Daniel J Watkins

Assistant Professor

History • College of Arts & Sciences

Areas of Expertise

Modern European History, Early Modern European History, World History since 1500, History of France, History of Christianity, Islamic History, Jewish History, Historical Methods and Theory


  • (2014) Ph.D., Early Modern European History, Ohio State University
  • (2008) M.A., Early Modern European History, University of Florida
  • (2005) B.A., History and Religion, University of Florida


Daniel Watkins specializes in the history of early modern and modern Europe, particularly eighteenth- and nineteenth-century France. He earned his B.A. and M.A. (2005, 2008) from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University (2014). His doctoral research focused on the Society of Jesus and their role in shaping new enlightened discourses and institutions throughout Catholic Europe. He is currently reworking his dissertation into a book manuscript on the topic of the Jesuits and enlightened conservatism during the long eighteenth century. Dr. Watkins’s scholarly interests also include intellectual and cultural history more broadly and the histories of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities throughout the globe. 


Paper Prizes

  • (2013) American Society of Church History Graduate Student Paper Prize
  • (2012) Ann W. and Emmanuel D. Rudolph Student Book Collecting Essay Competition, Graduate Student Division, 2nd Prize from The Ohio State University Libraries
  • (2009) Best Conference Paper Prize from the Second Annual Conference of The Ohio State University's Religious Studies Roundtable


  • Society for French Historical Studies
  • American Society of Church History
  • American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

Grants and Contracts Awarded


  • (2015-2016) Gustave Gimon Collection on French Political Economy Visiting Scholar Fellowship from Stanford University
  • (2010) Newberry Library Short-Term Fellowship for Individual Research
  • (2008-2012) Distinguished University Fellowship from The Ohio State University Graduate School
  • (2007) Title VI Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Summer Fellowship


Research Travel Grants

  • (2011) Retrieving the American Past Research Grant from The Ohio State University
  • (2010) Elaine S. and John C. Rule Research Travel Grant from The Ohio State University
  • (2008, 2010, 2012) Arts and Humanities Research Small Grant from The Ohio State University
  • (2008) George Pozzetta Travel Grant from University of Florida

Publications & Presentations

Journal Articles and Chapters in Edited Volumes

  • "An Enlightenment Bible in Catholic France: Isaac-Joseph Berruyer's Histoire du Peuple de Dieu (1728-1758)," in Vernacular Bibles and Religious Reform, Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium, eds. Wim Francois and August den Hollander. Leuven: Peeters Press. (forthcoming)
  • "The Two Conversions of François de La Pillonnière: A Case Study of Rationalism and Religion in the Early Enlightenment," Eighteenth-Century Thought 6 (2016): 33-58.
  • "Religion and Trade through Jesuit Eyes: Bringing Early Modern Central Asia into the World History Classroom," World History Connected 10, no.3 (October 2013)


Selected Presentations

  • (2016) "Global Missions and the Journal de Trévoux: French Jesuits and Enlightened Cosmopolitanism,” Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association (Atlanta, GA)
  • (2015) "A Suppression Revisited: The Jesuits and the Fracturing of Political Conservatism during the Restoration,” In the Shadow of Enlightenment: Religion, Reform, and Revolution in the Age of Unigenitus. A Conference in Honor of Dale K. Van Kley (Chicago, IL)
  • (2015) “Resurrecting the Faith: The Trials and Tribulations of Re-Christianization in Post-Revolutionary Besançon” at the Society for French Historical Studies Annual Meeting
  • (2014) "From One Camp to Another: The Philosophical and Religious Conversion of François de la Pillonnière, S.J.” at the Society for French Historical Studies Annual Meeting
  • (2013) " 'O Horrors Unknown to Our Fathers! O Society of Jesus...': The Berruyer Affair and Anti-Jesuit Discourse in the Jesuit Expulsion from France, 1753-1764" at the American Society of Church History Winter Meeting
  • (2012) "An Enlightenment Bible in Catholic France: The Histoire du Peuple de Dieu and the Resistance to Reform within the French Catholic Church, 1728-1765" plenary lecture at the International Colloquium: Vernacular Bibles and Religious Reform at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
  • (2011) "Enlightening the Bible: Isaac-Joseph Berruyer's Histoire du Peuple de Dieu and the Problem of Biblical Translation in Eighteenth-Century France" for OSU Thompson Library Invited Lecture Series
  • (2010) "A 'New' Catholicism: The Catholic Enlightenment of Fr. Isaac-Joseph Berruyer (1681-1758)" at the American Catholic Historical Associaiton Spring Meeting

WatkinsContact Information

Building 0009, Room 2513

(904) 620-5269


Office Hours

MW, 11am-1pm