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UMass Sesquicentennial

University of Massachusetts Amherst

History Department

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Jon Berndt Olsen


Associate Professor

Office: Herter 624
Telephone: (413) 545-6767
Fax: (413) 545-6137
Personal Homepage

Degree: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2004
Fields of interest: Memory, historical consciousness, tourism, leisure activities in Modern Germany, especially in East Germany.

Research Interests and Professional Activities
Professor Olsen's first book, Tailoring Truth: Politicizing the Past and Negotiating Memory in East Germany, 1945-1990 was published in January 2015 with Berghahn Books. His new research project analyzes the relationship of tourism and leisure to conceptions of liberty in East German society. Professor Olsen teaches courses on German and European history, but also offers courses on digital history, comparative memory, and other areas of public history. Before coming to UMass, he held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at George Mason University and worked at the Center for History and New Media as the editor of a Website commemorating the 1989 revolutions in Eastern Europe.