Department of History

Stephanie Makin

  • Graduate Student

I research the role of Catholicism in German-American and American-Austrian relations in the period immediately after the Second World War and during the emerging Cold War.

In 2013 I earned my MA, titled “‘Operation Hospitality:’ The Allied Occupation of Germany, the National Catholic Welfare Conference, and German Catholic Teenage Exchanges 1947-1954,” from the University of Pittsburgh. My MA explored how the National Catholic Welfare Conference, an American organization, and German Catholics cooperatively worked towards orienting German society to develop close cultural ties with the United States.


Regional: Europe
Thematic: Texts and Contexts
I focus on modern German, American, and Austrian history

Teaching Experience

Western Civilization II (T.A. Fall 2011)
World War II Europe (T.A. Fall 2012)
U.S. History since 1945 (T.A. Spring 2012)
World History (T.A. Fall 2012) 

Representative Publications

Conferences & Presentations

Seminar Participant, “Religion in Germany in the 20th Century: Paradigm Shifts and Changing Methodologies”

At the German Studies Association Thirty-Eighth Annual Conference, September 2014, Kansas City Missouri.

Research Interests

PhD Dissertation Topic

“An Unexpected Alliance: Catholics, the Cold War, and the Creation of the West”

Advisor: Gregor Thum

My dissertation analyzes Catholicism’s role in influencing German and Austrian Catholic opinion on American culture, capitalism, and communism, and assesses if and to what extent German and Austrian Catholic lay groups promoted American lifestyles over Soviet-style communism. My dissertation will argue that transatlantic Catholic-based connections were an important element in cultivating a unified Western identity in America, Germany and Austria during the Cold War.