Catherine Epstein, Provost and Dean of the Faculty; Henry Steele Commager Professor of History

Catherine Epstein has been Amherst’s dean of the faculty since 2014, and became the college’s first provost and dean of the faculty in 2019. A professor of history at the college since 2000, she is a scholar of German history and the author of four books, including Model Nazi: Arthur Greiser and the Nazi Occupation of Western Poland (Oxford, 2010) and a textbook, Nazi Germany: Confronting the Myths (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015). Provost Epstein has taught a wide range of European history classes, including courses on the Holocaust, Nazi Germany, and World War II.

Read more in Provost Epstein’s faculty profile »


Undergraduate Research: Preparing Future Leaders

Catherine Epstein


eNewsletter for the US Humboldt Alumni Network

Catherine Epstein reflects on the value of undergraduate research, stating that it ”offers unparalleled educational benefits: skills developed in the research process are precisely those skills that will benefit students in any line of work.“

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A Strategy for Campus Belonging

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Inside Higher Ed

Catherine Epstein describes the importance of building community through intellectual pursuits and how small, intensive learning communities can help overcome the divides on campuses today.

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Books by Catherine Epstein

Nazi Germany: Confronting the Myths provides a concise and compelling introduction to the Third Reich. At the same time, it challenges and demystifies the many stereotypes surrounding Hitler and Nazi Germany.

Model Nazi: Arthur Greiser and the Occupation of Western Poland is the biography of Arthur Greiser, the man who initiated the Final Solution in Nazi-occupied Poland. Beginning with his early years prior to the First World War, it charts his rise to Nazi prominence in Danzi and his years as the Nazi territorial leader of the Warthegau, to his trial and execution in post-war Poland.

The Last Revolutionaries: German Communists and Their Century tells a story of unwavering political devotion: it follows the lives of German communists across the tumultuous twentieth century. 

A Past Renewed: A Catalog of German-Speaking Refugee Historians in the United States after 1933 portrays the generation of German-speaking refugee historians who settled in the United States after fleeing Hitler’s Europe.

Senior Assembly Speeches

Senior Assembly is an annual celebration featuring the awarding of prizes and honorary class memberships, and speeches by the Provost and Dean of the Faculty and others. Listen to Provost Epstein’s speeches below.



Senior Assembly 2022

May 29, 2022

Senior Assembly 2022 featured addresses by Deontavious Harris ’22, Emma Cape ’22, and Professor Jagu Jagannathan, as well as a presentation of the honorary class members by Aaron Gordoa ’22, Jonathan Paul ’22 and Daniela Valdez ’22.

Senior Assembly 2021

May 28, 2021

Senior Assembly 2021 featured addresses by Bella Edo ’21, Olivia Gieger ’21, and Professor Lisa Brooks, as well as a presentation of the honorary class members by Lauren Simpson ’21 and Ben Gilsdorf ’21.

Senior Assembly 2019

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Senior Assembly 2018

Senior Assembly 2017

Senior Assembly 2016

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