Mark von Hagen (Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University and Director of the Harriman Institute, 1995-2001) came to Columbia in 1985 to take up the position of Assistant Professor of History, his first job after defending his dissertation at Stanford University. Mark’s legacy at the Harriman Institute includes the fundraising for and establishment of the Ukrainian Studies Program, the development of the Harriman master’s program in regional studies and its signature course, Legacies of the Soviet Union.
He remained at Columbia until 2007, when he left his position as the Boris Bakhmeteff Professor of Russian and East European Studies and Chair of the History Department to take up his appointment at the University of Arizona, where he was Professor of History and Global Studies with a joint appointment in the School of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies and School of International Letters and Cultures in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Mark was also the founding director of the Office for Veteran and Military Academic Engagement at ASU.
The breadth of Mark’s accomplishments and expertise is easily summed up by the fact that he served as President of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies and President of the International Association for Ukrainian Studies, and Dean of the Philosophy Faculty with the Ukraininan Free University in Munich, Germany.
Mark published articles, book reviews and essays on topics ranging from historiography, civil-military relations, and nationality politics to minority and cultural history. He is the author of Soldiers in the Proletarian Dictatorship: The Red Army and the Soviet Socialist State, 1917-1930 (Cornell, 1990); co-edited (with Catherine Evtuhov, Boris Gasparov, and Alexander Ospovat) Kazan, Moscow, St. Petersburg: Multiple Faces of the Russian Empire (Moscow, 1997); co-edited (with Karen Barkey) After Empire: Multiethnic Societies and Nation-Building: The Soviet Union and the Russian, Ottoman and Habsburg Empire (Westview, 1997); co-edited (with Andreas Kappeler, Zenon Kohut and Frank Sysyn) Culture, Nation, Identity: the Ukrainian-Russian Encounter (1600-1945) (Toronto, 2003); coedited (with Jane Burbank) Russian Empire: Space, People, Power, 1700-1930 (Indiana, 2007) and War in a European Borderlands: Occupations and Occupation Plans in Galicia and Ukraine, 1914-1918 (University of Washington Press, 2007).
One of Mark’s recent presentations at the Harriman took place in September 2016, when he gave the talk “From Cold War to Civilizational Conflict: On Learning, Relearning and Unlearning,” which is available on video. Mark wrote up his talk, significantly expanding some parts, for publication in Harriman Magazine. In addition, Mark is one of the narrators for the Harriman Institute’s Oral History Project.
Mark was an inspirational teacher and generous colleague, whose gift for friendship was unexcelled.
Watch the video of A Tribute to Mark von Hagen, held at the Harriman Institute, on January 31, 2020.
NY Times obituary by Sam Roberts (Sept. 19, 2019)
Tribute by Alexander Motyl, on the Shevchenko Scientific Society website
Obituary of Mark von Hagen, by Frank Sysyn, published in East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies