John W. Boyer

Dean, The College

1116 E. 59th Street, W606
Chicago, IL 60637
Phone: 773.702.8576
Fax: 773.702.5846

John W. Boyer, the Martin A. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor in History, was reappointed to a fifth term as Dean of the College in 2012.  He became Dean of the College in 1992.

During his tenure as Dean of the College, Boyer has strengthened the College curriculum and the College's admissions program, and he established the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, which brings young postdoctoral scholars to Chicago to experience Core teaching and learn from the mentorship of tenured and tenure-track faculty of the College. Boyer was also deeply involved in the establishment of the University of Chicago Center in Paris. He has worked to create many new programs for College students involving foreign study, internships, and foreign language instruction; to broaden student research opportunities; to enhance the relationship of the College to the professional schools; to expand on-campus facilities for residential life; to strengthen programmatic and financial resources for student life; and to provide strong career advising programs for College students.

Boyer has served as an Editor of the Journal of Modern History since 1980. In 1992 and 1993 he was Acting Dean of the Division of Social Sciences. He was also Chair of the Council on Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences from 1986 to 2009.

A specialist in the history of the Habsburg Empire and of Central Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Boyer received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1975 and joined the faculty in the same year. Boyer has written three books on Central European history, including Political Radicalism in Late Imperial Vienna: Origins of the Christian Social Movement, 1848-1897 (for which he was awarded the John Gilmary Shea Prize); and Culture and Political Crisis in Vienna: Christian Socialism in Power, 1897-1918 (for which he was awarded the Ludwig Jedlicka Prize), both of which were published by the University of Chicago Press. His third book was Karl Lueger  (1844-1910). Christlichsoziale Politik als Beruf, published by the Böhlau Verlag in Vienna in 2010. Boyer was also co-general editor of the nine-volume University of Chicago Readings in Western Civilization

Boyer recently published The University of Chicago:  A History with the University of Chicago Press in October 2015. His major work in progress is the Austria, 1867-1983 volume for the Oxford History of Modern Europe Series, which seeks to provide a comprehensive interpretation of the political systems of Imperial and Republican Austria, set in the broader context of Central European history.

In 2004 Boyer was awarded the Cross of Honor for Science and Art, First Class, by the Republic of Austria. He received the 2006 Austrian State Prize for Modern History. He is a Corresponding Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Vienna in 2015, in recognition of his scholarly work on the Habsburg Empire.

Boyer regularly teaches European Civilization in the College, and courses on religion and politics in modern European history and on the history of the Habsburg Empire and modern Germany.

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