John Vsetecka

Year in Program: Third

Fields: Soviet/East European History (major); Modern European History (major); Communist Studies (minor); Violence and Memory (minor)

Advisor: Dr. Matthew Pauly

Committee: Dr. Matthew Pauly (Chair), Dr. Ronen Steinberg, Dr. Aminda Smith, and Dr. Amy Simon

Research Languages: Ukrainian, Russian

Educational Background: Master of Arts (History)-University of Northern Colorado, 2014; Bachelor of Arts (History; minor in English), 2012.


I am a historian of East-Central Europe, with a particular focus on 20th-century Ukraine. My research surrounds the Holodomor, a man-made famine that desecrated Ukraine between 1932-33. For my M.A. thesis (completed in 2014 at the University of Northern Colorado), I examined survivor testimony to produce a social history that focused solely on survivors and their memories of the famine.

My current research focuses on the aftermath of the 1932-33 and 1946-47 famines in Soviet Ukraine. Particularly, I examine the ways in which Ukrainians (and others) attempted to make sense of the famines they lived through and the processes in which they used to recover their lives.

I am also the founder and current co-editor of H-Ukraine, part of the larger H-Net platform. You can find more on H-Ukraine here.

I welcome contact from those who have questions about graduate school, history as a discipline, and/or Michigan State University as a whole.

You can find my CV here.