Brian Vick


Department of History

Office: Bowden 104



Brian Vick, Associate Professor (Ph.D., Yale University, 1997; A.B., Stanford University, 1992).  Modern Germany and Central Europe in the long nineteenth century; modern political and intellectual-cultural history.  I have taught at Bard College, Yale, Stanford, the University of Sheffield in England, and the University of Colorado at Boulder.  My published work has focused on questions of nationalism, liberalism, historicism, and ideas of race, in several articles and in my first book, Defining Germany The 1848 Frankfurt Parliamentarians and National Identity  (Harvard University Press, 2002). I remain interested in these areas of inquiry.

My most recent research explores questions of European culture and political culture at the Congress of Vienna, including the political engagement of women, the development of liberal and conservative politics, and the role of religious revival.  This work also sounds the cultural and political meanings of the celebratory spectacle and display surrounding Napoleon’s defeat and the return of peace at the close of the wars against Napoleon, and it spotlights such less-studied but important aspects of Congress diplomacy as the struggles over Jewish rights in Germany, abolition of the African slave trade, and the problem of the Barbary corsairs.  The project has resulted in a new book: The Congress of Vienna: Power and Politics after Napoleon (Harvard University Press, 2014).  Along with related articles and essays, this work reassesses the nature and direction of European culture and political culture in their period of transition between the revolutionary era and the nineteenth century.   

In addition, I have published a substantial article investigating campaigns for legal reform by Germanist lawyers and legal scholars in the mid-nineteenth century, in which issues of gender, ideology, and political culture also feature centrally.  This article appeared in The Journal of Modern History 82, 3 (2010): 546-584.

My Curriculum Vitae


  • AB, Stanford University, 1992.
  • PhD, Yale University, 1997.

Recently-Appointed Doctoral Graduates

  • Claudia Kreklau (St. Andrews, Scotland)
  • Sean Wempe (California State University, Bakersfield)