John Bodnar

Distinguished and Chancellor's Professor, Department of History

Department of History

IU, IU Bloomington

Full Biography

My current research and teaching interests are focused on twentieth-century America in general and, more specifically on issues of war and memory. I am currently writing a book entitled, “Virtue and Violence: Remembering World War II in American Culture.” I have recently published “Public Sentiments and the American Remembrance of World War II,” in M. Shafer, ed, Public Culture: Diversity, Democracy, and Community in the United States (Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2008).   In 2001 I published “Saving Private Ryan and Postwar Memory,” American Historical Review.  Three years later I issued an essay on “Human Rights and the Legacy of World War II,” in the International Journal of the Humanities, volume 2. My course offerings for graduate students deal with twentieth century political culture in the United States. My undergraduate courses include a survey of U.S. history since the Civil War, a seminar on the 1930s, and “Elvis, Dylan and Postwar America” which covers the 1950s and 1960s.

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Faculty Award, Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences (2002)
  • Fellowship, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University (2001-2002)
  • Chancellor’s Professorship in Teaching and Research (2000)
  • Teaching Excellence Award, Department of History (1997)
  • Rated “A” as teacher by IU Student Association (1994)
  • Awarded Florence Chair in American History, European University Institute, Florence, Italy. Selected by Fulbright Commission (1994)
  • Guggenheim Fellowship (1983-1984)

Research Interests

  • Modern U.S. history
  • Social and cultural history


  • B.A. at John Carroll University, 1966
  • M.A. at John Carroll University, 1968
  • Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut, 1975

Courses Taught

  • Elvis, Dylan and Postwar America
  • America in History and Film
  • America in the Twentieth Century
  • Love and War in U.S. History and Film
  • The U.S. Since 1930: Culture, Politics and Film



  • The "Good War" in American Memory. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010.
  • Blue-Collar Hollywood: Liberalism, Democracy, and Working People in American Film. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.
  • Bonds of Affection: Americans Define their Patriotism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996.
  • Remaking America: Public Memory, Commemoration, and Patriotism in the Twentieth Century. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992.
  • The Transplanted: A History of Immigrants in Urban America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985.
  • Worker's World: Kinship, Community, and Protest in an Industrial Society. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982.
  • Lives of their Own: Poles, Blacks and Italians in Pittsburgh, 1900-1950. University of Illinois Press, 1982 - co-author.