Christopher Church

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2014
M.Ed., University of Florida, 2007


Lincoln Hall, LH 109
(775) 682-8911


I am a cultural historian and digital historian of the French colonial world who specializes in disasters, nationalism, and social movements in the 19th and 20th centuries. I employ new methods from data science and the digital humanities to answer age-old questions about the relationship between citizens, the public sphere, and the state. My intellectual interests include colonialism, citizenship, and environmental history, as well as databases, GIS, scripting, and web design.

Due to my research interests in communal justice, natural and anthropogenic disasters, digital humanities, piracy, and hacking, I am also an affiliated faculty member at the University of Nevada's Cyber Security Center.

My first book, Paradise Destroyed: Catastrophe and Citizenship in the French Caribbean (December 2017, University of Nebraska), explores the impact of natural and man-made disasters in the late nineteenth-century French Antilles, where a colonial population–predominately former slaves–possessed French citizenship, looking at the social, economic, and political implications of shared citizenship in times of natural catastrophe and civil unrest. I've also written on strike activity and colonial citizenship in the French Caribbean in the French journal Le Mouvement Social, as well as on the relationship between hurricanes, urban development, race, and economic collapse in the 1920s Greater Caribbean for the edited volume, Environmental Disaster in the Gulf South: Two Centuries of Catastrophe, Risk, and Resilience (January 2018, LSU Press).

Finally, I was a collaborator on Pryor's Peoriaan online archive that presents a micro-history of the mid-western town where comedian Richard Pryor grew up amid brothels, racial tension, social inequity, and violence. 

Selected Publications:

Church, Christopher M. "The 1928 Hurricane in Florida and the Wider Caribbean" in Environmental Disaster in the Gulf South: Two Centuries of Catastrophe, Risk, and Resilience. ed. Cindy Ermus. (Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2018).

Church, Christopher M. Paradise Destroyed: Catastrophe and Citizenship in the French Caribbean. (Lincoln, NE: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 2017).

Church, Christopher. 2014. "« Strikingly French ». Martinique, agitation ouvrière et politique métropolitaine au tournant du siècle". Le Mouvement Social. 248, no. 3: 109-124.



  • HIST 224: Pirates and Hackers
  • HIST 300a: Digitizing History
  • HIST 370: The Cultural History of Disasters
  • HIST 462: French Revolution
  • HIST 703: Digital History