Nicole Phelps is the author of the research monograph U.S.-Habsburg Relations from 1815 to the Paris Peace Conference: Sovereignty Transformed (Cambridge 2013, paperback 2015) and the textbook Americans and International Affairs to 1921 (Cognella 2022). Her current research project, which will include both a book and a digital humanities project, is on the US Consular Service, one of the long nineteenth century’s precursors to the US Foreign Service. See her work in progress on the US Consular Service here and her teaching-focused website here.

Prof. 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.

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 processes of state and nation building; transnational history, migration, and social networks; the construction of race and national identity; 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 actively involved with the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and 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.

Prof. Phelps is an ardent fan of the Muppets, Legos, The Far Side, Cabin Pressure, and Phineas and Ferb.

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

US diplomatic history, Habsburg Central Europe, transnational history

Note: What does the image above portray? Part of my identity as a historian is a digital humanities scholar, and I am using digital techniques to research the US Consular Service, which was part of the State Department. The image is a visualization of the distribution of US consular posts in the British Empire from 1789 to 1924.


  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 2008


  • (802) 656-5789
Office Location:

Wheeler House, Room 211