Professor John W. Boyer, PhD ’75, Dean of the College and the Martin A. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor in History, has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Vienna.
The University of Vienna awards a doctorate to a person who enjoys an excellent reputation among the academic community as a result of her/his work in an academic discipline, who has provided outstanding services in furthering the academic mission of the University of Vienna, and who is connected to the University of Vienna through her/his scholarly pursuits.
Research and teaching
Professor Boyer’s research and teaching focus on the history of modern Europe, especially on the states, the peoples, and the societies of Central Europe since 1700. His special teaching interests are German history from 1740 to 1918; the history of the Hapsburg Empire between 1648 and 1918, and the history of Austria from 1918 to the present; religion and politics in modern European history; and the history of European universities in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Professor Boyer has written three books, including Political Radicalism in Late Imperial Vienna: Origins of the Christian Social Movement, 1848-1897 (for which he was awarded the John Gilmary Shea Prize); and Culture and Political Crisis in Vienna: Christian Socialism in Power, 1897-1918 (for which he was awarded the Ludwig Jedlicka Prize), both of which were published by the University of Chicago Press. His most recent book is Karl Lueger (1844-1910). Christlichsoziale Politik als Beruf, published by the Böhlau Verlag in Vienna in 2010. Boyer was also co-general editor of the nine-volume University of Chicago Readings in Western Civilization. In 2004, he was awarded the Cross of Honor for Science and Art, First Class, by the Republic of Austria, in recognition of his scholarly work on the history of the Habsburg Empire. He received the 2006 Austrian State Prize for Modern History.
Boyer has served as an Editor of the Journal of Modern History since 1980. In 1992 and 1993 he was Acting Dean of the Division of Social Sciences. He was also Chair of the Council on Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences from 1986 to 2009. He is a Corresponding Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He is currently completing the “Austria, 1867–1985” volume for the Oxford History of Modern Europe series, published by Oxford University Press.
Dean of the College
Boyer became Dean of the College in 1992 and was reappointed to a fifth consecutive term as Dean in 2012. During his tenure as Dean, Boyer has strengthened the College curriculum and the College's admissions program, and he established the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, which brings young postdoctoral scholars to Chicago to experience Core teaching and learn from the mentorship of tenured and tenure-track faculty of the College. Boyer was also deeply involved in the establishment of the University of Chicago Center in Paris. He has worked to create many new programs for College students involving foreign study, internships, and foreign language instruction; to broaden student research opportunities; to enhance the relationship of the College to the Professional Schools; to expand on-campus facilities for residential life; to strengthen programmatic and financial resources for student life; and to provide strong career advising programs for College students.