Jan HansenJan Hansen is a historian of the United States and Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries, with a particular interest in social, political, urban, environmental, and technological history. His current research explores the role of infrastructure in conceptions of social order after 1850. Previously, he has written on the history of the Cold War, specifically on anti-nuclear protests in West Germany in the 1980s. Jan has been an Assistant Professor of History at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin since 2014. He was a Visiting Professor of History at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (2015), a Visiting Research Fellow in the History of the Americas at the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC (2017–18), and a Dibner Research Fellow in the History of Science and Technology at The Huntington, San Marino, CA (2019). He also serves as a book review editor for H-Soz-Kult.

Jan arrived at the Max Kade Institute in August 2021 as a Feodor Lynen Fellow funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. During his 18-month research stay at the Kade Institute, he will work on his second book project (Habilitation), which focuses on how everyday life changed through the introduction of new infrastructures (water, electricity) and how this process influenced larger transformations between 1850 and 1950, such as the relationship between autonomy and control, individual responsibility and public welfare, private and public spaces, center and periphery, men and women, and (social and racial) exclusion. The focus is on two exemplary urban spaces – Los Angeles and Berlin – that are paradigmatic of a relational history of the appropriation of technology by everyday users. Viewing infrastructure as a key to understanding the functioning of human civilization, Jan’s book will expand existing research that has not yet systematically considered the co-constitution of the use of infrastructure and various societies.

During his residency, Jan will contribute to the Kade Institute’s mission by sharing his research at the Institute and various universities in the Los Angeles area. He can be reached at jeh_645@usc.edu.

Mariusz Kałczewiak, Ph.D. is a historian of Modern Jewish History and Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He will be at USC’s Max Kade Institute from March 2023 through February 2025. Before coming to USC, he worked at the University of Potsdam and at the Faculty of History at the University of Warsaw.

His first book “Polacos in Argentina. Polish Jews, Interwar Migration, and the Emergence of Transatlantic Jewish Culture” appeared in 2020 with Alabama University Press and won the 2020 Best Book Award of Latin American Jewish Studies Association. His research focuses on modern Jewish history in Eastern Europe and the Americas, historical Migration Studies and historical Gender Studies. Mariusz held diverse fellowships at Brandeis University, University of Florida, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

Mariusz’s current research project Men of Valor and Anxiety. Polish-Jewish Masculinities and the Challenge of Modernity explores the evolution of Polish-Jewish masculinities between the 1890s and 1930s. As a detailed account of historical Polish-Jewish masculinities, Men of Valor and Anxiety studies the acculturated and the orthodox, the privileged and the peripheral, offering a history of Polish-Jewish masculinities that includes both glorified moments of prowess and quotidian stories of ordinary Jewish men. It looks on how Polish-Jewish ideals of masculinity were constructed and performed, making an argument that gender studies is a productive perspective for studying the ethnic history in Eastern Europe. Poland was in that era the home of the largest European Jewish diaspora and served as the epicenter for the social and cultural processes that defined East European Jewry. While most of the recent books on Jewish masculinities are in literary or cultural studies, my project studies masculinities as social-historical phenomena. Men of Valor and Anxiety explores how religion, class divisions, antisemitism, new domesticity, and militarization changed masculine ideas and practices in Eastern Europe.

Mariusz can be reached at mk_128@usc.edu

Regina RangeRegina Range, Assistant Professor of German at the University of Alabama, was Visiting Scholar at the Max Kade Institute in 2018.  Professor Range researches the lives and works of Gina Kaus, Vicki Baum, and Salka Viertel, three understudied Austrian-Jewish authors who escaped Nazi persecution by fleeing to the United States. Upon settling in Los Angeles, they found employment as screenwriters at various Hollywood studios, such as Warner Brothers and MGM. Dr. Range’s project focuses on the reconstruction and conscious reinsertion of these exiles’ filmic accomplishments into the larger body of exile history, while also positioning them within the German-speaking diaspora in Hollywood.

Her investigation sheds light on the émigrées ongoing concerns with class, gender, and racial inequality, as well as their overlooked efforts to provide venues for antifascist political activism via the medium of film.

During her residency, Dr. Range contributed to the institute’s mission by sharing her research at various universities in the Los Angeles area.