John Cerullo

Professor of History Emeritus

UNH Manchester
Office 417


John Cerullo, Professor of European History, has been a member of the faculty at UNH-Manchester since 1983. His research and teaching subjects, wide-ranging during these years, have been principally in the area of modern European intellectual history, especially the history of moral thought.

A recent interest in legal theory led him to spend a sabbatical as visiting scholar at the Boston College School of Law. One result of this was a new course, "The ’Rights Revolution,'" which he developed and taught for the UNH Justice Studies Program. Another result was research on the interface between law and politics, especially regarding areas of law thought to be insulated from political pressures (and, perhaps, public accountability). Professor Cerullo is currently writing a book on an incident involving military justice in France prior to World War I, which he claims illustrates the complexities of this question.Professor Cerullo is an enthusiastic, effective supporter and mentor of students doing independent research.


  • Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1980

  • M.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1976

  • B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1971

Speakers Bureau

Professor Cerullo's recent work on military justice in France has deepened his interest in the nexus between law and politics. As Director of the UNH Justice Studies' Budapest Program in the Fall 2007 semester, he develolped and taught a course entitled 'Law and the Legacy of the 20th Century,' which dealt with the way Europe's disastrous 20th century political experiences have affected jurisprudence and criminal-justice systems. The course featured discussions of significant trials and legal controversies in 20th Century Europe, including the Nuremberg trials; communist "show trials" in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe; the Papon case in France; the Dudgeon case and others brought before the European Court of Human Rights.

More generally, Professor Cerullo's area of expertise is modern European cultural and intellectual history. Within that field, his general reserach interests have included the nature of moral reasoning in secularizing cultures, and the relationship between cultural and political change. His publications have addressed the political activities of French activities around the turn of the 20th century; varous topics in the history of the social sciences; and the effect of scientific on religious thought. An ancillary interest of his is the history of higher education in America, especially the evolution of the concept of academic freedom.

Speaking topics
  • Political involvement of intellectuals in 20th Century Europe
  • Aspects of the history of psychology and the social sciences
  • Aspects of the history and philosophy of higher education in the U.S.