Bruce Berglund

Bruce Berglund


  • B.A., History, University of Minnesota
  • Ph.D., East European and Russian History, University of Kansas


Professor Bruce Berglund has been to Bangkok, Beijing, Berlin, Budapest, Cracow, Croatia, Sarajevo, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tokyo, Transylvania, Trieste, Shanghai, Xi’an, Winnipeg, and Warroad.

As an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota, Professor Berglund studied different countries of the communist world: the Soviet Union, the East European states, and China. When he entered his graduate program at the University of Kansas, he chose to do his primary work in East European and Russian history and a secondary field in Chinese history. His research work has focused on Eastern Europe, taking him to the Czech Republic and the former Yugoslavia. Beginning in 2012, he took over teaching classes focusing on modern China and East Asia.

Academic interests

Professor Berglund has published research on nationalism, religion, and architecture in 20th-century Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. 

His first book was the essay collection Christianity & Modernity in Eastern Europe (Central European University Press, 2010), which he co-edited with Brian Porter-Szucs of the University of Michigan. See the review on H-Net.

His new book will be published in fall 2016: Castle and Cathedral in Modern Prague: Longing for the Sacred in a Skeptical AgeThis book takes a new approach to interwar Prague by identifying religion as an integral part of the city’s cultural history. Professor Berglund focuses on important figures in the politics and culture of Prague during the 1920s and 30s, including Tomáš Masaryk, the philosopher who became Czechoslovakia’s first president; his daughter Alice, founding director of the Czechoslovak Red Cross; and Jože Ple?nik, the Slovenian architect who directed the renovations of Prague Castle. This study of their beliefs and doubts shows the transition from a (mostly) Catholic tradition to a new religious conception that was modern, humanistic, and detached from any institution—much like the religious beliefs held by many Europeans today. 

His next book is history of world ice hockey and the globalization of sport, to be published as part of the University of California Press series "Sport in World History." 

Professor Berglund's work in global sports history extends into online media. He hosts the weekly podcast New Books in Sportswhich has featured episodes on Taiwanese baseball, Japanese sumo, Indian cricket, Scottish soccer, Canadian hockey, and American football. And he is editor of the online journal The Allrounder, which offers essays on global sport by academics and journalists.

Read Bruce Berglund's posts on Historical Horizons, the history department blog.

Courses taught


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Encyclopedia and reference articles

  • “East European Christianity and the Boundaries of Europe,” article in Handbook of Global Contemporary Christianity, edited by Stephen J. Hunt, pp. 188-207. Leiden: Brill, 2015.
  • “Totalitarianism,” article in The Brill Encyclopedia of Christianity, vol. 5. Leiden: Brill, 2007.
  • Eastern Europe, article in Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History, edited by William H. McNeill, vol. 2, 603-610. Berkshire Publishing, 2004.
  • Ivo Andric, Edvard Benes, Karel Capek, Milovan Djilas, Jaroslav Hasek, Vaclav Havel, Milan Kundera, Tomas Masaryk, articles in Biographical Dictionary of Literary Influences: The 20th Century, edited by John Powell. Greenwood Press, 2004.


  • “‘We stand on the threshold of a new age’: Alice Masaryková, the Czechoslovak Red Cross, and the Building of a New Europe.” In Aftermaths of War: Women’s Movements and Female Activists, 1918-1923. Edited by Ingrid Sharp and Matthew Stibbe. Leiden: Brill, 2011.
  • “Demokratický Hrad jako posvátný prostor (Náboženství a ideály v obnove Pražského hradu)” [The Democratic Castle as Sacred Space: Religion and Ideals in the Renovation of Prague Castle], translated into Czech by Martin C. Putna, Souvislosti: Revue pro literaturu a kulturu (September 2007): 208-221. Read a PDF English version.
  • “Building a Church for a New Age: The Search for a Modern Catholic Art in Turn-of-the-Century Central Europe.” Centropa: A Journal of Central European Architecture and Related Arts 3, no. 3 (September 2003): 225-239. Winner of the 2004 Stanley Z. Pech Prize of the Czechoslovak History Conference.
  • “‘All Germans are the same’: Czech and Sudeten German Exiles in Britain and the Transfer Plans.” National Identities 2:3 (Summer 2000): 225-44.
  • “Political Culture and Cultural Identity: The Messages of Czechoslovak Propaganda in Britain during the Second World War,” published in Czech translation. Strední Evropa 14 (December 1998): 59-71.
  • Emigrantstina in England: Opposition to Edvard Benes during the Second World War,” published in Czech translation. Historie a vojenství 47:5 (September 1998): 26-60.

In the news


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