Dr. Joanne Schneider

Joanne Schneider
Department, Office, or School
Department of History
  • Professor

Minnesota native Joanne Schneider received her B.A. in History and German, summa cum laude, from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota. She earned her M.A. and Ph. D. at Brown University in Modern European History. Her dissertation examined girls' schools and education reform in early 19th century Bavaria. That research yielded several articles which appeared in scholarly monographs. Subsequent research interests focused on the Enlightenment and everyday life history in southern Germany. She has presented several papers based on that scholarship. Her current research involves the experiences of ordinary Bavarians at the hands of a marauding Austrian and French armies during the decade of the 1790s.

Schneider's most recognized publication is Women in Western European History, a three volume bibliography co-edited with Linda and Marsha Frey. The first volume of the bibliography received the Choice Outstanding Scholarly Book Award. She published The Age of Romanticism in 2007, as part of Greenwood Press's "Guides to Historic Events, 1500 to 1900."

"Plume ready? Finger on forehead? Focused on nature? Is that all we need to know about Romanticism? Not by a long shot, according to Schneider, who gives high-school and general readers contexts and background so they can better understand the tenets of the movement, the players, and the repercussions of Romanticism. She describes how the Enlightenment and eighteenth-century responses to it built into a coherent aesthetic and agenda; how Romanticism expressed itself in poetry, prose, drama, painting and music; and how Romanticism shaped such concepts as environmentalism and nationalism. She includes a chronology of publications and life events, biographies of key actors, a bundle of original documents and a small but telling set of illustrations. They and the references bring this a step above the usual first contact with the likes of Keats, Shelley and Byron." - Reference & Research Book News

Schneider has also been involved in the field of Public History. From 1999-2001, she worked for the Smithsonian as a lecturer on tours in Austria. She also serves as a tour guide to the First Baptist Church’s Meeting House, in Providence. (The largest wooden framed structure standing in the United States, that dates from the Colonial Era, in this case 1775.) In 2017, she completed a project, begun during her Fall 2016 sabbatical, that resulted in a twenty-minute video “Forced Worship Stinks in God’s Nostrils” about Roger Williams and the founding of the First Baptist Church in America. She designed the production, wrote the script for the narrative, and collaborated with the editing of the project. The video is available for viewing to anyone,who visits the historic Meeting House in Providence.

Schneider, former Chair of the History Department (2002-2008) and former Director of Women’s Studies (1999-2001), is deeply involved with the Shinn Study Abroad Fund Scholarship Program, having served as the Chair of the Awards Committee since 1996. She is a past President of the New England Historical Association and has held the post of President of the Humanities Forum of Rhode Island.


FYS 100 The State Where You Live: Rhode Island’s Secrets

HIS 104 Multiple Voices: Europe and the World Since 1600

HIS 234 Challenges and Confrontations: Women in Europe
Beginning with the European witchcraft persecutions and subsequent challenges women faced from the 18th to the 21st century, this course explores the efforts by women and select men to change society’s perception of what it meant to be female and how women’s rights expanded over the course of the centuries. Despite this, many challenges still remain.

HIS 235 Voices of the Great War
Through the lens of novels, memoirs, and poetry, the stories of the men and women who participated in the Great War on the Western Front are explored. What differentiates the perspectives of an English soldier, a German soldier or an Indian soldier? How did front-line nurses and female physicians experience the trauma of war?

HIS 267 Personal Memories of the World Wars (Connections)
What is revealed when men’s and women’s writing about the same event are explored? This course pairs memoirs from the First and Second World Wars in order to explore questions related to gender, race, ethnicity and class. Where possible, films of those memoirs will be incorporated into the discussion.

HIS 282 History Matters II: Historical Research
The second of the three methods courses for history majors, this course helps students develop research topics, learn the newest research methods (especially in the digital realm) and create a well-written research paper, that follows the conventions of the discipline of history.

HIS 310 Europe in the Twentieth Century and Beyond
Starting with the Great War, the course explores topics in 20th and 21st century European history, by having students read scholarly monographs about various topics, for example: the Roaring Twenties, the Rise of Fascism and Nazism, the Resistance in World War II, the Holocaust, the Rebuilding of Europe and the demise of the Soviet Union.