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Early Modern Europe

Early Modern European history is one of the department’s best known and most successful Ph.D. programs. Building on the work of the late J. Russell Major, an internationally known expert on French Renaissance government and society whose doctoral students now hold a number of major positions in the profession, the current faculty members are proud of our close, collegial cooperation and our record in guiding students individually towards successful topics and careers. 

Our interests encompass many aspects of social and cultural history, including transnational exchanges.

  • Sharon Strocchia studies women and religion in Renaissance Italy, as well as the history of health and healing in the early modern period.
  • Judith A. Miller is an expert on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French legal, cultural and gender history. She remains interested, too, in the economic history of that period.
  • We collaborate closely with Jonathan Strom from the Theology School, whose expertise on the Protestant Reformation and Pietism in Germany adds a vital dimension to our program.
  • We draw additional strength from our colleagues studying the Atlantic world, colonial Latin America and early U.S. history, and benefit from new perspectives on global history offered by Tonio Andrade, who specializes in European-Asian exchanges in the seventeenth century. He is also well versed in early modern Dutch history. In addition, we maintain close relations with medievalists outside the department whose interests dovetail well with those of the early modernists.

A flexible program with valuable resources

Features of the program are a flexible system of field preparations tailored to the particular interests of the student as well as ties with other programs on campus such as the Medieval Studies program and the Art History and Religion departments. Another important resource for our graduate students is the Major Award, which provides funding for dissertation research and writing in European fields or those related to European expansion.

Explore rich collections on early modern history and reformation history

The Woodruff Library has one of the finest collections in the country on early modern history. The Pitts Theology Library also has rich collections on the Reformation era.

In addition to the regular departmental fellowships and awards, prospective students might note the Blair Rogers and J. Russell Major Dissertation Fellowship, a substantial grant which is awarded annually to a student for dissertation research on European history in any period from classical antiquity to the present day.

Early Modern Europe Program Alumni