Alexander Maxwell

Curriculum Vitae
Alexander Maxwell

I am a historian of modern European history, specializing in Central European nationalism. This page describes my professional activities.


(Click the link for an abstract)

Books in progress

Choosing Slovakia, 1789-1938: Slavic Hungary, the Czech Language, and Accidental Nationalism is under review at Slavica press. One anonymous reviewer described it as a "tour de force." This manuscript builds on my dissertation research.

I have translated Ján Kollár's Wechselseitigkeit zwischen die Stämme und Mundarten der slawischen Nation into English, and written a 60-page introduction describing Kollár's ideas, political propopsals, and influence on subsequent Yugoslav and Czechoslovak nationalism. (Bloomington: Slavica, 2008).

I am also conducting research on a nationalism in daily life, for which I am making progress on a book manuscript provisionally titled Patriots Against Fashion. Chatto and Windus have expressed informal interest. I am also thinking about a collection of essays called Everyday Hungary.

Peer Reviewed Journals (Published / Accepted for Publication)

“National Endogamy and Double Standards: Sexuality and Nationalism in East-Central Europe during the 19th Century,” Journal of Social History (2007) 266-90.

“Tobacco, Nationalism and 19th Century Hungarian Society” Journal of the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs (Autumn 2006, forthcoming).

"Ban the Bullet Point! Content-Based PowerPoint for Historians," The History Teacher, (forthcoming).

From Wild Carpathians to the Puszta: The Evolution of Hungarian National Landscapes (link shows an incomplete article). In Mythical Landscapes Then and Now, Ruth Buettner, Judith Peltz, eds. (Yerevan: McMillan, 2006), 53-77.

The Regionalist Approach to Austrian History: Austrian Studies Within the Context of German and East European HistoryTeaching Austria, no. 2 (2006), 56-69.

“Budapest and Thessaloniki as Slavic Cities: Urban Infrastructures, National Organizations, and Ethnic Territories,” Ethnologia Balkanica, vol. 9 (2005), 43-64.

Multiple Nationalism: Slovak National Concepts in Nineteenth-Century Hungary and Benedict Anderson’s ‘Imagined Communities’,” Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, vol. 11, no.3 (Fall 2005, forthcoming).

Nationalizing Sexuality: Sexual Stereotypes in the Habsburg Empire,, Journal of the History of Sexuality, vol. 4, no. 3 (2006), 266-90. (access through project MUSE)

Why the Slovak Language has three Dialects: A Case Study in Historical Perceptual Dialectology, Austrian History Yearbook, (Spring 2006) 385-414. This article won the R. John Rath Prize in Austrian Studies.

“The ‘Literary Dialect’ in Slovak Nationalist Thought,” in The Weight of History and Games of Interpretations, Zora Hlavičková, Nicolas Maslowski, eds. (Prague: CES, 2005), 132-145 (full text online).

“Ancient Runes in Modern Life: Hungary’s Rune-Writing Enthusiasts,” in Gizli Diller [Secret Languages], Emine Gursoy-Naskali, Erdal Sahin, eds. (Istanbul: Kitabevi, 2006, forthcoming).

Magyarization, Language Planning and Whorf - The Word ‘Uhor’ as a Case Study in Linguistic Relativism,” Multilingua vol. 23 (2004) 319-317 (full text online).

Contemporary Hungarian Rune Writing: Linguistic Nationalism within a Homogenous Nation.” Anthropos, no.1 (2004) 161-75.

Literary Dialects in China and Slovakia,International Journal of Sociolinguisitics, no. 164 (2003) 129-149.

Other Academic Publications (Published / Accepted for Publication)

“Fashion and Symbolic Geography,” in: Irinia Vainovski-Mihai, ed., Europa Program Yearbook, (Bucharest: Universul, 2008)

“Krste Misirkov's 1903 Call for Macdeonian Autocephaly: Religious Nationalism as Instrumental Political Tactic,” Studia Theologica, vol. 5, no. 3 (2007), 147-76.

“Hey, Slovaks, where is my home? Slovak Lyrics for Non-Slovak National Songs.” Philologica Jassyensia, no. 1-2 (2006), 157-70.

The entries "Hungary: 1815-1918," "The 'Language War,' 1840-48," "1848 Hungarian Revolution against the Habsburgs," "1848-49 Non-Magyar Uprisings Agaisnt the Magyars," and "Congress of Non-Magyar Nationalities," in: Immanuel Ness, Geoffry de Lafocrade, and Jakub Basista, eds., The Encyclopedia of Protest and Revolution in World History (New York: Facts on File, forthcoming).

Unexpected Consequences: Language Planning and Slovak Nationalism” in Nationalisms Across the Globe, vol. 1: Europe , W. Burszta, T. Kamusella, S. Wojciechowski, eds. (Poznan, Poland: Wyzsza Szkola Nauk Humanistycznych i Dziennikwarstwa, 2005). 227-259.

“Hungaro-Slavism: Territorial and National Identity in Nineteenth-Century Slovakia,” East Central Europe/l'Europe du Centre-Est (ECE/ECE), vol. 29/pt.1 (2002) 45-58.

I briefly wrote for Prognosis, a Prague-based paper that folded in 1995. Read a colorful account of its demise here.

Academic Training

2003    Ph.D. in History
University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dissertation: Choosing Slovakia (1795-1914): Slavic Hungary, the Czech Language, and Slovak Nationalism.  Click here for an abstract and table of contents. I am presently working on a book proposal. Thesis Committee: David McDonald (advisor), Kemal Karpat, Alison Frank, Tom Purnell, Stanley Payne. Prelim fields in Central European, Russian, and European Social History. Ph.D. Minor in Sociolinguistics. Cumulative Madison GPA: 3.89.

1999     M.A. in Nationalism Studies
Central European University in Budapest. My thesis title was “Slovak Identity-History.” Supervisors: Mária Kovács, Yaroslav Hrytsak. Final GPA: 3.89. My thesis and defense both received the grade of A+.

1998      M.A. in History
University of Wisconsin, Madison. My thesis title was “Sundry Macedonias, 1871-1948.” Committee: Rudy Koshar, David McDonald, and Kemal Karpat.

1992      B.A.S.  Bachelor’s Degree in History and Physics
University of California, Davis. I also spent two years as an exchange student at Georg-August Universität in Göttingen, Germany. Final GPA: 3.51 (includes courses in Germany)

Conferences and Talks

(Click the title for an abstract)

“North Hungarian Slavic: Political Roots of a Transient Language,”
June 2007 Conference: Failed National Languages: National Languages Through Historians' Eyes.
New Europe College, Bucharest, Romania.

“The Regional Basis of Macedonian Ethnic Identity: Slavic Macedonia, 1903-43”
May 2007 Conference: Region, Regional Identity and Regionalism in South-Eastern Europe."
West-University of Timisoara.

“The Slavs of Hungary”
April 2007 Talk at the Invitation of Eva Kowalska
Slovak Academy of Sciences

“National Anatomy: Racial Thinking and the Biologicization of National Difference”
June 2006 Conference: “Without Let or Hindrance .”
Lancaster University, UK

“The Hungarian Reform Age.”
Guest lecture for John Ashbrook, May 2006.

. “Budapest and Thessaloniki as Slavic Cities.”
May 2005 conference: “Urban Life and Culture in South-Eastern Europe.”
Philosophical Faculty of the University of Belgrade.

“Hungarian Rune-Writing as a Secret Language.”
April 2005 conference: “Signs and Secret Languages.”
Marmara University, Istanbul.

“Slovak History and Accidental Nationalism.”
September 2004 talk at the Central European Seminar.
Cseh Centrum / české centrum, Budapest

Women, Sovereignty and Fashion.”
May 2004 talk at the invitation of Ann Heilmann, (Women and Gender Seminar).
University of Swansea, Wales.

“National Moustaches, National Fashion.
May 2004 talk at the invitation of Johan Schot.
Technical University, Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Linguistic Taxonomies: Languages and Dialects.”
November 2003 Conference: “Four Empires and an Enlargement.”
London School of Slavonic and East European Studies.

“Rune Writing Subculture as a Minority National Movement in Modern Hungary.”
August 2003 conference: “The Cultures of Post-1989 Central and East Europe.”
Petru Maior University, Târgu Mures.

Hungaro-Slavic Women and National Brotherhood.”
November 2002 conference: “Power and Power Relations in East Central Europe.”
University of California, Berkeley.

The East-West Discourse.”
March 2002 talk at the invitation of Juraj Hvorecký.
Center for Theoretical Study, Prague.

Taxonomies of Slavic Identity.”
Conference: “Europe 1000-2000.”
Central European University, Budapest; April 2001.

“Sozialgruppenformung und Rhetorik in der slowakischen Nationalbewegung.”
Conference: “Nationalisierung der Religion und Sakralisierung der Nation.”
Geisteswissenchaftliche Zentrum Geschichte und Kultur Osteuropas (GWZO),

Midwest Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS).
University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana; March 2000.

“Literary Language and the Emergence of a Macedonian Nationality.”
Conference:  European Borderlands.
University of Wisconsin, Madison; April 1999.

I attended “Die Situation der Roma in der Slowakei und Österreich” in Košice in 1997.

Fellowships and Scholarships

2007 Europa Program Fellowship at the New Europe College, Bucharest, Romania.

2005 Maria Sibylla Merian Transatlantic Fellowship University of Erfurt, Germany

2002 University Fellowship – U.W. Madison History department Merit scholarship for one semester of financial aid, Madison Wisconsin.

2000 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Summer Hungarian at the University of Indiana, Bloomington.

1998 National Security Education Program (NSEP) This award supported my second M.A. degree at CEU.

1997 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS). Awarded for Serbo-Croat, this supported my second year at Madison.

1997 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS). Summer Czech at Masaryková univerzita, Brno.

1996 University Fellowship - U.W. Madison History Department. This fellowship supported my first year of graduate study.

1995 Masaryk Fellow, Foundation for a Civic Society. This was an NGO position in Prague castle. I counted Václav Havel’s bodyguards among my students.

1992 Contact Scholarship as an exchange student in Göttingen.

1991 National Merit Scholarship (Davis, California).

1990 Bonheim Merit Scholarship (Davis, California)

Teaching Experience

Lecturer, Victoria University, Wellington New Zealand. Since July 2007 I am a full time lecturer in the history department: Twentieth Century Europe, German History, and the second half of European Civilization. I also taught discussion sections of Modern World with Valerie Weinstein.

Lecturer in History University of Wales, Swansea . I designed and coordinated HIH 120 Europe of Extremes, (a survey course on Twentieth century Europe), HIH 338 Modern Central Europe (an upper division course on Central Europe and the Balkans), and a Master's Degree seminar on Twentieth-Century Yugoslavia.  Contact Noel Thompson, N.Thompson(at)

Teaching Assistant University of Wisconsin, Madison. I taught discussion sections for History 357 “The Second World War.” Contact Stanley Payne:  sgpayne(at)

Open Society Institute Instructor, Sabanci University, Istanbul. In July, I taught a one-week course “Racial Groups in the United States” to participants in the Undergraduate Exchange Program (part of the Open Society Institute). Contact Alex Irwin, airwin(at)

Academic Writing and Humanities Instructor, City University, Bratislava. I taught “Academic Writing” and “European Ethics” at the BA level. I also served as grade grievance auditor and did internet-based teaching. Contact Scott Mason, smason(at)

Teaching Assistant, University of Wisconsin, Madison. History 419 “Soviet History,” taught by Philip Swoboda, and History 356 “Europe Between the Wars,” taught by Stanley Payne.

English as a Second Language Teacher. I worked for the Oxford Hungaria and Magnalingua language schools, and also taught various private students to support my dissertation research.

Assistant Language Teacher, Niikawa Joshii koku, Uozu city, Toyama Prefecture (
新川女子 魚津市 富山県
), Japan. I spent a year teaching English in Japanese public schools on the JET Program.

ESL - Grammar Instructor (Delgado Community College).  I taught two sections of “Intermediate Grammar.” The students were mostly Vietnamese or Latin American.

Private Tutor: Math, Physics, English.  I taught High School Math, Physics and English, 15 hours a week, in German. My student was Bavarian child who could not attend public school in Louisiana for some reason. This position ended when the boy returned to Bavaria.

English and German Language Teacher, Státní Jazyková Škola (since renamed the Prague Language School). I taught English and German to Czech students, and taught German to Anglophones.

Sample Syllabi

Courses already taught

Twentieth Century Europe (lower-division survey course)
European Ethics (lower-division course)
Central European History (upper division course).
Nationalism, Culture and Violence in Yugoslavia (MA seminar)

Draft syllabi
Modern World  (lower-division course)
History of Writing (lower division course)
European Intellectual History (Intensive "Great Books" seminar for first year students)
Social History (upper division course)
Russian History (upper-division course)
German History (upper-division course)
Hungarian History (upper-division course)
Military Masculinity (upper-division seminar)
Clothing and Society (upper-division seminar)
Minority Rights and the State (upper division seminar)
Sociolinguistics (upper-division course, also available as a two semester series)
Central Europe Distance Learning (upper-division course using only internet sources)

Miscellaneous Scholarly Work

Qualitative analyst for the TC Group, and contributed to a report on NGOs in Eastern Europe, commissioned by Freedom House.

Subeditor for Gender and Citizenship, Contentions and Controversies in East-West Debates, Joanna Regulska and Jasmina Lukić, eds. Contact Carol Harrington, harring(at)

Proofreader for the English translation of Heiko Haumann's Geschichte der Ostjuden,
Budapest: CEU Press, 2002.

I also proofread Ph.D. theses for the department of Political Science at Central European University

Non-Academic Jobs

2002      English-language voiceovers for advertisements, Budapest.
2000      Census worker, US Census 2000
1996      Fairy tale reader at the Globe, Prague, Czech Republic.
1996      Freelance tour guide in Prague.
1991      Construction worker in Göttingen, Lower Saxony.
1990      Telephone Solicitation for U.C. Davis (alumni fundraising).
1990      Making espresso at Café Roma, Davis California.
1989      Selling bratwurst at Schlosshotel Lisl in Bavaria.
1988      Cashier in a hardware store (summer job).


German: I attended a German university for two years. I have worked as a German language instructor and German-English translator, and given a conference paper in German. My German is excellent.

Czech: Two years’ coursework, two years’ residence in Prague, and an advanced summer course in Brno. I would describe my Czech as “advanced.” Much of my thesis research was conducted in Biblical Czech (Bibličtina).

Slovak: Despite never having studied formally, I understand Slovak on the basis of my Czech, thesis research, and year-long residency in Bratislava.

Serbian: A year and a half of “Serbo-Croat” in Madison, Wisconsin gives me intermediate reading skills and the ability to conduct everyday conversations.

Yiddish: One year of coursework in Madison, Wisconsin, attendance of the Budapest Yiddish club. My speaking ability is high intermediate; I also have a wide repertoire of folk songs. In the past, I have contributed to Mendele list, dedicated to the study of Yiddish.

French: A year of night school has left me with the ability to understand intermediate texts.

Hungarian: I understand basic texts and can conduct everyday conversation.

Miscellaneous Other Courses

2001     Powerpoint – Central European University, Budapest
2000     Summer Hungarian (basic) – I.U. Bloomington, Indiana
1997     Summer Czech (advanced) – Masaryková univerzita, Brno
1995     Japanese Calligraphy (書道) – Kanazawa, Japan
93-94    Night school French – L’union française, 4522 Prytania Street, New Orleans
1993     English as a Second Language teacher training – Prague

Internet Appearances

Slovaka Wikipedia has an entry on me written by persons unknown.

“Alexander Maxwell – Američan, ktorý prečítal celú Slávy dceru”

June 2002 interview with Barbora Tancerová – Sme (a Slovak daily newspaper)

I greatly enjoyed fifteen minutes of fame lending my face to the onion. See also the spin-off!

I am a passionate if not-particularly-strong player of go (囲碁, an east-Asian board game). Pictures of me are posted at the homepage of the Madison go club, and the Swansea go club.

Contact Information

Mailing address:
285 Mathilda drive #8

Goleta, CA 93117