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Professor Barbara Rosenwein

Humanitas Visiting Professor in Historiography 2014-2015

Barbara H. Rosenwein (Ph.D. (1974), B.A. (1966), University of Chicago) is a professor at Loyola University Chicago.  An internationally renowned historian, she has been a guest professor at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France; the École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France; the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, and most recently at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.  Since 2009, Rosenwein has been an affiliated research scholar at the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary University in London.  She was a scholar in residence at the American Academy in Rome in 2001-2002 and was elected Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America in 2003.

Rosenwein has lectures throughout the world, including France, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Spain, Germany, Israel, Sweden, Taiwan, and Australia.  Most recently she presented a plenary lecture in Stockholm at the Svenska historikermötet 2014. Her scholarship has evolved through at least four phases.  Her earliest work examined the monastery of Cluny, the “light of the world (lux mundi),” as one eleventh-century pope described it, and culminated in To Be the Neighbor of Saint Peter: The Social Meaning of Cluny’s Property (Cornell University Press, 1989).  Rosenwein then proceeded to examine the issue of immunities in the Middle Ages, resulting in Negotiating Space: Power, Restraint, and Privileges of Immunity in Early Medieval Europe (Cornell University Press, 1999).  In a third phase, she explored the history of emotions, editing Anger’s Past: The Social Uses of an Emotion in the Middle Ages (Cornell University Press, 1998), completing several influential publications, the most important of which are “Worrying about Emotions in History,” American Historical Review (2002), “Problems and Methods in the History of Emotions,” Passions in Context: Journal of the History and Philosophy of the Emotions 1/1 (2010), online at <>, and Emotional Communities in the Early Middle Ages (Cornell University, 2006) and the forthcoming (Cambridge University Press) Generations of Feeling: A History of Emotions 600-1700.   Finally, Rosenwein has sought to link her research to larger themes in medieval and European history.  She has published several textbooks on the Middle Ages, including A Short History of the Middle Ages (4d. ed,, University of Toronto Press, 2014); Reading the Middle Ages: Sources from Europe, Byzantium, and the Islamic World (2d ed., University of Toronto Press, 2006); and Debating the Middle Ages: Issues and Readings, edited with Lester K. Little (Blackwell, 1998).  She is also the co-author of popular and widely-assigned The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures (4th ed., Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2013).  In 2012, a conference was held at Auxerre, France, to honor Rosenwein’s significant contributions to medieval history (De Cluny à Auxerre, par la voie des "émotions". Un parcours d'historienne du Moyen Âge) and in 2014 another conference to honor her work was held at the Newberry Library, Chicago (At the Intersection of Medieval History and the Social Sciences).

Rosenwein has published in many languages, including English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and German, as well as in an impressive array of journals, including Médiévales, Annales, Studia Monastica, Speculum, History Compass, Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures, Historia: Journal of the Historical Society of Israel, Feministische Studien, Revue historique, The Haskins Society Journal, and History and Theory.  She has a distinguished record of service as a chair of the history department at Loyola University Chicago, an editorial board member of Médiévales, Reti medievali and Passions in Context, a co-chair of the program committee for the American Historical Association Annual Meeting in 2011, the president of the Illinois Medieval Association (1999-2000), the series editor for “Conjunctions of Religion and Power in the Medieval Past” at Cornell University Press, and a board member for the Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry Library in Chicago.