Michael B. Gross

Gross, Michael

Associate Professor
Ph.D., History,Brown University
M.A. History, Columbia University
B.A. History, University of Chicago
Phone: 252-328-6749
Office: Brewster A-217
Fax: 252-328-6774
Email: grossm@ecu.edu


Michael Gross teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on modern world civilizations, and modern German and European history.

He is author of The War against Catholicism: Liberalism and the Anti-Catholic Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Germany (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2004). He argues that anti-Catholic culture in Germany shaped a modern identity that included industrialization, capitalist economics, national unification, and gendered public and private spheres. He focuses on German liberals and shows that their attack against Catholicism and the Catholic church was an attempt to assert economic, social, sexual, and moral order. Ultimately, the intolerance that was inherent to Germany liberalism and the state-sponsored attack on the Catholic church compromised the development of a more tolerant civil society and would have profound consequences for Germany minority populations in the twentieth century.

The War against Catholicism was awarded the John Gilmary Shea Book Prize of the American Catholic Historical Association in 2004. The American Historical Review said the book was “fascinating demonstration of the historian’s craft in a cultural and literary key…. It adds a crucial dimension to our understanding of liberal ideology and culture… All future discussions of Germany’s conflicted, confusing path to modernity will have to take note of Gross’s powerful, outrageous, and disturbing exploration of the troubled liberal imagination.” The War against Catholicism has also been published in a paperback edition (2005). Professor Gross’s current research focuses on visions of hell, religious terror, and peasant culture in nineteenth-century Germany.

Professor Gross has received several grants including from the Social Science Research Council-Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, Freie Universität Berlin; the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD); The German Historical Institute, and the Southern Regional Education Board. He has received Research/Creative Activity awards from East Carolina University and Walter Craddock Prize from the Southwestern Historical Association.

Professor Gross has given numerous presentations of his research at scholarly conferences including the American Historical Association; the German Studies Association; Nineteenth-Century Studies Association; the Consortium on Revolutionary Europe; the New England Historical Association; the Southwest Historical Association; the American Catholic Historical Association; Center for European Studies, Harvard University; Columbia University; and the Freie Universität Berlin.

Selected Publications:

The War Against Catholicism: Liberalism and the Anti-Catholic Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Germany, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, hardback, 2004, paperback, 2005.

“Kulturkampf and Geschlechterkampf: Liberalism, Anti-Catholicism, and Misogyny in Nineteenth-Century Germany.” From Empire to Federal Republic: Elites, Violence, and Society in German History. Ed. Frank Biess and Mark Roseman. Oxford: Berg Publishers, forthcoming 2004.

"The Catholic Missionary Crusade and the Protestant Revival, 1848-1872." In Neighbors and Strangers: Protestants, Catholics and Jews in Germany, 1800-1914, ed. Helmut Walser Smith (Oxford: Berg Publishers, 2001), 245-265.

"The Strange Case of the Nun in the Dungeon, or German Liberalism as a Convent Atrocity Story." German Studies Review 23, no. 1 (2000): 69-84.

"Kulturkampf and Unification: German Liberalism and the War against the Jesuits." Central European History 30, (1997): 545-66.

Courses Offered:

HIST 1031: World Civilizations Since 1500
HIST 3435: History of Europe Since 1914
HIST 3460: Germany, 1789 to 1914
HIST 3461: Germany since 1914
HIST 4470: The Great War: Experience, Memory, and Legacy
HIST 5480: Weimar and the Rise of Hitler
HIST 6375: Twentieth-Century Europe