Early Modern History

Early Modern History


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

Hume, the Epicureans, and the Origins of Liberalism: A Conversation with Aaron Zubia

April 10, 2024

Hume, the Epicureans, and the Origins of Liberalism

Aaron Alexander Zubia
Hosted by Annika Nordquist

Enlightenment philosopher David Hume enjoyed a tremendous influence on intellectual history. What did Hume believe, why was it so controversial at the…

Christopher Michael Blakley, "Empire of Brutality: Enslaved People and Animals in the British Atlantic World" (Louisiana State UP, 2023)

April 8, 2024

Empire of Brutality

Christopher Michael Blakley
Hosted by Susan Liebell

Historians of early America, slavery, early African American history, the history of science, and environmental history have interrogated the complex …

Claudio Ferlan, "The Jesuits: A Thematic History" (Institute of Jesuit Sources, 2023)

April 6, 2024

The Jesuits

Claudio Ferlan
Hosted by Roberto Mazza

In The Jesuits: A Thematic History (Institute of Jesuit Sources, 2023), Claudio Ferlan provides an exploration of the tradition of the Society of Jesu…

Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, "Merits of the Plague" (Penguin, 2023)

April 2, 2024

Merits of the Plague

Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani

Six hundred years ago, the author of this landmark work of history and religious thought—an esteemed judge, poet, and scholar in Cairo—survived the bu…

Paola Tartakoff, "Between Christian and Jew: Conversion and Inquisition in the Crown of Aragon, 1250-1391" (U Pennsylvania Press, 2012)

April 2, 2024

Between Christian and Jew

Paola Tartakoff
Hosted by Ari Barbalat

In 1341 in Aragon, a Jewish convert to Christianity was sentenced to death, only to be pulled from the burning stake and into a formal religious inter…

Marie de Vignerot, Richelieu's Forgotten Advisor and Heiress: A Conversation with Bronwen McShea

April 2, 2024

Marie de Vignerot, Richelieu's Forgotten Advisor and Heiress

Bronwen McShea
Hosted by Annika Nordquist

Despite being one of the most influential women of 17th century France, Marie de Vignerot has been largely forgotten. The niece, heiress, and advisor …

Katie Barclay, "Caritas: Neighbourly Love and the Early Modern Self" (Oxford UP, 2021)

April 1, 2024


Katie Barclay
Hosted by Shu Wan

Caritas, a form of grace that turned our love for our neighbour into a spiritual practice, was expected of all early modern Christians, and correspond…

Huaping Lu-Adler, "Kant, Race, and Racism: Views from Somewhere" (Oxford UP, 2023)

March 31, 2024

Kant, Race, and Racism

Huaping Lu-Adler

Kant scholars have paid relatively little attention to his raciology. They assume that his racism, as personal prejudice, can be disentangled from his…

W. B. Allen, "Montesquieu's 'The Spirit of the Laws': A Critical Edition" (Anthem Press, 2023)

March 31, 2024

Montesquieu's 'The Spirit of the Laws'

W. B. Allen
Hosted by Caleb Zakarin

The Spirit of the Laws not only systematizes the foundational ideas of “separation of powers” and “balances and checks,” it provides the decisive resp…

Oliver Wunsch, "A Delicate Matter: Art, Fragility, and Consumption in Eighteenth-Century France" (Penn State UP, 2024)

March 31, 2024

A Delicate Matter

Oliver Wunsch
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

Eighteenth-century France witnessed an unprecedented proliferation of materially unstable art, from oil paintings that cracked within years of their c…

Thomas Lockley, "A Gentleman from Japan: The Untold Story of an Incredible Journey from Asia to Queen Elizabeth’s Court" (Hanover Square Press, 2024)

March 30, 2024

A Gentleman from Japan

Thomas Lockley
Hosted by Jingyi Li

On November 12, 1588, five young Asian men—led by a twenty-one-year-old called Christopher—traveled up the River Thames to meet Queen Elizabeth I. Chr…

Jamie Goodall, "Daring Exploits of Pirate Black Sam Bellamy: From Cape Cod to the Caribbean" (History Press, 2023)

March 29, 2024

Daring Exploits of Pirate Black Sam Bellamy

Jamie Goodall
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

In 1717, the Council of Trade and Plantations received "agreeable news" from New England. "Bellamy with his ship and Company" had perished on the shoa…

David Veevers, "The Great Defiance: How the World Took on the British Empire" (Ebury Press, 2023)

March 28, 2024

The Great Defiance

David Veevers
Hosted by Nicholas Gordon

It’s very easy to study the history of the British Empire from the perspective of, well, the British–and to extend the early 20th century version of t…

Sanjay Subrahmanyam, "Across the Green Sea: Histories from the Western Indian Ocean, 1440-1640" (U Texas Press, 2024)

March 26, 2024

Across the Green Sea

Sanjay Subrahmanyam
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

Across the Green Sea: Histories from the Western Indian Ocean, 1440-1640 (University of Texas Press, 2024) by Dr. Sanjay Subrahmanyam presents a histo…

William Bain, "Political Theology of International Order" (Oxford UP, 2020)

March 26, 2024

Political Theology of International Order

William Bain

Is contemporary international order truly a secular arrangement? Theorists of international relations typically adhere to a narrative that portrays th…

John William Nelson, "Muddy Ground: Native Peoples, Chicago's Portage, and the Transformation of a Continent" (UNC Press, 2023)

March 23, 2024

Muddy Ground

John William Nelson
Hosted by Stephen Hausmann

The birchbark canoe is among the most remarkable Indigenous technologies in North America, facilitating mobility throughout the watery world of the Gr…

Thomas D. Conlan, "Kings in All But Name: The Lost History of Ouchi Rule in Japan, 1350-1569" (Oxford UP, 2024)

March 17, 2024

Kings in All But Name

Thomas D. Conlan
Hosted by Jingyi Li

In the sixteenth century, members of the Ouchi family were kings in all but name in much of Japan. Immensely wealthy, they controlled sea lanes stretc…

Victoria Perry, "A Bittersweet Heritage: Slavery, Architecture and the British Landscape" (Hurst, 2022)

March 14, 2024

A Bittersweet Heritage

Victoria Perry
Hosted by Katrina Anderson

The 2020 toppling of slave-trader Edward Colston's statue by Black Lives Matter protesters in Bristol was a dramatic reminder of Britain's role in tra…

Legal Cultures in the Russian Empire

March 13, 2024

Legal Cultures in the Russian Empire

Nancy Kollmann and Paolo Sartori
Hosted by Erika Monahan

Law. How does the state form and use it? How do people use and shape it? How does law shape culture? How does the practice of law change over time in …

Surya Parekh, "Black Enlightenment" (Duke UP, 2023)

March 12, 2024

Black Enlightenment

Surya Parekh
Hosted by Katrina Anderson

In Black Enlightenment (Duke UP, 2023), Surya Parekh reimagines the Enlightenment from the position of the Black subject. Parekh examines the works of…