Department of History

Andrew Behrendt

  • Part-time Instructor

I came to Pittsburgh in 2009, after taking my MA at the University of Chicago and my BA at Grinnell College. While at Pitt, I have dedicated considerable time to extracurricular academic service, both inside and outside of the department. I have served the department and the department’s Graduate Student Organization (GSO) in a number of official roles, including president and vice president, as well as a committee member.

Furthermore, I have been very actively involved in the Graduate Organization for the Student of Europe and Central Asia (GOSECA), which works closely with the Center for Russian and East European Studies.

Teaching Pitt’s bright and curious undergraduates has been one of the great joys of making this department my home. I’m very honored to have received the Elizabeth Baranger Excellence in Teaching Award from the Arts & Sciences GSO in 2015.


Comprehensive Exam Fields
Regional: Europe
Thematic: Texts and Contexts

Research Fields
I am a historian of European culture and society. I work primarily on Hungary, Austria, and the greater Habsburg world in the 19th and 20th centuries, but my research interests extend more broadly into the fields of travel, cinema, the construction of place, national/regional/ethnic identity construction, media cultures, and beyond.

PhD Project

"Travelers of an Empire that Was: Tourism, Movie-Going, and the Formation of Post-Imperial Identities in Austria and Hungary, 1918-1944."

Major Advisor: Irina Livezeanu

My dissertation investigates the history of “everyday” leisure activities as a means of understanding the ways in which former subjects of the Habsburg dynasty made sense of their place in the world at empire’s end. Most existing accounts of identity-construction in interwar Austria and Hungary focus heavily on the nation-building projects of state and non-state actors, taking for granted that nationality was and should be considered the central category of analysis. My research shows that different perspectives are necessary to arrive at a more circumspect and nuanced conception of this complex period. It constructs a “post-imperial” framework that approaches the interwar history of east-central Europe as the history of geopolitical spaces connected by an imperial past, not simply as the divergent stories of many states insulated by national borders. In addition to archival and published sources, it draws on popular films of the 1920s and 1930s as texts of “virtual tourism,” whereby millions of Austrians and Hungarians who could not otherwise afford to travel learned about the destinations and habits of real travel without journeying any farther than their local cinema.

Teaching Experience

As instructor:

  • HIST 0200: East European Civilization, Spring and Summer 2014
  • HIST 0100: Western Civilization I, Fall 2015

As teaching assistant:

  • HIST 0200: East European Civilization (for Irina Livezeanu), Fall 2012
  • HIST 0700: World History (for Diego Holstein), Spring 2013
  • HIST 0302: Soviet Russia (for Bill Chase), Fall 2013
  • HIST 0100: Western Civilization I (for Leslie Hammond), Fall 2014

Education & Training

  • BA, Grinnell College
  • MA, University of Chicago

Representative Publications


  • “Educating Apostles of the Homeland: Tourism and Honismeret in Interwar Hungary,” Hungarian Cultural Studies, Vol. 7 (2014)

Other Publications:

  • Review of Karin Bijsterveld, ed., Soundscapes of the Urban Past (Bielefeld: Transcript, 2013) for H-Urban
  • Review of Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski and Andrzej Marcin Suszycki, eds.The Nation and Nationalism in Europe: An Introduction(Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2011). H-Nationalism (June 2013)
  • Review of Balázs Ablonczy,Pál Teleki (1874-1941): The Life of a Controversial Hungarian Politician(Boulder: Social Science Monographs, 2006).East-Central Europe/ L’Europe du Centre-Est Vol. 38, No. 1(2011).
  • Review of Daniel Rosenberg and Anthony Grafton,Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline(Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 2010).Essays in History (2011)

Conferences and Presentations


  • "The Clever Hungarian Hangs His Watering Can on the Wall: Urban Leisure, Village Tourism, and Civilizing Missions in Rural Hungary, 1928-1944," Inaugural Conference of the Hungarian Cultural Association, Bloomington, IN
  • "The Riddle of the Stranger in Interwar Austrian and Hungarian Tourism Promotion," European History Colloquium, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA


  • "Virtual Vacations from the Upper Balcony: Tourism by Other Means in Hungarian Cinema, 1932-1944," 45th Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Boston, MA
  • "Distant Gazes at Nearby Places: The ‘Vacation Movie’ in Popular Austrian and Hungarian Interwar Cinema," Between Education, Commerce and Adventure: Tourist Experience in Europe since the Interwar Period, Zentrum for Zeithistorische Geschichte, Potsdam, Germany


  • "The Traveler Who Wasn’t There: Recovering “Virtual Tourism” in Interwar Austria and Hungary," Crossing Borders: Ways of Constructing Identities, University of Augsburg, Augsburg, Germany
  • "Csárdás in ¾ Time: The Post-Imperial Cinema World in Interwar Austria and Hungary," Annual Meeting of the Austrian Studies Association, Cal State Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
  • "Tourism, Movie-Going, and Post-Imperial Identities in Austria and Hungary, 1918-1948: or, the Meaning of R&R after K.u.K.," History Colloquium, Department of History, University of Pittsburgh