Zachary Doleshal, Ph.D.


Doleshal PhotoEducation

Ph.D., History, University of Texas at Austin, 2012

M.A., in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, University of Texas at Austin, 2005

B.A., History and Creative Writing, University of New Mexico, 2000


My primary research interests concern the history of welfare capitalism, identification, disciplinary systems, and consumerism. I write and think about these topics in the general timeframe of 1867-1945, and usually with a focus on the Habsburg Empire and its successor states, though I am increasingly interested in comparative analysis. My work is strongly influenced by the writings of James C. Scott, Michel Foucault, Sven Beckert, David Crew, Alf Lüdtke, Mary Neuburger, George Mosse, and Tara Zahra, who together have provided thoughtful frameworks to discuss modernity on local and global scales. I have a keen interest in Public History as well, and have taken up Michel Truillot’s call to investigate the silences of the past with several projects designed for the general public.

I am currently working on three research projects. The first is as a collaborator on a five-year endeavor entitled The Industrial City and its Fate in the 20th Century: The Culture, Identity and Urban Planning of Industrial Societies as Exemplified by the “Ideal City” of Zlín. A grant from the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic supports the project, which will result in multiple publications and a traveling exhibit across Central Europe. I am also preparing articles on national indifference in a transnational corporation, and femininity in Czechoslovakia’s preeminent company town. The third project is the outcome of SHSU’s Public History classes’ research in the Spring of 2016, an edited collection of student articles on a forgotten freedmen’s settlement of Walker County Texas, Grant’s Colony. Outside of these projects I am a participant in Yad Vashem’s Summer Seminar, the Holocaust Museum of Houston’s training programs for future teachers, and organize SHSU’s Holocaust Memorial Day. 

My teaching focuses on the history and theory of modernity; memorialization and forgetting; the history of the Holocaust; nationalism and democratization; comparative political processes; and the art of historical inquiry.  My teaching philosophy broadly revolves around finding ways to get students to break out of a passive approach to history. I therefore aim to make my classes dynamic experiences where students have to find collaborative solutions to difficult questions. What this means is that on any given day my Public History students may be looking through archives, investigating a site of potential significance, or tracking down possible interview subjects. In my other classes they may be reliving the chaos of the Austrian Parliament as Austrian politicians in 1912, or the tragedy of Indian partition through the eyes of South Asian deputies at Simla. The collective goal of all of my courses is to assist students in becoming more flexible, critical, and compassionate thinkers.



Public History

The History of the Holocaust

World War II

The World in the 20th Century

Europe in the Age of Absolutism and Revolution

Germany and Central Europe since 1815

The History of Modern France

European Imperialism in Film

United States History I and II

World History I and II (Honors)

The History of Prague

The Bohemian Diaspora


Public History

Introduction to the Historiography of the Holocaust

Selected Publications

“Only the Clean are Strong: The Bat’a Company’s Project to Remake Masculinity in the Dřevnice Valley”. Sextures, Vol. 4. 2015.

“Revolutionary Transformation, 1894-1939: The Bat’a Company’s Beginnings and Its Golden Era”. Slovo, Vol. 15, Number 1. Summer 2014.

“The Bat'a Company, Czechoslovakia, and the 1939 New York World’s Fair”, in Anthology: Company Towns of the Baťa Concern, ed. O. Ševeček and M. Jemelka, Franz Steiner Verlag, 2013.