Photo: Annette Hornischer

Arthur J. Thurnau Professor of History, University of Michigan

Ellen Maria Gorrissen Fellow - Class of Spring 2012


Charles Bright is a historian trained in European military and geopolitical history and a professor at the University of Michigan. He is currently Director of the Residential College, as well as the faculty co-Director of the new Semester in Detroit program of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts based in the Residential College. In recent years, Bright was instrumental in the re-creation of the Arts of Citizenship program on campus and he served as chair of the Citizenship Theme Year in the LSA. Bright has also been active in the arts, teaching on theater and politics in interwar Germany, underwriting a series of productions o f plays by Bertolt Brecht for the Residential College, and working with Detroit area theater companies, such as the Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit, on oral histories of the city that are then transformed into plays or musicals. He has published two books, The Powers that Punish: Prison and Politics in the Era of the “Big House”, 1920-1955 (Law, Meaning, and Violence) (Michigan, 1996) and Statemaking and Social Movements, written with Susan Harding (Michigan, 1984) and written many articles concerning global history and the politics of power, in collaboration with Michael Geyer.