Dr. Troy Feay

Dr. Troy Feay
Dr. Troy Feay
Associate Professor,

Meet Dr. Troy Feay

History is an Analytical Tool; it is Something You Think With.

From a Student Evaluation: “Dr. Feay is an amazing teacher, who keeps you interested and laughing. You never know what he is going to say. He knows his stuff and how to reach his students. Really laid back and fun! Easy to get an A if you read the material, participate, and write thoughtful papers. By far one of my most dear professors at Belmont Abbey.”

In the Theater

“A first step in having a life of the mind is to know that other minds have had lives, which they explain to us – if we would listen.” — Fr. James Schall, SJ, The Life of the Mind

Examples of the classes taught by Dr. Troy Feay:
  • Western Civilizations I and II
  • World Civilizations I and II
  • Early Modern Europe
  • Modern Europe
  • Old Regime France
  • Modern France
  • Alexis de Tocqueville in His Time
  • Emile Zola and His Age
  • Americans in Paris
  • Hard in the Paint: Art and Society in European Culture, 1789-1914 Cezanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh: The Primal and the Eternal
  • Power and Culture in the Modern European Empires
  • Religion and Power: Christianity and Colonialism
  • Introduction to African History
  • West Africa Since 1400
  • Contemporary Africa on Film
  • The Atlantic World, 1500-1800
  • Antislavery in the Atlantic World
  • The Vietnam Wars, 1800 to the Present
  • The Crucifix and the Swastika: Christianity and Fascism
  • Genocide in the Twentieth Century
  • The Great War: 1914-1918
  • The Hollow Years: The 1920s and 1930s in Global History
  • Death and the Afterlife in Western Traditions
  • The Benedictine Tradition
  • Senior Seminar in Historical Method
  • First-Year Composition
  • First-Year Symposium
  • Doctor of Philosophy in History, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana
  • M.A. in European History, University of Notre Dame.
  • M.A. in Theology, concentration in the History of Christianity, University of Notre Dame.
  • B.S. in Theology, Taylor University-Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, Indiana; semesters of study in Brazil and the Dominican Republic.
  • Diploma, Sierra Leone, West Africa, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Division of Continuing Studies Independent Study High School.


  • “A History of HIV/AIDS Crisis: Global and National Contexts,” Thirty Years of Mercy, The House of Mercy, Belmont, NC (2021) https://www.thehouseofmercy.org/post/a-history-of-hiv-aids-crisis-global-and-national-contexts
  • “Creating the People of God’: French Utopian Dreams and the Moralization of Africans and Slaves,” in In God’s Empire: French Missionaries and the Modern World, JP Daughton and Owen White, eds., (Oxford University Press), 2012.
  • “Voltaire,” The Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy, Volume 3, J. Varacalli, R. Myers, and M. Coulter, eds., (The ScarecrowPress), 2012.


Conference Papers and Presentations:

  • 2011 – Chair of the Panel, “Militarized Politics: Military Service and Militarism in French Politics and Policy from Napoleon to Pétain,” Annual Conference of the Society for French Historical Studies, Charleston, SC, February 10-12, 2011.
  • 2006 – “The French Catholic Colony of Sierra Leone? Freetown under Sir Charles MacCarthy, 1814-1824,” American Historical Association, Atlanta, GA.
  • 2003 – “The Marriage of the Sword and the Gospel: Ernest Psichari’s Novels of France and Africa,” Western Society for French History, Newport Beach, CA.
  • “Creating ‘The People of God’: French Catholic Utopian Dreams and the ‘Moralization’ of Africans and Slaves, 1815-1855,” French Colonial
    Historical Society, Toulouse, France.
  • “Good Mothers, Great Men: Social Crises and Gender Identities in the French Slave Colonies,” Select Symposium of the Program in Gender Studies, University of Notre Dame.
  • 2002 – “The Séminaire des jeunes africains: Constructing Catholic Identity in Senegal and France,” International Conference on Christianity and Native Cultures, Saint Mary’s College, IN.
  • “French Catholic Abolitionism: Missionaries, Politics, and the Antislavery Movement in France, 1830-1848,” American Society of Church History, San Francisco, CA.

Areas of Expertise

  • Modern France
  • Modern Africa
  • European Imperialism
  • Slavery and Antislavery
  • History of Christianity and Christian Missions


  • “Mission to Moralize: Slaves, Africans, and Missionaries in the French Colonies, 1815-1852”.
    Description: This dissertation explores contention over and appropriation of religious, ethnic, and gender identities in the French slave colonies throughout the nineteenth century. It further explores how religious definitions of culture and morality informed the broader political and ideological agenda of the French “civilizing mission.”


Research Projects

  • Paying to Play: A Study of Higher Education and Athletics
  • Eisenhower and the D-Day Decision, 1944
  • Decolonization in the Congo: An Internal Perspective
  • Land Use and Decolonization in Vietnam
  • Politics, Power, and the Press: The Opium Wars in China and Great Britain

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