Associate Professor, History
Director, Honors Program
B.A., History, University of Minnesota
Ph.D., East European and Russian History, University of Kansas
Research and professional interests
As an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota, Professor Berglund studied different countries of the communist world: the Soviet Union, the East European states, and China. When he entered his graduate program at the University of Kansas, he chose to do his primary work in East European and Russian history and a secondary field in Chinese history. While his research work has focused on Eastern Europe, taking him to the Czech Republic and the former Yugoslavia, he has always included content on China and East Asia in the courses that he’s taught. Beginning in 2012, he took over teaching classes focusing on modern China and East Asia.
Professor Berglund is director of the Calvin Honors Program.
Professor Berglund has done research on nationalism, art and architecture, and religion in 20th-century Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. He is co-editor of the essay collection Christianity & Modernity in Eastern Europe (Central European University Press, 2010).
He recently completed the manuscript of a book titled The Philosopher, the Architect, and the Social Worker: Religion, Art, and Ideals in Modern Prague. The book looks at the relationship of the first president of independent Czechoslovakia, T.G. Masaryk (the philosopher); the Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik, whom Masaryk commissioned to design the presidential seat at Prague Castle; and Masaryk’s daughter Alice, the American-trained social worker who led the new country’s Red Cross organization. Their lives and beliefs are set against the dramatic cultural changes of Prague in the 1920s-30s.
His current research interest is global sports history. He hosts the weekly podcast New Books in Sports, which has featured episodes on Taiwanese baseball, Japanese sumo, Indian cricket, Scottish soccer, Canadian hockey, and American football. And he is editor of the online journal The Allrounder, which offers essays on global sport by academics and journalists.
Life outside of Calvin College
Professor Berglund throws baseballs in his front yard and skates on his backyard rink in the winter. He also travels a lot. He’s been to Bangkok, Beijing, Berlin, Budapest, Cracow, Croatia, Kyoto, Sarajevo, Slovakia, Slovenia, Transylvania, Trieste, Shanghai, and Xi’an.
See a partial list of Bruce Berglund's publications.
Read Bruce Berglund's posts on Historical Horizons, the history department blog.
Read his review of the 2015 documentary film on the Soviet ice hockey team of the 1980s.