O'Connor, Eric

History and Economics Teacher

The Seven Hills School, United States

United States

Max Weber alumnus

Department of History and Civilization

Cohort(s): 2014/2015

Ph.D. Institution

University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States

Biography

I am a historian of modern transnational Europe, with a focus on post-World War II reconstruction and European unity. I received my Ph.D. in European history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in August 2014.
My dissertation research examined the campaigns to define, envision, and put into practice democracy that would transcend the nation state from 1949-1975 in Western Europe. My work provides an empirical, historical perspective to our understanding of democracy in the European Union by investigating the historical forces, conceptual machinations, and initial experiences of democracy across national borders. Based on archival research in six European countries, I analyze how certain conceptions of democracy and European integration emerged from World War II closely connected, and how activists, political officials, and voters addressed democracy in European unity during an era when officially sanctioned voting on the topic did not yet exist. I expect to complete a book manuscript on this topic this academic year.
My next research project, which I have begun as a Max Weber Fellow, investigates the history of European town twinning in the 1950s and 1960s. Building on themes I explored in my dissertation, this project will utilize town twinning to better understand transnational political and cultural connections in the spirit of European unity, and to help analyze the role of the public at large in the uniting of Europe.
I have university experience teaching post-1789 European transnational history, modern French, German, and British history, the European Union, international relations, public speaking, and undergraduate research and writing.
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