Cassandra Painter (M.A., History, University of Rochester ’12; B.A., History, The College of Idaho ’10) is a PhD Candidate in modern German History at Vanderbilt University, where she works with Celia Applegate, David Blackbourn, and Helmut Walser Smith. She was most recently a Graduate Student Fellow in residence at the University of Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, having declined a Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Dissertation Completion Fellowship for the same academic year. Her research focuses on lived religion in the modern world, in the uses of culture to express identity, and the ways in which faith traditions evolve and adapt over time and space. Her dissertation examines the life and subsequent cult of veneration of stigmatic and visionary Anna Katharina Emmerick (1774-1824), using her as a recurring touchstone in an examination of how German Catholics created meaning and built community in modern Germany; who was able to participate in this process; and how Catholics’ understanding of themselves, their faith and their place in Germany evolved over time.
Ms. Painter has presented her research at the German Historical Institute’s Transatlantic Doctoral Seminar, the German Studies Association, and the American Historical Association. She served as Vice President of the Graduate History Society at the University of Rochester, and in that capacity helped coordinate its annual Conference.
A William J. Fulbright Scholarship funded Ms. Painter’s archival research in Germany in 2013-2014, and she was also offered funding from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). She is a Jacob K. Javits Fellow, and a recipient of the University of Rochester’s Meyer Award for Excellence in Teaching Assistantship. Grants from the DAAD and the Language School of Middlebury College have supported her training in German and Italian respectively. A Heritage Scholar Award, a full-tuition scholarship awarded based on academic merit, funded her undergraduate degree at The College of Idaho. For more information, please see her personal website: www.cassandrapainter.com.