The department's program in Early Modern History prepares students to teach in universities, colleges, and other educational institutions as well for careers in research, writing and editing historical works. Students pursue a rigorous academic program that emphasizes familiarity with secondary works and original work in primary sources, and develop linguistic, archival, and paleographic skills in preparation for research in archives and libraries. At present the Early Modern Program's particular strengths are in the social, cultural, and religious history of Italy and the Low Countries. The Department, in coordination with other departments and with the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, offers courses in the social, cultural, and intellectual history of the Renaissance and of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations.


The Department of History offers a course of study leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. Students receive a broad education in the history of the Renaissance and Reformation (and its classical and patristic roots), specializing in such topics as:

  • late medieval economic and social history
  • Renaissance humanism
  • cultural history of Renaissance Italy and Reformation Europe
  • Roman Inquisition
  • popular devotion in sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe
  • history of popular religion
  • history of social discipline
  • global encounters
  • history of gender in Renaissance learning and Reformation piety

The Institute of Jesuit Sources is world renowned for its publication of primary sources in Jesuit history. Graduate students are welcome to join the Early Modern Dissertation Reading Group, an inter-university and interdisciplinary seminar that meets monthly at the Washington University Hilltop campus. Through the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Saint Louis University belongs to Chicago's Newberry Library Consortium, which provides subsidized opportunities to the Department's graduate students for primary research in the Newberry's excellent collections and for attendance at seminars and courses offered through the Newberry Library.

Library Resources

Pius XII Memorial Library
, which contains over 2.5 million volumes, is an exceptionally rich resource for the history of Early Modern Europe. In addition to a wealth of secondary sources, journals, printed primary sources, microfilmed primary sources (the history of the Jansenist movement is especially well-represented here), critical editions, and bibliographies, to be found in the main collection, the Vatican Film Library houses microfilms of over 38,000 manuscripts from the Vatican Library in Rome, founded by Nicholas V in 1450. In addition, there are microfilms of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts collected from 106 libraries all over continental Europe and England. The late Paul Oskar Kristeller and the late Charles Ermatinger collaborated in the early 1950s to bring to St. Louis on microfilm virtually every manuscript of importance to the humanist revival of Greek and Latin learning, as well as important documents relating to the history of Catholic and Protestant reform during the early modern period, and Renaissance science and medicine. Many of the Vatican's early printed books are also on microfilm, including the Jesuitica collection documenting the activities of Jesuits throughout the world. The Saint Louis University Museum contains artifacts (formerly housed at St. Stanislaus in Florissant, Missouri) of the earliest Jesuit missions to the New World. The Saint Louis Room houses over 4,200 books printed between 1478 and 1700, and well over a hundred manuscripts and manuscript illuminations from late medieval France, Italy, and Spain. Finally, the library system provides rapid interlibrary loan access to many libraries across the state of Missouri.

Off-campus Resources

Students have access off-campus to the Grolier collection of manuscripts and printed books at the St. Louis Public Library, the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at the Washington University Hilltop Campus, early printed books collection at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Paracelsus collection at the Washington University School of Medicine, considered to be the best Paracelsus collection in the world. The Center for Reformation Research at Concordia Seminary in Clayton also provides a wealth of primary sources and reference materials for the Protestant Reformation.


Philip Gavitt, Ph.D., (Michigan) Renaissance Italy, History of Childhood, History of Charity

Lorri Glover, Ph.D. (Kentucky) Early America, Family History, Gender History

James Hitchcock, Ph.D. (Princeton) Early Modern Continental History, Tudor and Stuart Britain, Church History

Nathaniel Millet,Ph.D. (Cambridge) Atlantic World, Borderlands, Anglo and Spanish North America

Charles H. Parker, Ph.D. (Minnesota) Early Modern Continental History, Reformation and Counter-Reformation, Low Countries

Jennifer Popiel, Ph.D. (Penn) Enlightenment, Domesticity and Gender, Education, History of France, History of Religion

Michal Rozbicki, Ph.D. (Warsaw): Colonial America, intercultural history and theory, and Director of the Center for Intercultural Studies


Faculty in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies in Other Departments

  • Simone Bregni, Ph.D. (Connecticut) Modern and Classical Languages (Italian)
  • Mary Dunn, Ph.D. (Harvard) Theological Studies
  • Julia Lieberman, Ph.D. (Yale) Modern and Classical Languages (Spanish)
  • Kathleen Llewllyn, Ph.D. (Washington University) Modern and Classical Languages (French)
  • Jack Marler, Ph.D. (Toronto) Philosophy
  • Clarence Miller, Ph.D., (Harvard) English, emeritus
  • Ana Montero,, Ph.D. (Michigan) Modern and Classical Languages (Spanish)
  • Kenneth Parker, Ph.D. (Cambridge) Theological Studies
  • Gregory Pass, Ph.D. (Harvard) Vatican Film Librarian
  • Albert Rotola, S.J., Ph.D. (Catholic University) Fine and Performing Arts (Music)
  • Jennifer Rust, Ph.D. (UC Irvine) English
  • Jonathan Sawday, Ph.D. (University of London) English
  • Cynthia Stollhans, Ph.D. (Northwestern) Fine and Performing Arts (Art History)
  • Donald Stump, Ph.D. (Cornell) English
  • Paul Shore, Ph.D. (Stanford) Educational Studies
  • Sarah Van den Berg, Ph.D. (Yale) English


historical images