Department Chair

  • James C. Harrison
    Professor of History
    Kiernan Hall 228

Karen Sonnelitter, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of History

220 Kiernan Hall
Siena College
515 Loudon Road
Loudonville, NY 12211


B.A. Ithaca College
M.A. University of Connecticut
M.A. Queen's University Belfast
Ph.D. Purdue University
Dr. Sonnelitter has been teaching Early Modern European History and the Shaping of the Contemporary World at Siena College since 2012. Her research specialty is the social and cultural history of Early Modern Ireland and Great Britain and the history of philanthropy. Her teaching interests include Early Modern European history, medieval history, philanthropy, religion, and rebellion. 
Dr. Sonnelitter is a native of Connecticut, she graduated from Ithaca College where she studied History and Philosophy. She earned an M.A. in History from the University of Connecticut and and M.A. in Irish Studies from Queen's University Belfast before completing her Ph.D. in History at Purdue University. She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled Philanthropy and Improvement: Social Reform Movements in Eighteenth-Century Ireland,which examines the influence of the Enlightenment on Protestant philanthropic efforts in Ireland. In 2013 she participated in the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar on Researching Early Modern Manuscripts and Print. 
Other Scholarship:

“The Reformation of Manners Societies, the Monarchy, and the English State, 1696-1714,” The Historian, 72, no. 3 (2010): 517-542.

“‘To unite our temporal and eternal interests’: Sermons and the Charity School Movement in Ireland, 1689-1740,” Eighteenth-Century Ireland, 25, (2010): 62-81.