The study of European history since the era of the French Revolution addresses concerns that reverberate throughout the modern world.
Europe’s development of industrial capitalism restructured the global economy through markets and imperialism. The emergence of the nuclear family system and the reconstruction of gender relations that typified nineteenth-century middle-class ideals have also had far-reaching consequences.
Modern European political development has been marked by the construction of "public spheres" and civil societies with their concomitant notions of limitations on government, but also by the institution of the nation-state with its potential for totalitarianism and racism.
Indeed, at the center of much scholarship in modern European history, including that of our own faculty, are the tensions between the impulse to question and remake human institutions that has been characteristic of European culture and politics since the Enlightenment, and the equally prevalent impulse toward domination and control.
We have one of the strongest Medieval Europe graduate programs in the country, with numerous graduate students and a large undergraduate following for our survey and topics courses.
Our range of specialties is broad, from Mediterranean history to Scandinavia, from the early to the late Middle Ages, from economic history to politics, military history, and institutions, to women, gender, and minorities, to exploration and cross-cultural contacts, to legal history, church history and the crusades. The field of medieval European history at Minnesota has a long tradition of scholarship enlivened by new focuses in social, cultural, and gender studies.