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History Department


Norman Wilson



European History from the Renaissance to the Twentieth Century, Historiography, and Western Civilization


Office: 258 Boyer Hall

Phone: 717-766-2511 x 2047





Norm Wilson

Educational Background


  • Ph.D., History, U.C.L.A. 1994
  • M.A., History, U.C.L.A. 1987
  • B.A. in English, B.A. in French, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1981,1985





Norman Wilson is an historian of European history from the Renaissance to the present. His research centers on cultural history and historiography (the history of the writing of history). Before arriving at Messiah College he was Chair of the History Department at Methodist College in Fayetteville, North Carolina.



Courses Taught


  • Western Civilization I
  • Western Civilization II
  • World Civilizations II
  • Sophomore Seminar: Historical Methods
  • Renaissance and Reformation Europe
  • Europe in the Age of Monarchy
  • Modern Europe: 1799-1918
  • Europe in the 20th Century
  • History of Modern Germany
  • Senior Seminar: Historiography and the Philosophy of History
  • The Emergence of Modernity in the Western Imagination (J-Term)
  • Humanities Past and Present (Sophomore Seminar for Humanities majors)
  • Social Theory from Marx to the Postmodernists (First-Year Seminar)



SELECTED Publications


  • History in Crisis? Recent Directions in Historiography, 2nd Edition, New York: Prentice Hall, 2005.
  • The European Renaissance and Reformation (1350-1600), Volume one of World Eras, Detroit: Gale Group, 2001.
  • “Politics, Law, and the Military” (co-author of Chapter 6) in Medieval Europe (814-1350), volume four of World Eras, Detroit: Gale Group, 2002, pp. 187-244.



SELECTED Presentations


  • Moderator and Commentator for Award-Winning Student/Graduate Student Papers on 20th Century Europe panel at the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society’s 2006 Biennial Convention (Philadelphia, January 2006).
  • "Bürgerschaft and Bürgerrecht in the Free Imperial City of Regensburg," Frühe Neuzeit Interdisziplinär (The Conference Group for Early Modern German Studies) Fourth International Interdisciplinary Conference on Orthodoxies and Diversities in Early Modern German-Speaking Europe (Duke University, April 2005)
  • "Responses to European History and the Postmodern Turn," Conference on Faith and History (Hope College, October 2004)
  • Commentary on Edward B. Davis’s paper Is There a Christian History of Science? Faith in the Academy Conference (Messiah College, September 2004)
  • "Postcolonialism and the Future of History," (Messiah College, April 2004)
  • "The Curtailment of Lutheranism in Bavaria," American Society of Church History Spring Meeting (Harrisburg, PA, March 2004).



Current Activities


Norman is currently working on three projects: [1] the third edition of History in Crisis (Prentice Hall), [2] an introduction to historical methodology, and [3] a monograph on the Free Imperial City of Regensburg.