Robert Goodrich


Robert Goodrich

243 Gries Hall
(906) 227-2037


NMU Vienna Program

Prof Goodrich is the creator and leader of NMU's Vienna Program, a month-long summer course for NMU students in Central Europe. It is NMU's longest running and most popular study abroad program.  Click on the link above for more information.  Due to Covid, the program will begin recruiting in Fall 2021 for May 2022.


B.A., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (1989)

M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison (1994)

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison (2020)


Dr. Goodrich's research interests lie in Modern Central European history with a broad, integrative approach to the various sub-fields. In particular, his research and teaching emphasize cultural and social history with an eye towards the interplay of various factors such as labor, gender, sexuality, and religion. However, the nature of his research into religion and identity also requires a comparative view of European and American experiences, reflected in his interest in transnational history. Perhaps at heart he is more of a generalist than a specialist.

Regardless of research interests, Dr. Goodrich places primary emphasis on the classroom experience, where he sees the cultivation of interdisciplinary-oriented, critical-thinking skills as the ultimate goal.  Here, an active, student-centered pedagogy drives his relationship to the learning process. Indeed, he has found himself drawn towards innovative teaching methods. In particular, he uses “Reacting to the Past”, a set of role-play scenarios that honored with the Theodore Hesburgh Award for outstanding innovation in higher education. He is currently publishing a book in this genre on the final years of German democracy before the rise of Hitler, Democracy in Crisis: Weimar Germany, 1929-32. These elaborate games, set in the past, in which students are assigned roles informed by primary sources allow class sessions to be run entirely by students, while Dr. Goodrich advises and guides students and grades their oral and written work. This approach seeks to draw students into the past, promote engagement with big ideas, and improve intellectual and academic skills. NMU produced a video about Reacting to the Past in one of Dr. Goodrich's classes, which can be found here.

Dr. Goodrich also actively works to promote internationalization at NMU.  He has taken students to Spain, Peru, Greece, and, most regularly, to Austria. Indeed, largely due to his work in creating and sustaining the Vienna Program. Northern sends more students to Austria than to any other country – a unique statistic for an American university.

Selected Publications/Presentations

Democracy in Crisis: Germany, 1929-1932. New York: WW Norton, 2021.

Austro-Hungarians in Michigan. Peoples of Michigan, Julie Loehr, series ed. Lansing: Michigan State University Press, under contract.

“Robbie Goodrich on Writing Games about Difficult Topics.” Reacting to the Podcast. Interview by Kelly McFall, posted 23 July 2020.

“Dynamic Loyalties: Mario Ruconich and Austro-Hungarian Migrants in Michigan during the Great War.” In Home Front in the American Heartland: Local Experiences and Legacies of WWI, edited by Patty Sotirin, Steven A. Walton, Sue Collins, 1-30. Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2020.

“Gamification of Genocide? The Development of a Holocaust-based Expansion to T.I.M.E. Stories.” Great Lakes History Conference, Grand Valley State University, 12-13 October 2018.

“Conflicted Loyalties: Austro-Hungarian Immigrants in Michigan in the Great War.” Armistice and Aftermath: A World War One Symposium, Michigan Tech, 28-29 September 2018.

“The Curious Case of Mario Ruconich: Austro-Hungarians in Michigan and the Great War.” Beaumier UP Heritage Center Symposium on World War I, Northern Michigan University, 6 April 2017.

“Habsburg Emigration Identity in Michigan.” In Austria and America: Cross-cultural Encounters 1865-1933, American Studies in Austria 14, edited by Joshua Parker and Ralph J Poole, 15-44. Zürich: LIT, 2014.

“Habsburg Emigration Identity in Michigan.” Austria and America: Cross-Cultural Encounters, 1865-1933. Universität Salzburg and the Stefan Zweig Centre, Salzburg, Austria, 7 December 2012.

“Bishop Baraga and Habsburg Identity in the Upper Peninsula.” Sonderegger Symposium, Northern Michigan University, September 2011.

“Austro-Marxism.” The International Encyclopedia of World Protest and Revolution: 1500 to the Present, ed. Immanuel Ness. London: Blackwell, 2008.

“Bauer, Otto (1881-1938).” The International Encyclopedia of World Protest and Revolution: 1500 to the Present, ed. Immanuel Ness. London: Blackwell, 2008.

“Hilferding, Rudolph (1877-1941).” The International Encyclopedia of World Protest and Revolution: 1500 to the Present, ed. Immanuel Ness. London: Blackwell, 2008.

“Honors Off-Campus: Internships, Cooperative Education, Clinical Experiences, and Study Abroad.” National Collegiate Honors Conference, 1 November 2007, Denver, CO.

“Catholic Working-Class Masculinity in Wilhelmine Germany.” German Studies Association, 29 September - 1 October 2006, Pittsburgh, PA

“The Ethical, Pedagogical and Scholarly Considerations of Placing the Holocaust in a Comparative and Global Perspective.” Documentation Center of Cambodia, 26 February 2005, Phenom Phen, Cambodia.

"Confessional Drinking: Catholic Workingmen's Clubs and Alcohol Consumption in Wilhelmine Germany." In Histories of Leisure, ed. Rudy Koshar. London: Berg, 2002.

"Confessionalizing Catholic Home Space in Cologne during the Kaiserreich." German Studies Association, October 4-7, 2001, Washington DC.

"Considering the False Binaries of Center and Periphery applied to Region and Nation." Midwest German History Workshop, September 22-23, 2001, University of Illinois-Champagne-Urbana.

"Religion's Polysemous Historicity." Midwest German History Workshop, November 10-12, 2000, University of Wisconsin-Madison.