Dr. Rachel Chrastil, Assistant Professor in the History department at Xavier University, has received a Fulbright-Alsace Regional Council Award for research in France from the J. William Fulbright Scholarship Board. Chrastil will research in Strasbourg, France during the spring, 2009 semester to develop a book manuscript with the working title Civilians Under Siege: Strasbourg and European Civilization during the Franco-Prussian War. She will be affiliated with the Faculty of Arts at the Université Marc Bloch (Strasborg II).
The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program sends about 1,100 American scholars and professionals each year to more than 130 countries, where they lecture or conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields, including agriculture, business, journalism, and technology education. In recent years, an average of one historian per year has been selected for the Fulbright Award for research in France.
“Since my book is about the experience of the citizens of Strasbourg during wartime, it's important for me to study the city's historic neighborhoods, infrastructure, and centers of power,” Chrastil said. “The Fulbright will allow me the opportunity to learn about the city and work with top French scholars.”
Chrastil received her BA in History and French at Indiana University (1999), and her PhD in History at Yale University (2005). At Xavier, Chrastil has taught courses in French and European history, including European Societies at War, 1815-1945, the French Revolution, the Great War, and the European history survey. She also teaches a seminar on nineteenth century Paris for Xavier’s Summer Honors Program in the City of Light itself.
In her scholarship as well as her teaching, she is interested in the actions of ordinary people as well as the work of prominent intellectual, political and cultural figures, particularly in the context of international conflict. Her first book manuscript, After the Debacle: France and the Social Consequences of the Franco-Prussian War, 1870-1914, is currently under review at a major university press, and her article “The French Red Cross, War Readiness, and Civil Society, 1866-1914” will appear in the summer 2008 issue of French Historical Studies.