Eric Johnson joined the CMU faculty in 1976 immediately after receiving his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. Over the years he has taught a wide array of courses, primarily focused on modern Europe, Germany, the Holocaust, and social science methods and approaches to historical study. He has held several visiting professorships of various lengths. As part of the CMU exchange with Strathclyde University he spent the 1988–1989 academic year teaching in Glasgow, Scotland. Between 1989 and 1995 he was a visiting professor at the Center for Historical Social Research at the University of Cologne, mostly leading a small research team working on terror in Nazi Germany. From 1995–1996 he was in residence writing and researching primarily at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, and he held a similar appointment at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in 1998–1999.
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Research and Teaching Interests
Professor Johnson’s research interests dovetail considerably with his teaching. In the first years of his career he focused primarily on the history of crime and urbanization and justice. In the last couple of decades he has written primarily on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. Presently he is beginning two new projects—a smaller one on letter-writing between Germans and Americans in the twentieth century and a larger one (with Pieter Spierenburg of Erasmus University in Rotterdam) on genocide, homicide and history in world perspective.