College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Catholic Studies > Faculty > Matthieu Brejon de Lavergnée
Matthieu Brejon de Lavergnée is the new Holtschneider Chair of Vincentian Studies at DePaul University. As a French scholar, he was previously an associate professor of Modern History at the Sorbonne, where he graduated.
Professor Brejon's primary teaching and research interests include Charity, Philanthropy and Poor Relief; Women, Gender and Catholicism; French and Global History, and Vincentian Studies. He specializes particularly in 19th-Century History, but is broadly interested in the 17th-20th c. era.
Professor Brejon's commitment to social and religious history has led to the writing and editing of several books, as well as articles published in different journals and collections. He has contributed to the history of two major Vincentian organizations that answered the challenges of urban pauperism, as well as the broader needs of care and education in the modern world. One relates to lay Catholic men—
The Society of St Vincent de Paul (Le Cerf, 2008), and one to women religious—
The Daughters of Charity (Fayard, 2011 and 2018). Both of them originated in Paris, in 1633 and 1833 respectively, and expanded all over the world. These books received the Institut de France's Gobert Prize and Gabriel Monod Prize. Translations into Spanish and English are forthcoming.
Among the journal issues Brejon has edited, “L'intelligence de la pauvreté" dealt with the question of the circulation of money among poor people, as well as theories and practices addressed to poor relief (Les Etudes Sociales, 2016). “Frédéric Ozanam" offered fresh perspectives about one of the most well-known French Romantic and Social Catholics (Revue d'histoire de l'Eglise de France, 2014). “Combats autour du repos hebdomadaire" explored how Sunday became a day associated with various social, industrial and religious uses in postrevolutionary days (Histoire, Économie & Société, 2009). In English, this work can be found in “Making the Charitable Man. Catholic Masculinities in Nineteenth-Century France", in Tine Van Osselaer, Patrick Pasture (eds.),
Christian Homes. Religion, Family and Domesticity in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Leuven University Press, 2014, pp. 83-103, and in “Catholic Sisters in Europe: Between Social Demand and Public Regulation,"
Encyclopédie pour une histoire nouvelle de l'Europe, 2016,
Professor Brejon is currently working on two research projects. An investigation into the European correspondence of Frédéric Le Play (1806-1882) will serve as a contribution to the history of the social sciences, especially those that dealt with the effort to invent a new society during the age of revolutions (in fact, some disciples of Le Play went to Chicago to investigate as part of this effort). He is also at work on “Politics, Gender, and Philanthropy,"an inquiry into the philanthropic roles of four “first ladies" (Michelle Obama, Bernadette Chirac, Lady Diana and Rania of Jordan) in an age of mediatization.
Brejon will also promote research in Vincentian studies, particularly in a global perspective, with the help of the Vincentian Studies Institute.