10-12, 2021.
  • “Migrant Memories: Narrating Post-Soviet Migration in Germany“ German Studies Association (conference held virtually due to COVID-19), October 1-3, 2020.
  • “Narratives of Victimization among Post-Soviet Migrants in Germany,” International Conference on “Narratives of Forced Migration in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries,” University of Stirling, Scotland, U.K, September 16-18, 2019.
  • “Migration and Transformation of Berlin’s Jewish Community: from Postwar to Post-Soviet,” Leo Baeck Summer University, July 9, 2019 (invited lecture).
  • “Post-Soviet Migrant Memories: Russian-Jewish and Russian-German Commemorative Narratives in Germany”, Selma-Stern Zentrum für Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg (Selma Stern Centre for Jewish Studies Berlin-Brandenburg), June 6, 2019 (invited lecture).
  • “Post-Soviet Migrants, Memory Politics, and Responses to Refugees in Germany,” 23rd Annual Convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities, Columbia University, New York, NY, May 3-5, 2018.
  • “Transcultural Memories and Diasporic Identities among Russian German and Jewish Migrants from the former Soviet Union to Germany,” for international conference “Russian Germans in a Comparative Context: New Research Perspectives,” Federal Institute for Culture and History of the Germans from Eastern Europe, Berlin, Germany, November 18-19, 2015.