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:3306 Richcraft Hall (former 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 currently serves as Program Director for Migration and Diaspora Studies.

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.

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.

Current Research Projects:

Post-Soviet Migrants and Changing Memory Regimes in Germany, 1987-2018

Areas of Current Teaching

  • EURR 5010: Research Design and Methodology in European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (co-instructor Winter 2021)
  • EURR 5001: Interdisciplinary Seminar in European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (co-instructor Fall 2020)
  • MGDS 5001 Introduction to Migration and Diaspora Studies (co-instructor Fall 2020)
  • MGDS 5003 Research Seminar in Migration and Diaspora Studies (co-instructor Winter 2021)
  • GINS 1000: Global History
  • EURR 1001: Introduction to European and Russian Studies
  • EURR 5201 / RELI 4850/5850: Religion, Migration, & Identity
  • EURR 4303/5303 / HIST 4606 Contemporary Europe: From Postwar to the E.U.
  • EURR 4202/5202: Nazism and Stalinism (co-taught course with Jeff Sahadeo)
  • RELI  3140 / HIST 3714: Holocaust Encounters
  • RELI 3141 / HIST 3718: Germans and Jews

Selected Publication relating to European, Russian and Eurasian Studies:


Journal articles and book chapters:

Recent Papers Presented (selected):

  • “Migrants and Memory Politics: Russian-German and Russian-Jewish Commemorative Narratives and Responses to Refugees in Contemporary Germany,” German Studies Association, Pittsburgh, PA, September 27-30, 2018.
  • “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.
  • “Remembering the Soviet Union: Jewish and German Post-Soviet Migrants to Germany,” Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, San Antonio, Texas, November 20-23, 2014.
  • “Post-Soviet Migration and Changing Memory Regimes in Germany: Narratives of Soviet Times among Jewish Quota Refugees and ethnic German Aussiedler,” for international conference Post-Soviet Diasporas: Identity Construction, Linkages and Transformation, Carleton University, March 20-21, 2014
  • ”Siberia: the Far Eastern Front of Germany’s Imperial Imaginary” for seminar “Not So Quiet on the Eastern Front: New Directions in World War I Studies,” German Studies Association, Denver, Colorado, October 3-6, 2013.
  • “Colonizing the Wilderness: Siberia in Interwar German Captivity Narratives” part of panel “Between Germany and Russia: History, Music, Literature, and the Construction of Cultural Myth in the Early Twentieth Century,” German Studies Association, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October 4-7, 2012.