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Andrew Donson

Associate Professor; Interim Graduate Program Director (German & Scandinavian Studies) Fall '22

Andrew Donson, German & Scandinavian Studies and History, UMass Amherst

(413) 545-6676

Personal website

Herter Hall 505

Andrew Donson, Associate Professor, holds a BA in Philosophy from Cornell University (1991) and an MA and a PhD in History from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor (1996, 2000).  He specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century German history.  His book manuscript Youth in the Fatherless Land:  War Pedagogy, Nationalism, and Authority in Germany, 1914-1918 (Harvard University Press, 2010) won the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History.  Right now he is finishing a social and cultural history of the November Revolution in Germany, 1918-1919.  Among its topics are hunger, farming, laziness, dancing, gambling, pornography, crime, disability, religion, and rich people who became poor. He has a joint appointment in the department of history. For more, see his personal website


PhD 2000, History, University of Michigan Ann Arbor
MA 1995, History, University of Michigan Ann Arbor
BA 1991, College Scholar in Philosophy, Cornell University

Research Areas

  • Nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe
  • German social, cultural, and political history
  • History of youth
  • The First World War
  • The 1918 Revolution
  • Social democracy
  • Nineteenth-century German thought (Kant, Hegel, Marx, Weber, Nietzsche, Freud)


Youth in the Fatherless Land: War Pedagogy, Nationalism, and Authority in Germany, 1914-1918 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010).

Selected Articles:

“A Revolution in Smut: Film and Popular Literature in Germany, 1918-1919,” under review.

“Gambling Mania in the November Revolution, 1918-1919,” under review.

“Growing Up in War: Youth and Childhood, 1914-1918,” 1914-1918 online (2014).

“Mobilizing Education for War: Schools and Universities, 1914-1918,” 1914-1918 online (2014).

“The Teenager’s Revolution: Schülerräte in the Democratization and Right-Wing Radicalization of Germany, 1918-1923,” Central European History 44 (2011): 1-27.

“Why Did German Youth Become Fascists? Nationalist Males Born 1900 to 1908 in War and Revolution,” Social History 31 (2006): 337-58.

“Models for Young Nationalists and Militarists: Youth Literature in the First World War,” German Studies Review 27 (2004): 575-94.

Awards and Accolades

Winner of the 2007 Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History

Courses Recently Taught

  • History 100: Western Civilization to 1600
  • History 101: Western Civilization from 1600
  • German 325 / History 325: The First World War
  • German 376 / History 387: The Holocaust
  • German 323 / History 323: Modern German History
  • German 370: Nineteenth-Century German Thought
  • German 697K:  Debates and Issues in Modern German History
  • German 697X: Nineteenth-Century German Thought