Department Chair
Associate Professor of History

Arts and Sciences Building, Room 371


B.A. – University of Pennsylvania
A.M. and Ph.D. – Harvard University


Kevin Ostoyich has taught at Valpo since 2006 and is currently serving as chair of the History Department.  He has directed Valpo’s Study Abroad Center in Hangzhou, China during the Fall 2011 Semester and Valpo’s Study Abroad Center in Reutlingen, Germany from 2013 to 2015.  Ostoyich holds his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and his A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.  He served as a research associate at the Harvard Business School and an Erasmus Institute fellow at the University of Notre Dame.  Immediately before coming to Valpo, he taught at the University of Montana.  At Valpo he has taught such courses as Blood & Iron: Imperial GermanyContemporary Europe: A Century of Violence, European Encounters with China, European History, Historiography & Methods, History Mystery, Hitler and the Third Reich, Modern Germany, Luther & Bach, and Research Seminar.  During the Fall 2016 he taught the experimental course Historical Theatre: The Shanghai Jews.  He has been nominated for distinguished teaching awards at Valpo on multiple occasions.

For 2017-2018 Prof. Ostoyich has been awarded the Wheat Ridge Ministries – O.P. Kretzmann Memorial Fund Grant.  With this grant he will conduct research for a project titled “Wounds of History, Wounds of Today: The Shanghai Jews and the Morality of Refugee Crises.”

Previously, Prof. Ostoyich’s research has been funded by such institutions as ASIANetwork, the Krupp Foundation, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, the German Historical Institute, and Harvard University’s Charles Warren Center for American History.  He has been invited to give lectures at the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien, Heidelberg and New York University.

Professor Ostoyich is married to a saint named Rebecca and together they try to keep up with their superstar daughter, Daphne Freya.  Professor Ostoyich loves more than anything listening to the works of J.S. Bach, Richard Strauss, and the Bee Gees with his daughter.


Scholarly Contributions

Prof. Ostoyich is the author of The German Society of Pennsylvania: A Guide to Its Book and Manuscript Collections (Washington, DC: German Historical Institute, 2006).  In addition, he has published articles, book chapters, encyclopedia entries, and/or book reviews in International Journal for the Study of the Christian ChurchGerman Studies ReviewThe HistorianThe CressetGermany and the Americas (ed., Thomas Adam), International Encyclopedia of Revolution and ProtestDimensions of International Migration (eds., Päivi Hoikkala and Dorothy D. Wills), and Journal of American Ethnic History.

His article “’Back on Straw’: The Experience of Shanghai Jewish Refugees in Bremen after Escaping German National Socialism, Enduring a Japanese ‘Designated Area,’ and Fleeing Chinese Communism” was published in Studia Historica Gedanensia and is available for download at the following link:

Most recently, his article “The Sound and Silence of the German American Apollo: The Musical Score of Eugen Klee and the Kaiser Prize” was published in Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies and can be accessed at the following link:

Ostoyich is currently completing articles on a German Catholic emigration agent in Hamburg during the first half of the twentieth century and the shaming of Brooklyn’s Thirteenth Regiment of the National Guard during the Spanish-American War.  He is also writing articles on how a member of the Hitler Youth chronicled the bombing of Bremen and housing conditions in Bremen after the Second World War.  He recently provided the English text for a forthcoming book on the Fabric Collection of Reutlingen University.  He is currently working on four book manuscripts: “Crossings: German Catholics and the Politics of Emigrant Assistance in the Context of Religious Revival, 1850 – 1914;” “Claiming the Kaiser Prize: The Troubled Tale of Trophies and Troubadours” (a trilogy); “The History of the Shanghai Jews from the Perspective of Cultural Interaction and Exchange: Historiography and Commemoration, New Scholarship, and Interview Testimonies” (edited with Prof. Yun Xia); and “Letters to Agatha” (with Prof. Birte Pfleger of California State University, Los Angeles).  The Shanghai Jews project has been featured at the following link:  The “Letters to Agatha” project provides portraits of everyday life in Germany based on a large collection of letters written to Agatha Bühler (a young lady who immigrated to America from Germany in 1870).  The letters are written by family members who stayed behind.  The letters provide windows into lives of ordinary folks and deal with issues of industrialization, village gossip, deaths of loved ones, and celebrations.


Early Modern & Modern Germany, German Catholicism, Migration Studies, German-American Studies, and the Shanghai Jews.

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