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Publications in VIVO

Gerber, Matthew Dean Associate Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Dr. Gerber's research is focused on the role of law in the social and political development of early modern Europe (1500-1789). His first book,'Bastards: Politics, Family, and Law in Early Modern France' (Oxford University Press, 2012), explores the changing legal condition and practical treatment of children born out of wedlock in France between 1555 and 1789. His second book project investigates the formation of early modern French colonial law and its tendency to disrupt metropolitan legal systems in the second half of the eighteenth century. He is also researching the political uses of terror and the delegitimization of particular forms of violence in the early modern era.


  • social history, cultural history, political history, legal history, early modern Europe, early modern France, bastardy, illegitimacy, violence, terror, colonialism, race, early modern France, French colonial history


selected publications


courses taught

  • HIST 1012 - Empire, Revolution and Global War: European History Since 1600
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Fall 2018 / Spring 2021 / Fall 2021
    Examines the history of modern Europe from 1600. Topics may include religious conflict, absolutism, the Scientific Revolution, the global impact of European colonialism and imperialism, the Enlightenment, the French and Industrial Revolutions, and the emergence of romanticism, nationalism, liberalism, socialism and modernism. Concludes by analyzing World War I and II, communist and fascist totalitarianisms, decolonization and the Cold War. Formerly HIST 1020
  • HIST 3212 - Seminar in Early Modern Europe
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2020
    Capstone seminars are designed for advanced history majors to pull together the skills they have honed in previous courses. This seminar focuses on early modern European history, and will include readings and discussions in a small seminar setting. In relation to the course topic, students will develop an individual research project and write a substantial and original paper based on primary sources. Recommended restriction: History GPA of 2.0 or higher.
  • HIST 4212 - The Age of Religious Wars: Reformation Europe,1500-1648
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Traces the history of Europe from the end of the Hundred Years War through the Thirty Years War. During this period Europe experienced tremendous changes including emerging religious heresies, the advent of the Spanish Inquisition, violent civil wars, the witch craze, and the Thirty Years War, a precursor to the World Wars of the 20th century. Recommended prerequisite: HIST 1011 or HIST 1113.
  • HIST 4222 - War and the European State, 1618-1793
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Fall 2020 / Fall 2021
    Studies the development of the European states in response to international power struggles in the 17th and 18th centuries (up to the French Revolution). Same as HIST 5222.
  • HIST 4223 - The French Revolution and Napoleon
    Primary Instructor - Summer 2018 / Spring 2019 / Summer 2019 / Summer 2021
    Traces the origins, course, and consequences of the most important modern revolution, the French Revolution of 1789. While seeking to explain how a liberal movement for progressive change soon degenerated into the factional bloodbath of the Terror, will also examine the revolution's global impact and how three decades or revolutionary warfare lead to the rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte. Same as HIST 5223.
  • HIST 6800 - Readings in Global History
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2021
    Explores various topics, regions, and methods in history and historical writing by utilizing a global/thematic approach. Geared toward graduate students in History, but students from other disciplines with graduate standing may enroll with instructor consent. Topic and content of course will vary depending on instructor. May be repeated up 12 total credit hours.
  • HIST 6950 - Master's Thesis
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2021


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