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John Williams

John Williams


    Bradley Hall 336E
    (309) 677-3182


Ph.D., History, University of Michigan
M.A., History, University of Michigan
B.A., History and Film Studies, University of North Carolina


John Williams has taught modern European and German history at Bradley since 1997. He was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and raised alongside sister Liza and brother Ray in Cullowhee, North Carolina, by Max and Sarah Williams.


  • HIS 320 Renaissance and Reformation
  • HIS 321 Topics in European History:
    • Europe, 1880-1945: Society, Culture, Politics
    • History of European Film
  • HIS 327 Topics in European Cultural History:
    • Popular Culture in Twentieth-Century Europe
    • European Culture since 1945
  • HIS 329 Germany, 1870-present
  • HIS 340 Twentieth-Century Europe 
  • HIS 342 Europe, 1789-1914
  • HIS 343 Ancient Greece and the Hellenistic World
  • HIS 350 Junior Seminar in Historical Methods
  • HIS 375 The Holocaust
  • HIS 382 Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Europe since 1500
  • HIS 451 Senior Research Seminar in European History. Topics:
    • Weimar and Nazi Germany
    • The First World War
    • History of European Film
    • Resistance in Twentieth-Century Europe
    • European Civilians in World War II
    • Postwar European Film in Historical Context
    • European Revolutions of 1989
  • HON 101 Honors Seminar:
    • Cinematic Poetry
    • Recent Documentary Filmmaking
    • The Films of Robert Altman
    • Twenty-First Century Filmmaking
    • Women and Families in World Film
    • Recent American Filmmaking
    • Religion and Film
      Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Recent World Film
      21st-Century World Filmmaking
      The Horror Movie
      Our Era of Uncertainty on Film
      LGBTQ Film
  • MLS 610 Weimar Germany: Culture and Politics
  • CIV 100, 101, 102, 111/112,and 113/114 Western Civilization, including combined Honors Freshman Composition and Honors Fine Arts
  • Recipient of Bradley University’s annual Charles M. Putnam Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2009.


  • Current editorial project: Contemporary European Film since 1990 [add]
  • Turning to Nature in Germany: Hiking, Nudism, and Conservation, 1900-1940. Stanford University Press, 2007.
  • As editor: Weimar Culture Revisited: Studies in European Culture and History. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
  • As editor: Berlin Since the Wall’s End: Shaping Society and Memory in the German Metropolis since 1989. Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008.
  • “The Tourist Association ‘Friends of Nature’ and Working-Class Hiking in Interwar Germany, 1919-1935” inNaturFreundeGeschichte/NatureFriendsHistoryII:1, (October, 2014).
  • “Der Körper fordert seine Rechte: Nudismus in der Arbeiterbewegung, 1919-1935” in NaturFreundeGeschichte/NatureFriendsHistory (April, 2014) at
  • “Foreword” in Weimar Culture Revisited, ed. John A. Williams (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), ix-xxiv.
  • “Friends of Nature: The Culture of Working-Class Hiking” in Weimar Culture Revisited, ed. John A. Williams (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 199-225.
  • “The Rebellious Body of the New Human Being: Socialist Nudism in the Weimar Republic, 1919-1933” in Rebellion and Revolution: Defiance in German Language, History, and Art, ed. Priscilla Layne and Melissa Etzler (Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010), 189-203.
  • “Preface” in Berlin Since the Wall’s End, ed. John A. Williams (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008).
  • “Protecting Nature Between Democracy and Dictatorship: The Changing Ideology of the Bourgeois Conservationist Movement, 1925-1935” in Germany’s Nature: Cultural Landscapes and Environmental History, ed. Thomas Lekan and Thomas Zeller (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2005), 183-206.
  • “Ecstasies of the Young: Sexuality, the Youth Movement, and Moral Panic in Germany on the Eve of the First World War” in Central European HistoryXXXIV:2 (2001), 162-189.
  • “Steeling the Young Body: Official Attempts to Discipline Youth Hiking in Germany from 1913 to 1938” in Occasional Papers in German StudiesXII (1997).
  • “‘The Chords of the German Soul are Tuned to Nature’: The Movement to Preserve the Natural Heimat from the Kaiserreich to the Third Reich” in Central European HistoryXXIX:3 (1996), 339-384.
  • Review of Gavriel D. Rosenfeld, Hi Hitler! How the Nazi Past is Being Normalized in Contemporary Culturein The Journal of Modern History 89:3 (forthcoming September 2017). [add]
  • Review of Brian Hoffman, Naked: A Cultural History of American Nudismin Bulletin of the History of Medicine 90:2 (Summer 2016), 352-353. [add]
  • Review of Moritz Föllmer, Individuality and Modernity in Berlin: Self and Society from Weimar to the Wall in American Historical Review (forthcoming 2014).
  • Review of DVD/Blu-Ray release of The Blue Angelin Modernism/ModernityXX:4 (November, 2013), 801-804.
  • Review of Sandra Chaney, Nature in the Miracle Years: Conservation in West Germany, 1945-1975in Central European HistoryXLIII:1 (March 2010), 212-214.
  • Review of Luke Springman, Carpe Mundum: German Youth Culture of the Weimar Republicfor H-Childhood, August 2008 at
  • Review of Willi Oberkrome, ”Deutsche Heimat”: Nationale Konzeption und regionale Praxis von Naturschutz, Landschaftsgestaltung, und Kulturpolitik in Westfalen-Lippe und Thüringen (1900-1960)for H-German, May 2007at
  • Review of Franz-Josef Brüggemeier, Marc Cioc, and Thomas Zeller, eds., How Green Were the Nazis? Nature, Environment, and Nation in the Third Reichfor H-German, July 3, 2006 at
  • Review of Gerald Izenberg, Modernism and Masculinity: Mann, Wedekind, Kandinsky Through World War I in Central European HistoryXXXVI:1 (2003), 136-139.
  • Review of Karl Toepfer, Empire of Ecstasy: Nudity and Movement in German Body Culture, 1910-1935 in Central European HistoryXXXIII:1 (2000), 145-147.
  • Review of William H. Rollins, A Greener Vision of Home: Cultural Politics and Environmental Reform in the German Heimatschutz Movement, 1904-1918in Central European History XXXII:3 (1999), 345-349.


  • LAS College Tenure and Promotion Committee, 2017-2018
  • LAS Mission, Vision, and Values Committee, 2017-2018
  • Chair of the Department of History January-May, 2011 and August, 2012-April, 2015 [revise]
  • Faculty Senate, 1999-2003, 2005-2009, 2017-2018.
  • Affirmative Action Committee, 2015-2018
  • Chair of the Liberal Arts and Sciences Research Excellence Award Committee, 2013-2015
  • President, Bradley Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society, 2012-2015
  • Co-Founder, Bradley Anti-Slavery Coalition, 2010
  • Advisory Board of the Center for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development, 2010-2015
  • Chair of History Department Tenure and Promotion Committee, 2008-2010 and 2017
  • Senate Sabbatical Leave Committee, 2008-2010
  • Intellectual and Cultural Affairs Committee, 2008-2010 and 2017-2019
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences College Curriculum Committee, 2007-2010
  • Director of the annual Berlin Seminar for North American academics, 2000-2006