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Elisabeth Wengler

Academic Interests:

Dr. Wengler is an Early Modern European historian with particular emphasis on France. She focuses on European religious history from 1300 to 1800, Renaissance Italy, Reformation Europe, and the French Revolution. In addition, she specializes in women, men, gender, and the family in European history from the later Middle Ages through the 18th century.


Dr. Wengler’s research uncovers the ways that religion has informed people’s lives, actions, and identities, especially with respect to gender. Her focus is early modern France/French-speaking Switzerland at a moment of tremendous religious upheaval known as the 16th century age of reformations. Her most important primary sources are reformed church court records which allow us to hear the voices of ordinary people who otherwise left few traces. Some of her publications have examined how women in particular responded to the introduction of religious reform in 16th century Geneva. Currently, she is looking at 16th century reformed churchmen’s expectations for the institution of marriage and how that intersected and clashed with what ordinary Genevan citizens expected from their marriages.

Courses Taught:
  • HIST 141: Europe from the Black Death to the French Revolution
  • HIST 200: History Colloquium: Debating the French Revolution
    (Learning through Role-Play: Reacting to the Past YouTube video
  • HIST 333: Gender and Society in Western Europe
  • HIST 336: The Renaissance, HIST 337: The Age of Reformation

Contributor to The West in the World, ed.  Dennis Sherman and  Joyce E. Salisbury, third-fifth editions, McGraw Hill, 2007/ 2013. (English translation of excerpts from Marie Dentière, Epistre tres utile , 1539.)

Rethinking ‘Calvin’s Geneva’: Women, Agency, and Religious Authority in Reformation Geneva,” in Proceedings of the Western Society for French History 35 (2008), 55-70.

“That in future times they will know our suffering for the love of God…:” Jeanne de Jussie’s Petite Chronique and the creation of convent identity,” in Studies in Early Modern France 11 (2007), 27-43.


While I was finishing my PhD, I taught history courses at Boston College, Boston University, and Suffolk University (Boston). I joined the CSB/SJU faculty in 2000. I have led CSB/SJU study abroad programs in London and Cannes, France. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, reading, swimming, biking, running, and yoga.

  • Education

    Ph.D., Boston College
    M.A., Boston College
    B.A., Trinity College