Department of History

Rachel Chrastil

Director of Accreditation
Professor, History Department

(She, Her, Hers)

Dr. Rachel Chrastil is a scholar of modern Europe. In her books Organizing for War: France, 1870-1914 and The Siege of Strasbourg, she examines civilian experiences before, during and after major international conflicts. Chrastil's latest book, How to Be Childless: A History and Philosophy of Life Without Children, examines the causes, interpretations, and experiences of childlessness in Western countries during the modern era. Chrastil's work on childlessness has appeared in The Washington Post, Psychology Today, Cincinnati Edition, New Books Network, and the podcast Think Act Be.

As Director of Accreditation, Chrastil serves as Xavier's Accreditation Liaison Officer to the Higher Learning Commission and to the Ohio Department of Higher Education. She oversees the preparation for Xavier University's 2021 affirmation of accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission.

Chrastil leads the Academic Team on the COVID-19 Task Force. In this role, she developed and executed the University strategy for academics as Xavier prepared for the 2020-2021 academic year, in collaboration with academic deans, Faculty Committee, Physical Plant, IT, Student Affairs, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, Center for Teaching Excellence, Enrollment Management, HR and others. This work continues through the 2020-2021 academic year.

Chrastil oversees Xavier's Take It On initiative, which is building the campus capacity for constructive, reflective dialogue and proactively addressing our nation's political polarization and divisiveness, by drawing on our Jesuit Catholic traditions.

Chrastil served as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences on a rotating term from January 2017 to June 2020. She was responsible for strategic planning regarding shared governance, registration, diversity and inclusion, and faculty development, and worked closely with faculty on honors, international and interdisciplinary programs. Previous responsibilities included oversight of curriculum development, assessment, and communication.

Prior to her appointment as Associate Dean, Chrastil was the Founding Director of the First-Year Seminar at Xavier, which launched in Fall 2015 as part of the new Core Curriculum. She has also developed a resource to help humanities faculty incorporate quantitative literacy into their classes.

Chrastil's courses include Paris, the Great War, the French Revolution, and A History of Saving the World. In keeping with Xavier's Jesuit Catholic identity, students in her courses apply analytical rigor to issues associated with morality, spirituality and compassion.

Chrastil received her Ph.D. from Yale University and her B.A. from Indiana University, and studied at the Université de Provence. She was a Fulbright Scholar in 2009 and has researched extensively across France. In 2015 she was awarded the Roger A. Fortin Award for Outstanding Teaching and Scholarship in the Humanities.

First Year at Xavier





  • Ph.D., Yale University, Department of History, 2005
  • B.A., Indiana University, History and French, Honors, with High Distinction, 1999


  • How to Be Childless: A History and Philosophy of Life Without Children (Oxford University Press, 2019)
  • The Siege of Strasbourg (Harvard University Press, 2014)
  • Organizing for War: France, 1870-1914 (Louisiana State University Press, 2010)


  • Fellowship, Gustave Gimon Collection on French Political Economy at the Stanford University Libraries, 2013
  • Faculty Fellowship for "The Stuff of Everyday Life: Using Quantitative Literacy in the Humanities to Address Sustainability Issues," sponsored by the Xavier University Center for Teaching Excellence, 2013
  • U.S. Fulbright Scholar: Fulbright-Alsace Regional Council Award for research in Strasbourg, 2009
  • Commendation by the Jury for the Malcolm Bowie Prize for the article "The French Red Cross, War Readiness, and Civil Society, 1866-1914," The Society for French Studies, 2008