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Robert Blobaum

Eberly Family Distinguished Professor

Teaching Fields:

  • Modern Europe
  • Central and Eastern Europe
  • Imperial Russia


  • Ph.D., University of Nebraska, 1981

Research Interests

Robert Blobaum i s Eberly Family Distinguished Professor in the Department of History at West Virginia University.  He specializes broadly in the social, political and cultural history of Poland in the first decades of the twentieth century.  His most recent book is A Minor Apocalpyse: Warsaw during the First World War (2017).  He is also the editor of Antisemitism and Its Opponents in Modern Poland (2005) , and author of Rewolucja: Russian Poland, 1904–1907 (1995) and Feliks Dzierżyński and the SDKPiL: A Study of the Origins of Polish Communism (1984).  He has served on the executive boards of the Association for Slavic, East European and American Studies and the Polish Studies Association, and is currently the president of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America.  A past recipient of the Oskar Halecki Prize for the best book in Polish history (for Rewolucja ), Blobaum is a multiple Fulbright grant recipient and his research has also been supported by the International Research and Exchanges Board, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research. He is currently engaged in micro-historical research on the Polish-Jewish small town of Wyszkow in the first half of the twentieth century.

Courses Offered

  • HIST 414: The Great War, 1914-1918
  • HIST 417: World War II in Europe
  • HIST 418: Eastern Europe since 1945
  • HIST 717: Readings Seminar in Modern European History
  • HIST 718: Research Seminar in Modern European History

Graduate Students

M.A. Students

  • Collin Alekson
  • Pierce Griffith
  • Garrett Harper
  • Donald Lawrence
  • Isabella Neer
  • Khrystyna Pelchar
  • Haleigh Posey
  • Jordan Riggs
  • Rauan Zhaksybergen



A Minor Apocalypse: Warsaw during the First World War. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2017.  

Antisemitism and Its Opponents in Modern Poland (ed.). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2005.

Rewolucja: Russian Poland, 1904-1907. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1995.

Feliks Dzierżyński and the SDKPiL: A Study in the Origins of Polish Communism. Boulder and New York: East European Monograph Series, dist. Columbia University Press, 1984.

Journal Articles, Book Chapters and Essays: 

"A Walk in the Dark: Society, Technology and Culture in Wartime Warsaw, 1914-1918,"  The Polish Review, 64, 3 (2019): 9-27. 

“Registers of Everyday Life in Warsaw during the First World War: The Uses and Limitations of Ego-Documents” in  Inside World War One?  The First World War and Its Witnesses, ed. Richard Bessel and Dorothee Wierling. Studies of the German Historical Institute London (New York and London: Oxford University Press, 2018): 29-55.

“Noah Prylucki: Jewish Nationalist or Polish Democrat?” in Intellectuals and World War I, ed. Tomasz Pudlocki and Kamil Ruszala (Krakow: Jagiellonian University Press, 2018), 227-235. 

“Szpiedzy, spekulanci, fałszerze, oszuści i darmozjady: Antysemitzm po warszawsku w czasie pierwszej wojny światowej (Spies, Speculators, Counterfeiters, Tricksters and Freeloaders: Antisemitism Warsaw-Style during the First World War), Kwartalnik Historii Żydów (Jewish Historical Quarter—Journal of the Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw), 2 (258) (June, 2016):299-320

“A Warsaw Story: Polish-Jewish Relations during the First World War,” in  Warsaw. The Jewish Metropolis: Essays in Honor of the 75th Birthday of Professor Anthony Polonsky, ed. Glenn Dynner and François Guesnet (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015), 271-296.

“A City in Flux: Warsaw’s Transient Populations during the First World War,”  The Polish Review 59, 4 (2014): 21-43.

“Warsaw’s Forgotten War,”  Remembrance and Solidarity: Studies in 20th-Century European History, no. 2: First World War Centenary (March 2014): 185-207.

“A Different Kind of Home Front: War, Gender and Propaganda in Warsaw, 1914-1918” in  Propaganda and the First World War, ed. Troy Paddock (Brill, 2014), 249-272.

“Going Barefoot in Warsaw During the First World War,”  East European Politics and Societies 27, 2 (May 2013): 187-204.

“The Rise of Political Parties, 1890-1914” in  The Origins of Modern Polish Democracy, ed. M.B.B. Biskupski, James S. Pula and Piotr Wróbel (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2010), 61-94.

”’Panika moralna’ w polskim wydaniu. Dewiacje seksualne i wizerunki przestępczości żydowskiej na początku XX wieku (A Polish-Style Moral Panic: Sexual Deviance and Images of Jewish Criminality in the Early 20th Century)” in  Kobieta i rewolucja obyczajowa. 

Społeczno-kulturowe aspekty seksualności. Wiek XIX i XX , ed. Anna Żarnowska and Andrzej Szwarc (Warsaw, 2006), 265-276.

“Under Lock and Key? Prisons and Prison Conditions in Russian Poland, 1906-1914” in  Społeczeństwo w dobie przemiań; wiek XIX i XX ( Society in the Era of Transformations: The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries), ed. Maria Nietyksza, et al (Warsaw, 2003), 295-310.

“The ‘Woman Question’ in Russian Poland, 1890-1914,”  Journal of Social History, 35, 4 (Summer 2002): 799-824.

“The Politics of Antisemitism in Fin-de-Siècle Warsaw,”  Journal of Modern History, 73, 2(June 2001): 275-306.

“To Market! To Market! The Polish Peasantry in the Era of the Stolypin Reforms,”  Slavic Review, 52, 2 (Summer 2000): 406-426.

“Królestwo Polskie między rewolucją i wojną: Może nie było aż tak źle?” (The Polish Kingdom between Revolution and War: Maybe It Wasn’t So Bad, After All?),  Historyka: Studia metodologiczne (Kraków: Polish Academy of Sciences), 28(1998): 139-146.

“Modernization and Civil Society in Twentieth-Century Poland” (Washington, DC: The National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, 1998).

“The Insurrectionary Tradition in Polish Political Culture” (Washington, DC: The National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, 1997).

“The SDKPiL and the Polish Question Revisited” in  Eastern Europe and the West, ed. John Morison (London: Macmillan, 1992), 207-218.

“The Destruction of East-Central Europe, 1939-1941,”  Problems of Communism, 39, 6(1990): 106-111.

“Toleration and Ethno-Religious Strife: The Struggle between Catholics and Orthodox Christians in the Chełm Region of Russian Poland, 1904-1906,”  The Polish Review, 35, 2(1990): 111-124.

“The Revolution of 1905-1907 and the Crisis of Polish Catholicism,”  Slavic Review, 47, 4(1988): 667-686.

“Solidarność i tradycje polskiego ruchu robotnicznego,” (Solidarity and the Traditions of the Polish Labor Movement) Aneks (Paris), 39(1985): 148-161.

Grants and Awards

External Grants and Contracts: 

  • EU/US Atlantis Grant, Fund for the Improvement of Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education (2009-2014)
  • Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission Grant for Distinguished Lecturing, 2006
  • National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, Research Contract, 2001-2003
  • U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Winter Seminar on the Holocaust in Poland, 2000
  • West Virginia Humanities Council Research Grant, 1998-1999
  • National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, Research Grant, 1997
  • International Research and Exchanges Board Advanced Individual Research Grant, 1996
  • American Council of Learned Societies Travel Grant, 1995
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Archival Research Grant, 1993
  • International Research and Exchanges Board Travel Grant, 1993
  • American Council of Learned Societies Travel Grant, 1990
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for College Teachers, 1989
  • International Research and Exchanges Board Travel Grant, 1988
  • ACLS/SSRC Joint Committee on Eastern Europe Postdoctoral Research Grant, 1986-1987
  • Department of Education Fulbright Faculty Research and Training Grant, 1985-1986
  • International Research and Exchanges Board Advanced Individual Research Grant, 1985-1986
  • International Institute of Education Fulbright-Hays Grant for Graduate Research and Study Abroad, 1978-1980


  • Kulczycki Book Prize, Association of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies, 2018
  • Ludwik Krzyzanowski Polish Review (best article) Award, 2016
  • Fulbright Distinguished Chair of East European Studies, Warsaw University, 2006
  • West Virginia University Foundation Outstanding Teaching Award, 2003
  • Outstanding Teaching Award, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, West Virginia University, 2002
  • Claude Worthington Benedum Award for Distinguished Research in the Humanities, West Virginia University, 1997
  • Oskar Halecki Polish History Book Award, Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America, 1996