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Heather L. Gumbert

Heather Gumbert, Associate Professor

Heather Gumbert, Associate Professor
Heather Gumbert, Associate Professor

Department of History
435 Major Williams Hall, 220 Stanger St.
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-8378 |

Heather Gumbert is an associate professor of history at Virginia Tech. She is currently working on a book, tentatively titled Watching the Wall, which explores the complex and contradictory role of the Wall in the Cold War. In particular, the circulation of (a finite set of) images of and at the Wall contributed to a useful set of narratives that circumscribed engagement with state socialism in Germany and, more broadly, Eastern Europe, both during and in the aftermath of the Cold War. She continues to explore the transnational importance of television in the 20th century world in a more focused work on the emergence and growth of industrial television centers in cities that became significant nodes in postwar networks of circulation and exchange.

  • Modern Europe/ Germany
  • Cultural History
  • Television and Media Studies
  • Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin
  • M.A., The University of Texas at Austin
  • B.A., Trent University
  • Associate Director (Communications), The Center for European Union, Transatlantic, and Trans-European Space Studies (CEUTTSS), Virginia Tech, 2020-
  • Associate Chair, Department of History, 2016-2018
  • Executive Editor, Virginia Tech Undergraduate Historical Review, Virginia Tech, 2014-2019
  • Faculty Principal, The Honors Residential College 2013—2014 
  • American Historical Association (AHA)
  • German Studies Association (GSA)
  • Certificate of Teaching Excellence, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2020
  • Excellence in Administration Award, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2019
  • Edward S. Diggs Teaching Scholar Award, Virginia Tech, 2015
  • Favorite Faculty Award, Division of Student Affairs, Virginia Tech, 2012 and 2014
  • Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2013
  • Barnes F. Lathrop Prize for Best Dissertation in History, The University of Texas at Austin, 2007


Envisioning Socialism: Television and the Cold War in the German Democratic Republic (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2014).

Journal Articles

"Exploring Transnational Media Exchange in the 1960s" in VIEW: Journal of European Television History and Culture 3, no. 5 (2014), 50-59.

“Cold War Theaters: Cosmonaut Titov at the Berlin Wall” in Into the Cosmos: Space Exploration, Culture and Soviet Society in the Khrushchev and Cold War Era, edited by James Andrews and Asif Siddiqi (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011), 240-262.

“Constructing a Socialist Landmark: the Berlin Television Tower” in Berlin, Divided City, edited by Philip Broadbent and Sabine Hake (Providence, R.I.: Berghahn, 2010), 89-99.

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