- Fulbright Award (1990)
Charles Jelavich was a professor in the Department of History at IU Bloomington. He earned a B.A. in Slavic Languages from the University of California at Berkeley in 1944 and went on to serve in the United States Army as an interpreter in the office of the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force from 1944 to 1946. Jelavich returned to the University of California at Berkeley and completed his master’s and doctoral degrees in history in 1947 and 1949 with his wife, Barbara, who joined him in scholarship. In 1961, he and his wife both started at IU. Jelavich began as a visiting associate professor of history in the College of Arts and Sciences and joined the faculty as professor of history in 1962. He dedicated himself to teaching, mentoring, and research for thirty two years on East European and Balkan history where he was known as a Balkan, Habsburg, and South Slavic specialist with much of his research focused around the modern nationalism among the peoples of the Balkan Peninsula. He published two major monographs, Tsarist Russia and Balkan Nationalism: Russian Influence in the Internal Affairs of Bulgaria and Serbia, 1879–¬1886 (University of California Press, 1958) and South Slav Nationalisms: Textbooks and Yugoslav Union before 1914 (Ohio State University Press, 1990). He also co-wrote six additional books on Balkan history with his wife, Barbara, along with a number of other essays and scholarly articles. Jelavich retired from IU in 1992 with the title of professor emeritus of history.
As a renowned scholar, Jelavich received recognition and support for his work from a number of organizations including the Ford Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the American Philosophical Society, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Fulbright-¬Hays, the International Research and Exchanges Board, the Woodrow Wilson Center, and the Mellon Foundation. Jelavich served as vice president and president of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies and as a member of the Slavic Review editorial board. He and his wife received the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies highest honor, the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Slavic Studies, in 1992.
Jelavich passed away on April 23, 2013.