Academic Departments

Dennis A. Frey Jr, Ph.D.

Office: Winslow Academic Center

Tel: 617-243-2444


Degrees: Ph.D. in Early Modern European History 1998, Syracuse University; M.A. in European History 1993, Syracuse University; B.S. in Social History 1991, Carnegie Mellon University
Areas of Specialization: Social & cultural history, early modern German history

Professor Frey's research revolves around the socio-economic and cultural history of Handwerker (i.e., artisan-craftspeople) in the German hometown of Göppingen during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Although his work concentrates on this one town in Swabia, his findings have wider ramifications for how historians and social scientists in general view socio-economic and cultural change over time. Indeed, by adopting a more nuanced approach, inspired in large measure by the work of Pierre Bourdieu, Professor Frey’s research avoids the intractable and misleading dichotomies between, on the one hand, conservatism and innovation and on the other hand, structure and agency. As such, his work fits neatly into the broader scholarship of historians and social scientists that continue to grapple with understanding how specific, everyday experiences relate to abstract, structural generalizations.

Besides presenting his research at various national and international conferences, Professor Frey has also published his work in a special volume of the International Review of Social History and has another forthcoming in Central European History, Vol. 46, Issue 4.  From his undergraduate studies at Carnegie Mellon University to his doctoral work at Syracuse University, his academic career has been funded by a variety of noteworthy foundations: the Fulbright Foundation awarded him a full doctoral grant for the academic year 1995-96; the Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz Foundation awarded him a summer dissertation grant in 1995; the Deutsche Akademischer Austausch Dienst (or German Academic Exchange Service) awarded him a summer language grant in 1994; and the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded him with a Younger Scholar Summer Research Grant in 1990.

Having honed his teaching skills and refined his pedagogy at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor, NJ, Professor Frey arrived at Lasell College in 2004. Since then he has served two, consecutive terms as Chair of the Humanities Department and has been promoted to Associate Professor of History. Currently he serves as the Faculty Lead on the college-wide efforts to make the general education core curriculum more fully integrated and more focused on the development of the college’s institutional learning outcomes. Professor Frey regularly teaches a wide-range of history courses as well as courses in the First Year Seminar and Honors programs.