Evelyn Sterne

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


Evelyn Sterne is an Associate Professor of History and Director of the Center for the Humanities. She is a historian of religion, immigration, class and communal experiments in nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. Her scholarship focuses on various dimensions of the American religious experience at the turn of the twentieth century, and she is completing a book on the House of David, a Christian commune in twentieth-century Michigan. She teaches courses on the history of American religion, immigration and communal societies, as well as a survey course on the history of the U.S. since 1877.


  • Nineteenth- and twentieth-century U.S.
  • Religion
  • Immigration
  • Politics and labor
  • Intentional communities


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

Selected Publications


The House of David: Salvation, Scandal and Survival in a Modern American Commune (forthcoming from Oxford University Press, 2025)

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


“ ‘Immorality and Immortality’? Salvation and Scandal at Michigan’s House of David” (forthcoming in Nova Religio, August 2024).

“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.

“‘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.