BA (U of Maryland); MA (Michigan State University);
PhD (New York University)
Tel: (01) 708 3550
HY 210: Early Modern Europe and the World
HY 252: Suicide: The Cultural History of a Social Phenomenon
HY 350: The Holy Roman Empire
HY 359: Venice and the Renaissance
HY 369: Fortifications: Strategy, Technology, Memory
MA in European History (Co-Coordinator)
My teaching interests alternate between global, chronologically-unbound themes (e.g. the history of witchcraft, suicide and the emotions) and topics in early modern history (e.g. the Renaissance, the sixteenth-century Reformations and the Holy Roman Empire). I also organize two intensive seminars on Renaissance Venice (conducted within the environs of the lagoon with my colleague, Prof. Mauro Carboni of the University of Bologna) and Fortifications (conducted in Maastricht in conjunction with the Maynooth Centre for Military History and Strategic Studies and the University of Maastricht). I have taught at universities in Asia, Europe and North America, including visiting-professorships at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität in Munich and the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
1981 Diploma, Defense Language Institute, Foreign Language Center, Monterey, Ca: Russian
1985 BA, University of Maryland: History/German
1988 MA, Michigan State University: History/German (Thesis, "Integration and Disintegration:
the Sturmjahren of the Protestant Reformation in Kitzingen, 1524-1527
1995 PhD, New York University: History (Dissertation: Reforming the Spirit: Society, Madness,
and Suicide in Central Europe, 1517-1809)
Born and raised in Western New York, I studied Russian for one year before serving with the intelligence corps in Munich. There I simulaneously pursued an undergraduate degree, received my BA in 1985 and enrolled at the Institute for Bavarian History. From 1986 to 1988, I studied at Michigan State University, composing a thesis on the German Peasants' War of 1525. After taking up a one-year fellowship from the German Academic Exchange Service at the Eberhardt-Karls Universität in Tübingen, I matriculated at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and transferred to New York in 1990. My research on the history of psychiatry conducted at the universities of Munich and Augsburg culminated in a PhD from NYU in 1995. That same year, I joined the faculty at Maynooth. Apart from my academic profession, I enjoy swimming, gaming, live music and researching the Red Guide. I live in Celbridge with my son, Max.
My research considers the relationship of individuals to communities, the state and religious institutions. These larger theoretical are framed in specific cultural themes, including madness, suicide, sexuality and the emotions. I am currently co-authoring a book on priestly sexuality around the time of the Council of Trent with Otto Feldbauer of Munich. In 2008, an invitation to join the fellows at the Shelby Cullom-Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University for their cycle on "Fear in History" allowed for a semester of research on fear during the Thirty Years War. Over the last decade, an extensive research project on suicide in the Holy Roman Empire has led me to archives throughout Western and Central Europe: From Alsatian France in the west to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland in the east and from the Low Countries in the north to the former Hapsburg possessions of northern Italy in the south. Most recently, I have developed an interest in health and saftey policies in Northern Italy during the 18th century and am exploring the history of despair in transnational context.
From 10 to 12 December 2010, I am hosting a conference in Maynooth, "The Making of Modern Suicide," along with my colleagues Maria Teresa Brancaccio (Amsterdam) and Susan Morrissey (London), under the auspices of a grant from the Wellcome Trust for the History of Medicine. Please feel free to contact me by emial for more information.
Alexander-von Humboldt Fellow; Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences; Fulbright Fellow; German Academic Exchange Service Junior and Senior Fellow; Shelby-Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies; Volkswagen Foundation, Wellcome Trust for the History of Medicine