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About Dr. Steve Maughan


[email protected]
(208) 459-5853
Strahorn Hall, 209A


Modern Britain, the British Empire, the culture of Victorian and Edwardian England, transnational history and foreign missions, Modern Europe  

Personal Statement

Appropriate to a historian, I like vintage. I own a vintage car, ride a vintage bike, have long served on a historic preservation commission, and I’m fascinated by arcane, antique and unusual things, from books, to words, to movies, to food, to artifacts, to pubs, and, yes, to people.

I earned my Ph.D. at Harvard University, completing the research for my dissertation at King’s College London as a Fulbright Scholar. I’ve had the good fortune to return frequently to Britain both as a co-leader of the London course at the C of I and for my ongoing research which centers on religion, gender, class, race, and empire in Victorian Britain. From this work have come several book chapters and my recent book, Mighty England Do Good: Culture, Faith, Empire and World in the Missionary Projects of the Church of England, 1850-1915 (Eerdmans, 2014). 

My current research interests focus on gender, race, charismatic faiths, and competitive empires in Africa, India, and the Pacific, particularly in the expansion of Anglican Anglo-Catholic missions from the 1860s through the Great War, with a particular focus on the impact of high church Anglican sisterhoods on missionary methods and Victorian understandings of foreign cultures.

I am intrigued by the way that culture and religion structure people’s perceptions of the world and their place in it, and have dedicated decades to understanding how and in what forms people of faith, primarily in the Church of England, transported their beliefs abroad with largely unexpected consequences: both damaging and empowering; both hierarchical and leveling; both exploitative and humanistic; both negative and positive, depending upon the uneven ground and complex intersections of position and power that operated within the experience of lived empire and subsequent decolonization.

I began teaching at The College of Idaho in 1992 and my regular courses include Western and World Civilization, Eighteenth-Century Europe, Nineteenth-Century Europe, Twentieth-Century Europe, Modern India, Modern European Intellectual History, Modern Britain, Empire, and World, 1650-1850, Modern Britain, Empire, and World, 1850-2000, and The Terror: Language, Radicalism and Violence in the French Revolution.

Professional Experience

Steve Maughan has taught courses on British imperial and urban history at Harvard University. He has been a member of the Caldwell Historic Preservation Commission for 19 years and on the board of the Caldwell Foundation for Educational Opportunity for 7 years. He served on the Idaho Humanities Council board from 1997-2004. In 2019 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.



  • Ph. D., Harvard University
  • M. A., Harvard University
  • B.A., The College of Idaho


  Mighty England Do Good: Culture, Faith, Empire and World in the Missionary Projects of the Church of England, 1850-1915. Studies in the History of Christian Missions. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2014.   Reviewed in American Historical Review, Journal of Modern History, Journal of British Studies, Victorian Studies, Anglican and Episcopal History, Catholic Historical Review, International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church, Mission Studies, and Church Times.
   “Sisters and Brothers Abroad:  Gender, Race, Empire, and Anglican Missionary Reformism, 1861–1879,” Studies in Church History: The Church and Empire. Vol. 54. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).
  “Missions, British.” In Encyclopedia of Protestantism, vol. 3, ed. Hans Hillerbrand, 1263–73. New York: Routledge, 2004.
  “Imperial Christianity? Bishop Montgomery and the Foreign Missions of the Church of England, 1895–1915.” In The Imperial Horizons of British Protestant Missions, 1880–1914, ed. Andrew Porter, 32–57. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003.
  “Explorers, Missionaries, Traders.” In Encyclopedia of European Social History, vol. 1, ed. Peter N. Sterns, 475-88. New York: Scribners, 2001.
  “An Archbishop for Greater Britain: Bishop Montgomery, Missionary Imperialism, and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 1897–1915.” In Three Centuries of Mission: The United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 1701–2000, ed. Daniel O‘Connor, 358–70. London: Continuum, 2000.
  “Civic Culture, Women’s Foreign Missions, and the British Imperial Imagination, 1860–1914.” In Paradoxes of Civil Society: New Perspectives on Modern German and British History, ed. Frank Trentmann, 199–222. New York: Berghahn, 2000.