Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Sections
You are here: Home Directory William S. Cossen

William S. Cossen

William S. Cossen

Graduate Student

117 Pond Lab
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-6737

Curriculum Vitae

Download CV

Education:

  1. PhD, Pennsylvania State University, Dec. 2016
  2. MA (with honors), Pennsylvania State University, 2012
  3. BA, Emory University, 2008

Biography:

I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of History and a member of the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center, studying under the direction of Dr. Philip Jenkins and Dr. Amy S. Greenberg.  My research focuses mainly on nineteenth- and twentieth-century U.S. Catholicism.  I have particular interests in the history of anti-Catholicism and the Catholic response, Catholic-Protestant interactions, religion and U.S. imperialism, immigration, nineteenth-century convent tales, religion and the labor movement, Catholic social teaching, and honor and violence in the Old South. I defended my dissertation, "The Protestant Image in the Catholic Mind: Interreligious Encounters in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era," on October 3, 2016, and will be graduating with my Ph.D. in December 2016.

Recent Publications and Presentations:

"Education in the Name of the Lord: The Rise and Decline of the Hartford Diocesan Labor Institute and the Fate of Catholic Labor Schools," The Catholic Historical Review (forthcoming)

"Catholic Gatekeepers: The Church and Immigration Reform in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era," U.S. Catholic Historian 34, no. 3 (Summer 2016): 1-23

"Monk in the Middle: The Awful Disclosures of the Hotel Dieu Nunnery and the Making of Catholic Identity," American Catholic Studies 125, no. 1 (Spring 2014): 25-45

"Catholics, Constitutions, and Conventions: Bishop John England and the Democratization of American Catholicism," The South Carolina Historical Magazine 114, no. 4 (October 2013): 316-340

Review of Caroline B. Brettell, Following Father Chiniquy: Immigration, Religious Schism, and Social Change in Nineteenth-Century Illinois, in American Nineteenth Century History (forthcoming)

Review of William B. Kurtz, Excommunicated from the Union: How the Civil War Created a Separate Catholic America, in The Civil War Monitor, July 20, 2016

Review of James M. Woods, A History of the Catholic Church in the American South, 1513-1900, in The South Carolina Historical Magazine 115, no. 1 (January 2015): 88-90

Review of Yaacov Oved, Globalization of Communes, 1950-2010, in Communal Societies: Journal of the Communal Studies Association 33, no. 2 (2013): 205-207

"Isaac Hecker's American Odyssey: Rewriting the Catholic Nation in The Church and the Age," American Catholic Historical Association Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, January 7, 2017 (accepted)

"'When Al Smith is President': The Protestant Other and the Politics of Anti-Catholicism in the 1928 Presidential Election," American Catholic Historical Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, January 10, 2016

"Catholic Gatekeepers: The Church and Immigration Reform in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era," American Catholic Historical Association Spring Meeting, University of Notre Dame, March 27, 2015

"Philippine Colonization and the American Catholic Press: A Study in Religious Imperialism," American Catholic Historical Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, January 2, 2014

"Blood, Honor, Reform, and God: Anti-Dueling Associations and the Remaking of Southern Masculinity," Society for Historians of the Early American Republic Annual Meeting, St. Louis, July 20, 2013

Selected Honors and Awards:

Filson Fellowship, The Filson Historical Society (2016)
Graduate Student Summer Research Grant, American Catholic Historical Association (2016)
Finalist, The Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (2015)
Presidential Graduate Scholarship, American Catholic Historical Association (2015)
Ann Richards Award, History Graduate Student Association Paper Competition, Pennsylvania State University (2015)
External Funding Incentive Award, College of the Liberal Arts, Pennsylvania State University (2014)
Presidential Graduate Scholarship, American Catholic Historical Association (2013)
Research Travel Grant, Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, University of Notre Dame (2013)

Dorothy Mohler Research Grant, The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives (2013)
George P. Hammond Prize, Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society (2012)
E-tu Zen Sun Award, Department of History, Pennsylvania State University (2012)
Student Paper Award, Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (2012)
Bernard Bellush Prize, New York Labor History Association (2012)
Rose and Sigmund Strochlitz Travel Grant, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut (2011)
Graduate Student Paper Award, Eastern International Regional Meeting, American Academy of Religion, Syracuse University (2011)

Dissertation:

"The Protestant Image in the Catholic Mind: Interreligious Encounters in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era"

Although scholars have analyzed Catholics as outsiders in American history, historians have devoted far less space to the related question of how Catholics perceived the Protestants with whom they shared space in the United States. “The Protestant Image in the Catholic Mind” explores the construction of Protestant identity by American Catholics during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, a period in which Catholicism became the country's largest denomination. Catholics, particularly those associated with the U.S. church's Americanist movement, worked in the years following the Civil War to entrench their claim to belonging in the consolidating American nation. They did so by demonstrating the integral roles Catholics played in a variety of connected imperial, political, and public reform projects and by engaging in a rhetoric of anti-Protestantism against the Protestants who frequently regarded themselves as the normative Americans. Sitting at the intersection of a number of historical subfields, including intellectual, political, religious, and social history, “The Protestant Image in the Catholic Mind” will be useful for those seeking to understand not only Catholic intellectual trends but also larger questions of hegemony, identity, and nationalism in the postbellum United States.

Dissertation Chair(s):

Philip Jenkins and Amy S. Greenberg
Personal tools
Log in