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Professor Ros Ballaster
I am interested in prose fiction and theatre of the long eighteenth century (from 1660 through to the 1830s), especially the work of women writers and the emergence of proto-feminist argument. My publications have often explored the translation and imitation of French works in English such as Galland’s 1001 Nights and Aphra Behn’s treatments of French sources in her plays, fiction and poetry. I seek to investigate the competing and different ways in which genres of the early modern period construct a fiction of mind (in terms of character, reader/audience, and author).
See also my website on Georgian Theatre and the Novel and occasional blog: https://enlightenedfeministinoxford.wordpress.com/
Dr Anna Beer
With an academic background in cross-disciplinary research and publication (with a particular interest in the intersections between literature, politics and history, and a particular focus on the works of Sir Walter Ralegh), I am now primarily a biographer and cultural historian. My most recent book - written for a non-specialist readership - examines the lives and works of eight female composers, three of whom were active in the seventeenth century (Caccini, Strozzi and Jacquet de la Guerre). Just as my writing has moved inexorably towards public scholarship, so has my teaching migrated towards the field of Creative Writing. My next major project is taking me back, however, to the historical archives and to the early seventeenth-century.
Dr Stephen Bernard
I am an Academic Visitor at the Faculty of English Language and Literature and research into correspondences: The Literary Correspondences of the Tonsons (Oxford, 2015), The Correspondence of John Dryden, and The Letters of Jacob Tonson: Bodl. Eng MS c. 129 (Oxford, 2018). I am also the general editor and the editor of the poems for The Plays and Poems of Nicholas Rowe, five vols. (London, 2016). I am compiling a bibliographical catalogue of the Tonson publishing house.
Professor Nandini Das
I work on Renaissance literature and cultural history, with special emphasis on travel and cross-cultural encounters, and issues of migration and belonging. I have edited and written on sixteenth and early seventeenth century romance and prose fiction in Robert Greene’s Planetomachia (2007), and Renaissance Romance: The Transformation of English Prose Fiction, 1570-1620 (2011), among others, and published widely on travel and cross-cultural encounter. Most recently, with Tim Youngs, I co-edited The Cambridge History of Travel Writing (2019), which covers global Anglophone and non-Anglophone travel writing from antiquity to the internet. I am volume editor of Elizabethan Levant Trade and South Asia in the forthcoming edition of Richard Hakluyt’s The Principal Navigations, to be published by Oxford University Press, and project director for ‘Travel, Transculturality and Identity in Early Modern England’ (TIDE), funded by the European Research Council. A BBC New Generation Thinker, I regularly present television and radio programmes.
Professor Peter Davidson
I am Senior Research Fellow at Campion Hall, where I am also curator of the college art collection. I have interests in textual criticism and the history of the book; in the relation of literature and the visual arts; in baroque as an international phenomenon, and in the cultures of post-reformation Catholicism. I also have interests in Scottish literature, and in environmental humanities (The Last of the Light: about twilight, published in 2015.)
I took part in the collaborative edition and translation of the catalogue of Athanasius Kircher’s museum – The Most Celebrated Museum of the Roman College, published in 2015. I have published recently on recusant Catholic material culture, on early modern Scottish libraries, and on aspects of seventeenth century antiquarianism, and am working collaboratively on an edition of John Aubrey’s book of drawings (Bodleian MS Aubrey 17.)
My main focus is the edition of the complete works (verse and prose, Latin and English) of the Elizabethan poet S. Robert Southwell SJ, and I am also attempting a reconstruction of a sumptuous “lost” book from the circle of Piranesi in Grand Tour Rome, James Byres’s Hypogaei or sepulchral caverns of Etruria.
Dr Katherine Hunt
I am a postdoctoral (Career Development) fellow in English literature at The Queen’s College, University of Oxford, where I teach across the period 1550-1760. My current book project investigates post-Reformation senses of materiality, through an account of bells and their temporalities in seventeenth-century English literature. I have published on early modern literature’s entanglement with numbers, sounds, and material culture, the latter drawing on my previous curatorial work at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Museum, and Tate. My work is published or forthcoming in The Journal for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, The Historical Journal (special issue under review), The Journal of the Northern Renaissance, and in edited collections from Cambridge University Press and Arden Shakespeare. I am also an editor, with Antonia Moon, of Thomas Browne’s mostly unpublished notebooks for the new edition of his complete works, forthcoming from Oxford University Press.
Professor Lorna Hutson
My explorations in early modern literature have taken me into economics, gender studies, rhetoric and law. I’ve written on Thomas Nashe (1989); on humanism and gender in The Usurer’s Daughter (1994); on drama and participatory justice in The Invention of Suspicion (2007) and on the ‘unscene’ in Circumstantial Shakespeare (2015). I edited Feminism and Renaissance Studies (1999) and, with Victoria Kahn, Rhetoric and Law in Early Modern Europe (2000). I’ve written quite a bit on Ben Jonson and edited Jonson’s Discoveries (1641). Forthcoming is the Oxford Handbook of English Law and Literature, 1500-1700. I’m currently looking at Anglo-Scots literary and legal imagining in the lead up to Shakespeare’s great tragedies.
Edinburgh Critical Studies in Renaissance Culture
Dr Richard Lawes
I am College Lecturer in English at Regents Park College and I have several research interests, including some in the Early Modern period. I am a psychiatrist and am interested in psychological aspects of Early Modern texts. I also have interests in Catholic autobiography in this period and in theology in c17 poetry (I am currently working on George Herbert and the Little Gidding community).
Dr Amy Lidster
I am a Departmental Lecturer at Jesus College. My research concentrates on Shakespeare, early modern drama, and book history, with an emphasis on conditions of theatrical and textual production and reception. My first monograph, Publishing the History Play in the Time of Shakespeare: Stationers Shaping a Genre (CUP 2022), offers a reappraisal of the 'history play' by showing how the publication process and its agents have helped to define, develop, and 'read' the genre. I am working on two further book projects: Authorships and Authority in Early Modern Dramatic Paratexts examines playbook paratexts as a critical site for negotiating and developing ideas of authorship during the period. Wartime Shakespeare: Performing Narratives of Conflict explores how Shakespeare has been 'mobilized' during periods of war from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century. Please see my college profile here.
Professor Peter McCullough
My research is currently focussed on two major projects: The Oxford Edition of the Sermons of John Donne (16 vols., 2013 - , OUP), of which I am General Editor; and Lancelot Andrewes: A Life (OUP, forthcoming). Both are deeply engaged in literary, religious, intellectual, and political history; textual criticism; biography; and the history of the book. My ongoing work on a private library bequeathed to Lincoln College in the eighteenth century is also generating talks and publications related to book collecting and reading among gentry men and women in early modern Oxfordshire.
Dr Joe Moshenska
I’m the author of Feeling Pleasures: The Sense of Touch in Renaissance England (OUP, 2014) and A Stain in the Blood: The Remarkable Voyage of Sir Kenelm Digby (William Heinemann, 2016). My book Iconoclasm as Child’s Play, which starts with the giving of formerly holy things to children as playthings in the sixteenth century, is forthcoming from Stanford University Press in 2019. I’m now returning to Kenelm Digby, and completing my edition of his correspondence for OUP. I’m interested in what Spenser and Milton’s inexhaustible epics do to us as readers; in how early modern literature represents and acts upon bodies and senses; in the writing of renaissance lives and letters; in dialogues between areas of early modern culture, and between early modern and modern thought; and in ways of communicating all the things that make the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries weird and wonderful to audiences beyond the academy.
Dr Dianne Mitchell
I am the Junior Research Fellow in English at The Queen's College. My research investigates how the material conditions of Renaissance texts shape their literary form. I'm currently writing a book about the ways in which sixteenth and seventeenth century English poetry became a popular form of correspondence. In archives and special collections across the US and Britain, I have uncovered extensive evidence of people sending poetry as mail. My book, "Paper Intimacies," argues that this little-known social practice helps explain why negotiations between public and private modes of address are so central to early modern lyric. My work has appeared in Studies in Philology, and I also contribute transcriptions to the Folger Shakespeare Library's open-access initiative Early Modern Manuscripts Online.
Professor David Norbrook
I was founding director of CEMS and now live in Baltimore, USA. My main research interest is early modern British literature, particularly in relation to politics, women’s writing and classical reception. Recent publications include David Norbrook, Philip Hardie and Stephen Harrison (eds.), Lucretius and the Early Modern (2015) and ‘Rehearsing the Plebeians: Coriolanus and the Reading of Roman History’, in Chris Fitter (ed.), Shakespeare and the Politics of Commoners (2017). I am general editor of The Works of Lucy Hutchinson, whose second volume, Theological Writings and Translations (ed. with Elizabeth Clarke and Jane Stevenson) will appear in 2018.
Professor Diane Purkiss
My period-specific research centres on two things: the supernatural (ghosts, fairies, witches), and the writers of the English Civil War, especially Milton and Marvell, but also women writers like Anna Trapnel and Brilliana Harley. I’m finishing revisions of a history of English food – for a trade press – and my new projects are a study of writer’s block from Homer to the present, and a microhistory of the Scottish witch, Andro Man, executed in 1597.
Recent publications include ‘“As like Hermione as is her picture”: the shadow of incest in The Winter’s Tale’, in Maternity and Romance Narratives in Early Modern England, ed. Naomi Miller and Karen Bamford, Ashgate, 2015, 75-92. Accepted for publication and due to appear in 2017 are ‘MS Eng. poet d. 49, Marvell manuscripts and miscellanies’, The Oxford Handbook of Andrew Marvell, ed. Martin Dzelzainis and Edward Holberton, and ‘Ghosts’ and ‘Witches and Witchcraft’ in the Shakespeare Encyclopaedia, ed. Patricia Parker, Stanford University Press. I am also working with Naomi Miller on an essay collection for Palgrave, Literary Cultures and the Child, Volume I Medieval/Early Modern Literature and the Child, likely to be published in 2019.
Dr Natasha Simonova
I am currently the Gwyneth Emily Rankin Fellow and Lecturer in English (1550-1830) at Exeter College. My research focuses on prose fiction writing in the 17th and 18th centuries, looking at publication history, issues of authorship and copyright, and the relationship between the romance and the novel. My first monograph, Early Modern Authorship and Prose Continuations: Adaptation and Ownership from Sidney to Richardson (2015), examined the development of sequels by “other hands” in this period, and my current work studies early serial fiction more broadly. I am also interested in paratexts, endings, and in the reception of older romance texts in the 18th century. Find me on Twitter @philistella.
Professor Emma Smith
I’m interested in the reception of Shakespeare - in print, in criticism and in performance - and in our scholarly investments in certain kinds of interpretation. My most recent work has been on Shakespeare’s First Folio (The Making of Shakespeare’s First Folio, 2015, and Shakespeare’s First Folio: Four Centuries of an Iconic Book, paperback due in 2018). I’m currently working on questions of authorship in the Marlowe canon, and on the Shakespeare films of Orson Welles. I’m interested in public engagement and enjoy work with schools, theatres and literary societies. On Twitter, I’m @OldFortunatus
Professor Adam Smyth
I am interested in the relationship between literary effects and material forms; in life-writing; in the cultures of manuscript and print; and more broadly in the materiality of texts and the history of the book. I've written three monographs: Materials Texts in Early Modern England (CUP, 2017); Autobiography in Early Modern England (CUP, 2010); and Profit and Delight: Printed Miscellanies in England, 1640-1682 (Wayne State, 2004). I've also edited book collections on the history of autobiography, book destruction, and drink and conviviality. I write regularly for the London Review of Books about early modern culture and the history of the book. On twitter, I'm @AdamSmyth0.
Dr Robert Stagg
My research interests include literary style; prosody; literary character and character criticism; the relationships between literature, music and the visual arts; early modern pedagogy; notions of timekeeping, atomism, and sensing in Renaissance literature; and Romantic apprehensions of Shakespeare. I have also written, produced and presented a feature-length documentary about Shakespeare’s early career in Shoreditch, and work with a number of prominent theatre companies on productions of Shakespeare or Shakespeare festivals.
Professor Bart van Es
I have most recently published Shakespeare in Company (2013) and Shakespeare’s Comedies: a Very Short Introduction (2016). I also work on Edmund Spenser and on Early Modern historiography, producing, for example, the chapter on ‘Historiography and Biography’, in The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature, Vol. 2 (2016). New projects include a study of children as performers on the Renaissance stage.
Dr Victoria Van Hyning
I am a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow and the Humanities PI of Zooniverse.org (https://www.zooniverse.org/), an academic crowdsourcing research group. I am based at the English Faculty and Pembroke College (http://www.pmb.ox.ac.uk/fellows-staff/profiles/dr-victoria-van-hyning). I work on early modern Catholic women's autobiography produced in a range of social environments including convents, domestic settings, royal courts, and prisons. My forthcoming book with OUP is titled Convent Autobiography: Early Modern English Nuns in Exile. I work with archival and digital datasets, including data from Shakespeare's World (https://www.shakespearesworld.org/), which I developed with Zooniverse, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Oxford English Dictionary.
Professor Daniel Wakelin
I am the Jeremy Griffiths Professor of Medieval English Palaeography. I am interested in the history of reading and history of writing practices, throughout the medieval and Tudor periods, but especially in the years between 1200 and 1600; I am also interested in humanism’s influence on English literature. I am the author of Humanism, Reading and English Literature 1430-1530 (2007), Scribal Correction and Literary Craft: English Manuscripts 1375-1510 (2014) and Designing English: Early Literature on the Page (2017).
Dr Ian Archer
Dr Ian Archer has published on the social and political history of early modern London. He has recently completed in collaboration with Dr Paulina Kewes and Dr Felicity Heal The Oxford Handbook to Holinshed, but will be returning to metropolitan themes with a new book on London 1550-1700 for Oxford University Press. For ten years he was the Academic Editor of what is now the Bibliography of British and Irish History, a key bibliographic resource, and he also serves as Literary Director of the Royal Historical Society. He is willing to supervise postgraduates on early modern social and cultural history, and on later sixteenth century political history.
- Early Modern London
- Uses of History in Early Modern Britain
- English Social and Cultural History, 1500-1700
- English Political History, 1550-1640
I have researched mainly on various aspects of early modern London, exploring issues such as social welfare, crime, popular politics, taxation, relations with the state. More recently I have turned to cultural aspects, working on Londoners’ sense of their past, and this led me into a major collaborative project on Holinshed’s Chronicles, which resulted in a parallel text electronic edition (http://www.cems.ox.ac.uk/holinshed/) and, and interdisciplinary volume of essays, The Oxford Handbook of Holinshed’s Chronicles (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), co-edited with Felicity Heal and Paulina Kewes. I have articles in preparation on royal entries and lord mayor’s shows. I have edited various texts relating to early modern London, including most recently a perambulation of the city by a French speaker, The Singularities of London, 1578 (London: London Topographical Society, 2014). My current ‘big project’ is a book on London, 1550-1700, covering all aspects of the city’s remarkable transformation from being a satellite city on the fringes of Europe to a global city.
Dr Toby Barnard
I am an emeritus fellow of Hertford. My substantial study of the impact of print in Ireland - Brought to Book: print in Ireland, 1680-1784 - will be published (in Dublin) early in 2017.
Dr Valentina Caldari
I am a departmental lecturer in Early Modern History, based at Balliol College. For my doctorate, I have addressed the end of the Anglo-Spanish Match negotiations for a union between Prince Charles and the Spanish Infanta María in the period 1617-1624. I am broadly interested in European political and diplomatic history, and in the global connectedness of the early modern world.
I have published on the Spanish faction at James I’s court and I am the co-editor (with Dr Sara Wolfson) of a collection of essays on Stuart dynastic politics (Boydell and Brewer, forthcoming, early 2017). I am currently writing a chapter on ‘Trade and Piracy in the marriage treaties of the 1620s’ (Palgrave, 2017) and revising my PhD thesis for a monograph on The Global Spanish Match.
Dr Erica Charters
Associate Professor of Global History and the History of Medicine. My research examines the history of war, disease, and bodies, particularly in the British and French empires. In the context of COVID-19, I am coordinating a multidisciplinary project on How Epidemics End. More specifically, my research focuses on manpower during the eighteenth century, examining the history of bodies as well as the history of methods used to measure and enhance bodies, labour, and population as a whole, including the history of statistics. Since disease was the biggest threat to manpower in the early modern world, I look at how disease environments – throughout the world – shaped military, commercial, and agricultural power, as well as how overseas experiences shaped European theories of medicine, biology, and race alongside political methodologies such as statistics and censuses. My monograph Disease, War, and the Imperial State: The Welfare of British Armed Forces during the Seven Years War (Chicago, 2014) traces how responses to disease shaped military strategy, medical theory, and the nature of British imperial authority (awarded the AAHM 2016 George Rosen Prize and the SAHR 2014 Best First Book). As well as coordinating the Oxford and Empire project, I am Senior Vice President of the Navy Records Society and Executive Committee Member of the Society for the History of War. I am on the editorial boards of the British Journal of Military History and Centaurus.
You can read about some of my research on my blog and follow me @EricaCharters
- Disease and war
- Cultural history of war
- Global history and disease
I am particularly interested in reconciling Enlightenment histories of a cosmopolitan Europe with military histories that portray the eighteenth century as a period of near-constant military conflict, in part by tracing how colonial war was a crucial part of Enlightenment intellectual developments. I have a long-standing interest in the relationship between war and civil society; I have published on the history of prisoners of war and co-edited a volume ‘Civilians and War in Europe, 1618-1815’.
More broadly, I am interested in global approaches to history, both for research and teaching. I co-edited a volume on the global history of violence in the early modern world that integrates military history into broader cultural histories of violence. I am also part of a transnational and interdisciplinary project ‘Body Counts / les pertes’ that examines the history of methodologies for quantifying and identifying casualties and losses in war, including changing notions of ‘acceptable’ losses in war.
Dr Maya Corry
I work at the intersection of history and the history of art, using visual sources alongside written ones to explore the social, cultural and religious history of early modern Italy. I am particularly interested in the interrelationships that existed between practices and beliefs relating to the body, religion and spirituality, gender, sexuality, material culture and medicine in this period. For example, early modern attitudes to the body and its gendering were shaped by medical thinking, but also by the representation of the human form in images. My first book, which will be published with OUP, explores social and cultural life, spirituality and gender in Renaissance Milan in the period when Leonardo da Vinci was working in the city. In 2017 I co-curated a major exhibition (Madonnas & Miracles) at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge which explored the material culture of domestic piety and devotion in Renaissance Italy.
Professor Nicholas Davidson
Associate Professor of the History of the Renaissance and Reformation. I am interested in European and world history between the fifteenth and the eighteenth centuries. My research and publications have focused mainly on the social, cultural and religious history of Renaissance and early-modern Italy; but I also work on European intellectual history, on the history of the Spanish and Portuguese empires, and on the consequences of growing contacts between Europeans and non-Europeans in the same period.
- The history of the Inquisition
- Italian history
- Early-modern Catholicism
My work explores two major themes in the history of the early-modern period: the religious divisions created by the Reformation, and the cultural challenges generated by the increased interchange of people and ideas between Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe. How readily in the wake of these developments could contemporaries question or reject the political, intellectual, moral, religious, and social norms of their own cultures? And how effectively could those norms be enforced by the established powers of Church and State? My research and writing are therefore shaped by questions about the nature of relations between different societies, about coercion and co-existence, about human rights and international law, and about conscience, free will, and authority. Much of my evidence is necessarily drawn from legal and judicial records, and especially from the extraordinarily rich archives of the Inquisition tribunals in Italy, Portugal, and Spain. But both the content and the processes of the law need to be examined in the context of the communities in which lawyers, judges, witnesses and defendants operated.
I am currently completing a book on the Inquisition in Venice in the sixteenth century. Forthcoming projects include studies of relations between Greek and Latin Christians in the East Mediterranean, the origins of the Roman Inquisition, founded in 1542, and the careers and policies of the Cardinals who ran the Roman tribunal between that year and the end of the 1700s. I am also interested in the history of Catholicism as a global religion, especially in the Spanish and Portuguese Empires in the Americas; in Catholic missionary activities and tactics both within and outside Europe; and in the development of cultural understanding and exchange in the early-modern world.
Dr Leif Dixon
My research focuses on how the ideas of the English Reformation functioned within their historical context, both on a cultural and personal/psychological level. I have been particularly interested in how the doctrine of predestination was communicated to everyday Protestants through printed sermons and other forms of accessible literature. More recently, I have been exploring the subject of atheism in the early modern period. I am interested less in whether ‘real’ atheists existed (people who did not believe in God tended to keep this opinion secret), and more in why religious people became increasingly anxious about the danger of atheism. I am also interested in the history of emotions, and am currently looking at the ways in which emotions interacted with radical political and religious ideas in the aftermath of the execution of Charles I in 1649.
Professor Susan Doran
I am Professor of Early Modern British History and Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College and St Benet’s Hall. Until recently, my research interests focussed on the reigns of the Tudors, especially that of Elizabeth I. In 2014, I co-edited with Paulina Kewes a collection of essays on the late Elizabethan Succession Question, entitled Doubtful and Dangerous (MUP). My most recent book was Elizabeth I and her Circle (OUP, 2015), which examined Elizabeth's political relationships with some of her kin, courtiers and councillors. Now I am writing a book examining the accession of James in 1603 and analysing the continuities and changes that ensued. It will be called ‘Regime Change’ and is to be published by OUP.
Dr Alexandra Gajda
John Walsh Fellow and Lecturer in History. I am a scholar of the political, religious and intellectual life of sixteenth and early seventeenth-century England. My first monograph explored the interface between politics and ideas in sixteenth-century England by examining the impact of the career of Robert Devereux, second earl of Essex on late Elizabethan political culture. My current research is centred on the relationship between the religious and constitutional history of the Reformation in the British Isles: I am writing a history of Parliament and the Reformation in sixteenth century England and Wales, and various articles on the relationship of church and state in the sixteenth century.
My research also focuses on early modern historiography and historical thought, and I am engaged in a series of studies of William Camden's Annals of the Reign of Elizabeth I, the first history of Queen Elizabeth, which continues to shape the narrative of the Queen's reign to this day. With Henry Woudhuysen, I am editing the letters of the poet and statesman Fulke Greville for the forthcoming edition of Greville's Complete Works for OUP.
I am currently working on two main projects: the first addresses ideas about the antiquity and authority of Parliament as expressed in polemical debates about the legitimacy of the Protestant Church; the second is a study of travel and the political education of English gentlemen in the Elizabethan and early Stuart period. I am also interested in ideas of statecraft and reason of state in Elizabethan and Jacobean politics.
Professor George Garnett
Professor of Medieval History. George Garnett is a medievalist with interests ranging well into the early modern period. He has supervised research students working on English and Norman history from the ninth to the fifteenth century; on medieval and early modern political thought; and on medieval and early modern legal history, both British and European.
His first research interests lay in English history of the tenth to thirteenth centuries, specifically what used to be called constitutional history. He has published a large study of the impact of the Norman Conquest on notions of kingship, succession, and tenure; a briefer introduction to the Conquest; and several essays on these and related themes. He also works on political thought in a more conventional sense: he has published an edition of Vindiciae, contra tyrannos, the highly influential sixteenth-century Huguenot resistance treatise, and a study of the role of providential history in the thought of the fourteenth-century Italian theorist and anti-papal publicist, Marsilius of Padua. He is finishing (jointly with M.J. Ryan) an edition of the treatises on city government of the fourteenth-century civilian, Bartolus of Sassoferrato. Thanks to a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, he has just published the first volume of a history of the history of the Norman Conquest, from the late eleventh century to the beginning of the seventeenth: The Norman Conquest in English History, Volume I: A Broken Chain? (OUP 2021). The second volume will take the story up to the eighteenth century. Several prolegomena on early modern English lawyers and antiquarians are already in print.
Dr Perry Gauci
My research interests broadly rest with the political and social development of the English state from 1650 to 1750. Having studied the English civil war as an undergraduate, I was interested to see how the state managed to overcome the bitter factionalism of the 1640s and 1650s, at both a national and local level. My doctoral thesis concentrated on a leading provincial town, and allowed me to explore the relationship between politics at the centre and at the periphery. My work suggested that "national" historians have perhaps underestimated the impact which local and regional circumstances could have on political developments in this period, and that the very notion of "politics" needs to be expanded to encompass the significance of social and economic factors in determining allegance. In order to probe these issues further I undertook a study of the English merchant from 1660-1720, so that I could measure the responsiveness of the English state to contemporary commercial and political change. I then pursued these themes by focusing on the City of London and have since widened my interests to incorporate Britain's imperial experience. Historians, led by Lincoln's Paul Langford, have viewed Georgian Britain as a "polite and commercial people", and I hope that my research will help us understand how that came about.
Dr John-Paul Ghobrial
I am an Associate Professor of Early Modern History, and a Fellow of Balliol College. Currently, I am also the Principal Investigator of an ERC-funded research project called ‘Stories of Survival: Recovering the Connected Histories of Eastern Christianity in the Early Modern World’ (2015-2020). My first book, The Whispers of Cities, explored how information flows connected Istanbul, London and Paris in the seventeenth century. More recently, my published work includes a handful of articles on Eastern Christians in early modern Europe and the history of record-keeping in the Ottoman Empire. I am now at work on a second book entitled Leaving Babylon, which tells the story of the first Arabic account of the New World (written by a priest from Mosul who travelled to Peru in the late seventeenth century). In general, I tend to be interested in microhistory, global history and the history of communication. You can read more about my research here.
Professor Steven Gunn
I teach and research the history of later medieval and early modern Britain and Europe. My current research concerns accidental death and everyday life in sixteenth-century England. I have also published in the wider fields of Tudor government, warfare, foreign policy and political culture and the comparison of the English state in this period with others in Europe. I write for BBC History Magazine and History Today, have contributed to radio and television programmes such as In Our Time and Time Team, and speak regularly to Historical Association branches and sixth-form conferences.
Publications touching on the different areas of my research include Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales: Life, Death and Commemoration, edited with Linda Monckton (Woodbridge, 2009), 'War and the Emergence of the State: Western Europe 1350-1600', in European Warfare 1350-1750, edited by Frank Tallett and David Trim (Cambridge, 2010), 50-73, Henry VII's New Men and the Making of Tudor England (Oxford, 2016) and The English People at War in the Age of Henry VIII (Oxford, 2018), a revised version of the James Ford lectures in British history which I delivered in 2015. Publications derived from the Economic and Social Research Council project of which I am principal investigator, written with Tomasz Gromelski, include 'Deadly beasts of Tudor England', BBC History Magazine, 14/13 (December 2013), 43-7 and ‘Sport and recreation in sixteenth-century England: the evidence of accidental deaths’ in Sports and Physical Exercise in Early Modern Culture, edited by Angela Schattner and Rebekka von Mallinckrodt (Abingdon, 2016), 49-63.
I supervise research students working on later fifteenth- and sixteenth-century English and international history, a number of whose theses have been published in revised form as books. These include P.R. Cavill, The English Parliaments of Henry VII, 1485-1504 (Oxford, 2009); Yuval Harari, Renaissance Military Memoirs: War, History and Identity, 1450-1600 (Woodbridge, 2004); Tracey Sowerby, Renaissance and Reform in Tudor England: The Careers of Sir Richard Morison c.1513-1556 (Oxford, 2010); and Monica Stensland, Habsburg Communication in the Dutch Revolt (Amsterdam, 2012).
- Everyday life and accidental death in sixteenth-century England
- Aristocratic power and the Northern Renaissance
- The reign of Henry VII
My current research falls into three areas. I am Principal Investigator of a project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council on 'Everyday life and fatal hazard in sixteenth-century England'. This is analysing some 9,000 coroners' inquests into accidental deaths to see what they tell us about everyday life, work, travel and leisure in Tudor times. I am writing a book to present the findings of this project. Thereafter I hope to work on the relationship between aristocratic power and the patronage of renaissance culture in sixteenth-century Europe north of the Alps and I retain a long-term research interest in the reign of Henry VII. More information on tudor accidents can be found here.
Dr Jonathan Healey
I'm primarily a social historian of sixteenth and seventeenth century England, and have written about poverty, famine, economic crisis, and disease in the north west of the country. I've also worked on popular politics, and the management of common lands. More generally, I have a developing interest in the history of the English East India Company, and at some point I hope to write about insulting words in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Professor Howard Hotson
My most longstanding strand of research concerns the intellectual history of central Europe and the international Reformed world c.1550-1660. At the heart of these interests is a subject missing almost entirely from standard histories: the gradually expanding reform movements of the post-Reformation period culminating in the pansophism of Comenius, the universal reform programme of Samuel Hartlib, and the audacious philosophical projects of Leibniz. This subject has drawn me into a number of related topics, including educational reform, ecclesiastical irenicism, political theory, millenarianism, and the search for a new philosophy.
Rooting these developments in the politically and confessionally fragmented context of the Holy Roman Empire has stimulated an interest in what I call intellectual geography. This approach, implicit in much of my earlier work, is more explicit in the monograph, The Reformation of Common Learning: Post-Ramist-Method and the Reception of the New Philosophy, 1618-c. 1670, forthcoming from the OUP in 2020.
The challenge of harvesting and analysing the large quantities of data needed to document shifting patterns of intellectual activity has drawn me into the challenge of applying digital technology to historical research. Since 2009 I have directed the project known as Cultures of Knowledge: Networking the Republic of Letters, 1550-1750, which has experimented with creating the conditions in which scholars, projects, repositories, and publishers collaborate in populating a digital union catalogue of early modern correspondence, Early Modern Letters Online. In order to negotiate still more advanced ‘digital framework for multi-lateral collaboration on Europe’s intellectual history’, I chaired a COST network entitled Reassembling the Republic of Letters, 1500-1800, the results of which were published in an open-access book in 2019. I am currently Principal Investigator on a three-year project funded by the AHRC, entitled Networking Archives, which is experimenting with the application of quantitative network analysis to large quantities of correspondence data and metadata. I am also one of the architects of the Cabinet project in Oxford, which is developing digital infrastructure for teaching with objects and images.
Professor Robert Iliffe
I work on the history of science 1550-1850 and my current research interests include the digital history of science; the history of scientific instrumentation; historical interactions between theology and natural philosophy; the life and work of Isaac Newton, especially his religious views; science and exploration; eighteenth century conceptions of the relationship between otium and the pursuit of knowledge; the emergence of the scientific ‘genius’ and early modern/ Enlightenment accounts of the imagination. I am currently a General Editor of the online Newton Project, a co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to Newton (2016), and my book Priest of Nature: the Religious Life of Isaac Newton is appearing from Oxford in 2017.
Dr Dmitri Levitin
I have published on philosophical, scientific, medical, religious, legal and political thought in early modern Europe. Although I have made several discoveries about individuals and institutions (including Isaac Newton, Edmond Halley, the Hebraist John Spencer, the early modern study of Persian religious history, and the Society of Apothecaries), I am above all interested in large-scale patterns of change from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, patterns that transcend the influence of any individual or group. My first book, Ancient Wisdom in the Age of the New Science (2015), demonstrates how almost all educated people in the seventeenth century engaged deeply with the history of ancient philosophy, in stark contrast to the still prevalent stereotype of the period as one that witnessed a move away from humanistic modes of thought. My current project, provisionally entitled An age of erudition, explores, largely on the basis of previously untapped manuscript sources, how from the late sixteenth to the mid-eighteenth centuries ideas about religion and theology were historicised at an institutional level, especially in the universities, and how that institutionalisation in turn led to wider cultural awareness of the historical dimension to Christianity and other religions. For further details, please see www.dmitrilevitin.com.
Associate Professor Avi Lifschitz
The intellectual and cultural history of Europe in the long 18th century (ca. 1680-1815) is my main area of research. I am particularly interested in the links between Enlightenment political theory, the ‘science of man’, and theology. Other significant aspects of my work include translation and cross-cultural transfer in the 18th century.
In 2017 I joined the History Faculty and Magdalen College from UCL (University College London). I teach undergraduate and postgraduate modules, offer supervision at master’s and doctoral levels, and co-convene the Enlightenment Workshop research seminar. I am also involved in the activities of the Oxford Centre for Intellectual History, the Oxford Centre for European History, and the Voltaire Foundation (as Academic Programme Director).
I have held research fellowships at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, the Clark Library at UCLA, CRASSH at Cambridge, the Lichtenberg-Kolleg at the University of Göttingen, and the Enlightenment Research Centre at the University of Halle (IZEA). Other awards include grants from the Leverhulme Trust and the Thyssen Stiftung, as well as the 2020 James L. Clifford Prize of the American Society for 18th-Century Studies.
Having edited the first modern English edition of a wide range of writings by Frederick the Great (Princeton University Press, 2021), I now work on a monograph exploring the Prussian monarch’s roles as philosopher and public author. Edited/co-edited books include items on collaboration between Jewish and Christian Intellectuals in Berlin around 1800, on Lessing’s Laocoon, on different aspects of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s work and its impact, and on 18th-century Epicureanism.
Professor Ian Maclean
Research interests: early modern theological, legal and medical modes of interpretation; early modern logic; the history of the learned book trade in Europe (1560-1750); Cardano; Montaigne.
Sir Noel Malcolm
Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College. My main research interests are in British and European early modern history – especially, but not only, intellectual history. My work on the philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) has led me into the many areas of Hobbes's own work: not only political philosophy, but also ethics, metaphysics, theology, biblical criticism and optics. I have published editions of his Correspondence (2 vols., Oxford, 1994) and of Leviathan (3 vols., Oxford, 2012), as well as a volume of essays, Aspects of Hobbes (Oxford, 2002).
Another interest concerns Western knowledge of, and involvement in, the Ottoman / Islamic world. In 2001 I gave the Carlyle Lectures at Oxford on 'Islam and the Ottoman Empire in Western Political Thought'; in 2010 I gave the Trevelyan Lectures at Cambridge on 'Early Modern Europe's Encounters with Islam'. There are some connections between this and my on-going interest in Balkan history – especially the history of the Albanian lands.
Dr Oren Margolis
I am a historian of the Renaissance, a cultural movement that spread across Europe. Humanism and the history of the book are the major themes of my research. To this end, I have written on the politics of Renaissance culture in the world of René of Anjou (1409-1480), an exiled king of Naples based in Provence, and I have curated a recent Bodleian exhibition on the Venetian printer Aldus Manutius (c.1450-1515). I am currently working on a cultural history of the Aldine Press, while other interests include Renaissance art and the history of history-writing in – and about – Renaissance Italy.
Professor Giuseppe Marcocci
The history of the early modern empires of Portugal and Spain is my main field of interest. The multiple ways in which the Iberian explorations contributed to the shaping of political and cultural interactions across the globe has particularly fascinated me. I am now developing a new project on visual dissent and the art of political insult in the Portuguese and Spanish overseas possessions. My other major area of research is in the history of the Iberian religious world, focusing on the Inquisition, missions and the agency of converts.
I studied and taught in Italian universities before arriving at Oxford in 2017. I was visiting professor at the University of Lisbon (2009) and the EHESS-Paris (2013). Recent research fellowships include the John Carter Brown Library in Providence, Rhode Island (2015), and the European University Institute in Florence (2016).
Here I teach undergraduate and postgraduate modules in the history of the early modern world and offer research supervision to students interested in working in any aspect of Iberian history from 1450 to 1800.
- Overseas Iberian Empires
- Iberian Religious World
- Global RenaissanceMy current research analyses a number of episodes of visual insults that marked the political life in the early modern Iberian empires. I am carrying out this project in collaboration with Jorge Flores (European University Institute), exploring (mostly) unpublished materials kept in archives and libraries of the Iberian Peninsula, Asia and the Americas. Meanwhile, I am completing articles and chapters on a range of topics running from the construction of the Portuguese and Spanish empires as an entwined historical process to the troubled relationship between the Jesuit missions and the Iberian crowns.
I am also revising a general history of the Inquisition in Portugal and its empire, which I co-authored with José Pedro Paiva (Universidade de Coimbra), for an English edition (forthcoming in the Medieval and Early Modern Iberian World series, Brill), as well as a book that I recently published on Renaissance world histories for its Spanish translation by Alianza Editorial.
Finally, next months will see the publication of an edited volume on Machiavelli’s impact on the European perception of Islam, as well as the circulation of his writings across the Muslim world. The book, Machiavelli, Islam and the East, which I have co-edited with Lucio Biasiori (Scuola Normale Superiore) aims at reorienting current views about the foundations of the modern political thought. I understand it as part of my attempt to place Iberian history in a broader context. In other occasions, I have already tried to do the same in collaboration with scholars from other fields, such as archaeology, art history and literature.
Dr Sarah Mortimer
Associate Professor of Early Modern History. I am an early modern historian, especially interested in the relationship between political thought and religious ideas. I focus on a period when new ideas about salvation, about political life and about what it means to be human began to be expressed; after Martin Luther, Niccolò Machiavelli and Christopher Columbus the intellectual, political and religious landscape looked very different. My research looks at how people sought to understand, explain, and shape their world in this fascinating and complex period.
I have just completed a book on the history of political thought 1517-1625, entitled Reformation, Resistance, and Reason of State (Oxford, 2021). I show that this period was crucial for the development of political thought – in a time of expanding empires, religious upheaval, and social change, new ideas about the organisation and purpose of human communities began to be debated. In particular, there was a concern to understand the political or civil community as bounded, limited in geographical terms and with its own particular structures, characteristics and history. There was also a growing focus, in the wake of the Reformation, on civil or political authority as distinct from the church or religious authority. The concept of sovereignty began to be used, alongside a new language of reason of state—in response, political theories based upon religion gained traction, especially arguments for the divine right of kings. More broadly, the language of natural law became increasingly important as a means of legitimising political power, opening up scope for religious toleration.
My book draws on a wide range of sources from Europe and beyond; in it I make connections between Christian Europe and the Muslim societies that lay to its south and east. One of the most interesting questions as I researched it was the extent to which concerns about the legitimacy of political power were shared by people of different faiths. For me, one of the joys of intellectual history is the way it challenges us to cross geographical and religious boundaries.
I have also written a number of articles which explore themes of ethics, politics, and religion in the early modern period, often reconsidering canonical figures like Thomas Hobbes and Hugo Grotius in the light of their religious and political context. Recently I have also analysed the Reformation debate on ‘Counsels of Perfection’ – praiseworthy actions which are not obligatory, showing why Luther was so opposed to them and what that meant for political thought. Building on this, I am starting a new study on ‘Virtue beyond Law’ which will look at early modern ideas about moral and religious actions which lie beyond the sphere of human law.
Dr Sophie Nicholls
I specialise in the intellectual history of Early Modern France, and am currently completing a monograph entitled ‘Troubled Kingdom. France and the Catholic League, 1576-1610’. I am particularly interested in the intersection between religious and political ideas in the Wars of Religion, in the broader context of questions of national and religious identities in Counter-Reformation France. Thinkers of interest include Jean Bodin, Pierre Grégoire, Louis Dorléans, Guillaume du Vair, Étienne Pasquier and Michel de Montaigne. My next research project is the De Republica (1596) of Pierre Grégoire, with a particular emphasis on his re-casting of Bodinian ideas of sovereignty.
Professor Natalia Nowakowska
I am a historian of the late medieval and early modern worlds, with a particular interest in exploring Central Europe in its wider European and Eurasian context. From 2013-18, I was Principal Investigator of a €1.4m European Research Council (ERC) project entitled ‘The Jagiellonians: Dynasty, Memory and Identity in Central Europe’. I am currently writing a new history of the Jagiellonians, which applies a global history lens to this leading but ill-understood dynasty of Renaissance Europe (1386-1596).
My most recent book, ‘King Sigismund of Poland & Martin Luther’ (OUP, 2018), offers a new history of the early Reformation in Poland. It was awarded the George Blazyca Prize and Gerald Strauss Prize, and named co-winner of the Kulczycki Prize and the BASEES Women’s Forum Prize. I have current research interests in dynasty, long-term cultural memory, and the application of global history approaches to Central Europe.
- Central Europe
- Language & Concept History
- Reformation & Late Medieval Church
My research seeks to find new perspectives on the history (and concept) of Europe. To do so, my work explores two key fault-lines in European history: between medieval and modern, and between ‘East’ and ‘West’. Much of my research has been focused on Poland and its neighbours in the 14th-16th centuries, as peoples and places who sat squarely across both those fault-lines at once.
One strand of my research has looked afresh at the last years of the late medieval church in Central Europe, and the emergence of radically new world-views with the Reformation. These problems were explored in my book Church, State and Dynasty in Renaissance Poland: the Career of Cardinal Fryderyk Jagiellon (winner of the Polish Studies Association first book prize), and in articles on crusading and early printing (Past and Present, Historical Research). In 2012-13, I held a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship, during which I completed a new history of the early Reformation in Poland. This book seeks to shake up traditional ideas about the geographies and trajectory of Lutheranism, and also offer an alternative interpretation of the Reformation itself as a concept. King Sigismund of Poland and Martin Luther: the Reformation Before Confessionalization (OUP, 2018) was awarded the George Blazyca Prize and Gerald Strauss Prize, named co-winner of the Kulczycki Prize and the BASEES Women’s Forum Prize, and received Honourable Mention for the Zelnik Prize.
Another strand of my research has been the Jagiellonians, the originally Lithuanian royal house who ruled half of Christian Europe by 1500. From 2013-18, I was Principal Investigator of a €1.4m European Research Council (ERC) project entitled ‘The Jagiellonians: Dynasty, Memory and Identity in Central Europe’. With a team of 5 post-doctoral researchers, the project studied this vast dynasty in a newly panoramic way. The project’s first book, Remembering the Jagiellonians (Routledge, 2019) reconstructs how memories of the dynasty have shaped the politics, culture and identities of Central Europe, from the 16th century to the internet age. The project’s second book, meanwhile, will interrogate the concept of dynasty in the Renaissance, and trace the gradual construction of a ‘Jagiellonian’ identity by humanists, princes, poets and subjects from the 14th to the 17th centuries. Following on from this project, I am currently writing a new history of the Jagiellonians, which applies a global history lens to this polytheistic tribe who become a leading dynasty of the European Renaissance (1386-1596).
Professor Sheilagh Ogilvie
Chichele Professor of Economic History. I grew up in the western Canadian city of Calgary, and have since lived in Scotland, Germany, England, the USA and the Czech Republic. I studied at the Universities of St Andrews, Cambridge, and Chicago, and was a Research Fellow at Trinity College Cambridge. I then taught for 31 years in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Cambridge, before moving to the Chichele Professorship of Economic History at All Souls College Oxford in 2020.
I explore the lives of ordinary people in the past and try to explain how poor economies get richer and improve human well-being. I’m particularly interested in how social institutions – the formal and informal constraints on economic activity – shaped economic development in Europe between the Middle Ages and the present day. In recent years my publications have analysed guilds, serfdom, communities, the family, gender, human capital investment, consumption, and state capacity.
Dr Jon Parkin
I work on the interaction between ideas and practical politics in the Early Enlightenment period, focusing particularly upon the reception of philosophical ideas and their impact upon political and cultural life. This approach was a feature of my first two booksScience, Religion and Politics in Restoration England (1999) and Taming the Leviathan (2007) which explored the adaptation and use of Hobbes's ideas in a variety of political, religious and cultural contexts between 1640 and 1700. Current research interests include the history of toleration (see J. Parkin and T. Stanton (eds), Natural Law and Toleration in the Early Enlightenment (2013)), early modern attitudes to self-censorship, Latitudinarianism, Thomas Hobbes and methodological issues surrounding the study of the history of political thought.
Professor David Parrott
My initial area of research lay in seventeenth-century French history, and specifically on the impact that waging war had upon the structures of state and society during the ministry of Cardinal Richelieu (1624-42). These military and political interests drew me into the study of international politics, and I pursued subsequent research projects on the Thirty Years War and the role played by the North Italian states in European power-politics down to 1650, looking at areas such as the "military revolution", at small states, sovereignty and the international community, at the construction of fortifications, and the shaping of military cultures. More recently, the opportunity to give the Lees Knowles lectures in military history at Cambridge encouraged me to think more widely about the problems of mobilizing military resources, and led to my recent publications examining the almost universal decentralization and outsourcing of military force in early modern Europe.
My initial area of research lay in seventeenth-century French history, and specifically on the impact that waging war had upon the structures of state and society during the ministry of Cardinal Richelieu (1624-42). These military and political interests drew me into the study of international politics, and I pursued subsequent research projects on the Thirty Years War and the role played by the North Italian states in European power-politics down to 1650, looking at areas such as the "military revolution", at small states, sovereignty and the international community, at the construction of fortifications, and the shaping of military cultures. More recently, the opportunity to give the Lees Knowles lectures in military history at Cambridge encouraged me to think more widely about the problems of mobilizing military resources, and led to my recent publications examining the almost universal decentralization and outsourcing of military force in early modern Europe.
Between 2013 and 2016 I held a Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship and used the opportunity that this provided to return to seventeenth-century French history, examining the political, military and cultural context of Cardinal Mazarin's "second ministry", from his return from exile in 1653 to the beginning of the personal rule of Louis XIV in 1661. This research will fuel a number of publications, but at present I am completing a study of one particular year as decisive moment in political history: 1652 – France’s Catastrophe: the Cardinal, the Prince and the Crisis of the Fronde.
Dr Miles Pattenden
I am a Research Fellow at Wolfson College and Lecturer in the Faculty of History, where I teach British, European and World History c.1400-1800. My research focuses on early modern Italy and Spain, in particular the papacy and the Catholic Church during the Counter-Reformation. My first book Pius IV and the Fall of the Carafa (OUP, 2013) told the story of the only early modern papal family to be indicted for corruption and I have just finished a second monograph, Electing the Pope in Early Modern Italy, which is forthcoming with OUP in 2017. I am currently writing a history of Global Catholicism from the Council of Trent to Pope Francis and co-ordinating a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust sponsored project on the Early Modern Cardinal.
Faculty Website: http://www.history.ox.ac.uk/people/dr-miles-pattenden
Professor Katherine Paugh
Associate Professor of Atlantic World Women's History. My research focuses on gender, race, and medicine in early North America and the Caribbean. My first book explored the politics of motherhood in the slave societies of the British Empire during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. I am currently at work on a second book on the history of venereal disease in early America.
- Early North America and the Caribbean
- Race, Gender, Medicine, and the Body
- The Politics of Motherhood and Fertility
Dr Michelle Pfeffer
I am an early modern historian with research interests in the history of science, religion, and scholarship in Europe. I am currently a Fellow by Examination (Prize Fellow) at Magdalen College.
I am currently working on three projects. The first examines the history of the idea of the soul in early modern England, focusing particularly on the development of the heterodox view that humans did not possess immortal souls. The early modern debate over this issue was an interdisciplinary one: it involved religion, medicine, and natural philosophy, but also historical scholarship.
I am also working on an intellectual biography of William Warburton (1698–1779), a clergyman who became a major celebrity as a result of his controversial claims about the Old Testament. In a highly technical book that became something of a sensation, Warburton argued that the absence of teachings about immortality in the Hebrew scriptures paradoxically proved the divine origins of Judaism. I am studying Warburton's research methods by examining his surviving library and correspondence.
My third key interest is the history of astrology in the early modern world. I'm interested in how astrology, once a vibrant aspect of European cultural and intellectual life, came to be rejected as a superstition outside the bounds of science - a huge shift that remains a major puzzle in the history of science.
Professor Lyndal Roper
Regius Professor of History, Oriel College. I did my undergraduate degree in History with Philosophy at the University of Melbourne, and from there I went to study in Germany at the University of Tübingen before moving to the University of London (King's College) where I completed my doctorate. I worked at Royal Holloway, University of London and then moved to Balliol College, Oxford, where I was Fellow and Tutor in History. I'm now at Oriel College. I am the first woman to hold the Regius Chair in History, and the first Australian. I've worked on the history of witchcraft and have recently published a biography of the German reformer Martin Luther. I am now writing a history of the German Peasants’ War (1524-5), the greatest uprising in western Europe before the French Revolution. I am happy to supervise graduate students in the area of early modern German history, the history of witchcraft, gender history, history of the body, sexuality, or indeed any topic within the cultural and religious history of the early modern period.
Lyndal Roper is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and a Fellow of the Brandenburg Akademie der Wissenschaften. She is former Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, a former Humboldt Fellow and an Honorary Visiting Fellow of the History Department University of Melbourne. She holds an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Melbourne.
- Luther and the Reformation
- Gender History
- Sixteenth century German Art and material culture
My first book, The Holy Household (1989), examined how the Reformation transformed gender relations in one town, Augsburg. My next book, Oedipus and the Devil (1994), (Ödipus und der Teufel, Campus, 1995) explored several themes in early modern German culture, including sexuality, discipline, and masculinity. In Witch Craze (2004), (Hexenwahn, Beck, 2005) I examined trials of women accused of witchcraft. The book argued that the witch craze sprang from a collective fantasy. Older, infertile women were accused of harming infants and destroying fertility in the natural and human world. The Witch in the Western Imagination (Virginia UP 2012) discusses images of witches: beautiful, disturbing, and hard to relate to the trials. My latest book is a biography of Martin Luther - Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet. I am currently finishing Luther’s World, Body and Soul (Princeton 2018) on social and cultural themes connected with Luther.
Together with Mette Ahleveldt-Laurvig I convene a Workshop where many postgraduates working on early modern topics loosely related to German history meet to discuss our work. Current members include;- Martin Christ, who is writing his doctorate on Upper Lusatia and the Reformation, Mette Ahlefeldt-Laurvig writing her doctorate on Childbirth Rituals in early modern Denmark, Edmund Wareham, who has finished a doctorate on the nuns of the convent of Günterstal, Natalie Cobo who works on Spanish chronicles of the New World, Ryan Asquez working on images of the Suffering Christ between 1450 and 1550, Laura Roberts, who works on English women’s religious networks in the sixteenth century, Ryan Crimmins, religion and soldiers in the Thirty Years’ War, Cecilia Tarruell, Newton International Fellow, who is working on migration in the Hispanic World and Ottoman Empire. Ongoing and past members include Hannah Murphy, now at KCL, who works on medicine in sixteenth century Nuremberg, Clare Copeland whose most recent book is on the Florentine saint Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi, Chris Kissane (Institute of Historical Research London) who is finishing a book on Food and its meaning, including a study of sausages in Zurich, Carla Roth, Historisches Seminar Basel, who is writing a book on Johannes Rütiner, John Jordan, University of Bern, writing on legal cultures in early modern Freiberg, and Adrianna Catena, University of Warwick, who is finishing a book on indigo.
Dr Hannah Smith
I am a Tutor and Fellow of St. Hilda's College, Oxford and Associate Professor in Early Modern British History. I specialise in British political and cultural history between 1660 and 1760.
Before arriving at St. Hilda’s in 2006, I studied at Newnham College, Cambridge, taught at Christ’s College, Cambridge, and was an RCUK Academic Fellow at the University of Hull. I was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2008. I work on Britain in the period 1660 to 1760 and, in particular, politics, culture and gender. I have recently completed a book about politics and the British army from 1660 to 1750 and I have co-edited Civilians and War in Europe 1618-1815 (Liverpool University Press, 2012, paperback edition 2014), with Erica Charters and Eve Rosenhaft. My first book was Georgian Monarchy: Politics and Culture 1714-1760 (Cambridge University Press, 2006, paperback edition 2009), and I continue to research eighteenth-century court culture through co-editing a new edition of Lord Hervey's Memoirs of the Reign of King George II for Oxford University Press. My interest in gender history is reflected in my work on early modern writers Mary Astell, Judith Drake and Susanna Centlivre, a volume of essays, Religion and Women in Britain, 1660 to 1760 (Ashgate, 2014), co-edited with Sarah Apetrei, and research on eighteenth-century aristocratic libertinism. I am currently working on a project about equestrianism in Britain between circa 1880 and 1960.
Dr George Southcombe
My research focuses on two broad, overlapping areas: the history of seventeenth-century dissent, and the relationship between literature and history. In this work I have been engaged in uncovering the social depth of politics, and the importance of nonconformist print culture. In 2012 I completed a three-volume edition of nonconformist verse, which was published by Pickering and Chatto. I have also produced, alongside my friend and colleague Dr Grant Tapsell, a broader study of the late seventeenth century, which uses visual and literary materials alongside the more conventional sources of political history.
Professor Giora Sternberg
Associate Professor of Early Modern History. I began my academic studies in Tel-Aviv University and came to Oxford for a DPhil in History in 2005. I was then a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows from 2009 to 2012, when I took up my current position at the Faculty of History and at Hertford College.
My research and publications to date have largely focused on two broad themes at the intersection among political, social, and cultural history: symbolic interaction and writing practices. My first book, Status Interaction during the Reign of Louis XIV (OUP, 2014; pbk ed. 2016; shortlisted for the Royal History Society Gladstone Prize), investigates how and why individuals and groups expressed, shaped, and contested social positions in a variety of contexts, from high ceremonies to everyday routines. For contemporaries, status interaction operated as a key tool for defining and redefining identities, relations, and power; for scholars, it provides a novel lens for understanding early modern action and agency. The two themes combine in my work on correspondence, especially in my Past & Present article from 2009, which has offered a systematic framework for understanding letters as textual and material vehicles of status.
My current main research project, titled 'Writing Acts: The Power of Writing in the Ancien Régime' (under contract with Oxford University Press), explores the direct practical impact of manuscript forms in the social and political arenas. Its first major output appeared in The Journal of Modern History in 2013 (see Publications for further details).
Dr Alan Strathern
Associate Professor in History. I work on the global history of religious encounter and conversion, particularly in the early modern period (1500-1800). However, I have recently completed a more general theoretical book about the nature of religious change and its relationship with politics across the whole of world history, Unearthly Powers: Religious and Political Change in World History (Cambridge 2019), while a companion volume will look at ruler conversions in Kongo, Hawaii, Japan and Thailand. I first specialised in Sri Lankan history, as in my first monograph, Kingship and Conversion in Sixteenth Century Sri Lanka (2007), and articles on such themes as origin myths, source criticism, sacred kingship, and ethnic identity.
I teach both European and Global History as a Fellow at Brasenose College, and a Lecturer at St. John's College. I'm happy to consider DPhil supervision across a wide range of areas in the early modern world.
- Religious Conversion
- Ethnic Identity
- Global Comparative History
I work in the global history of religious encounter. I have recently completed a book drawing on anthropology and historical sociology to offer a new theoretical understanding of religion and its relationship with politics across premodern history: Unearthly Powers: Religious and Political Change in World History (Cambridge 2019), which was awarded the World History Association Bentley Book Prize for 2020. A companion volume will look at why the rulers of some societies converted to Christianity and others did not: Converting Kings: Kongo Hawaii, Thailand and Japan c. 1450-1850 (Cambridge, forthcoming). Underlying both books is a large question: Why does the religious map of the world today look the way it does? Why, for example, did large stretches of Asia remain immune to monotheism? In two or three publications, I have also begun to extend this line of thinking to the expansion of Islam.
Much of my primary research has concerned those parts of the world that came into contact with European seaborne expansion in the early modern period c. 1500-1800. I first specialised in Sri Lankan history, as in my first monograph, Kingship and Conversion in Sixteenth Century Sri Lanka: Portuguese Imperialism in a Buddhist Land (Cambridge 2007), and articles on such themes as origin myths, source criticism, and the development of ethnic consciousness. More recently I have co-edited a book with Zoltan Biedermann ranging across all of Lankan history before 1850: Sri Lanka at the Crossroads of History (UCL Press, 2017): available free here http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-press/browse-books/sri-lanka-at-the-crossroads-of-history. In the past ten years, however, my research has increasingly taken a comparative, inter-disciplinary and global approach. This is reflected in a volume I am co-editing with Azfar Moin on Sacred Kingship in World History: Between Immanence and Transcendence , which is forthcoming from Columbia University Press. This is drawn from a conference of the same name held in Oxford: https://global.history.ox.ac.uk/event/conference-sacred-kingship-world-history-between-immanence-and-transcendence/
Longer-term research projects now include a general overview of religion and state in the early modern world, and a global investigation of so-called apotheosis interpretations in moments of first encounter.
Dr Grant Tapsell
- Restoration history (1660-1688)
- The Church of England in the early modern period
- Archbishop William Sancroft (1617-93)
My interests lie primarily in the political and religious history of the early modern British Isles. My research has been focused on Restoration Britain and Ireland, particularly early Whig and Tory ‘party’ politics in the wake of the Exclusion Crisis. Recently I have worked on the Church of England across the seventeenth century more broadly, and I am currently engaged on a study of William Sancroft (1617-93), Archbishop of Canterbury from 1677/8 to 1690, examining his developing role within the religious disputes that complicated English politics from the 1630s to the 1690s. As a step towards an eventual biography I am editing a book-length collection of Sancroft's letters for the Church of England Record Society.
My publications include The Personal Rule of Charles II, 1681-85 (2007), and, as editor, The Later Stuart Church, 1660-1714 (2012). I enjoy collaborating with colleagues, not least by developing ideas generated whilst teaching into published projects. Restoration Politics, Religion and Culture: Britain and Ireland, 1660-1714 (2010), written with George Southcombe, began life as a series of undergraduate lectures at Oxford; The Nature of the English Revolution Revisited: Essays in Honour of John Morrill (2013) is co-edited with Stephen Taylor.
Professor Peter Wilson
I work on the social, political, military, economic and cultural history of war since 1500, primarily for German-speaking Europe from the sixteenth to the early nineteenth centuries, but also more widely across Europe and the world into the early twentieth century. I have always taken a broad approach to studying conflict, believing that war can only be understood when placed in its wider context, and this has encouraged me to study the political and cultural history of the Holy Roman Empire 800-1806. My current projects include how resource mobilisation promoted cooperation as well as competition between states and non-state actors in Europe 1560-1850.
Dr Lucy Wooding
Langford Fellow and Tutor. I have been interested in religious history since I was seventeen, when my history teacher lent me her copy of Jack Scarisbrick’s The Reformation and the English People. It was then that I first realized how the study of religion could both pose a radical challenge to accepted views of a particular period, and also offer a way into understanding convictions, loyalties and identities which might otherwise prove elusive. Seeking to understand the disparity between the religious and political narratives constructed by those in authority, and the popular experience of religious change and political engagement remains central to my research interests.
I studied for both my degrees at Magdalen College, Oxford, before lecturing for two years at Queen’s University in Belfast. I was a lecturer at King’s College London between 1995 and 2016 and I joined Lincoln College, Oxford, in October 2016.
- Reformation history
- Tudor politics, religion and culture
- Visual and material culture in late medieval and early modern England
My research centres on the Reformation in England, and the intersections between politics, religion and popular culture. My first book argued for the variety and variability within English Catholic thought during the sixteenth century, taking issue with the unexamined assumptions behind the use of the label ‘Catholic’, and with the long-standing categorization of English Catholicism in terms of either medieval survival or recusant intransigence. I argued there, and in subsequent work, that Catholicism between the 1520s and the 1570s was undergoing its own form of reformation, and that the customary polarities used in writing English Reformation history need to be re-evaluated in the light of this. I have continued to work on English Catholicism, particularly during the reign of Mary I, because it is in this aspect of Reformation history that some of the most common misconceptions are most clearly evident. I have long felt sceptical about the religious labels used to claim, codify, and politicize human experiences of faith which were in truth much more fluid and multi-faceted than such classifications would allow. I am also fascinated by the mixture of political expediency, humanist idealism and religious fervour which began the process of Reformation in England, and it was this which led me to research the reign of Henry VIII, and produce a biography of this most alarming and yet deeply interesting ruler. The fluctuations in Henry’s reputation over the last hundred years illustrate very well the changing historical perspectives on both Tudor history in particular, and religious and political history more generally. More recently I have been working on the transmission of religious ideas, through sermons and printed books, but also through visual and material culture, between the fifteenth and the early seventeenth century. My latest research project looks at the interaction of word, image, memory and emotion in pre-Reformation religious culture, and examines how the relationship between those different elements was recalibrated during the ‘long Reformation’ period. I am also completing a book entitled Tudor England for Yale University Press, which interweaves the political history of the period with some of the most recent insights into social and cultural history.
Dr Lauren Working
I am a historian on the TIDE project (Travel, Transculturality, and Identity in England, 1550 – 1700), focusing on late Elizabethan and Jacobean politics, sociability, and empire. My first book, The Making of an Imperial Polity: Civility and America in the Jacobean Metropolis (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press) uses political discourse, literature, and objects to explore how the experience of colonization infused political culture and transformed ideas of civil refinement in London. I have held fellowships at the Jamestown archaeological site and the Royal Anthropological Institute, which have informed my ongoing interests in Native American historical anthropology and the legacies of colonialism in English museums. I currently freelance for the National Portrait Gallery in London, where I am developing material on Tudor and Stuart portraiture and the colonial gaze. My next book-length project will be on women and empire.
TIDE project website: www.tideproject.uk
Professor Cora Gilroy-Ware
In her publications, exhibitions and teaching, Cora Gilroy-Ware seeks to challenge the assumed universality of Western hegemonic perspectives. She is particularly interested in the fabrication of ideal beauty from the 17th century to the present day, and the role of classicising sculpture and pictorial art in the reification of "racial" difference. Before coming to Oxford, Cora was a Lecturer in History of Art at the University of York, where she was nominated by the University's Student Union Excellence Awards for Teacher of the Year, 2020-21.
Completed as part of a Collaborative Doctoral project shared between the University of York and the Tate Gallery, her doctoral project on the surprisingly under-researched classical nude in late-eighteenth century British art led to her first book, The Classical Body in Romantic Britain, published in April 2020 by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in association with Yale University Press. Research for this project laid the foundation for a broader interest in overlooked chapters in the history of visual classicism. With support from the Henry Moore Foundation, she is currently at work on a second book project on adaptations of Greco-Roman art, particularly marble sculpture, among artists of African and indigenous American descent including Phillis Wheatley, Ellen Craft, Mary Edmonia Lewis, Augusta Savage, Selma Burke, Carrie Mae Weems, Adrian Piper and Kara Walker. As a scholar of BIPOC heritage, she seeks to reconcile decolonial methods with traditional art historical areas of concern.
Cora has curated at Tate Britain, the Huntington European Art Gallery and MK Gallery, and held fellowships at the Yale Center for British Art, the Huntington Library, California Institute of Technology, University of Naples L'Orientale and University College London. As an artist herself, Cora is also interested in projects that integrate theory and practice. She has recently edited a book on behalf of the contemporary artist Isaac Julien CBE RA centred on Lessons of the Hour, Julien's filmic portrait of the African American freedom fighter Frederick Douglass. She brings her historical expertise to bear on her contemporary art criticism, which has been published in the London Review of Books, X-Tra Contemporary Art Quarterly and elsewhere.
Professor Geraldine A. Johnson
I have published widely on the history of sculpture from the late medieval period to the present day, as well as on the visual arts more generally in Early Modern Europe. A particular area of interest is the relationship between gender and material culture, as explored in my co-edited volume for Cambridge University Press, Picturing Women in Renaissance and Baroque Italy (1997), and in publications on figures like Maria de’ Medici, patron of the painter Peter Paul Rubens. I am also the author of Oxford University Press’s Very Short Introduction to Renaissance Art (2005). At present, I am completing a book for Cambridge University Press entitled The Sound of Marble: The Materiality and Immateriality of Italian Renaissance Art. I am also a Series Editor for Renaissance History, Art and Culture, published by Amsterdam University Press, and I am currently a consultant for a major Anglo-Italian television drama series on the Medici. Other research interests include the historiography of art history and the history of photography.
Dr Leah R. Clark
I am an Art Historian specialising in the exchange and mobility of art objects in the fifteenth century with a particular focus on the Italian courts of Naples and Ferrara. I am author of Collecting Art in the Italian Renaissance Court: Objects and Exchanges (Cambridge University Press, 2018) and co-editor (with Kathleen Christian) of a textbook on the ‘global Renaissance’, European Art and the Wider World 1350-1550 (Manchester University Press, 2017). I have also co-edited (with Nancy Um) a special issue of the Journal of Early Modern History on 'The Art of Embassy: Objects and Images of Early Modern Diplomacy' (2016) and I have published widely on collecting practices, diplomacy and gifts, sensory experiences, and the global exchange of transcultural objects. My current book project investigates the exchange of objects—ceramics, metalwork, aromatics, and other luxury items—between Italian courts and the Mamluk and Ottoman courts in the fifteenth century, with an emphasis on the sensory experiences engendered by these objects. I am co-investigator (with Katherine Wilson) of an interdisciplinary research network examining the mobility of objects (MOB) across and beyond European boundaries during the period (1000-1700) funded by the AHRC.
I am the Director of Studies for the History of Art in the Department for Continuing Education as well as a fellow at Kellogg College. Before coming to Oxford, I was at the Open University where I co-directed (with Helen Coffey) the Medieval and Early Modern Research Group and I continue to co-organise our annual interdisciplinary conference.
Dr Marie-Louise Lillywhite
I am an Art Historian whose research focuses predominantly on art and architecture in early modern Venice. I have written about topics that include the patronage of parish priests and confraternities in Italy after the Council of Trent; a reconstruction of the decoration of the first Jesuit church in Venice (which featured paintings by Tintoretto, Veronese and Jacopo Bassano) and the garden of Bevis Bawa in Sri Lanka. I am currently working on a monograph called Reforming Art in Renaissance Venice which explores the impact that religious reform had on the visual arts in Venice during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. I am a research associate at Keble College and a member of the History Faculty. I am also senior tutor of the Middlebury-CMRS Oxford Humanities programme where I teach courses on Art and Censorship (1500-1650) and Art and Religion on the Global Jesuit Missions (1540-1773).
Professor Gervase Rosser
Gervase Rosser is a Professor of the History of Art in the Department of Art History and a Fellow of St Catherine’s College. He trained as an art historian at the Courtauld Institute, and additionally as a historian at the Universities of Oxford and London. He joined the Department on the establishment of the BA in Art History in 2004.
For the BA course Gervase teaches options including the classical tradition, medieval and Italian Renaissance art, and theoretical approaches to the subject.
His recent research has engaged with belief in the supernatural power of certain statues and pictures. This has been published as a book, written jointly with Jane Garnett: Spectacular Miracles: Transforming Images in Italy from the Renaissance to the Present (London: Reaktion Books, 2013). His recent and current work on Italian painting between 1300 and 1500 engages with Dante and sight; the early 14th century Sienese painter Duccio; and the later 15th century Sicilian painter Antonello da Messina. He also works on medieval guilds and fraternities, about which he is preparing a forthcoming book.
For the Master’s course in the History of Art he teaches a regular option on Gothic art. For this course he also contributes to the theoretical seminar.
Recent and current doctoral students supervised by Gervase have worked on: Painters in the circle of Leonardo da Vinci, beauty and the body; the imagery of dance in medieval Italy; the Adriatic as a site of cultural exchange in the fourteenth century; image and text in devotional manuscripts in northern Italy around 1400; images in early French printed editions of the Romance of the Rose; violence in thirteenth-century France; a comparative study of revolts in Italian and Flemish cities c.1350-1450. He would be glad to continue to receive proposals for research in similar areas.
Dr Emanuela Vai
My research is located at the intersection of art, architectural history, soundscape studies and musicology. I have published on a range of subjects focusing on the relationships between architecture and music and the material, spatial and sensorial dimensions of Renaissance social life. My work has appeared in publications by Bibliotheca Hertziana, Brepols, Olschki and Skira, among others, and in journals such as Renaissance Quarterly, Art History and Confraternitas. Founder of the Renaissance Musical Instruments Network and co-author of Reshaping Sacred Space: Liturgy, Patronage and Design in Church Interiors ca. 1500 – 1750 (2015), I am currently preparing a monograph titled Between Pietas and Magnificentia: Architecture, Music and Sensorial Performance at the Confraternity of the Misericordia Maggiore in the Venetian Terraferma, as well as editing a collection of essays on the material culture of Renaissance music.
I am the Opler Fellow at Worcester College, I collaborate with the Royal Academy of Music in London and I teach at the Master of Advanced Studies in Renaissance Polyphony Performance at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana. Previously I have held postdoctoral research positions at the University of Cambridge and the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies at the University of York. Before coming to Oxford, I was Hanna Kiel Fellow at the Harvard University Centre for Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti.
Professor Suzanne Aspden
I am a musicologist and cultural historian working in particular on eighteenth-century opera, music and musical life in eighteenth-century Britain, and questions of identity (personal, performing, national…). My book, The Rival Sirens: Performance and Identity on Handel's Operatic Stage (Cambridge, 2013) brings these themes together.
Professor Christian Leitmeir
I am a music historian and philologist who is active on both sides of the medieval/early modern divide. With regard to the latter ‘period’, my research focusses thematically on sacred music in the age of confessionalisation and geographically on Central and Central Eastern Europe. My interest in codicology in particular has led to collaborations with art historians, e.g. through the AHRC-funded project The Production and Reading of Music Sources, 1470-1530 and a long-term project on deluxe music manuscripts from the Munich court.
The Production and Reading of Music Sources, 1470-1530 (PRoMS)
For Eyes and Ears: The Choirbooks of the Bavarian State Library
Professor Owen Rees
He is active as both scholar and performer, and these two areas of his work inform one another. His research is concerned principally with music from 1450 to 1650, particularly in Spain and Portugal, and in England. His monograph on the largest surviving collection of early Portuguese musical sources — from the Monastery of Santa Cruz in Coimbra — deals both with Portuguese repertories and with cultural and musical connections between Portugal and other countries. He has edited music by three of the most important Portuguese composers of the period, Manuel Cardoso, Pedro de Cristo and Duarte Lobo. His published work on Spanish music has included studies of the works of Cristóbal de Morales and Francisco Guerrero, including issues of emulation. He has also written on the sacred music of William Byrd.
His Faculty teaching at Oxford has included many areas of Renaissance music, as well as historical performance practice and choral conducting. Recent undergraduate topics have included Music and the Protestant Reformations to c. 1630 and Music in the Iberian World, 1492-1650. At Queen’s and Somerville he teaches many areas of the undergraduate course, including historical topics, techniques of stylistic composition, analysis, and keyboard skills. He has supervised postgraduate dissertations on a wide range of topics, particularly within the fields of Renaissance and Baroque music.
Dr Jessica Goodman
I am Associate Professor and Tutorial Fellow in French at St Catherine's College, Oxford. I specialise in eighteenth-century literature and thought, with a particular interest in authorial self-fashioning. My first monograph,Goldoni in Paris: la Gloire et le Malentendu (forthcoming with OUP) tracks the reputation of the Italian author Carlo Goldoni in France during his thirty-year career there, and after his death. I have also worked on anonymity, the digital humanities, eighteenth-century theatre history, and commemoration, and my latest project focuses on authorial posterity in the 1790s, particularly through the genre of the ‘dialogue of the dead’.
Dr Michael Hawcroft
I am Fellow and Tutor in French at Keble College. I work principally on seventeenth-century French drama: Corneille, Molière, Racine; rhetorical approaches; dramatic theory; developments in the printing of drama in the early modern period and attempts to accommodate the printed form to readers. I am currently working on the scenography of Molière: exits and entrances, on-stage movement, and their relationship to scenery, as well as the way in which these features of performance are evoked in printed form. My College webpage includes a list of publications:
Professor Katherine Ibbett
I am Professor and Tutorial Fellow in French at Trinity College, and I specialise in late sixteenth and seventeenth-century literature, culture and political thought. My first book, The Style of the State in French Theater, was on tragedy (especially Pierre Corneille) and theories of political action, and I continued this conversation between theory and theatre with a coedited volume thinking through Walter Benjamin’s concept of the Trauerspiel and its relevance to a French corpus. In my second book, Compassion’s Edge, I worked with a broader range of genres, exploring the affective undertow of religious toleration. The book takes up the language of fellow-feeling – pity, compassion, charitable care – that flourished in the century or so after the Wars of Religion. It’s a gloomy sort of account: in my telling compassion does not overcome difference, but rather reinforces divides. I’m now working on a book called Liquid Empire, on the writing of water - mostly rivers - in early modern France and its territories, from the Pléiade poets of the sixteenth century to the Mississippi settlements of the 1700s. On Twitter I’m @eparpillee.
Professor Neil Kenny
I work mainly on the literature and thought of sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century France. My current focus is on the relation of literature and learning to social hierarchy. I convene a Hilary Term seminar on this issue in Europe as a whole. I am writing a book on the many early modern French families that included more than one writer, editor, or translator. Did families transmit those activities from one generation to the next in order to boost their social status? Was the resultant literature and learning shaped by those aspirations? My publications are listed at http://www.mod-langs.ox.ac.uk/people/neil-kenny.
Dr Jenny Oliver
I am a Supernumerary Teaching Fellow in French at St John’s College. My research is centred on sixteenth-century French literature, culture, and thought. My forthcoming book, The Direful Spectacle: Shipwreck in French Renaissance Writing, which is based on my doctoral thesis, examines the theme of shipwreck in the French Renaissance, reading fictional and allegorical shipwrecks alongside the eyewitness accounts of travel writers in order to explore the relationship between the material and the metaphorical. My current research project is concerned with how early modern French writers (including Rabelais, Ronsard, Montaigne, and Agrippa d’Aubigné) contemplated the connections and tensions between poetics, technology, and the natural environment. Recently, my article 'Rabelais’s Engins: War Machines, Analogy, and the Anxiety of Invention in the Quart Livre’, was published in Early Modern French Studies (December 2016).
Dr Jonathan Patterson
My research explores how literature interacts with broader cultural forces of early modern society: morality, law, bureaucracy, and economics.
My first book, Representing Avarice in Late Renaissance France (Oxford University Press, 2015), considers how talk of greed slowly evolved from past traditions to inform wider debates on gender, enrichment and status.
A second book is forthcoming with Oxford University Press in 2021, entitled Villainy in France, 1463-1610: A Transcultural Study of Law and Literature. Combining the methods of legal anthropology with literary and historical analysis, this study examines villainy across juridical documents, criminal records, and literary texts from the age of François Villon to the time of Pierre de L’Estoile. Villainy in France follows this overflowing current of pre-modern French culture, examining its impact within France and across the English Channel.
My next project (from 2019) will be a collaborative venture within the emergent field of Literature and Bureaucracy. This project will explore how administrative systems and literary production have curious overlaps when it comes to ‘paperwork’. One strand of the project will consider the rituals of ‘stock-taking’ in Michel de Montaigne’s library with those of the Bureau de la Ville Paris (read more here). A second strand will look at the poetics of police reports gathered by Louis XIV’s arch-administrator, Jean-Baptiste Colbert (read more here).
Dr Helen J. Swift
My research concerns French literature between the mid-fourteenth and mid-sixteenth centuries, with particular interests in issues of narrative voice, identity construction, text-image relations, and the transition from manuscript to print. Having just completed a book on the literary representation of the dead (https://boydellandbrewer.com/representing-the-dead-hb.html), I have a continuing interest in early modern epitaph poems and am also looking towards a new project on early-sixteenth-century print anthologies of fifteenth-century poetry (especially narrative verse).
Professor Wes Williams
I am interested in the critical study of genre, subjectivity, and agency, and in the intersection of theory and practice in the literary, political, religious, and professional cultures of the early modern period. I also work on contemporary theory, theatre, and film.
My first book – Pilgrimage and Narrative in the French Renaissance: ‘The Undiscovered Country’ (OUP, 1999) – explored the place of the Jerusalem pilgrimage in the European Renaissance. I continue to work on narratives of travel and encounter, displacement and diaspora throughout the early modern period. Monsters and their Meanings in Early Modern Culture; Mighty Magic (OUP, 2012) investigated the cultural, medical, political, and theological significance of monsters across the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. I am currently writing a short Life of Rabelais, an account of the strange case of Magdeleine d’Auvermont, and a study of the long, enduring history of Voluntary Servitude. I also work in the theatre, as a writer and a director.
I am the current Director of TORCH | The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, a centre which supports both inter/multi-disciplinary work within and beyond the university, and fosters cultural collaborations and exchanges that amplify, diversify, and transform our collective intellectual and social resources. Please see my TORCH profile here.
Professor Henrike Lähnemann
I currently work on two projects which question the traditional late medieval / early modern division in Germany: The Nuns’ Network which is an edition of 1.800 letters from the convent of Lüne from between ca. 1455 and 1550 and a collection of the bilingual (Latin/Low German) devotional writing by Cistercian nuns between 1478 and 1550 (Medingen Manuscripts). Together with the Taylor Institution Library, I have been running a project Remembering the Reformation, focussing for the quincentenary of the German Reformation on Singing, Translating and Printing as key activities. This lives on in the “Taylor Edition Series One: Reformation Pamphlet”, an open access library of texts from the Oxford collections.
Dr Paola Tomè
I am a member of the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages and Magdalen College. In 2013 I was awarded a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship with a research project on the return of Greek studies to Western Europe in the 15th century ( http://greek15century.mml.ox.ac.uk/). My research has focused on Giovanni Tortelli, the first librarian of the Vatican Library, but I also studied translations from Greek into Latin printed in the Veneto region in the fifteenth century; moreover, I am interested in the grammatical traditions from Antiquity to the Renaissance. I am author of a monograph and of a number of papers in several international journals, including Revue d'Histoire des Textes, Miscellanea Apostolica Vaticana, Studi su Boccaccio, Humanistica Lovaniensia, Medievalia et Humanistica. Among other recent initiatives, I organized the international conference ‘Making and Rethinking Renaissance in 15c Europe between Greek and Latin’ at Corpus Christi College in June 2016, and I am the co-organizer, together with Stephen Harrison and Elizabeth Sandis, of an informal Neolatin seminar series running at Corpus Christi since 2015.
Dr Alice Brooke
My work focusses on the literature of the early modern Hispanic world, with a particular interest in the religious culture of Viceregal Mexico, women’s writing, and convents as sites of literary and intellectual production.
My first book, on the religious plays of the Mexican poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (The autos sacramentales of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: Sacramental Theology and Natural Philosophy) was published by OUP in 2018. I am currently working on a translation and critical edition of Sor Juana’s Respuesta a sor Filotea, as well as a new project on the literary history of the Immaculate Conception in the early modern Hispanic world.
Dr Roy Norton
My research focuses on the literature of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain. Within that field I have two particular interests: theatre and religious culture. My doctoral thesis (2014) combined the two, consisting in a critical edition and study of San Nicolás de Tolentino (c. 1614), a saint’s play by Lope de Vega, recently published by Reichenberger. I’m currently working on: 1. an edition and translation into English of Antonio Coello’s Elizabeth I play, El conde de Sex (c. 1633); 2. a study of Sir Tobie Mathew’s 1642 English translation of St Teresa of Ávila’s spiritual autobiography, the Libro de la vida; and 3. innuendo in Lope de Vega’s religious drama.
Mr Richard Rabone
My research interests lie in the literature and culture of the Spanish Golden Age, with a particular emphasis on literary imitation and classical reception. I am currently completing my doctoral thesis, which examines the treatment of the Aristotelian Golden Mean in early modern Spanish literature. For the next three years, my work will focus on emblematics, and particularly the reception in Salamanca of Alciatus’s Emblemata; I am especially interested in how these emblems were received in intellectual circles, and in how they may be used to illuminate the workings of humanist culture in the city, as well as their influence on literary and artistic production.
Professor Jonathan Thacker
I am interested in early modern (Golden Age) Spanish theatre from aspects of performance, both contemporary and modern-day, in Spanish and in translation, to text-based study. I work on attributions of plays, editorial questions, genre, and the relationship of theatre to society. As far as this drama is concerned I have written mostly on Lope de Vega and Tirso de Molina. I also work on Cervantes, both his theatre and his prose works and have an interest in the early translations of Don Quijote into English.
Three of the main projects I work on or have worked on recently are:
http://catcom.uv.es/home.php (Valencia, Spain)
http://prolope.uab.cat/grupo/miembros-6.html (Barcelona, Spain)
Dr Otared Haidar
My recent and ongoing research concentrates on modern Syria and the modernizing trends and enlightenment movement in eighteenth and nineteenth-century Syria and its different communities. It applies an interdisciplinary approach to view this landscape animated by the interaction between the mainstream, counter-discourse, and other minor variations, and to explore their relations, cultural production and intellectual dialogue. The analysis examines representative cultural products of that period both as modes of expression and as sites of debates about community, identity and universality. These concepts preoccupied intellectual and political movements during their time and in the following period, and exploring them can yield vital insights into present history of Syrian Society.
I am an Ottoman historian specializing in urban life, dream narratives, and Sufism from the late fifteenth to the early eighteenth centuries. Currently I am working on a book project on the role of imagination in the making of urban communities in Ottoman Istanbul. Like their contemporaries in other cities of the early modern world, Ottoman writers produced a rich literature to orient their readers to imagine particular ways of walking, viewing, and inhabiting the city from the late fifteenth to the late seventeenth centuries. I aim to show how these narratives promoted new sites of sociability that enjoyed increasing autonomy from the imperial seat of power. In addition to my work on this book, I am also participating in an ERC-funded project on the geographies and histories of the Ottoman supernatural in which I explore why early modern Ottomans viewed ancient statues, columns, and obelisks of Istanbul as talismans. My ultimate goal in these projects is to find new material, and a new perspective, to write the history of Ottoman Istanbul not only on its own terms but also in dialogue with early modern urban scholarship.
See my Faculty page here
See my academia.edu page here
Professor Paul Lodge
My research persona is a historian of 17th Century Philosophy (with a special focus on the philosophy of G. W. Leibniz). I am editor and translator of The Leibniz-De Volder Correspondence (Yale, 2013); editor of Leibniz and His Correspondents (Cambridge, 2004) and Locke and Leibniz on Substance (Routledge, 2015 - with Tom Stoneham); and author of numerous articles on the philosophy of Leibniz. I am currently working on an edition and translation of Leibniz’s philosophical journal articles and co-editing (with Lloyd Strickland) a collection of papers introducing Leibniz's major writings (both for OUP). I have a general (but more ignorant) interest in the histories of modern German and Jewish philosophy (particularly Martins Buber and Heidegger), and 19th Century British philosophy (particularly T H Green). I also have perennial 'non-historical' interest in philosophical theology, the foundations of normativity and philosophical methodology.
Professor Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra
I am a philosopher who works on metaphysics and on 17th Century philosophy. My general interest in the latter is the metaphysics of 17th Century philosophy and I am particularly interested in the metaphysics of Descartes, Locke and Leibniz. I am also interested in the methodology of the history of philosophy. My latest book is a monograph on Leibniz, Leibniz's Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles (OUP, 2014). For more details on my publications see my Faculty's webpage and my Academia.edu webpage.
Dr Kirsten MacFarlane
I am an Associate Professor of Early Modern Christianities and a Fellow of Keble College. My research interests lie at the intersection of religious, cultural, and intellectual history in the period from the Reformation to the early Enlightenment, with an emphasis on the history of biblical scholarship in Western Europe and North America. I'm particularly interested in the early modern study of Hebrew and post-biblical Jewish literature by Reformed Protestant scholars. This is the topic of my forthcoming book on the controversial English Hebraist Hugh Broughton (1549-1612) and it's also central to my more recent work on the Dutch Hebraist Willem Surenhuis (1664-1729), who is best known for producing the first full Latin translation of the Mishnah. Together with Prof Joanna Weinberg and Dr Piet van Boxel, I'm co-editing a volume on the early modern Jewish and Christian reception of the Mishnah, and I'm also currently working on a second monograph studying the influence of late sixteenth-century European biblical criticism on colonial North America, especially on the popular religion and lay piety of early immigrants to Massachusetts.