Assistant Professor of History
Office: 4124 Mosse Humanities
Mailbox: 4027 Mosse Humanities
Office Hours: On Leave
I’m a historian of modern European and international history, with a special interest in the late nineteenth and twentieth-century European international order.
In my research, I focus on the entanglements of religion and politics in Eastern, Central, and Southern Europe. My book manuscript demonstrates how World War I galvanized the central government of the Catholic Church to craft its own variety of internationalism, which was intended to rival both liberal and communist internationalism. From 1918 up through the early Cold War, the Vatican’s Catholic International made novel use of international law, public diplomacy, and new media to deepen the ties between Church and State and weaken perceived ideological and geopolitical rivals. Drawing on new archival research conducted in eight countries, the project shows how the Vatican’s internationalist activities decisively shaped European reconstruction after both World War I and World War II, and left a lasting mark on European politics, culture, and society.
Two side projects are also currently keeping me busy. One is on the intellectual history of the concept of the Atlantic as it was debated in Europe and the United States in the early years after World War II. The second concerns the conceptual history of economic development, with a focus on how European religious groups shaped the practice and idea of economic development at the United Nations in the decade following “the Year of Africa” (1960).
My teaching interests include the history of internationalism (especially liberal, communist, anarchist, and Catholic internationalism); Fascism; the Catholic Church; imperialism and decolonization; and the history of human rights and humanitarianism. In my teaching, I encourage both undergraduate and graduate students to embrace history as a discipline that offers critical insight into the past and the present, and provides us with a handy toolkit of translatable skills, which are useful both in the academy and beyond.
I’ve recently gotten involved in the Public Humanities initiative at the University’s Center for the Humanities, in an attempt to deepen ties between town and gown, and jumpstart the conversation about the role of the humanities in the wider world. Additionally, Scott Gehlbach (Political Science) and I have co-organized a seminar on History & Politics, in a bid to encourage cross-disciplinary dialogue and exchange. Our theme this year is “Dictatorship and Democracy.” Our 2016-7 speaker series has been made possible by the generous support of the Brittingham Trust, the George L. Mosse Program, the Center for European Studies, the Intellectual History Group, the Comparative Politics Colloquium, and the Political Economy Colloquium. Please drop a line for more information.
- “Transatlantic Catholicism and the Making of the ‘Christian West,’” in The TransAtlantic Reconsidered, Susanne Lachenicht and Charlotte Lerg, eds. (Manchester: Manchester University Press, forthcoming)
- “Pius XII, Rights Talk and the Dawn of the Religious Cold War,” in Religion and Human Rights, Devin Pendas, ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming)
- “The Vatican, Nazi-Fascism, and the Making of Transnational Anticommunism in the 1930s,” Journal of Contemporary History 51,2 (2016): 261-290.
- “Introduction: Decolonization and Religion in the French Empire,” with Elizabeth Foster, French Politics, Culture, & Society 33, 2 (summer 2015): 1-12.
- “The Catholic Origins of Economic Development after World War II,” French Politics, Culture, & Society 33, 2 (summer 2015): 55-75.
- “Catholics, Antisemitism, and the Human Rights Swerve,” The Immanent Frame (June 2015)
- “The Vatican and the Reshaping of the European International Order after World War I,” The Historical Journal, 56 (December 2013): 955-976.
- “La Giac di Gedda di fronte alla crisi europea,'” in Luigi Gedda nella storia, Paolo Trionfini and Simon Ferrantin, eds. (Rome: Studium, 2013), pp. 325-336.
- “Cardinal Pizzardo and the Internationalization of Catholic Action,” in Gouvernement pontifical sous Pie XI, Laura Pettinaroli, ed. (Rome: École française de Rome, 2012)
Selected Invited Lectures & Presentations
- “The Catholic Embrace of Self-Determination after World War I,” the University of Bologna, November 2016
- “The Pope vs. Wilson: How Catholic Internationalism Outlived the Wilsonian Moment,” United States Intellectual History Conference, Stanford University, October 2016
- “Sacco and Vanzetti: What Can We Learn From Their Story?” UW-Madison, September 2016
“The Vatican, Nation-Building, and International Law,” Political Catholicism Conference, NYU,December 2015
- “The Vatican, Religious Nationalism, and the Catholic International after World War I,” The Evolution of the Papacy: Modernity, Media, and Mission,” Northwestern University, October 2015
- “Soft Power and the Vatican,” La Follette School of Public Affairs, UW-Madison, September 2015
- “Ethno-Nationalism, Antisemitism, and Catholic Internationalism,” the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, August 2015
- “Catholic Associational Life and State-Making,” Forms of Public Sociality conference, the University of Crete, May 2015
- “Catholic Civil Society,” special lecture in Global Political Catholicism class, taught by Professor Charles Gallagher, Boston College, October 2014
- “The Vatican and Catholic Internationalism,” University of British Columbia-Vancouver, February 2014
- “The Catholic Church and ‘Christian States’ after 1919 and after 1945,” Theorizing Religion in Modern Europe conference, Harvard University, January 2014
- Reid Palmer
- History 120 – Europe and the Modern World, 1789 to the Present – Syllabus 2016 (pdf)
- History 201 – The Historian’s Craft: Democrats and Dictators in Spain and Italy. – Syllabus 2015 (pdf)
- History 201 – The Catholic Church and the World – Syllabus 2015 (pdf)
- History 223 – Explorations in European History: Wars of Religion in Europe since 1914 – Syllabus 2014 (pdf)
- History 223 – War, Race, and Religion in Modern European History – Syllabus 2015 (pdf)
- History 705 – Writing for the Academy and Beyond – Syllabus 2015 (pdf)
- History 710 – Writing for the Academy and Beyond – Syllabus 2016 (pdf)
- History 724 – The Politics of Persuasion: Soft Power in European and American International History – Syllabus 2016 (pdf)
- History 891 – States and Non-State Actors in European International History – Syllabus 2015 (pdf)