Evelyn Sterne

  • Associate Professor and Director of the Center for the Humanities
  • Tucker House, Rm 210
  • Phone: 401.874.4074
  • Email: sterne@uri.edu


I am Associate Professor of History and Director of the Center for the Humanities. Born and raised in New York City, I received my B.A. in English from Yale and my M.A. and Ph.D. in American history from Duke. As a historian I focus on relationships between religion, class, immigration, and politics in nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. My scholarship addresses various dimensions of the American religious experience at the turn of the twentieth century, and my current research is on a very colorful Christian commune in early twentieth-century Michigan.

I integrate these interests into all my classes: HIS 142 (History of the United States Since 1877); HIS 346 (Immigration, Ethnicity and Race in American History); HIS 357 (History of Religion in America); HIS 441/495 (Advanced Topics in American History: Immigration and American Identity); and HIS 507 (Religion and Politics in American History).

My teaching and research focus on modern American history, with an emphasis on religion, class, immigration and politics. I am particularly interested in the dynamic between religion and social change in early twentieth-century America.


  • Twentieth-century U.S.
  • Religion
  • Immigration
  • Politics and labor


  • Ph.D., Duke University
  • M.A., Duke University
  • B.A., Yale University

Selected Publications


Ballots and Bibles: Ethnic Politics and the Catholic Church in Providence. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004 (paperback edition, 2008).


“Catholicism and Working-Class Activism,” in The Pew and the Picket Line: Christianity and the Working Classes in Industrial America, ed. Christopher D. Cantwell, Heath W. Carter and Janine Giordano Drake.   Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2016. (Forthcoming.)

“Religion, Class and Labor,” in Proceedings: Fourth Biennial Conference on Religion and American Culture. http://raac.iupui.edu/publications/conference-proceedings/

‘This Is a Mighty Warfare that We Are Engaged In:’ Pentecostals in Early Twentieth-Century New England,” in The Lively Experiment: Religious Toleration in America from Roger Williams to the Present, ed. Christopher Beneke and Christopher Grenda. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.

“Beyond the Boss: Immigration and American Political Culture, 1880-1940,” in E Pluribus Unum? Contemporary and Historical Perspectives on Immigrant Political Incorporation, ed. Gary Gerstle and John Mollenkopf. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2001.

“Bringing Religion into Working-Class History: Parish, Public and Politics in Providence, 1890-1930.” Social Science History 24:1 (Spring 2000): 149-82.

Book reviews in American Historical Review, Church History, Journal of American History, Journal of American Ethnic History, Journal of Catholic Studies, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, New England Quarterly, and Reviews in American History.