The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to create Making the History of 1989.

Contact Information
Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media
George Mason University
4400 University Drive, MSN 1E7
Fairfax, VA 22030

Principal Investigator T. Mills Kelly

Project Editor, Tom Rushford

Project Manager, Katherine Gustin


Cold War International History Project of the Woodrow Wilson Center
German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C.
National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library, Cedar Rapids, IA.
National Security Archive
University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Special Collections
Wende Museum, Culver City, CA


Few images from the second half of the twentieth century endure as vividly as the jubilant crowds atop the Berlin Wall in 1989, seemingly tearing down the Cold War with their hammers, hands, and hopes. Just as memorable was the sight of hundreds of thousands of people filling Wenceslaus Square in Prague, chanting “Truth Will Prevail” as the communist regime crumbled before their eyes. These joyful images compete in popular memory with equally powerful but horrific scenes: the Romanian President, Nicolae Ceausescu, and his wife executed on live television on Christmas morning, or emaciated Bosnians peering out from behind prison camp wire following the outbreak of civil war in Yugoslavia. As rapid as it was unexpected, the collapse of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the period of transition that followed brought the twentieth century and the Cold War to a close in way few expected. Those who lived through those days will never forget the sense of seeing “history in the making.”

Making the History of 1989 materials were developed because teachers and their students have little access to vivid historical documents in English that convey the epochal events of 1989. Project materials utilize recent advances in our understanding of how historical learning takes place, including complex interaction with sources, recursive reading, and skills used by historians.

Making the History of 1989 has three key features: a substantial collection of high quality primary sources; a set of multimedia interviews that make visible the processes by which historians transform events and sources into historical narratives; and lesson plans and document based questions provide historical context, tools, and strategies for teaching the history of 1989 with primary sources in ways that make “history making” visible and vivid.

Project Team

T. Mills Kelly (Executive Producer and Principal Investigator) is Associate Director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media and an Associate Professor in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and his doctorate from George Washington University. He is the author of Without Remorse: Czech National Socialism in Late-Habsburg Austria and is the principal investigator or co-director of three National Endowment for the Humanities exemplary education projects that provide digital resources to students and teachers of world and European history. In 2005 he received the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award, the state’s highest honor for faculty excellence, and was the first recipient of this award in the category “Teaching with Technology.”

Kelly Schrum (Project Co-Director) is director of educational projects at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media and associate research professor in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University. Schrum is co-director of the websites World History Sources, Women in World History, Making the History of 1989, and Children and Youth in World History, and is associate director for History Matters. She is the academic program director for four Teaching American History grants. Schrum received her PhD from Johns Hopkins University and is the author of Some Wore Bobby Sox: The Emergence of Teenage Girls’ Culture, 1920-1950 (Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2004; paperback, 2006). Other publications include History Matters: A Student Guide to U.S. History Online (co-authored, 2004; 2nd edition, 2008), World History Matters: A Student Guide to History Online (2008) and “‘Teena Means Business’: Teenage Girls’ Culture and Seventeen Magazine, 1944-1950,” in Delinquent Daughters: Twentieth-Century American Girls’ Culture (1998), reprinted in Robert Griffith and Paula Baker, eds., Major Problems in American History since 1945.

Matthew P. Romaniello (Associate Director) is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Hawaii. He received his PhD from Ohio State University in 2003, with a focus on Russia and Eastern Europe, the early modern world, and gender history. He has published articles in Nationalities Papers, Central Asian Survey, and Comparative Studies in Society and History. His current research concerns globalization and imperialism, with a particular interest in cultural exchange and technology transfer.

Jon Berndt Olsen (Editor) is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Olsen received his BA in History, German, and Russian-Soviet Studies from St. Olaf College in 1993 and an M.A. in German and European Studies from Georgetown University in 1997. After his time at Georgetown, he received a Robert Bosch Fellowship and was able to work for a member of the German Parliament and for the House of History (one of Germany’s national history museums). Upon returning to the United States, Olsen earned a Ph.D. in German History from the University of North Carolina in 2004. He is currently revising his book manuscript, Tailoring Truth: Memory Culture and State Legitimacy in East Germany. His research has been supported by the Fulbright Commission, the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the US Department of Education. Olsen is also active in promoting the use of new technologies in his role as one of editors of H-German, an online scholarly network of scholars of German history and German studies. Outside academia, he is also the Dean of Waldsee, a summer German language and culture immersion program of Concordia Language Villages in Minnesota.

Tom Rushford (Editor) is a Postdoctoral Fellow at George Mason University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2006. He is currently working on a manuscript based on his dissertation, entitled Burnings and Blessings: The Cultural Reality of the Supernatural Across Early Modern Spaces.

Jeremy Boggs (Creative Lead) is a PhD student in the Department of History and Art History at GMU. His dissertation focuses on the history of web design, particularly the development of Cascading Style Sheets as a design language for the web. He other research interests include the history of science and technology, American cultural history, and digital history. On his personal website, ClioWeb, Jeremy blogs about how historians can use the electronic form as a tool for academic and educational expression.

Maureen Connors (Graduate Research Assistant) received her Master of Arts degree from George Mason University in 2008. She will continue as a PhD student at George Mason pursuing her doctorate in Early U.S. history. Maureen managed and researched copyright permissions for primary source material on the 1989 project.

Misha Mazzini Griffith (Graduate Research Assistant) is a doctoral student at George Mason University. She is concentrating on Central European cultural history and more specifically on Czechoslovakia during the Cold War. She brings many years of historical documentary production experience to Making the History of 1989.

Katherine Gustin (Project Manager) is a Masters student in the Department of History at George Mason University. She is fascinated with history of the Balkans after living in Bosnia for almost two years. A former high school social studies teacher, she decided to move to northern Virginia to attend GMU and pursue graduate studies.

Kristopher Kelly (Web Developer) is currently a web developer at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. He graduated from Wesleyan University in Spring of 2006 with a B.A. in English. His interests include history, PHP, and long walks on the beach. All day he types furiously.

Kristin May (Research Assistant) is a recent graduate of George Mason University with a B.A. in History and Global Affairs. Through her travels and studies at George Mason she has developed an interest in the contemporary history of Eastern Europe. In October 2008 she will start her Masters in Eastern European studies at the University of Bologna in Forli, Italy.

Anastasia Mikheeva (Graduate Research Assistant) is a Fulbright scholar from Russia who has received her M.A. in History at George Mason University. She has contributed to the CHNM projects Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives and Making History of 1989.

Liz Moore (Project Associate) is a B.A. student in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University. In addition to her work at CHNM, she is working on a research project entitled "Writing Histories of the Mandela Miracle from the U.S. Government Perspective: Unclassified Documents of the National Security Archive and the Transition to Democracy in South Africa."

Emily Perdue (Research Assistant) is an Honors student majoring in Art History at George Mason University.

Laura Veprek (Web Designer) designs websites for various projects at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. In addition to Making the History of 1989 Laura has also worked on the National History Education Clearinghouse , Teaching American History: Foundations of U.S. History, Teaching American History: Conflict and Consensus, Papers of the War Department 1784-1800, Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives , U.S. Diplomacy: An Online Exploration of Diplomatic History and Foreign Affairs, National History Center, and National Coalition for History.

Misha Vinokur (Media Editor) is an undergraduate at George Mason University seeking a major in Government & International Politics and a minor in Legal Studies. With a growing hobby in multimedia production, he spends his time at CHNM producing the videos found in a number of featured projects.

Pin Wang (Programmer) is currently a programming assistant at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. He has worked on the ADST, Virginia 400, and Making the History of 1989 projects. He is a student at George Mason University.

Gwen White (Project Manager) is a doctoral student in American History at George Mason University. She received a Master of Architectural History from the University of Virginia and a B.I.S. in Historic Preservation from George Mason University. At CHNM, Gwen has managed several projects, including Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives and Making the History of 1989.


Bradley Abrams was a Professor in the Department of History at Columbia University from 1997-2007 and since 2004 has served as the Associate Director of the Harriman Institute for Russian, East European, and Eurasia Studies. His research and teaching center on the Communist period in Eastern Europe and he is the author of The Struggle for the Soul of the Nation: Czech Culture and the Rise of Communism as well as many articles on the Communist experience in the region.

Maria Bucur is the John W. Hill Chair of European History and Associate Professor in the Department of History at Indiana University. Her research and teaching interests focus on European history in the modern period, especially social and cultural developments in Eastern Europe. She is the author of Eugenics and Modernization in Interwar Romania and is currently working on a book titled The Violence of Memory and Memory of Violence on the Edge of Europe.

Padraic Kenney is a Professor in the Department of History at Indiana University. He is the author of several books on the Communist Period in East Central Europe, including A Carnival of Revolution: Central Europe 1989 and The Burdens of Freedom: Eastern Europe Since 1989. He is currently researching a book on political prisoners in the twentieth-century world.

Gale Stokes is Mary Gibbs Jones Professor Emeritus of History and past chair of the history department at Rice University. A three-time winner of the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching at Rice, he specializes in the history of Eastern Europe, Balkan History and Nationalism. Dr. Stokes is the author of From Stalinism to Pluralism: A Documentary History of Eastern Europe Since 1945; The Walls Came Tumbling Down: The Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe; Three Eras of Political Change in Eastern Europe and The West Transformed. He received the 1994 Vucinich Prize for the best book in the field of Russian, Eurasian and East European studies from the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. He holds a BA from Colgate University and an MA and a PhD from Indiana University.

Vladimir Tismaneanu is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Maryland, College Park and is the author of many books on East European society and politics. Among his most recent books are Stalinism for All Seasons: A History of Romanian Communism and Fantasies of Salvation: Democracy, Nationalism and Myth in Post-Communist Eastern Europe.

Introductory Essay Author

Elizabeth Clark, Associate Professor of History, West Texas A&M University, is author of numerous reviews, articles, and conference papers on Russian and East Central European History. Since 2000, she has been the editor for the online Humanities Net list, H-Russia, and has experience abroad in Poland and Germany as a Fulbright Scholar and Institute for the Study of World Politics Fellow, respectively.

Teaching Module Authors

James Bjork, Lecturer in History at King’s College in London, is the author of Neither German nor Pole: Catholicism and National Indifference Central European Borderland.

Tom Ewing, Associate Professor of History at Virginia Tech, is author of The Teachers of Stalinism: Policy, Practice, and Power in Soviet Schools of the 1930s and editor of Revolution and Pedagogy: Interdisciplinary and Transnational Perspectives on Educational Foundations.

Cathleen Giustino, Associate Professor of History at Auburn University, is author of Tearing Down Prague's Jewish Town: Ghetto Clearance and the Legacy of Middle-Class Ethnic Politics around 1900. Dr. Giustino is currently a Review Editor and Editor for HABSBURG, an H-Net discussion list.

T. Mills Kelly (see above).

Irina Livezeanu, Associate Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh, is author of Cultural Politics in Greater Romania: Regionalism, National Building, and Ethnic Struggle, 1918-1930.

Brian Porter-Szucs, Associate Professor of History at the University of Michigan, is author of When Nationalism Began to Hate: Imagining Modern Politics in Nineteenth-Century Poland and the forthcoming For God and Fatherland: Poland, Catholicism, and Modernity.

Lesson Plan/DBQ Authors

Jennifer Dikes, Humanities teacher at the Baccalaureate School for Global Education in New York.

Laura Thompson teaches AP European History and AP Art History in the Capistrano Unified School District. She attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as a history major and then went on to earn her Masters in History at Cal State Fullerton in Early Modern European History and 19th Century American History. She has received two Fulbright Awards to study in Japan and Latin America and was awarded two National Endowment for the Humanities grants for studies including: the Industrial Revolution in England and the Miracles of 1989, the Fall of Communism.

Tom Rushford (see above).

Cynthia Szwajkowski is the Teaching American History Grant Coordinator for Fairfax County Public Schools, a one million dollar federal grant program. Dr. Szwajkowski also taught Advanced Placement U.S. History and Government to high school students in northern Virginia. She was awarded the Virginia Social Studies Teacher of the Year (2005) and, additionally, has experience teaching U.S. History to Loudoun County teachers.

Elizabeth Ten Dyke is Vice Principal at J. Watson Bailey Middle School in Kingston, New York. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, Dr. Ten Dyke is the author of Paradoxes of Memory in History: Dresden, Germany after 1989, published with Routledge in 2001. This study explores tensions and contradictions in social memory and historical understanding in the former German Democratic Republic after 1989.

Case Study Authors

Hugh Agnew, Professor of History and International Affairs, The Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. Professor Agnew earned an Honors B.A. in history from Queen's University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Eastern Europe and the European history survey. He focuses on nationalism in the region, especially Czech nationalism. Among his publications are The Czechs and the Lands of the Bohemian Crown (2004), Origins of the Czech National Renascence (1993), and numerous articles and chapters on aspects of Czech nationalism and national identity. He has appeared on international and local media including CNN, C-SPAN, Voice of America's Czech service, and Radio Prague.

Melissa Bokovoy is an Associate Professor of History at the University of New Mexico, and served as a Woodrow Wilson Center Fellow from 2005-2006. She received a Ph.D. in East European History in 1991 from Indiana University, Bloomington. Her current research project is entitled Politics of Commemoration: Memory and Mourning in Serbia and Croatia, 1919-1941.

David Doellinger is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of History at Western Oregon University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburg in 2002. His research interests include Central/Eastern Europe, Russia/Soviet Union, German History, Bosnia, and Social Movements.

Maura Hametz is an Associate Professor of History at Old Dominion University, specializing in western Habsburg and Italian history since 1870. Her work focuses on the cultural, political and social construction of Italian identity in the Upper Adriatic region. She is the author of Making Trieste Italian, 1918-1954 and is currently working on two projects Italy's Sea: Italian Mediterraneanism under Fascism and In The Name of Justice: Nationality, Gender, and Fascist Administrative Justice.

Kevin Deegan-Kraus is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Wayne State University, His research in comparative politics emphasizes central European politics, democracy, political institutions and nationalism. His book Elected Affinities: Democracy and Party Competition in Slovakia and the Czech Republic is forthcoming in December 2005 from Stanford University Press. His other publications include articles in Party Politics, the Journal of Democracy, East European Politics and Societies and chapters in a variety of edited volumes. He is the recipient of the Truman and Fulbright Scholarships as well as of IREX Individual Advanced Research Grants. He has served as a consultant for the U.S. Department of State on the politics of central Europe. His on-going research concerns the origins and consequences of political divides in new democracies, including an edited-volume project on the significance of intra-ethnic competition in ethnically-plural societies called Houses Divided: The Intra-Ethnic Dynamics of Inter-Ethnic Conflict, and a book project on the causes of electoral support for authoritarian leaders in competitive authoritarian regimes called Voting for Thugs: Explaining Support for Postcommunist Strongmen.

Jill Massino received her Ph.D. in East European and Cultural History from Indiana University in 2007. She was a visiting professor in the department of history at Oberlin College and a visiting instructor in the Program of Gender and Women's Studies at Bowdoin College. Her publications include: Gender Politics and Everyday Life under State Socialism in East and Central Europe: New Scholarship from the United States and Europe since 1989, (coedited with Shana Penn) New York: Palgrave, forthcoming, 2009; 'Gender as Survival: Women's Experiences of Deportation from Romania to the Soviet Union, 1945 - 1950', Nationalities Papers no. 36, vol. 1 (March, 2008): 55 - 83, and "Women, Welfare, and the Self in Post-socialist Romania" in "Beyond Little Vera: Women's Bodies, Women's Welfare in Russia and Central/Eastern Europe" eds. Angela Brintlinger and Natasha Kolchevska, Ohio Slavic Papers 7 (2008): 131-52.

Basia Nowak received her Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 2004. She has served as managing editor of the Journal of Women's History and has taught women's history and U.S. history at Ohio State University-Newark. Awards include the 2004 Feminist Studies Award for her article, "Constant Conversations: Agitators in the League of Women in Poland during the Stalinist Period."

Jon Berndt Olsen (see above)

Matt Romaniello (see above)

Tricia Starks, is Associate Professor of History at the University of Arkansas and the author of The Body Soviet: Propaganda, Hygiene, and the Revolutionary State, (2008). She coedited Tobacco in Russian History and Culture: The Seventeenth Century to the Present with Matthew Romaniello and is completing a monograph on the cultural history of cigarettes in the Soviet Union.

Elizabeth Ten Dyke (see above)

Jennifer Walton is an instructor in the Humanities Program at St. Anselm College. She received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 2004, specializing in the history of American foreign relations with a focus on gender and the Cold War.

Editorial Assistance

Alan Gevinson is co-author of History Matters: A Student Guide to U.S. History Online (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005), author of Library of Congress Motion Pictures, Broadcasting, Recorded Sound: An Illustrated Guide (Library of Congress, 2002), editor of Within Our Gates: Ethnicity in American Feature Films, 1911-1960 (University of California Press, 1997), and associate editor of The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States: Feature Films, 1931-1940 (University of California Press, 1993). At CHNM, he has worked on the websites History Matters and Making the History of 1989. He received a Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins University and teaches history at George Mason University. He specializes in 19th- and 20th-century American cultural history, media history, film history, and older forms of popular culture.

Joel Tannenbaum, University of Hawaii

Deanna Wooley is a doctoral candidate in the History Department at Indiana University-Bloomington. Her fields of study include modern Eastern Europe and cultural history. She received an M.A. in History from IU-Bloomington in June 2003 and is currently completing her dissertation on the collective memory of the 1989 "Velvet Revolution" in Czech society. Her research interests include memory studies, oral history, generations, and student movements in the 20th century.