Summer Fellowship at the Meeter Center

Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 9.17.06 AMFor the month of June 2017, I was lucky to be in Grand Rapids, Michigan as a Student Fellow at the H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies at Calvin College, where I completed research for my dissertation. I also gave a lecture on my findings, titled “Reformation & Transformation: From Convent to Hospital in Calvin’s Geneva.” Continue reading “Summer Fellowship at the Meeter Center”

Leprosy & Charity in Medieval Rouen

9780861933396_67_1_2My review of Elma Brenner’s Leprosy and Charity in Medieval Rouen (Suffolk: Boydell and Brewer, 2015) has just appeared in Insights: Notes from the Coordinating Council for Women in History — but read the review here!

“In her recent monograph, Leprosy and Charity in Medieval Rouen, Elma Brenner, subject specialist in medieval and early modern medicine at the Wellcome Library, examines leprosaria in in medieval Rouen, paying special attention to the tension between the charity that linked leprosaria with their communities and Continue reading “Leprosy & Charity in Medieval Rouen”

Archives & Archival Research

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Registres des Tutelles (AEG Arch. hosp. Ia1), 1r

The goal of this post is first to explain what archives are, and then to provide some tips on the process of conducting archival research. This should help non-historians to understand a bit more about the process of researching and writing history, and archival “newbies” think about beginning their own archival research. I also hope to help explain the Genevan archives in particular, which might help students of Geneva understand what to expect as they begin conducting their own archival research.  Continue reading “Archives & Archival Research”

Travel Edition: Budapest

And now, for something completely different!

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From the ruin pub Szimpla Kert

My brother and my very good friend Jennifer have been on a major European adventure for the last two weeks, and I was fortunate to be able to join them in Budapest!

We were really only there for two full days, but we more than made the most of it! We saw Parliament, the Buda Castle, St. Stephen’s Basilica, Heroes’ Square, went for a boat tour on the Danube River, took a dip in the Gellért Thermal Baths, and finished up with a ride on the Budapest Eye. Our days were full, the food was great (especially the vegan food truck ‘Las Vegans’ we stumbled into!), and it was an amazing experience to share. In this post I’ve included photos of our favorite and most memorable parts of Budapest.

Continue reading “Travel Edition: Budapest”

Special Edition: 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation

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Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, from University of Arizona Special Collections

Happy Reformation Day! You might be celebrating Halloween today, but Reformation scholars and Christian churches across the world are focused on commemorating the five-hundredth anniversary of Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses. Legend has it that on October 31, 1517, the Augustinian monk and professor of moral theology Martin Luther nailed his theses against papal indulgences to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. (I say “legend” because most historians agree that this story is likely apocryphal, and Luther most likely simply mailed his theses to the Archbishop of Brandenburg — but this isn’t nearly as dramatic, of course.)

Continue reading “Special Edition: 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation”

Sumptuary Laws in Geneva

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Title page of Geneva’s 1560 sumptuary laws

Various cities and states in the Middle Ages passed what historians call “sumptuary laws,” laws intended to restrain luxury or extravagance. Commonly, sumptuary laws forbid wearing certain types of fabric or clothing, or regulate the size and expense of feasts and banquets. These types of laws could also impact trade, by placing prohibitions on overly expensive imports such as spices. By keeping citizens from overindulging, sumptuary laws also helped to avoid that “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality Continue reading “Sumptuary Laws in Geneva”