Robert Nemes

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Robert Nemes

Charles A. Dana Professor of History

Department/Office Information

313 Alumni Hall

I first visited Budapest soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Everything about the city fascinated me: the elegant but dilapidated buildings (some still bullet-ridden from 1956), the lively open-air markets, the rattling yellow trolleys. I have since returned many times to Budapest and the surrounding region. Along the way I went to graduate school in history at Columbia University and now teach at Colgate University.

I offer courses in European and global history. These include The First World War; Germany, Russia, Eastern Europe; History of Travel and Tourism; and Coffee and Cigarettes: A Global History. Please contact me if you would like to see my syllabi.

My research and writing focus on Central and Eastern Europe. I have written two books - The Once and Future Budapest (Northern Illinois University Press, 2005) and Another Hungary: The Nineteenth-Century Provinces in Eight Lives (Stanford University Press, 2016). I'm also a co-editor, with Mo Healy, of the Austrian History Yearbook.

I'm currently thinking and writing about topics that have long fascinated me: Central Europe's big cities and small towns, the Danube River's past and present, and the hidden histories of everyday commodities (especially tobacco, wine, and coffee). Some of my publications can be found at my site.

  • BA, University of Pennsylvania
  • PhD, Columbia University

Modern Central and East Europe, urban history, biography, and commodities

  • “1846. Elkezdődik a Tisza szabályozása. A természet modern kori alávetése,” [1846. The Beginning of the Tisza's Regulation. The Modern Subjugation of Nature], in Magyarország globális története a kezdetektől 1868-ig, ed. Ferenc Laczó, András Vadas, and Bálint Varga (Budapest: Corvina Kiadó, 2023), 479-83.
  • “River Regulation, Infrastructure, and Small-Town Modernity on the Hungarian Danube, 1870-1945,” Water History 14, no. 3 (2022): 335-54 (published online in November 2022)
  • “Global Pests, National Pride, Local Problems, and the Crisis of Hungarian Wine, 1867-1914,” Austrian History Yearbook 52 (2021): 131-46
  • “A székely menekültek mindennapi élete” [The Everyday Life of Székely Refugees], in Székelyföld és a Nagy Háború. Tanulmánykötet az első világháború centenáriuma alkalmából, ed. Botond Nagy and Zsolt Orbán (Csíkszereda: Csíkszereda Könyvhivatal, 2018), 218-23
  • Another Hungary: The Nineteenth-Century Provinces in Eight Lives (Stanford University Press, 2016)
    Book cover of "Another Hungary" by Robert Nemes
  • “Ravaged Empire: Water and Power in Prewar Hungary,” in Watersheds: Poetics and Politics of the Danube River, ed. Marijeta Bozovic and Matthew Miller (Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2016), 160-82
  • “Refugees and Antisemitism in Hungary During the First World War,” in Sites of European Antisemitism in the Age of Mass Politics, 1880-1918, ed. Nemes and Unowsky (Brandeis University Press, 2014), 236-54
  • Book cover of "Sites of European Antisemitism in the Age of Mass Politics, 1880-1918" by Robert Nemes
    Sites of European Antisemitism in the Age of Mass Politics, 1880-1918, co-edited with Daniel Unowsky (Brandeis University Press, 2014)
  • “Mapping Hungary’s Borderlands” in Shatterzone of Empires, ed. Omer Bartov and Eric Weitz  Indiana University Press, 2013), 209-227
  • “Obstacles to Nationalization on the Hungarian-Romanian Language Frontier,” Austrian History Yearbook, 43 (2012): 28-44
  • “Budapest,” in Capital Cities in the Aftermath of Empire: Planning in Central and Southeastern Europe, ed. Emily Gunzburger Makaš and Tanja Damljanović Conley (Routledge, 2010), 141-56
  • “Hungary’s Anti-Semitic Peripheries: Ritual Murder and Violence in the 1880s” Slavic Review, 66, no. 1 (Spring 2007): 20-44
  • The Once and Future Budapest (Northern Illinois University Press, June 2005)
    Book cover of "The Once and Future Budapest" by Robert Nemes
  • “The Revolution in Symbols: Hungary in 1848-1849,” in Constructing Nationalities in East Central Europe, ed. Pieter Judson and Marsha Rozenblit (Berghahn Books, 2004), 37-49
  • “The Uncivil Origins of Civil Marriage: Hungary,” in Culture Wars: Secular-Catholic Conflict in Nineteenth-Century Europe, ed. Christopher Clark and Wolfram Kaiser (Cambridge University Press, 2003), 313-35
  • “The Politics of the Dance Floor: Civil Society and Culture in Nineteenth-Century Hungary,” Slavic Review 60, no. 4 (Winter 2001): 802-23
  • “Women in the 1848-1849 Hungarian Revolution,” Journal of Women’s History 13, no. 3 (Autumn 2001): 193-207
  • “Associations and Civil Society in Reform-Era Hungary,” Austrian History Yearbook 32 (2001): 25-45