Cassandra Painter (PhD, History, Vanderbilt University, ’18; M.A., History, University of Rochester ’12; B.A., History, The College of Idaho ’10) is an independent scholar based in Idaho Falls, Idaho. She was most recently a Lilly Postdoctoral Fellow and a Lecturer in History and Humanities at Valparaiso University, with a two-year appointment from 2018-2020. She defended her dissertation at Vanderbilt University, where she worked with Celia Applegate, David Blackbourn, and Helmut Walser Smith. 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. She is also particularly interested in the intersections of gender and religion. Her dissertation examined 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 published peer-reviewed articles in Central European History and the Graduate History Review, and contributed an article on stigmatics to Women and World Religions: Faith and Culture across History. In addition to preparing her dissertation for publication, she also looks forward to her second project, which is tentatively titled Germans and the Holy Land, 1848-1948 (see Research for details).
She 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 and Acting President of the Graduate History Society at the University of Rochester, and in that capacity helped coordinate its annual Conference.
She was previously a Graduate Student Fellow in residence at Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS) during 2016-2017. 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 was a Jacob K. Javits Fellow, and a recipient of the University of Rochester’s Meyer Award for Excellence in Teaching Assistantship. She has also been offered funding from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)/Carnegie Mellon Foundation. 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.