The Ph.D Program: Modern Europe

The PhD program in Modern European History at Emory offers an intensive, well-structured and competitive graduate program in modern Europe taught by a distinguished and committed group of scholars.

We pride ourselves on the high level of faculty-student contact and on the intellectual, interpersonal, and financial resources we provide our graduate students.

The program offers expertise in the national histories of every major, continental-European power: France (Judith MillerKathryn Amdur), Germany (Astrid M. EckertBrian Vick), Italy (Walter Adamson), and Russia/Soviet Union (Matthew Payne, Ellie Schainker). In addition, we are supported by early modernists specializing in Italy (Sharon Strocchia) and the Germanic world (James Melton). With three historians in the field of German history, joined now by DAAD visiting professor Cornelia Wilhelm, we can thus offer training from the eighteenth to the twentieth century in this field.

Within these national specialties, Professor Schainker welcomes applicants interested in East European Jewish history in general, with a focus on imperial Russia. Professor Vick encourages applicants who wish to concentrate on nineteenth-century Europe and particularly the Germanic world. Professor Miller advises Ph.D. students studying eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century France. All of our other modern Europeanists research the twentieth century, and we therefore strongly encourage applications from students interested in this field. We are especially well-situated in the histories of modernism and modernity (Adamson, Amdur, Miller, Schainker, Vick), intellectual-cultural history (Adamson, Eckert, Miller, Vick), nationalism (Adamson, Vick), memory (Amdur, Eckert, Miller), labor and industry (Amdur, Payne), borderlands (Payne, Eckert, Schainker), and the Cold War (Eckert, Payne).




Major Publications

Current Research

Walter Adamson

Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor

Intellectual, Italy

Embattled Avant-gardes: Modernism’s Resistance to Commodity Culture in Europe (2007)

Avant-garde Florence: From Modernism to Fascism (1993)

Marx and the Disillusionment of Marxism (1985)

Hegemony and Revolution: Antonio Gramsci’s Political and Cultural Theory (1980)

Religious politics and secular religion in fascist Italy; Marinetti’s futurism in the 1930s; modernity and secularization.

Kathryn E. Amdur

Associate Professor

Social, France

Syndicalist Legacy: Trade Unions and Politics in Two French Cities in the Era of World War I (1986)

‘Battles of Production: Labor and Industry in France Between Collaboration and Community in the Era of World War II’ (working title)

Astrid M. Eckert

Associate Professor

Political, Environmental, Germany

The Struggle for the Files: The Western Allies and the Return of German Archives after the Second World War (2012)

(ed.) The Holocaust and West German Historians: A Debate (2004)

Institutions of Public Memory: The Legacies of German and American Politicians (2007)

West Germany and the Iron Curtain

Judith A. Miller

Associate Professor

Social and Cultural, France

Mastering the Market: The State and the Grain Trade in Northern France, 1700-1860 (1998)

(ed.) Taking Liberties: Problems of New Order from the French Revolution to Napoleon (2003)

Revolutionary Silences: France after the Terror, 1795-1815’ (working title)

Matthew J. Payne

Associate Professor

Social, Russia and Soviet Union

Stalin’s Railroad: Turksib and Building Socialism (2001)

Soviet Steppe: Modernization and Genocide in Kazakhstan, 1916 to 1941’ (working title)

Ellie Schainker Arthur Blank Family Foundation Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies Social, Religious, Cultural, Jewish History, Imperial Russia “Confessions of the Shtetl: Converts from Judaism and the Construction of Jewish Community in Imperial Russia, 1817-1906” (book manuscript) Jewish Religious Reforms in Imperial Russia; Religious Toleration and the Discourse of Minority ‘Fanaticism’ in Late-Imperial Russia

Brian Vick

Associate Professor

Cultural, Intellectual and Political, Germany

The Congress of Vienna: Power and Politics after Napoleon (2014)

Defining Germany: The 1848 Frankfurt Parliamentarians and National Identity (2002)

Post-Napoleonic political culture; cultural and political networks, salon culture; 19th-century German legal reform movements; gender, historicism, and national identity

One distinctive aspect of our program is that it offers not only rigorous training in these fields, but also presents abundant opportunities to interact with colleagues researching adjacent periods, places and disciplines. We are an outward-looking program that encourages our students to work with:

  1. six historians working on areas of the former British and Dutch empires: South Africa (Clifton Crais and Pamela Scully), West Africa (Kristin Mann), South Asia (Gyanendra Pandey and Ruby Lal), and East Asia (Tonio Andrade)
  2. twentieth-century American historians (Patrick Allitt, Fraser Harbutt and Eric Goldstein), whose interests in transatlantic topics intertwine with those of Eckert, Payne, and Schainker
  3. scholars of modern European culture and society working in German Studies (Peter HöyngCaroline Schaumann), Jewish Studies (Deborah Lipstadt), Russian and East European Studies, Sociology (Roberto Franzosi), Film Studies (Karla Oeler), Music (Kevin Karnes), the Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts (Elizabeth GoodsteinAngelika BammerSander Gilman, and Howard Kushner [history of medicine]), and the Theology School (Jonathan Strom).

Emory also offers the following excellent resources to graduate students studying modern European history:

  1. major research libraries containing approximately 3.9 million items including extensive print, microfilm, and electronic collections of primary sources in European history
  2. a guaranteed minimum stipend of $20,000 a year for five years to all students accepted into the PhD program, plus 100% health coverage
  3. competitive funding for pre-dissertation and dissertation research abroad
  4. language training in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian, as well as Hindi and Arabic
  5. training and support in undergraduate teaching through Emory’s distinctive TATTO program
  6. a focus on grant writing skills in cooperation with the Laney Graduate School
  7. a departmental professionalization program that prepares students for the academic job market and for presenting and publishing their work
Recent and current dissertations have considered a broad range of topics: the history of tourism in Bavaria; the political efforts of former German colonists to regain imperial status in the League of Nations era; religion and the experience of German expellees from Eastern Europe after the Second World War; German migrants and the development of the British Empire in the eighteenth century; masculinity, violence, and theater in early nineteenth-century France; trench newspapers and colonial soldiers in First World War France and Britain; the memory of colonialism and decolonization in French schools and textbooks; religion, gender, and cultural revolution among the Kazakhs in the Soviet Union; the history of psychoanalysis in Italy; and the legacy of fascism in Italy after the Second World War.

Recent Graduate Students

Graduation Year PhD Recipient Dissertation Title
2014 John Dunn "One-Hundred Million No Longer: Learning to Be French in the Era of Decolonization, 1944-1992"
2013 Rhiannon Evangelista "From Dictatorship to Democracy? Giuseppe Bottai and the Legacy of Fascism in Italy, 1945-1960"
2013 Dana Drew Irwin "Revolutionary Histrionics: Violence and the Creation of Bourgeois Masculinity in Post-Napoleonic France"
2013 Mauro Pasqualini "The Adventures of the Unconscious: A Cultural History of Psychoanalysis in Italy, 1920-1940s"
2012 Elizabeth Stice "Empire Between the Lines: Constructions of Empire in British and French Trench Newspapers of the Great War"
2011 Adam Rosenbaum "Timeless, Modern, and German? The Re-Mapping of Bavaria through the Marketing of Tourism, 1800-1939"
2009 Jayme A. Feagin "Sentimental Tools: Literary Narrative, Female Bodies and Medical Identities in France, 1795-1850"
2009 Scott Gavorsky "Ceding to the Circumstances: State Institutions, Civil Society, and Running to Schools at Maine-et-Loire, 1815-1875"
2008 Chad R. Fulwider "The Kaiser's Most Loyal Subjects? The German View of America and German Americans during World War I"
2007 Daniel Krebs "Approaching the Enemy: German Captives in the American War of Independence, 1776-1783"
2007 Natalia Starostina "Engineering the Empire of Images: The Representations of Railways in Interwar France"
2006 Kevin Bradley "The Development of the London Underground, 1840-1933: The Transformation of the London Metropolis and the Role of Laissez-Faire in Urban Growth"
2006 Jonathyne Briggs "Anarchie en France: Hypermodernity and French Popular Music, 1958-1981"
2004 Jennifer Sartori "Our Religious Future: Girls¿ Education and Jewish Identity in Nineteenth Century France"
2003 Paul Menair "Savages in the City: British Bohemia and the Ideal of Artistic Squalor, 1840-1870"
2002 Allison Belzer "Femininity Under Fire: Women in Italy During the First World War"
2001 Alexander Auerbach "In the Courts and Alleys: Enforcement of the Laws on Children¿s Education and Labor in London, 1870-1914"
2001 Kristian Blaich "Creating the Socialist University: Academic Culture and GDR Politics at Greifswald University, 1945-1961"
2000 Theresa Ast "Confronting the Holocaust: American Soldiers Who Liberated the Concentration Camps"
2000 Michael Bennighof "Echoes of Radetsky: Institution Memory and the Austrian Campaign in Italy, 1866"
2000 Yael Fletcher "City, Nation and Empire in Marseilles, 1919- 1939"
2000 Rebecca Wendelken "Red Metal on the Steppes: The Spassky Copper Mines Ltd., 1904-1919"
2000 Jennifer Wynot "Keeping the Faith: Russian Orthodox Monasticism in the Soviet Union, 1917-1939"