- Luther and the Reformation
- Gender History
- Sixteenth century German Art and material culture
My first book, The Holy Household (1989), examined how the Reformation transformed gender relations in one town, Augsburg. My next book, Oedipus and the Devil (1994), (Ödipus und der Teufel, Campus, 1995) explored several themes in early modern German culture, including sexuality, discipline, and masculinity. In Witch Craze (2004), (Hexenwahn, Beck, 2005) I examined trials of women accused of witchcraft. The book argued that the witch craze sprang from a collective fantasy. Older, infertile women were accused of harming infants and destroying fertility in the natural and human world. The Witch in the Western Imagination (Virginia UP 2012) discusses images of witches: beautiful, disturbing, and hard to relate to the trials. My latest book is a biography of Martin Luther - Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet. I am currently finishing Luther’s World, Body and Soul (Princeton 2018) on social and cultural themes connected with Luther.
Together with Mette Ahleveldt-Laurvig I convene a Workshop where many postgraduates working on early modern topics loosely related to German history meet to discuss our work. Current members include;- Martin Christ, who is writing his doctorate on Upper Lusatia and the Reformation, Mette Ahlefeldt-Laurvig writing her doctorate on Childbirth Rituals in early modern Denmark, Edmund Wareham, who has finished a doctorate on the nuns of the convent of Günterstal, Natalie Cobo who works on Spanish chronicles of the New World, Ryan Asquez working on images of the Suffering Christ between 1450 and 1550, Laura Roberts, who works on English women’s religious networks in the sixteenth century, Ryan Crimmins, religion and soldiers in the Thirty Years’ War, Cecilia Tarruell, Newton International Fellow, who is working on migration in the Hispanic World and Ottoman Empire. Ongoing and past members include Hannah Murphy, now at KCL, who works on medicine in sixteenth century Nuremberg, Clare Copeland whose most recent book is on the Florentine saint Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi, Chris Kissane (Institute of Historical Research London) who is finishing a book on Food and its meaning, including a study of sausages in Zurich, Carla Roth, Historisches Seminar Basel, who is writing a book on Johannes Rütiner, John Jordan, University of Bern, writing on legal cultures in early modern Freiberg, and Adrianna Catena, University of Warwick, who is finishing a book on indigo.