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Letter from the Chair

Janine Giordano Drake

History

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Areas of Specialization

Social, Political and Intellectual History , US Religious History and Theologies of Christianity in the Americas , Comparative Labor and Working Class History (US and Europe), Modern United States History, Gender, Race and Ethnicity

Research Focus

My dissertation focuses on the history of working class Christians outside of institutional churches in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I suggest that labor unions, Labor Temples, Labor Churches and even the Socialist Party of America served as parachurch organizations for workers alienated from Churches. By the early 1910's, Christians practicing their faith within the confines of these spaces were referred to as a "church outside the Church." To what extent did the working class Christian movement amount to an alternate set of theologies and ecclesiologies? How did Church leaders rethink their doctrine in hopes of winning back workers? Equally importantly, what do we learn from the fact that so many of the supporters of socialist and labor movements in the US were Christian workers? When socialism is severely repressed in the 1920s and 30s we notice record high rates of Church attendance compared with previous decades. To what extent did the Churches re/incorporate working class Christians into their fold?

Education

B.A., History and American Studies, State University of New York, Geneseo, 2005

Education

  • M.A. in History, University of Illinois, 2008
  • Ph.D Candidate in History, University of Illinois, current
  • B.A. in History and American Studies, State University of New York, Geneseo, 2005

Distinctions / Awards

  • Predoctoral Fellowship, University of Illinois

Grants

  • Everett Helm Fellowship, Lilly Library (Indiana University), Travel Grant
  • Cushwa Center for American Catholicism, Research Travel Grant (University of Notre Dame)