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Mark von Hagen, In Memoriam

Mark Von Hagen photo

Mark von Hagen, a leading light of Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian history and scholarship in America, died September 15, 2019, in Tempe, Arizona, at the age of 65. Von Hagen, emeritus professor at Arizona State University, authored numerous works on modern Russia and Ukraine, including a landmark study of the Soviet Red Army, “Soldiers in the Proletarian Dictatorship.”

His expertise on imperial and national borderlands, and especially his seminal contributions to the history of modern Ukraine, earned him an international reputation in Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies. Traveling frequently to the region, he was also a fearless, outspoken advocate of human rights and defender of dissidents, including support for members of the stigmatized LGBTQ community.

In his 12 years at ASU, von Hagen served as founding director of the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies; founding director of the Office of Veteran and Military Academic Engagement; and interim director of the Melikian Center. Beyond his impact supporting individual students and junior colleagues, his legacy at ASU includes the Ukrainian language program in the Critical Languages Institute, and a certificate in Veteran Studies.

Von Hagen was an inspirational teacher and generous colleague, whose gift for friendship was unexcelled. He is survived by his loving spouse Johnny Roldan-Chacon, his brother Luke von Hagen, sister-in-law Pam Hluzek von Hagen, niece Laura von Hagen, nephew Alex von Hagen, his family in Puerto Rico and students around the world.