Meet Dr. Patrouch!

05 October 2020

Where are you from and how did you end up in your field? 

I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio (USA) but moved to Madison, Wisconsin when I was a few weeks old because my father was studying for his PhD in English Literature at the University of Wisconsin. I have also lived in Massachusetts, California, Florida, and New Jersey in the US, as well as in various cities in Austria and Germany. I grew up in a suburb of Dayton, Ohio: my father was a professor at the University of Dayton. I was an undergraduate in Boston and went to graduate school in Berkeley before teaching for twenty years at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. I moved to Edmonton in 2011 to take over as Director of the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies.

I have always been connected to universities, either as a child of a grad student, or as a “faculty brat,” a grad student, or a faculty member. My interest in Early Modern European history is the result of a number of excellent professors I had as an undergraduate at Boston University. All four of them were specialists in the field and conveyed their excitement and interest well. Originally, I went to graduate school to study French history, but after my MA I switched to Austrian/Central European history for many reasons. One of the most important was that the field is understudied in comparison to French history.


What is your current area of research? 

I am working on a long-term project dealing with how the Holy Roman Empire was imagined, experienced, and governed in the period of (relative, internal) peace between 1555 and 1618.


What are your hobbies? 

Mostly I read in my spare time. Preferably not on line. Growing up in Dayton, Ohio (the birthplace of the Wright Brothers and the location of the National Museum of the US Air Force,) I developed a bit of an interest in military aviation history, and a number of close relatives including my aunt and uncle have been or are USAF airmen. From time to time I build small model aircraft.


What advice would you give incoming students? 

Find a professor whose interests speak to you, and don’t be afraid to talk to them!


Dr. Patrouch is also currently hosting a podcast which you can check out here