Benjamin Michael Pietrenka

TitlePhD Candidate
DivisionHumanities Division
DepartmentHistory Department
OfficeHumanities & Social Sciences Bldg, rm 150 (Grad Lab)
Campus Mail StopHistory Department
Benjamin Michael Pietrenka

Research Interests

My research interests include the early Americas, the early modern Atlantic World, religion, women and gender, race, German migration and culture.

Honors, Awards and Grants

- 2016-2017   Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Leibniz-Institute of European History, Mainz, Germany

- 2016 International Conference Grant, German Historical Institute - Washington D.C.

- 2016 Research & Conference Travel Grant, University of California, Graduate Student Association

- 2015-2016 DAAD Research Grant (six months), Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst

- 2014-2015 Fulbright IIE Graduate Research Fellowship, United States Fulbright Commission

- 2014-2015 DAAD Graduate Student Research Fellowship, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (respectfully declined)

- 2013-2014 DAAD Intensive Language Course Grant, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst

- 2013 Dissertation Research Fellowship, Department of History, UC Santa Cruz

- 2013 Dissertation Sabbatical Quarter Fellowship, University of California, Graduate Student Association

- 2012 Regents Fellowship, University of California

- 2012 Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Teaching Assistant, University of California

- 2012 Summer Dissertation Fellowship, Institute for Humanities Research

- 2011 Summer Pre-Dissertation Fellowship, Department of History, UC Santa Cruz

- 2010 Conference Travel Grant, UC Irvine, School of Law

- 2004 Dean's Undergraduate Award, UC Santa Cruz

- 2004 Humanities Undergraduate Research Award, UC Santa Cruz

- 2004 Honors Senior Thesis, UC Santa Cruz



Selected Publications

Conference Report, What Would Jesus Fund?: Financing Religious Enterprises in the Long Eighteenth Century, University of Tübingen, February 9-10, 2017, H-Soz-Kult, April 2017, URL:

Review of Reclaiming Pietism: Retrieving an Evangelical Tradition, by Roger E. Olson & Christian T. Collins Winn, H-Pietism, H-Reviews, H-Net, May 2015, URL:

Selected Presentations

Panel Organizer/Presenter, “Ordinary Radicals: The Rise of Ordinary Believers in Early Moravian Religious Culture, 1732-1746” (title tentative) in the panel “Faith and Frontiers: German Protestants and the Edges of Empire,” German Studies Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, October 5-8, 2017 (panel & paper accepted).

“The New Moravian Body and the Decline of Correspondence as Religious
Devotion, 1760-1785,” Colloquium Series, Leibniz-Institute of European History, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany, February 7, 2017.

“Bloody Bodies: Moravian Blood and Wounds Piety in Atlantic World Travel
Narratives, 1735-1760,” Conference on ‘Bodies in Early Modern Religious Dissent,’ Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, December 1-2, 2016.

“Ordinary Radicals: Common Moravian Believers and Pietist Worship in Early Modern Europe and the Atlantic World,” Thirteenth Workshop on Early Modern German History, German Historical Institute, London, England, May 6, 2016.

“Integrating the Private into the Public: Moravian Gemeintag Services and Atlantic World Correspondence Networks in the Early Eighteenth Century,” Boston College Biennial Conference on the History of Religion, Conference Topic: Religion and Public Life, Boston, Massachusetts, April 1-2, 2016.

Panelist, 2015-2016 Fulbright IIE Orientation Meeting, Marburg, Germany, September 15-17, 2015

“The Gemeintagsnachrichten in German Atlantic World Correspondence Networks,” Conference: Die Gemeinde ist eine große Familie vor dem Herrn (The Community is a Large Family Before the Lord), March 7-8, 2015, Herrnhut, Germany. (Presentation delivered in German)

“Lord of the Puig: The Meeting of the Two & Latour,” Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference, UC Santa Cruz, November 8, 2010.

Teaching Interests

Early Americas, Early Modern Atlantic World, Native American-European Contacts, African American culture & Slavery, Women & Gender, Immigration


Courses Taught:

Colonial America and the Atlantic World (Summer 2014)

Early Modern England (Summer 2016)


Graduate Teaching Assistant:

Modern Britain and the British Empire

British America, 1550-1750

World History, 1500-present

US History to 1877

Colonial Mexico

Revolutionary America

Immigrants and Immigration in US History

European Intellectual History

Classical Myth in the Ancient Greek World

Classical Greece

Introduction to American Religious Culture

Early Modern England

Early Modern India

Augustan Rome