Saint Louis University

Modern European History Graduate Program

The department's M.A. program in Modern European History offers the opportunity to delve into some of the most charged topics in the historical canon, from the Enlightenment to the present day. In our reading courses and independent studies, students read and analyze both classic and cutting edge works in the field. In the research seminars and the (optional) Masters Thesis, they prepare primary-source and archival research covering an array of subjects that may include the French Revolution and the Atlantic World, industrialization, changing assumptions about gender and family life, the great 20th-century dictatorships, the world wars, genocide, postwar reconstruction and the Cold War.  In the process, they will learn to make, develop, and support historical arguments. They will come out as better teachers, stronger researchers, and clearer thinkers.

The single largest strength of our program lies in modern religious history, as all three full-time faculty members are specialists in the churches from the 18th century to the present.  In their own research, they explore such topics as the relationship between religion, gender, and public activism, institutional and cultural religious relationships, religious struggles under dictatorships and questions of secularization and religious transformation in the modern world. However, our program also offers other areas of interest, including a strong transatlantic focus and investigations into questions of political authority and national identity.  For students keen on drawing parallels and contrasts between European and North American societies during these centuries, this program is ideal.

Some of our recent graduates have gone on to pursue Ph.Ds or to work as archivists. Others work as high school teachers in private and public high schools, and the transatlantic focus of many of our courses has provided valuable content for those who teach both American and European history.  The critical thinking skills developed by a student of Modern European history can prove to be valuable in many professions, from public relations to government work.

Library Resources:

The Pius XII Memorial Library contains a rich variety of resources in modern European religious history, and in particular, the history of European Catholicism. This includes access to the unique Saint Louis University resource of the Vatican Film Library. This magnificent collection of 37,000 codices is a virtually complete copy of the Vatican Library in Rome. It is an invaluable resource not only for graduate students but also for scholars from across the country. Local archives such as the Midwest Jesuit Archives and the Archives of the Society of the Sacred Heart add further possibilities for research within walking distance of campus.  Students also have at their disposal the archives of other religious congregations and the resources of other research libraries in the area, including the Olin Library at Washington University and the libraries of the Concordia Theological Seminary and the University of Missouri.


Jennifer Popiel (Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania), 18th and 19th century France, Intellectual and Cultural History, Gender and Women's History

Mark Edward Ruff (Ph.D. Brown), 20th century Germany, Modern Religious History, History of Memory

Daniel Schlafly (Ph.D. Columbia), 18th to 20th century Russia and Eastern Europe; History of the Jesuits


three panels of historical images

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