Early Modern History

Early Modern History


Interviews with scholars of early modern history about their new books.

Jacob Lee, "Masters of the Middle Waters: Indian Nations and Colonial Ambitions Along the Mississippi" (Harvard UP, 2019)

July 16, 2024

Masters of the Middle Waters

Jacob Lee
Hosted by Ryan Tripp

America’s waterways were once the superhighways of travel and communication. Coursing through a central line across the landscape, with tributaries co…

Emily Wilbourne, "Voice, Slavery, and Race in Seventeenth-Century Florence" (Oxford UP, 2023)

July 16, 2024

Voice, Slavery, and Race in Seventeenth-Century Florence

Emily Wilbourne
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

Grounded in new archival research documenting a significant presence of foreign and racially-marked individuals in Medici Florence, Voice, Slavery, an…

Toby Green, "A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution" (U Chicago Press, 2019)

July 15, 2024

A Fistful of Shells

Toby Green
Hosted by Mark Klobas

All too often, the history of early modern Africa is told from the perspective of outsiders. In his book A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Ris…

Mark Peterson, "The City-State of Boston: The Rise and Fall of an Atlantic Power, 1630-1865" (Princeton UP, 2019)

July 14, 2024

The City-State of Boston

Mark Peterson
Hosted by Ryan Tripp

In the vaunted annals of America’s founding, Boston has long been held up as an exemplary “city upon a hill” and the “cradle of liberty” for an indepe…

James D. Fisher, "The Enclosure of Knowledge: Books, Power and Agrarian Capitalism in Britain, 1660–1800" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

July 12, 2024

The Enclosure of Knowledge

James D. Fisher
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

The rise of agrarian capitalism in Britain is usually told as a story about markets, land and wages. The Enclosure of Knowledge: Books, Power and Agra…

Ed Simon, "Devil's Contract: A History of the Faustian Bargain" (Melville House, 2024)

July 9, 2024

Devil's Contract

Ed Simon
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

From ancient times to the modern world, the idea of the Faustian bargain—the exchange of one’s soul in return for untold riches and power—has exerted …

Tabitha Stanmore, "Cunning Folk: Life in the Era of Practical Magic" (Bloombury, 2024)

July 7, 2024

Cunning Folk

Tabitha Stanmore

Imagine: it's the year 1600 and you've lost your precious silver spoons, or maybe they've been stolen. Perhaps your child has a fever. Or you're facin…

Elizabeth Storr Cohen and Marlee J. Couling, "Non-Elite Women's Networks Across the Early Modern World" (Amsterdam UP, 2023)

July 6, 2024

Non-Elite Women's Networks Across the Early Modern World

Elizabeth Storr Cohen and Marlee J. Couling
Hosted by Jana Byars

Elizabeth Cohen, Professor Emerita at York University, joins Jana Byars to talk about her new volume, Non-Elite Women's Networks Across the Early Mode…

Timothy Grieve-Carlson, "American Aurora: Environment and Apocalypse in the Life of Johannes Kelpius" (Oxford UP, 2024)

July 6, 2024

American Aurora

Timothy Grieve-Carlson
Hosted by Ahmed Almaazmi

American Aurora: Environment and Apocalypse in the Life of Johannes Kelpius (Oxford UP, 2024) explores the impact of climate change on early modern ra…

Jeremy Black, "Defoe's Britain" (St. Augustine's Press, 2023)

July 5, 2024

Defoe's Britain

Jeremy Black
Hosted by Charles Coutinho

The Weight of Words Series continues with Defoe's Britain (St. Augustine's Press, 2023), as historian Jeremy Black uses this writer to interpret Brita…

Denva Gallant, "Illuminating the Vitae Patrum: The Lives of Desert Saints in Fourteenth-Century Italy" (Penn State UP, 2024)

June 29, 2024

Illuminating the Vitae Patrum

Denva Gallant
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

During the fourteenth century in Western Europe, there was a growing interest in imitating the practices of a group of hermits known as the Desert Fat…

Matthew Goldmark, "Forms of Relation: Composing Kinship in Colonial Spanish America" (U Virginia Press, 2023)

June 28, 2024

Forms of Relation

Matthew Goldmark
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

Drawing on literary texts, conversion manuals, and colonial correspondence from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain and Peru, Forms of Relation: …

Nicola Clark, "The Waiting Game: The Untold Story of the Women Who Served the Tudor Queens" (Norton, 2024)

June 28, 2024

The Waiting Game

Nicola Clark
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

Every Tudor Queen had ladies-in-waiting. They were her confidantes and her chaperones. Only the Queen's ladies had the right to enter her most private…

Matthijs Lok, "Europe Against Revolution: Conservatism, Enlightenment, and the Making of the Past" (Oxford UP, 2023)

June 24, 2024

Europe Against Revolution

Matthijs Lok

Contemporary Europe seems to be divided between progressive cosmopolitans sympathetic to the European Union and the ideals of the Enlightenment, and c…

Henry Reece, "The Fall: The Last Days of the English Republic" (Yale UP, 2024)

June 23, 2024

The Fall

Henry Reece
Hosted by Crawford Gribben

Why did England's one experiment in republican rule fail? Oliver Cromwell's death in 1658 sparked a period of unrivalled turmoil and confusion in Eng…

Judith Vitale et al., "Drugs and the Politics of Consumption in Japan" (Brill, 2023)

June 22, 2024

Drugs and the Politics of Consumption in Japan

Judith Vitale, Miriam Kingsberg Kadia, and Oleg Benesch
Hosted by Ran Zwigenberg

In early modern Japan, upper status groups coveted pills and powders made of exotic foreign ingredients such as mummy and rhinoceros horn. By the earl…

Genji Yasuhira, "Catholic Survival in the Dutch Republic: Agency in Coexistence and the Public Sphere in Utrecht, 1620-1672" (Amsterdam UP, 2024)

June 21, 2024

Catholic Survival in the Dutch Republic

Genji Yasuhira
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

Even in adversity, Catholics exercised considerable agency in post-Reformation Utrecht. Through the political practices of repression and toleration, …

Harry R. McCarthy, "Boy Actors in Early Modern England" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

June 17, 2024

Boy Actors in Early Modern England

Harry R. McCarthy
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

Boy Actors in Early Modern England: Skill and Stagecraft in the Theatre (Cambridge University Press, 2022) by Dr. Harry McCarthy provides a new approa…

Carlos M. N. Eire, "They Flew: A History of the Impossible" (Yale UP, 2023)

June 16, 2024

They Flew

Carlos M. N. Eire
Hosted by Meghan Cochran

In the early modern era, seemingly impossible stories of levitation, bilocation, and witchcraft were common and believable. The important question of …

Sudev Sheth, "Bankrolling Empire: Family Fortunes and Political Transformation in Mughal India" (Cambridge UP, 2024)

June 13, 2024

Bankrolling Empire

Sudev Sheth
Hosted by Nicholas Gordon

Running and securing an empire can get expensive–especially one known for its opulence, like the Mughal Empire, which conquered much of northern India…