Nicole Phelps graduated summa cum laude with a BA in International Affairs from The George Washington University. She received her MA and PhD in History from the University of Minnesota, where she specialized in both American and modern European history. Her dissertation, “Sovereignty, Citizenship, and the New Liberal Order: US-Habsburg Relations and the Transformation of International Politics, 1880-1924,” won the Austrian Cultural Forum Dissertation Prize and the University of Minnesota’s Best Dissertation Prize in the Arts and Humanities and received an honorable mention for the Betty Unterberger Dissertation Prize awarded by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. The book based on the dissertation – U.S.-Habsburg Relations from 1815 to the Paris Peace Conference: Sovereignty Transformed – is forthcoming in 2013 from Cambridge University Press.
Prof. Phelps’s intellectual interests focus on Europe and the United States from the 1860s through the 1920s and include the history of the State Department and the evolution and importance of the social and ceremonial aspects of diplomacy (the focus of her second book project, The United States in the World: US Consuls Abroad, 1789-1924); the processes of state and nation building; transnational history, migration, and social networks; the construction of race and national identity; the history of ideas, especially liberalism and millennialism; and the history of crime and law enforcement. At Vermont, she teaches classes in these areas, as well as in historical methodology, where she attempts to convince students of the glories of the Chicago Manual of Style.
She is currently a member of the Teaching Committee for the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and a council member for the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. As a graduate student, she worked for several years as the assistant editor of the Austrian History Yearbook and served as the graduate assistant to the Program Committee for the American Historical Association’s 2007 annual conference.
When not reading in her professional capacity, Prof. Phelps enjoys reading all sorts of other things, especially mystery novels and the works of Wilkie Collins. She also loves the Muppets and The Pirates of Penzance—those of the Caribbean are pretty good, too.