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Graduate Studies - Early Modern History

Last updated June 2020

Vanderbilt has a vibrant group of scholars in Early Modern history. Faculty research and teaching interests include geographic specialists in England/Britain, France, Germany, Italy, eastern Europe, India, and China. Among the areas of inquiry are legal, religious, economic, cultural, and gender/sexuality history. The Early Modern faculty work closely with historians of antiquity and medieval history, and in collaboration with the programs in Classical and Mediterranean Studies, Jewish Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, the departments of English, French and Italian, and German, Russian and East European Studies, History of Art, and the Pro-Modern Cultural Studies Seminar (Robert Penn Warren Center.)

We welcome applications from potential graduate students interested in particular subject areas as well as in the questions and methods shared by all historians of early modern societies, including how to work with incomplete, fragmentary, or (deliberately) misleading evidence, how to reconstruct the world of culture and symbols, how to push beyond the learned texts that predominate in the historical record, and how to ask meaningful questions about the past.

There is no prescribed graduate curriculum; students are invited to craft their own program within the framework of the History Department Ph.D. requirements during coursework, but a applicant’s prior preparation, including knowledge of languages necessary to undertake Ph.D. level research, and the writing sample are particularly important factors. Applicants are encouraged to contact potential supervisors in advance.

Current Faculty

Lauren Clay (History)
Katherine Crawford (History/Gender)
Joel Harrington (History/Religion)
Peter Lake (History/Divinity)
Paul Lim (Divinity/History)
Samira Sheikh (History/Asian Studies)


Ari Bryen (History/Classical & Mediterranean Studies)
William Caferro (History/Classical and Mediterranean Studies)
Leor Halevi (History/Law/Islamic Studies)
Peter Lorge (History/Asian Studies)
Tom McGinn (History/Law)
David Wasserstein (History/Jewish Studies)

Affiliated Faculty/Other Departments

Philip Ackerman-Lieberman (Jewish Studies/History/Law)
Lynn Enterline (English)
Edward Friedman (Spanish and Portuguese)
Jessie Hock (English)
Christopher Johns (History of Art)
Jonathan Lamb (English)
David Michelson (Divinity/History/Classical and Mediterranean Studies)
Bridget Orr (English)
David Price (Religious Studies/Jewish Studies)
Kathryn Schwarz (English)
Holly Tucker (French and Italian)

Current Graduate Students

Jonathan Baddley early modern European religious and political history
Alexander Belovsky early modern France
Shounak Ghosh early modern South Asia
Jessica Lowe Germany during the Reformation 
Kathryn Marshalek early modern England
Dipanjan Mazumder early modern South Asia
Jesse McCarthy Reformation England 
Samantha Rogers Reformation England
Hillary Taylor Italy and Reformation  
Marina Walters Reformation England 
Anna Young masculinity in early modern England

Recent Graduates

Katie McKenna (2019) "Fashioning Adria, Fashioning Femininity: Venetian Women and the Radicalization of the Querelle des Femmes 1550-1635."

Katherine Lazo (2018) "'Rigour upon men's consciences': National Identity, Religion, and English Catholics during the Interregnum."

Sean Bortz (2018) "Thinking with Jews: Jews and Judaism and the Struggle for Orthodoxy in late Medieval and Reformation England."

Cassandra Painter (2018) "The Life and Afterlife of Anna Katharina Emmerick: Reimagining Catholicism in Modern Germany."


Program in Classical and Mediterranean Studies
Program in Jewish Studies
Program in Women’s and Gender Studies