Dr. Molly Johnson

Associate Professor, History Modern Europe & Russia


1310 Ben Graves Drive
Morton Hall
Room 216
Huntsville, AL 35899
Campus Map



Born and raised in Barboursville, West Virginia, Molly studied as an undergraduate at Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH, where she majored in History and in German. She then completed her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in German and European History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Molly's teaching interests include nineteenth- and twentieth-century German and Russian history, European women's and gender history, methods and historiography, and world history.

Molly’s book Training Socialist Citizens: Sports and the State in East Germany (Brill Academic Publishers, 2008) explores the political, social, and cultural role of sports in communist East Germany. Her current research examines athletic mega-events, urban planning, and social protest in the reunification and post-reunification eras in Germany.

When not teaching and researching, Molly enjoys reading, spending time outdoors, working puzzles, traveling, playing Animal Crossing, volunteering with the PTA, and hanging out with her husband Dave, her two children, and her dog.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., History and German, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • M.A., History and German, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • B.A., History and German, Wittenberg University


  • 19th & 20th-century German and European history
  • History of gender and sexuality in Modern Europe
  • Methods and historiography
  • World history
  • Russian history

Recent Publications

  • “The Legacies of 1936: Hitler’s Olympic Grounds and Berlin’s Bid to Host the 2000 Olympic Games.” German History, accepted, forthcoming 2022.

  • "Mega-Events, Urban Space, and Social Protest: The Olympia 2000 Bid in Reunified Berlin, 1990-1993" Central European History 52, no. 4 (December 2019): 689-712.

  • Training Socialist Citizens: Sports and the State in East Germany. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2008.

  • "The Friedensfahrt: International Sports and East German Socialism in the 1950s," International History Review XXIX, vol. 1 (March 2007): 57-82.

  • "Brot und Spiele: Die DDR-Turn- und Sportfeste in den 50er Jahren: Massenvergnügen oder Systemstabilisierung?" ("Bread and Circuses: East Germany's Gymnastics and Sports Festivals in the 1950s: Mass Amusement or System Stabilization?") in Sport-Schau: Deutsche Turnfeste 1860 bis 2002 (Sport Show: German Gymnastics Festivals from 1860 to 2002). Leipzig: Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig/Abt. Sportmuseum Leipzig, 2002, 107-110.