We have more than thirty Renaissance faculty working in eighteen departments and programs around the university. This list is alphabetical; for a list of faculty by department click here.
Michael I. Allen
Associate Professor, Classics. Associate, History
Michael I. Allen works on the textual transmission and reception of Greek and Latin classics in the Medieval and Renaissance worlds, especially Carolingian literary culture, Latin Palaeography, Tironian Notes (Early Latin Shorthand), and libraries and learning in Early Medieval France and Germany. He translates Medieval Latin, and offers students in Medieval and Renaissance fields advanced training in paleography, Latin, and Medieval Latin. His current project examines Lupus of Ferrières whose circle and library are key source for the history of books and movement of scholars in the ninth century, especially the transmission of Cicero. More Information.
Associate Professor of Art History and the College
Niall Atkinson's scholarship focuses on Italy, and considers the social dimensions of architecture through a series of research themes derived from his interest in the historical understanding of urban experience. The Noisy Renaissance: Sound, Architecture, and Florentine Urban Life (2016) he examines urban soundscapes, the city at night, the urban sensorium (i.e. phenomenology, architecture, and the senses), urban itineraries (navigating and negotiating urban space), urban signs, the piazza and the body public, and storytelling and the art of city-building. More information.
Phyllis Fay Horton Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus Professor of English
David Bevington’s teaching and research focus on Shakespeare and his contemporaries (Jonson, Marlowe, Webster, Middleton, Dekker, etc.), as well as medieval drama and then the entire sweep of Western drama from Aeschylus and Sophocles down to Caryl Churchill and Tom Stoppard. His critical writing and scholarship reflect to a large degree these same passionate interests. More Information.
Assistant Professor of Spanish Literature
Larissa Brewer-García specializes in colonial Latin American studies, with a focus on cultural productions of the Caribbean and Andes and the African diaspora in the early modern Spanish empire. Her research and teaching interests include the relationship between literature and law, genealogies of race and racism, humanism and Catholicism in the early modern Atlantic, and translation studies. Her current book project, “Beyond Babel: Translation and the Making of Blackness in Colonial Spanish America,” examines the influence of black interpreters and go-betweens in the creation and circulation of notions of blackness in writings from 16th- and 17th-century Spanish America. She is also working on “Saints’ Lives of the Early Black Atlantic,” a translation and critical edition of hagiographies of individuals of African descent written in Spanish from the 16th and 17th centuries. More information.
Post-Doctoral Scholar in Italian Studies
Federica Caneparo is a historian of literature and art. Federica’s research interests include the history of the book, the culture of Italian Renaissance, art and politics, and the relation between visual arts and literature, especially Ariosto's Orlando furioso, Dante’s Commedia, Boccaccio’s Decameron, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and Erasmus' Adagia. Before moving to Chicago, Federica taught at the University of Pennsylvania, and has carried out her research at Princeton University. She has been the recipient of fellowships from the École Normale Supérieure, the Warburg Institute, and the Houghton Library, and she has collaborated in organizing various exhibitions in Italy. Currently, she is investigating the role of the visual arts in the construction of the Italian literary canon. More Information.
Postdoctoral Researcher and Instructor at the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge
Margaret Carlyle’s research focuses on the production of scientific, medical, and technological knowledge in seventeenth- and eigheenth-century France and its colonies. She is particularly interested in the enterprising efforts of women and other “invisible assistants” in forging scientific careers, both outside of and within institutional settings. More information.
Mary Anne Case
Arnold I. Shure Professor of Law
A graduate of Yale College and the Harvard Law School, Mary Anne Case studied at the University of Munich; litigated for Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York; and was professor of law and Class of 1966 Research Professor at the University of Virginia before joining the Law School faculty. She has taught include feminist jurisprudence, constitutional law, regulation of sexuality, marriage, family law, sex discrimination, religious freedom, and European legal systems. She is the convenor of the Workshop on Regulating Family, Sex, and Gender. While her diverse research interests include German contract law, theological anthropology, and the First Amendment, her scholarship to date has concentrated on the regulation of sex, gender, sexuality, religion, and the family; and on the early history of feminism. More information.
Mary L. Block Professor of Art History, Visual Arts and the College
Charles Cohen studies Italian Renaissance and Mannerist art. Currently he is examining the works of Venetian and other northern Italian artists as well as the themes of provincialism, religious art before the Council of Trent, and the changing role of drawing in the creative process in Italian art. He has been the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship and a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship among numerous other awards. He has chaired the departments of Art History and Visual Arts, and has been a Resident Master of Pierce Hall for 22 years. More information.
Frederick de Armas
Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities, Spanish Literature, and Comparative Literature; Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Studies Graduate Adviser
Frederick A. de Armas is a literary scholar, critic and novelist whose scholarly work focuses on the literature of Renaissance and Early Modern Spain (Cervantes, Calderón, Claramonte, Lope de Vega), often from a comparative perspective. His interests include the politics of astrology; magic and the Hermetic tradition; ekphrasis; the relations between the verbal and the visual particularly between Spanish literature and Italian art; and the interconnections between myth and empire during the rule of the Habsburgs. His publications include: Quixotic Frescoes: Cervantes and Italian Renaissance Art andDon Quixote Among the Saracens: A Clash of Civilizations and Literary Genres. He is currently working on spaces, places and architectures in Cervantes. More information.
Professor of French Literature; Director, Undergraduate Program in Medieval Studies
Dasiy Delogu is Chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, and director of the undergraduate French program. She works on Medieval and Renaissance French literature, especially ways in which individuals construct their sense of identity (personal, poetic, political, gendered, etc.) in relation to a social order that is subject to conflict and renegotiation of roles. Her book Allegorical Bodies: Power and Gender in Late Medieval France (2015) examines the processes by which gendered language, law, and thought faciliated the articulation of new notions of France and French identity during the tumultuous reign of the mad king Charles VI (1380-1422). More information.
Howard L. Willett Professor in Romance Languages and Literature, History of Culture, and the College; French Graduate Adviser
Philippe Desan was born in France, and trained there in Political Economy and Sociology and in the USA in French literature. During the last fifteen years his research has focused on Montaigne and the history of ideas in France during the sixteenth century. He is the general editor of Montaigne Studies. His teaching interests are Montaigne, Rabelais, sociological and historical approaches to the French Renaissance, Early Modern economic theories, nineteenth-century literature and philosophy, sociology of literature and culture. He also direct the European Civilization Core program at the University of Chicago Center in Paris. More information.
Mabel Greene Myers Professor of Music and the Humanities in the College
Martha Feldman is a cultural historian of European vernacular musics, ca. 1500-1950, with a concentration on Italy. She examines the senses and sensibilities of listeners, the interplay of myth, festivity, and kingship in opera, issues of cinema, media, and voice, and various incarnations of the musical artist. Her publications include City Culture and the Madrigal at Venice (1995), Opera and Sovereignty: Transforming Myths in Eighteenth-Century Italy (2010), and a group project published in conjunction with an international team of scholars together with her graduate students in The Courtesan’s Arts: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (co-edited, Oxford, 2006). More information.
Kanuni Suleyman Professor, Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies
Cornell Fleischer focuses primarily on Ottoman history, specializing in the Age of Suleyman. His teaching and mentoring helps students of the Renaissance period examine the broader Mediterranean world and the often-neglected cultural and political interconnections between Europe and the East. Currently he is working on a major work on Suleyman the Lawgiver as well as a number of papers dealing with the time period. In addition, he has begun work on Apocalypticism and its relationship to his field of study. He also sits on the editorial board of the Cambridge Studies in Early Modern History and the International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. More information.
Associate Professor of Art History and the College
Professor Fromont's writing and teaching focus on the visual, material, and religious culture of Africa and Latin America in early modern period (ca 1500-1800), especially the Portuguese-speaking Atlantic World. She offers students of the Renaissance a broader perspective on the global reach of Renaissance culture. She is currently working on areas of intersection between visual and material culture, religion, and knowledge creation in cross-cultural environments of early modern Africa and Latin America through projects on Franciscan Capuchin images of Kongo and Angola composed between 1650 and 1750, and on the circulation of African visual, material, and religious culture in the early modern Atlantic world. More information.
Assistant Professor of English
Timothy Harrison studies the relationship between language, history, and lived experience. His research and teaching focus on how sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature intersects with practices of knowledge production ranging from the sciences to theology. Combining a historical focus on early modernity with the study of phenomenological philosophy, his work probes a range of verbal techniques for articulating (and perhaps inventing) modes of experience that resist comprehension. More information.
Ruth Wyatt Rosenson Distinguished Service Professor of Law
Dick Helmholz came to the University of Chicago in 1981 after teaching for ten years at Washington University in St. Louis. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he also received an AB in French literature from Princeton University and a PhD in medieval history from the University of California at Berkeley. His teaching interests have been centered in the law of property and in various aspects of natural resources law. His research interests have been concentrated in legal history. In the latter, his principal contribution has been to show the relevance of the Roman and canon laws to the development of the common law. More information.
Allan Grant Maclear Professor of History and the College; Chair of the Committee on the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science
Adrian Johns’s research focuses on the history of the sciences, history of the book and media, and intellectual piracy and property from the Renaissance to the present. He is the author of Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates, The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making, and the forthcoming Death of a Pirate. The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making (University of Chicago Press, 1998), won the Leo Gershoy Award of the American Historical Association, the John Ben Snow Prize of the North American Conference on British Studies, the Louis Gottschalk Prize of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and the SHARP Prize for the best work on the history of authorship, reading and publishing. More information.
Instructor, Curator of European Art, Smart Museum of Art
Anne Leonard’s principal appointment is as Curator and Associate Director of Academic Initiatives at the Smart Museum, where she has worked since 2003. She oversees the pre-1900 European collection and has curated numerous exhibitions of European and American art, often in collaboration with University faculty and graduate students. More information.
Professor of Italian Literature and the Committee on the History of Culture; Italian Graduate Adviser
Professor Maggi’s scholarship focuses on two major areas: early modern culture (Renaissance philosophy, magic and demonology, Neoplatonic love treatises, women writers, religious literature, Renaissance emblems, baroque culture) and contemporary culture. He is currently working on Renaissance epic poetry and Marino's L'Adone. His latest essay is on Giambattista Della Porta's view of magic and demonology. He is the author of many books. His latest work is the volume titled Preserving the Spell (2015, University of Chicago Press; Premio Flaiano Italianistica 2016) on the Western interpretation of folk and fairy tales from Giambattista Basile’s Lo cunto de li cunti to the French late seventeenth-century tradition, German Romanticism, and American post-modernism. More information.
Assistant Professor of Spanish Literature and the College
My research and teaching focus on the cultural and literary histories of early modern Iberia and colonial Latin America. I am generally interested in the ways in which some early modern historical processes such as the printing and military revolutions, or the first globalization, contributed to a partial democratization of literary practices. In this sense, I have taught and published on topics such as war writing, book history, travel literature, autobiography, and popular culture. Secondly, my work is concerned with the role that literary practices and institutions have played historically in the configuration of Iberia (and its worlds) as a space of remarkable linguistic, cultural, and political complexity. In this regard, I have published on topics such as linguistic history, translation, Luso-Hispanic relations, and cultural competition. More information.
John P McCormick
Professor of Political Science
John P. McCormick's Renaissance-related research and teaching focus on social conflict in the Roman and Florentine republics, and Florentine political philosophy and constitutional theory, especially Machiavelli and Guicciardini. More information.
Associate Professor of English
Ellen McKay works and writes in two overlapping fields: early modern English drama and public culture (including sermons, royal entries, ballads, mayoral pageants, beast baitings, polemics, satires, and feuds) and Western theatre and performance, from the Greeks to the present. Her approach to the Shakespearean stage is driven by the epistemological problems that the theatre poses to a culture eager to draw a clear line between artifice and authenticity. More information.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge
Stuart M. McManus (Ph.D. Harvard) is a scholar of pre-modern global empires with a particular focus on Latin America (Mexico and Peru) and Iberian Asia (Portuguese India and the Spanish Philippines). His first book project, “Empire of Eloquence: Humanism and Iberian Global Expansion,” argues that the classical rhetorical tradition was a key technology of empire and evangelization in the early modern Americas and Asia that can be only understood fully by taking a global perspective. At Chicago, he teaches courses on Mexico, globalization and the early modern Iberian world. More information.
Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy
Daniel’s interests extend broadly across the history of philosophy. He specializes in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European philosophy, particularly the philosophy of Benedict Spinoza. Daniel’s research on Spinoza is driven by an attempt to understand how much of Spinoza’s Ethics is an expression of adequate knowledge by Spinoza’s own lights. In a number of papers and a larger, developing book-length project, he argues that surprisingly little of the Ethics expresses adequate knowledge. Daniel also has research interests in ancient Greek philosophy, Buddhist philosophy, and early analytic philosophy.
Visiting Professor of Social Thought and of Classics
At Chicago Glenn Most has taught courses on Classical texts (mostly Greek poetical and philosophical ones), on such post-Classical authors as Dante, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Nietzsche, Proust, and Walter Benjamin, and on the methods of Classics and of Comparative Literature. He has published books on Classics, on the history and methodology of Classical studies, on the Classical tradition and Comparative Literature, on literary theory, and on the history of art, and has published numerous articles, reviews, and translations in these fields and also on modern philosophy and literature.Recently he has published a thorough revision of the Grene and Lattimore translations of Greek tragedy and a nine-volume Greek and English Loeb edition of the Presocratics. His current projects include a bilingual edition of the complete corpus of ancient and medieval scholia and commentaries to Hesiod’s Theogony and several collaborative studies of philological procedures in various Classical Traditions, including Chinese, Indian, Hebrew, Arabic, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Greek, and Latin. More information.
Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Professor Committee on Social Thought, Department of History, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Center for Jewish Studies, and the College
Much of Professor Nirenberg’s work has focused on the ways in which Jewish, Christian, and Islamic cultures constitute themselves by interrelating with or thinking about each other. His work on these three religious traditions ranges across literary, artistic, historiographic, and philosophical genres. But even more generally, his interest seems is in the history of how the possibilities and limits of community and communication have been imagined. In order to explore these more general questions he is engaged in two long-term thematic projects: the first, a history of love’s central place in a number of ancient, medieval, and modern idealizations of communication and exchange, and the second, a parallel study of poison as a representation of communication’s dangers. And finally, as is a tradition here at the University of Chicago, he is also interested in exploring the grounds of possibility for knowledge. To that end he is collaborating with a mathematician (Ricardo Nirenberg) on a book exploring the various types of sameness that underpin the relative claims of different forms of knowledge, in the hope of discovering new ways of understanding both the powers and the limits of the sciences and the humanities. More information.
Professor of Theology and the History of Christianity; also in the College; Associate Faculty in the Department of History, Social Sciences Division; Director, Martin Marty Center
Willemien Otten studies the history of Christianity and Christian thought with a focus on the medieval and the early Christian intellectual tradition, especially in the West, and an emphasis on the continuity of Platonic themes. She has worked on the Carolingian thinker Johannes Scottus Eriugena and on twelfth-century humanistic thinkers including Peter Abelard. Her preferred approach is to analyze medieval thought and theology as an amalgam of biblical, classical, and patristic influences which, woven together, constitute their own intellectual matrix. Within this matrix the place and role of nature and humanity interest her most. Her studies in medieval humanism and her extensive work in the reception history of Saint Augustine inform her abiding interest in the Reformation and the thought of John Calvin. More information.
Professor of Political Science
John F. Padgett (Ph.D., Michigan, 1978) is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Currently he conducts research in the related areas of organizational invention and of state and market co-evolution, mostly in the context of Renaissance Florence but also through agent-based modeling. In the past, Padgett has published in the topics of organization theory, social network analysis, federal budgeting, plea bargaining, and stochastic processes. A short biography of John Padgett is available in The Bulletin of the Santa Fe Institute. More information.
Assistant Professor of History; Gender Center; SIFK
Ada Palmer's research on intellectual history, or the history of ideas, explores how history and thought shape each other over time. The Italian Renaissance is a perfect moment for approaching this question because at that point the ideas about science, religion, and the world that had developed in the Middle Ages suddenly met those of the ancient world, reconstructed from rediscovered sources. All at once many beliefs, scientific systems, and perceived worlds clashed, mixed, and produced an unprecedented range of new ideas, which in turn shaped the following centuries and, thereby, our current world. More information.
Professor of Classics and the College, and in the Committee on Social Thought
Don M. Randel
Professor Emeritus of Music
Don Michael Randel is Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of Chicago, a prominent American musicologist, and the fifth, now retired, president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He has previously served as the twelfth president of the University of Chicago and during that time as faculty member in the Department of Music. While on the faculty at Cornell University, he chaired the Department of Music there, and served as Provost and as Dean of Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences. More information.
Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, Theater and Performance Studies, and the College
Rocco Rubini’s first book The Other Renaissance: Italian Humanism between Hegel and Heidegger (Chicago, 2014) is an intellectual history that seeks to re-evaluate the received narrative regarding the making of so-called Continental philosophy and its transformation into “theory” between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It explores modern Italian philosophy (1801-1947) through the lens of Renaissance scholarship and argues for a strong intellectual connection and solidarity between Italian Renaissance humanists and Italian nineteenth- and twentieth-century thinkers. In doing so it complicates our relationship to the origins of modernity and reveals the Italian intellectual tradition as a useful supplement to our modern and postmodern consciousness. More information.
Helen A. Regenstein Professor of English
Josh Scodel’s research focuses on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literary history in relation to intellectual, cultural, and political history. Special interests include early modern English literature’s engagements with classical and Renaissance continental literature and philosophy; Renaissance genre theory and practice; and literary criticism’s relation to literary practice, ancient to early modern. More information.
David Carroll Simon
Assistant Professor of English Language and Literature
Early modernity is the focus but not the horizon of David Simon’s research, which takes up issues that connect (and divide) past and present: the history of science and technology; the history of the passions (including the history of sexuality); rhetoric, hermeneutics, and other strands of Renaissance “literary theory”; Reformation theology; Marxian historiography and social theory; and the history of piety. He understands both of my long-term research projects as together composing a sustained effort to re-describe values (objectivity, disenchantment) that eventually came to be understood as defining features of Enlightenment by returning to the scenes of their emergence in early modernity. His ongoing teaching commitments are to Shakespeare, Milton, the literature of the seventeenth century, the history of philosophy, and the history and theory of sexuality. More information.
Professor of Italian Literature
Professor Steinberg joined the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures faculty in 2003. His scholarship focuses on medieval Italian literature, especially on Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, and the early lyric. Related interests include manuscript culture/material philology, reception studies, the connections between legal and literary culture, and medieval political theory. More information.
Frank L. Sulzberger Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus
Richard Strier brings together two modes of literary study that have, traditionally but needlessly, been seen as antagonistic: formalism and historicism. His research focuses on the intellectual history of the early modern period, especially theological and political ideas. He is interested in the ideas themselves but even more in the ways in which they find their way into English and American literature in the period. More information.
Karl J. Weintraub Professor of Social Thought and Political Science and in the College
Professor Nathan Tarcov’s scholarly interests include the history of political theory, education and family in political theory, and principles of U.S. foreign policy. Aside from the books listed below, he has published numerous pieces on Machiavelli, Locke, the American Founding, Leo Strauss, and topics such as democracy, constitutionalism, and revolution. More information.
Special Collections Librarian
Catherine Uecker is a rare books librarian at the Special Collections of the University of Chicago. She helps faculty and students with teaching and research, especially navigating the catalog and finding appropriate items for projects. She is responsible for collection development, management, and description and access of the Special Collections Research Center's rare book and print collections. She is the interim instruction librarian for SCRC and supports learning and teaching by facilitating quarter-long and single session classes using rare books, manuscripts, and archives. More information.
Elissa B. Weaver
Professor Emerita of Italian Literature
Professor Weaver is a scholar of early modern Italian literature and language. She is the author of articles on the Italian epic-chivalric tradition (on Boiardo, Berni, and Ariosto), on Boccaccio’s Decameron, and on the writing of women, especially convent women. She has published a monograph on a women’s literary tradition, Convent Theatre in Early Modern Italy: Spiritual Fun and Learning for Women (2002), a study of the life and religious plays of Antonia Tanini Pulci, Saints’ Lives and Bible Stories for the Stage (2010), and critical editions of Beatrice del Sera’s spiritual comedy, Amor di virtú (1990), and of the seventeenth-century debate between Francesco Buoninsegni and Arcangela Tarabotti, Satira Antisatira (1998); she has edited two collections of essays: The Decameron First Day in Perspective (2004) and Arcangela Tarabotti, a Literary Nun in Baroque Venice (2006); and co-edited with Joshua Scodel a festschrift, Selva Filologica: Essays in Honor of Paolo Cherchi (2003). More information.
Associate Professor of Germanic Studies, Theater and Performance Studies, and the College; Associated Faculty in the Divinity School
Christopher Wild's current projects examine the ways in which theology and religion inform developments that are generally considered genuinely modern. Most immediately, he is working on a book that asks the seemingly simple question why Descartes’ founding text of modern philosophy was titledMeditations on First Philosophy in order to take its generic affiliation seriously. A more long-term project concerns a media history of the Reformation and is going to be collaborative - together with Helmut Puff (University of Michigan) and Ulrike Strasser (UC Irvine). In cooperation with Juliane Vogel (University of Konstanz) and David