Philipp Reisner teaches as a lecturer at the American Studies Departments of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. His approach to research is multidisciplinary. His dissertation on the New English theologian Cotton Mather (1663–1728), focusing on his theological role in the context of early modern society, appeared in 2012. He submitted his habilitation thesis, a study of contemporary Anglo-American poetry, at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in 2020.

American Catholicism and Empire: A Review Essay

The rise of Catholicism in the United States has been examined for the most part in relation to the expansion of the US empire. Early studies focus especially on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Only recently have the first arduous steps been taken in understanding the complex transformation of Protestantism and Catholicism in the US from the late seventeenth to the nineteenth century. Continue reading

Spaces of Empire: Two Early Modern Views from both sides of the Atlantic


In order to understand the relationship between empire and space in American history, it is necessary to address the historiographical tendencies and myths of the past four hundred years.[i] Retrospective historiographical myths of the nascent United States, as it sought to establish its own history in the shadow of the… Continue reading