tcohen


Thomas V Cohen

Photo of Thomas V Cohen

Department of History
Department of Humanities

Professor Emeritus

Phone: (416)736-5123
Email: tcohen@yorku.ca


Professor Tom Cohen (“Thomas” only when in print) works on Renaissance Italy, Rome especially, and that city’s rural hinterland. His take is a mix of cultural and political anthropology. He studies gestures and symbols and decodes actions. As a writer, he often uses microhistory, telling fine-grained stories about the lives of ordinary Romans. He looks to coalitions, conspiracies, trades, bluffs, dares, and wily dodges. A devotee of style and vividness in scholarly writing, he tells stories about seductions, betrayals, conspiracies, murders, and poisonings, not just for the tales themselves, but for the clues they offer about the culture of negotiation and the habits of coalition that made a distant world work. As a social historian with a Humanities inclination, employs close reading to extract the hidden esthetics of everyday language. His current main project is a book on a rebellious village high in mountains east of Rome. Meanwhile he also finds himself entangled in the history of orality in both Italy and elsewhere and he has a side project on reciprocity, trust, and entanglement in a weakly governed world.

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As for teaching, Tom Cohen tells students “to expect the unexpected.” He uses drama, as orator and ham (he has a frightful wig good for Descartes, and an accent to prove ‘zat he tinks and zerefore he exists’), and hauls students down front in lecture to be Saint Francis and the Terrible Wolf of Gubbio, or sets one half a lecture hall to be angels for the prosecution against a crusader who sacked Christian Constantinople – should he go to Hell or Purgatory, or straight to Heaven for good intentions gone awry? He sometimes lectures utter nonsense, mixed with sense, and then asks students to find his errors. Behind the foolery and fun is serious purpose: students should step outside their daily selves, stretch mind and imagination, let loose a bit, and think with every corner of their brains.

Tom has spent six years as a member of the board of Toronto Zoo, and ran the speakers' series for the membership. It is a rare historian who learns about dentistry for giraffes (no, not up a ladder!) and the mating habits of cheetahs, who lose interest when there is no competition. Most other service, neighborhood services aside, is focused on the community of scholars, where Tom mentors, provides writing, publishing and networking advice, deals with hiring and tenure and, above all, on how to teach well.

Degrees

PhD, Harvard University
MA, Harvard University
BA, University of Michigan

Professional Leadership

Leadership? Hard to say. I seem to mentor a lot, not quite the same as leading. More a conversation than a gallop.

Community Contributions

University Service For the President: Commission on the Colleges (1976-7) For Senate: SCARSA (1986-7) For Arts: special committees: Dean’s task force to review Computer Science CAPP Commission on General Education (1974-5) Much speaking at recruitment fairs and sessions, over many years regular committees: Curriculum Development Committee (1979-81, chair second year) Executive Committee (1982-3) Merit Pay Committee Petitions Committee (1985-7 and again more recently) Research Committee (1989-90, chair) Tenure and Promotions, (2000-1 and 2002-4) chair for one and half terms (2002-3, to Christmas,) larger tasks: Coordinator of Individualized Studies (1988-91) CCAO, 2005-7 Chair CCAP, 2006-7 Gen Ed Review committee, chair, 2006-7 For Vanier: Senior Tutor (1970-2) Master's advisory committee (ca. 1998) For History: Committees and routine positions: Curriculum Committee Promotion and Tenure Committee Medieval hire chair, 2005-6 Course Evaluation Committee (1970) Executive Committee Chair of Council (1981-2, 1989-90) Computer Co-coordinator (1979-83) Bookstore and Library Liaison (1990-1) Representative to Arts Council (1995-6, 2001-2) Prize Committee TA Liaison (1997-8, 2002-4, 2005-6) Affirmative action officer Outside committees, bigger jobs: Recruitment/retention officer (1999-2001, 2002-4) Director of Undergraduate Studies (1993-5) For Humanities: Curriculum committee (1977-9, chair 2002-4) Promotion and Tenure Committee (1988-90, chair second year, 2005-8, chair: 2005-7) Premodern hire, chair, 2005-6 Committee on the Major (1886-7) Committee on Teaching (1988-9) Executive Committee Nominating Committee Research Coordinator (1996-8) Recruitment and Student Relations officer (2000-1) Misc. Six years on the Board of the Metro Toronto Zoo, where I ran the education programme for the membership.

Research Interests

History , Anthropology, The Political and Cultural Anthropology of Early Modern Italy, Historical Narrative as an Art, Language and Consciousness in Early Modern Italian Society, Language, gesture, ritual and transactional style. In general, the social and cultural anthropology of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, especially in Italy. Microhistory and experimental historical writing
Books

Publication
Year

(with E. S. Cohen): Daily Life in Renaissance Italy, 2d edtion Santa Barbara: ABCClio, 2019, xiv, 356 pp..

2019

Roman Tales: a Reader's Guide to the Art of Microhistory, (Abingdon: Routledge, 2019), 216 pp.

https://www.routledge.com/Roman-Tales-A-Readers-Guide-to-the-Art-of-Microhistory-1st-Edition/Cohen/p/book/9781138636934

2019

Claire Judde de Larivière, The Revolt of Snowballs: Murano Confronts Venice, 1511, London: Routledge, 2018 (translation by Cohen much collaboration, of La révolte des boules de neige, Murano face à Venise 1511 (Paris: Fayard, 2014).

2018

with Lesley Twomey, Spoken Word and Social Practice: Orality in Europe (1400-1700), Leiden: Brill, 2015, xv, 499pp.

2015

Fosi, Irene. Papal Justice (La giustizia del papa). Trans. Tom Cohen. Rome-Bari: Laterza, 2007; Catholic Universities Press of America, 2011

2011

Cultural History of Early Modern European Streets. Ed. Riitta Laitinen. Leiden: Brill, 2009. 176.

2009

Love and Death in Renaissance Italy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.

2004

with E. S. Cohen. Daily Life in Renaissance Italy. Westport CT: Greenwood, 2001. 316.

2001

with E.S. Cohen. Words and Deeds in Renaissance Rome: Trials before the Papal Magistrates. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993. xx-308.

1993

Book Chapters

Publication
Year

"In Bed with Ludovico Santa Croce," in Jacqueline Murray and Nicholas Terpstra, eds., Sex, Gender and Sexuality in Renaissance Italy, (Routledge, 2019).

https://www.routledge.com/Sex-Gender-and-Sexuality-in-Renaissance-Italy-1st-Edition/Murray-Terpstra/p/book/9781138542457

2019

with Elizabeth S. Cohen, "Justice and Crime, A Companion to Early Modern Rome, edited by Pamela M. Jones, Simon Ditchfield, and Barbara Wisch. Leiden: Brill (2019), 115-130.

https://brill.com/view/title/33404?lang=en

2019

“A Daughter-Killing Digested, and Accepted in a Village of Rome, 1563-1566,”, Murder in Renaissance Italy, edited by Trevor Dean and K. J. P. Lowe, Cambridge University Press (2017), 62-81.

2017

“The Great Italian Political Shout," in Voices and Texts in Early Modern Italian Society, edited by Stefano D’Aglio, Massimo Respocher, and Brian Richardson (Ashgate, 2016), 23-36.

2016

“Tracking Conversation in the Italian Courts,” in Cohen and Twomey, Spoken Word and Social Practice: Orality in Eruope (1400-1700), ), Leiden: Brill, 2015, pp. 139-181.

2015

"Une épineuse histoire de pieuse pédophilie romaine (1558), in: Lucien Faggion , ed, La culture judiciaire: discours, représentations et usages de la justice du Moyen Âge à nos jours (Dijon: Editions universitaires de Dijon: 2014), pp. 373-89.

2014

translation of Renato Ago,"Splendor and Magnificence,” in Gail Feigenbaum, ed., Display of Art in the Roman Palace, 1550-1750, Los Angeles: Getty Museum, 2014, pp. 62-72.

2014

translation of Francesca Cappelletti, "Cardinals, Cardinal Nephews, and Aristocratic Collectors," for the same book, pp. 78-88.

2014

'Community and Village Conflict.' Sociability and its Discontents: Civil Society, Social Capital, and their Alternatives in late Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Ed. Nicholas Epstein and Nicholas Terpstra. Leiden: Brill, 2009. 24-50

2009

'Love.' Greenwood Encyclopedia of Love, Courtship, & Sexuality. Ed. Victoria L. Mondelli and Cherrie A. Gottsleben. Vol. 3. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2008. 1-52.

2008

(translation) : Fosi, Irene. 'Foreigners in Papal Rome.' Art and Identity in Early Modern Rome. Ed. Jill Burke and Michael Bury. London: Ashgate, 2008.

2008

with E.S. Cohen. 'A foreword to.' Shell Games. Ed. M. Crane, R. Raiswell and M. Reeves. Toronto: Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies, 2004. 1-7

2004

(translation) : Fosi, Irene. 'Court and city in the ceremony of the possesso in the sixteenth century.' Court and Politics in Papal Rome, 1492-1700. Ed. Gianvittorio Signorotto and Maria Antonietta Visceglia. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2002. 1-52.

2002

with E.S. Cohen. A Global Encyclopedia of Historical Writing. Ed. D. Woolf. New York: Garland, 1998. 33-36; 214-215; 368-9.

1998

Hoffmann, Richard C. 'Basurto's Dialogo.' Fishers' Craft and Lettered Art: Tracts on Fishing from the End of the Middle Ages. Trans. Thomas Cohen. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997.

1997

'A Note on Fra Pelagio, a Hermit-Prophet in Rome.' Prophetic Rome in the High Renaissance Period. Ed. Marjorie Reeves. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992. 231-237.

1992

'Agostino Bonamore and the Secret Pigeon (1559).' Essays on Life Writing Ed. Marlene Kadar. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992. 94-112.

1992

Book Reviews

Publication
Year

Rev. of Law, Marriage, and Society in the Later Middle Ages, by Charles Donahue. Canadian Journal of History Feb. 2010.

2010

Rev. of Pistols! Treason! Murder!: The Rise and Fall of a Master Spy, ed. Jonathan Walker Johns Hopkins. Renaissance Quarterly April 2010.

2010

Rev. of A Sudden Terror: The Plot to Murder the Rope in Renaissance Rome, by Anthony D’Elia. Journal of Modern History May 2009.

2009

Rev. of Information and Communication in Venice: Rethinking Early Modern Politics, by Filippo de Vivo. London Review of Books 30.11 (June 2008): 19-20.

2008

Rev. of Crime and Justice in late Medieval Italy, by Trevor Dean. Canadian Journal of History xliii (2008): 281-2.

2008

Rev. of Patrons and Adversaries, by Caroline Castiglione. Journal of Modern History 79.4 (December 2007): 630-2.

2007

Rev. of The Culture of Cleanliness in Renaissance Italy, by Douglas Biow. Renaissance Quarterly (2007): 909-10.

2007

Rev. of Papal Banking in Renaissance Rome: Benvenuto Olivieri and Paul III, 1534-1549, by Francesco Guidi Bruscoli. Sixteenth Century Journal 2007.

2007

Rev. of Jewish Life in Early Modern Rome: Challenge, Conversion, and Private Life, by Kenneth Stow. Catholic Historical Review 2007.

2007

Rev. of Machiavelli in Love, by Guido Ruggiero. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.

2007

Rev. of Strange Histories: The trial of the pig, the walking dead, and other matters of fact from the medieval and Renaissance worlds, by Darren Oldridge. The Medieval Review 2005.

2005

Rev. of Benvenuto Cellini: Sexuality, Masculinity, and Artistic Identity in Renaissance Italy, by Margaret A. Galucci. International Journal of the Classical Tradition 2005.

2005

Rev. of Elizabeth & Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens, by Jane Dunn. Globe and Mail 3 April 2004: 18.

2004

Rev. of Croiser le fer: violence et culture de l’ épée dans la France moderne (Xvuie-XVIIIe si ècle), by Pascal Brioist, Hervé Drevillon et Pierre Serra. Social History/ Histoire Sociale xxxvii.74 (May 2004): 98-100.

2004

Rev. of Spanish Rome, by Thomas Dandelet. American Historical Review 108.1 (2003): 281-2.

2003

Rev. of Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love, by Dava Dava Sobel. History of Intellectual Culture 3.1 (2003).

2003

Rev. of Church, Censorship and Culture in Early Modern Italy, ed. Gigliola Fragnito. Quaderni dell’ italianistica 2001.

2001

Rev. of Village Justice: Community, Family, and Popular Culture in Early Modern Italy, by Tomasso Astarita. American Historical Review (2001): 676-7.

1999

Rev. of Women in the Streets, Samuel K. Cohen. Sixteenth Century Journal XXIX.2 (1998): 577-9.

1998

Rev. of Renaissance Cardinals and their Worldly Problems, by D. S. Chambers. XXIX.2 (1998): 626-8.

1998

'Worldly goods: A New History of the Renaissance.' Rev. of Reformation: Christianity and the World 1500-2000, ed. Lisa Jardine. Globe and Mail April 19, 1997: E10.

1997

Rev. of Kriminalität in Rom: 1560-1585, by Peter Blastenbrei. Sixteenth Century Journal XXVII.3 (fall, 1996): 885-6.

1996

Rev. of Binding Passions, by Guido Ruggiero. Journal of Social History (Spring 1995): 668-670.

1995

Rev. of The War of the Fists, by Robert Davis. Journal of Social History (Spring, 1995): 704-6.

1995

Rev. of Historia et Fabula: Myths and Legends in Historical Thought from Antiquity to the Modern Age, by Peter Bietenholz. Canadian Journal of History (December, 1995): 554-555.

1995

Rev. of Mad Blood Stirring: Vendetta and Factions in Friuli during the Renaissance, by Edward Muir. Journal of Social History (1994): 881-3.

1994

Rev. of The First Jesuits, by John O'Malley. American Historical Review Dec. 1994: 1676-7.

1994

Rev. of A Cultural History of Gesture, ed. Jan Bremmer and Herman Roodenburg. Journal of Social History 26 (fall 1993): 145-6.

1993

Rev. of Patronage and Institutions: Science, Technology, and Medicine at the European Court, 1500-1700, ed. Bruce T. Moran. Canadian Journal of History XXVII (1992): 402-3.

1992

Rev. of Jerome Nadal, S.J., 1507-1580: Tracking the First Generation of Jesuits, ed. William Bangert and Thomas M. McCoog. Theological Studies 1993: 567-9.

1992

Rev. of The Jews in Piedmont, ed. Renata Segre. Journal of Modern History 63.3 (September 1991): 582-4.

1991

Rev. of The Renaissance in National Context, ed. Roy Porter. Canadian Journal of History XXVII (1992): 360-2.

1991

Rev. of Law, Family and Women: Towards a Legal Anthropology of Renaissance Italy, by Thomas Kuehn. Journal of Social History 26 (Winter 1993): 389-91.

1991

Rev. of Carlo Sigonio: The Changing World of the Late Renaissance, by William McCuaig. Canadian Journal of History xxv (1990): 406-7.

1990

Rev. of Un pontificato ed una città: Sisto IV (1471-1484). Atti di convegno: Roma, 3-7 dicembre 1984, ed. Massimo Miglio, Francesca Nutta, Diego Quaglioni, and Concetta Fanieri. Renaissance and Reformation 1989.

1989

Rev. of Schooling in Renaissance Italy: Literacy and Learning, 1300-1600, by Paul Grendler. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins 1989.

1989

Rev. of The Memoir of Marco Parenti: A Life in Medici Florence, by Mark Phillips. The Globe and Mail 1987.

1987

Rev. of Classi Poveri e Stratagie del Controllo Sociale nel Granducato di Toscana (1765-1790), by Simondi. Criminal Justice History 1986:196-9.

1986

Rev. of Religious Practices and Collective Perceptions. Hidden Homologies in the Renaissance and the Reformation, by Lionel Rothkrug. Canadian Journal of History XIV.2 (1981): 394-296.

1981

Rev. of Identifying People in the Past, by E. A. Wrigley. HAR/RAH 1973: 53-4.

1973

Rev. of Pauvres et la Pauvreté, by M. Mollat. American Historical Review.


Journal Articles

Publication
Year

(with Thomas Robisheaux, Duke University), “Microhistory and the Historical Imagination: New Frontiers,” a special issue of Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Vol 47, No. 1 (Jan 2017). My essay is “The Macrohistory of Microhistory”: 53-73. I also co-edited the "Roundtable" transcript: 7-52.

2017

“Roman Law Meets Village Custom, Summoning Peasant Senses to Craft a Tale (1557),” forthcoming in International Journal for Cultural History (2012)

2012

With Germaine Warkentin of the University of Toronto, " Things not easily believed: introducing the early modern relation," a set of seven articles on Rélations/Relazioni, for Renaissance and Reformation, 34, no 1-2 (winter-spring, 2011): 3-243 (actually came out in winter of 2012).

2011

(with E. S. Cohen), “Charismatic things and social transaction in Renaissance Italy,” for Fabrizio Nevola, editor, Special Issue 03 (Locating communities in the early modern Italian city) Urban History, 2010: 474-82.

2010

with Riitta Laitinen. 'Cultural History of Early Modern Streets – An Introduction.' Journal of Early Modern History 12.3-4 (2009): 195-204.

2009

'The Death of Abramo of Montecosaro.' Jewish History 19 (2005): 245-85.

2005

'Contrafactual History Assignment.' Core, York’s Newsletter on University Teaching 13.3 (April, 2004): 7.

2004

'Reflections on Retelling a Renaissance Murder.' History and Theory 41:4 (2002): 6-16.

2002

with E. S. Cohen. 'Open and Shut: The Social Meanings of the Renaissance Italian House.' Bard Graduate School of Design Journal IX:1 (fall-winter, 2001-2002): 61-84.

'The Savelli Murder Project: Unsolved Mystery Story as Historical Pedagogy.' Positive Pedagogy 1.2 (May, 2001).

2001

'Three Forms of Jeopardy: Honor, Pain and Truth-telling in a Sixteenth-Century Italian Courtroom.' Sixteenth Century Journal XXIX.4 (1998): 975-998.

1998

'Social Memory as Therapy and as Village Politics.' Social History/Histoire Sociale (1997): 291-309.

1997

Fosi, Irene. 'Justice and Its Image: Political Propaganda and Judicial Reality in the Pontificate of Sixtus V.' Sixteenth Century Journal XXIV.1 (Spring, 1993): 75-96.

1993

'The Lay Liturgy of Affront in Sixteenth-Century Rome.' Journal of Social History 25.4 (1992): 857-877.

1992

'A Long Day in Monte Rotondo: the Politics of Jeopardy in a Village Rising (1558).' Comparative Studies in Society and History 33 (1991): 639-68.

1991

with E.S. Cohen. 'Camilla the Go-Between: the Politics of Gender in a Roman Household (1559).' Continuity and Change 4.1 (1989): 53-77.

1989

'The Case of the Mysterious Coil of Rope: Street Life and Jewish Persona in Rome in the Middle of the Sixteenth Century.' Sixteenth Century Journal 19.2 (Summer, 1988): 209-221.

1988

'Diversità nell' Esperienza Religiosa tra i primi 1259 Gesuiti.' Annali Accademici Canadesi I (1986): 7-25.

1986

with R.C.Hoffmann. 'El Tratadico de la Pesca. The Little Treatise on Fishing by Fernando Basurto from his Dialogue.' American Fly Fisherman 2.3 (Summer, 1984): 8-13.

1984

'Why the Jesuits Joined.' Canadian Historical Papers (1974). 237-258.

1974

Conference Papers

Publication
Year

(with E.S Cohen) , “Rioni di Roma: Peopling the City, ca. 1500-1650,” roundtable of contributors to the Brill Companion to Late Medieval and Early Modern Rome, Renaissance Society of America, Boston, 1 April, 2016.

2016

“L’Angelo Bianco, a Talking Mirror (Rome, 1567),” Renaissance Society of America, Berlin, 26 March 2015

2015

Workshop at Eötvös Lorand University, Budapest, on establishing an international MA in Microhistory (Iceland, Norway (Stavagner and Volda), Germany (Oldenburg), Hungary (Eötvös)). September 25-26, 2015

2015

“Courts Awry in Rome (1562) “, for a session I assembled: Governmentality (in Reval, London, Piacenza, or Rome)? No way!, Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, Vancouver, 22 October, 2015

2015

“The Macrohistory of Microhistory,” written and presented as a stalking horse for Workshop in Microhistory, Duke University, 13-14 November, 2105

2015

"Diamonds in the Soup or The Miseries of a Sixteenth-Century Cyrano." Session: Affliction: The Boundaries of the Suffering Self in Renaissance Italy, with Renée Baernstein, John Jefferies Martin and Daniel Smail commenting. I organized for AHA, Washington DC, 3 January, 2014.

2014

“A Daughter-killing Glossed, Digested, and Reluctantly Accepted,” for session on Murder organised by Kate Lowe and Trevor Dean, RSA, New York, 29 March 2014

2014

“An Invitation to Writing Microhistory: Love and Sex in Renaissance Rome, or the Lute-Maker’s Girls”: Duke’s Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies,” Duke University, Durham NC, April 15 2014. I presented case and methods and the 20 scholars worked on materials I had sent to them.

2014

“A Judge Molests Important Female Prisoners (Rome, 1558)”, for sessions: Outside the Court: Law in Daily Life, Sixteenth Cenury Studies Conference, New Orleans, October 16, 2014.

2014

“The Talking Mirror and its Impromtu Coven,” Rethinking Early Modern Collegialities, TRRC, University of Toronto, 8 November 2014

2014

"How did a Soldier Talk to a Renaissance Bandit," The 2013 Charles Lecture, Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Indiana, Feb. 11, 2013 (I also gave a pedagogical talk on simulation games for history students and guest-taught in four courses.)

2013

organizer and discussant for roundtable: "Gifts between Jews and Christians in the Renaissance" (Serena di Nepi and Marina Caffiero, both of Università di Roma, "La Sapienza" and myself, Renaissance Society of America conference, San Diego, 4 April, 2013

2013

Vox populi: speaking as a popolo to political effect," keynote speech, Oral and Written Culture in Early Modern Italy, Leeds, UK, 5-6 Sept., 2013.

2013

"A Castle in Peasant Eyes: Rocca Sinibalda from Below", Early Modern Rome 2 1341-1667: Rome and Bracciano castle, 12 Oct, 2013.

2013

"Entanglement: how the whole world worked, and how Jews latched on," keynote for Early Modern Workshop in Jewish History, Brown University, Providence, 26-27 February 2012

2012

Seminar, The Art and Agency Forum, University of Leiden : "Beauty and Danger: The Cultural and Social Anthropology of Art in Renaissance Rome." 21 May, 2012

2012

"Confrontation in Italian courts: was it a real conversation?", Gossip, Gospel, Governance: Orality in Europe 1400-1700, British Academy / University of Northumbria, London, 14 July, 2011. This was a keynote address to start the conference off.

2011

"The Historian as Ventroquist," for Graduate Colloquium, Department of History, University of West Virginia, Morgantown, WV, 30 Sept, 2011.

2011

'Trial testimony as Cognitive Map.' AHA. San Diego, January 2010.

2010

'Roman Law Meets Village Custom, Summoning Peasant Senses to Craft a Tale (1557).' Turku. 29 May, 2010.

2010

with E. S. Cohen. 'Where’s Madalena: the Big Woman from Modena? History from Roman Trials (1603).' Inaugural paper for graduate program in history. Nipissing University, North Bay, ON. 30 January, 2009.

2009

with E. S. Cohen. 'From Macro to Micro: Cultural History from Roman Trials, ca. 1600.' Renvall Institute. Helsinki. 31 March, 2009.

2009

'Fieldwork with the Dead: Anthropology in my Mountain Village in 16th-century Italy.' Canadian Institute for Mediterranean Studies. Toronto. 28 March, 2007.

2007

'On Teaching the Early Modern Mediterranean.' Networks of Interaction in the Early Modern Mediterranean. University of Toronto. 12-13 October, 2007.

2007

'A Touch of Evil, an Evil Touch: Some Lecherous Patronage in Sixteenth-Century Rome.' Invited lecture for Medieval Studies. St. Jerome’s University at the University of Waterloo. 2 November, 2007.

2007

'The Anthropology of Truth-Speaking.' Villa Spelman conference. 2006.

2006

'Community and Village Conflict.' Renaissance Society of America. San Francisco. 24 March, 2006.

2006

'Rhetorics of Truth.' Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies. Toronto. 28 May, 2006.

2006

'A Peasant March on Rome (1556).' 8th International Conference for Urban History. Stockholm. 1 September, 2006.

2006

with Elizabeth Cohen. 'In/visibility: Masquerade off-stage in early modern Rome.' Ritual in Renaissance Rome. Universty of Toronto, Toronto. 4 November, 2006.

2006

'Pensando al lettore…Perchè trattare la storia come di scrivere.' Seminar at Università di Roma I. La Sapienza. May 24, 2005.

2005

'Offering hostages to Win Trust: The Varied Ploys of ‘Fede’ in Italian Renaissance Culture.' Department of Italian Studies (ISSA). Berkeley. 30 September, 2005.

2005

'Authority, Trust, and Witness in Medieval and Early Modern Europe.' American Historical Association. Washington DC. 9 January, 2004.

2004

'The Anthropology of Truth-Speaking.' Conference: Truth and Falsehood in Early Modern Italy. Villa Spelman, Florence. 14-16 October, 2004.

2004

'Approaches to Active Learning.' Evaluating and Assessing Student Learning. York University Centre for the Support of Teaching. 16 February, 2004.

2004

'Welcome to our Classrooms.' CST. 24 August, 2004.

2004

'Armada War project.' CST. 2004.

2004

with Jerry Ginsburg. 'Beyond the Lecture: encouraging critical reflection through small group dynamics.' OHASSTA. Toronto. 7 November, 2004.

2004

''You Have Cut Off the Nose of Casa Savelli': Wife-Murder as Elegant Choreography.' Toronto Renaissance and Reformation Colloquium. University of Toronto. 28 January, 2003.

2003

'Judicial Epistemology in Sixteenth-Century Rome.' Sixteenth Century Society Conference. Pittsburgh. 1 November, 2003.

2003

'Rome in the Sixteenth Century.' Living and Learning in Retirement. 17 January, 2003.

2003

'Reading against the Grain: Hypothesis formation as pedagogy.' Ontario History and Social Science Teachers’ Association (OHSSTA). Toronto. 7 November, 2003.

2003

'The Spanish Ambassador's Brawl.' AHA. San Francisco. January 2002.

2002

'Political Ethics and Political Ideology in Two Marchigiana Towns.' Sixteenth Century Studies. San Antonio. October 2002.

2002

with Elizabeth Cohen. 'Just what science killed these baby pigeons? (Rome, 1572) .' Graduate Seminar in European History. Cornell University. 15 November, 2002.

2002

'Shell Games: Scams, Frauds, and Deceit (1300-1650).' University of Toronto. 28 April, 2001.

2001

'Pierre Bourdieu and the Seduction of Innocentia (Rome, 1570).' Sixteenth Century Studies Conference. Cleveland. 4 November, 2000.

2000

'Portia, prostituta ex hebrea.' Conference: L'altra metà della stella: spunti di storia di donne ebree italiane. Unione delle communità ebraiche italiane/ Centro bibliografico. Fondazione per i beni culturali ebraici in Italia. 14 March, 1999.

1999

'Honor among Thieves: The Ethics of Spanish Pick Pockets in Rome.' American Historical Society Conference. New York. January 1997.

1997

with E.S. Cohen. 'Open and Shut: The Social Meanings of the Renaissance Italian House.' Conference: Bringing the Renaissance Home, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum/ American Academy in Rome. New York. 14-16 March, 1997.

1997

'Prayer to One's Fellow Man or Woman.' Conference: Prayer: Situation, Representation, Enactment. Boston College. 22 March, 1997.

1997

with E.S. Cohen. 'Responses to Familial Woman-Murder in Sixteenth-Century Italy.' Third Carleton Conference on the History of the Family. Ottawa. 15-17 May, 1997.

1997

'Comment/Commentaire: Session on French social history.' CHA, Learned Societies. St. John's, Nfld. June 1997.

1997

'The Sad Death of Vittoria Giustini: True History as Soap Opera.' Conference: Writing Cultures/Making Culture: Sites, Stages, and Scenarios of Medieval Studies: CEMERS SUNY Binghamton. 18-19 October, 1996.

1996

'Social Memory as Therapy and as Village Politics.' American Historical Society Conference. Chicago. January 1995.

1995

'The Sad Death of Vittoria Giustini.' York Seminar on Social History and Social Anthropology. April 1995.

1995

'Alcohol and History, Sixteenth Century Society.' San Francisco. October 1995.

1995

'Sixteenth Century Society.' Toronto. October 1994.

1994

'A Festival of Memory in Sixteenth-Century Italy.' Canadian Anthropology Society. Toronto. 7 May, 1993.

1993

'The Art of Memory in an Italian Village.' Sixteenth-Century Studies Conference. Saint Louis. 11 December, 1993.

1993

'Witchcraft and exorcism.' American Academy in Rome. January, 1992.

1992

'Hard Times in Rocca Sinibalda: the Archeology of Village Memory.' American Academy in Rome. 25 February, 1992.

1992

'Il Linguaggio della mascolinità nel '500 Romano.' Seminario del Dipartimento di Storia Moderna. Università di Roma. April 1992.

1992

'Il Giudice che ballava a Rocca Sinibalda.' Coesistenza di Culture nel Tardo Medioevo: Italo-Canadian Conference on Late Medieval History. Università di Messina. 8-13 June, 1992.

1992

with E.S. Cohen. 'Sfregio: Facial Mutilation as a Social Tactic in Renaissance Rome.' RSA. Duke. April 1991.

1991

'How Should we Anatomize Practical Jokes in the Italian Renaissance?' YUMARA (York University Medieval and Renaissance Association) Annual Conference. March 1990.

1990

'Agostino Bonamore and the Secret Pigeon.' Conference: Directions in the Humanities: Dialogue and Debate. York University. April 1990.

1990

with E.S. Cohen. 'Male and Female Spoken Moral Discourse of the Popolo Romano: 1540-1620.' Italo-Canadian Conference on Late Medieval Social History. Ottawa. May, 1990.

1990

'Criminal Court Records, Narrative and Anthropology: Just How Far can We Scholars Go?' Sixteenth Century Studies Conference. Saint Louis. October 1990.

1990

'A Long Day in Monte Rotondo: The Micro-politics of Jeopardy in a Village Rising (1559).' Canadian Historical Association. Quebec. June 1989.

1989

'Agostino Bonamore and the Secret Pigeon (1559).' Sixteenth Century Conference. Minneapolis. November 1989.

1989

'The Lay Liturgy of Affront in Sixteenth-century Rome.' Social Science History Association. Chicago. November 1988.

1988

'Sociologie de la Croyance: les Jésuites au Portugal et en Espagne.' Les Jésuites parmi les Hommes. Ed. G. Demerson, G. Demerson, B. Dompnier and A. Regond. Clermont-Ferrand: Faculté des Lettres et Sciences Humaines de l'Université, 1987. 21-34.

1987

with E.S. Cohen. 'Camilla the Go-between: The Politics of Gender in a Roman Household (1559).' Medieval Studies Conference. Kalamazoo. May 1987.

1987

with Linda Carroll, E.S. Cohen, James Farr, and Edward Muir. 'Beyond Anecdote: Toward a Thick Description of Vernacular Culture.' Tempe, Ariz. October 1987.

1987

'Religious Vocation in the Sixteenth Century: The Jesuit Autobiographies.' Conference: Autobiography and Biography: Gender, Text, and Context. Stanford (Center for Research on Women). April 1986.

1986

'The Case of the Mysterious Coil of Rope: Street Life and Jewish Persona in Rome in the Middle of the Sixteenth Century.' Sixteenth-Century Studies Conference. St. Louis. October 1986.

1986

'Sociologie de la Croyance: les Jésuites au Portugal et en Espagne.' Colloque: Les Jésuites parmi les Hommes. Université de Clermont-Ferrand. May 1985.

1985

'A Social and Psychological History of the Jesuits in the Sixteenth Century.' CACI. Rome. October 1984.

1984

'Varieties of Religious Experience among the first 1259 Jesuits.' Canadian Historical Association. Vancouver. June 1983.

1983

'The Jesuit Recruitment in Northern Italy.' Sixteenth-Century Studies Society. Terre Haute. 1977.

1977

'Jesuit Religiosity.' Atlanta. 1975.

1975

'Why the Jesuits Joined.' Canadian Historical Association. Toronto. 1974.

1974

Conference Proceedings

Publication
Year

"On a Summer's Eve a Traveller...", in Tales from the Streets of Early Modern Europe, Renaissance Society of America, Montreal, March 23, 2011

2011

"The Historian as Ventroquist," for Graduate Colloquium, Department of History, University of West Virginia, Morgantown, WV, 30 Sept, 2011.

2011

Forthcoming

Publication
Year

with Germaine Warkentin, University of Toronto), guest editing "Things not easily believed: introducing the early modern relation," a collection of seven essays on The Relation or Relazione as a reportiorial genre, for Renaissance and Reformation, submitted in Jan 2011

2011


Professor Tom Cohen (“Thomas” only when in print) works on Renaissance Italy, Rome especially, and that city’s rural hinterland. His take is a mix of cultural and political anthropology. He studies gestures and symbols and decodes actions. As a writer, he often uses microhistory, telling fine-grained stories about the lives of ordinary Romans. He looks to coalitions, conspiracies, trades, bluffs, dares, and wily dodges. A devotee of style and vividness in scholarly writing, he tells stories about seductions, betrayals, conspiracies, murders, and poisonings, not just for the tales themselves, but for the clues they offer about the culture of negotiation and the habits of coalition that made a distant world work. As a social historian with a Humanities inclination, employs close reading to extract the hidden esthetics of everyday language. His current main project is a book on a rebellious village high in mountains east of Rome. Meanwhile he also finds himself entangled in the history of orality in both Italy and elsewhere and he has a side project on reciprocity, trust, and entanglement in a weakly governed world.

As for teaching, Tom Cohen tells students “to expect the unexpected.” He uses drama, as orator and ham (he has a frightful wig good for Descartes, and an accent to prove ‘zat he tinks and zerefore he exists’), and hauls students down front in lecture to be Saint Francis and the Terrible Wolf of Gubbio, or sets one half a lecture hall to be angels for the prosecution against a crusader who sacked Christian Constantinople – should he go to Hell or Purgatory, or straight to Heaven for good intentions gone awry? He sometimes lectures utter nonsense, mixed with sense, and then asks students to find his errors. Behind the foolery and fun is serious purpose: students should step outside their daily selves, stretch mind and imagination, let loose a bit, and think with every corner of their brains.

Tom has spent six years as a member of the board of Toronto Zoo, and ran the speakers' series for the membership. It is a rare historian who learns about dentistry for giraffes (no, not up a ladder!) and the mating habits of cheetahs, who lose interest when there is no competition. Most other service, neighborhood services aside, is focused on the community of scholars, where Tom mentors, provides writing, publishing and networking advice, deals with hiring and tenure and, above all, on how to teach well.

Degrees

PhD, Harvard University
MA, Harvard University
BA, University of Michigan

Professional Leadership

Leadership? Hard to say. I seem to mentor a lot, not quite the same as leading. More a conversation than a gallop.

Community Contributions

University Service For the President: Commission on the Colleges (1976-7) For Senate: SCARSA (1986-7) For Arts: special committees: Dean’s task force to review Computer Science CAPP Commission on General Education (1974-5) Much speaking at recruitment fairs and sessions, over many years regular committees: Curriculum Development Committee (1979-81, chair second year) Executive Committee (1982-3) Merit Pay Committee Petitions Committee (1985-7 and again more recently) Research Committee (1989-90, chair) Tenure and Promotions, (2000-1 and 2002-4) chair for one and half terms (2002-3, to Christmas,) larger tasks: Coordinator of Individualized Studies (1988-91) CCAO, 2005-7 Chair CCAP, 2006-7 Gen Ed Review committee, chair, 2006-7 For Vanier: Senior Tutor (1970-2) Master's advisory committee (ca. 1998) For History: Committees and routine positions: Curriculum Committee Promotion and Tenure Committee Medieval hire chair, 2005-6 Course Evaluation Committee (1970) Executive Committee Chair of Council (1981-2, 1989-90) Computer Co-coordinator (1979-83) Bookstore and Library Liaison (1990-1) Representative to Arts Council (1995-6, 2001-2) Prize Committee TA Liaison (1997-8, 2002-4, 2005-6) Affirmative action officer Outside committees, bigger jobs: Recruitment/retention officer (1999-2001, 2002-4) Director of Undergraduate Studies (1993-5) For Humanities: Curriculum committee (1977-9, chair 2002-4) Promotion and Tenure Committee (1988-90, chair second year, 2005-8, chair: 2005-7) Premodern hire, chair, 2005-6 Committee on the Major (1886-7) Committee on Teaching (1988-9) Executive Committee Nominating Committee Research Coordinator (1996-8) Recruitment and Student Relations officer (2000-1) Misc. Six years on the Board of the Metro Toronto Zoo, where I ran the education programme for the membership.

Research Interests

History , Anthropology, The Political and Cultural Anthropology of Early Modern Italy, Historical Narrative as an Art, Language and Consciousness in Early Modern Italian Society, Language, gesture, ritual and transactional style. In general, the social and cultural anthropology of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, especially in Italy. Microhistory and experimental historical writing

All Publications


Book Chapters

Publication
Year

"In Bed with Ludovico Santa Croce," in Jacqueline Murray and Nicholas Terpstra, eds., Sex, Gender and Sexuality in Renaissance Italy, (Routledge, 2019).

https://www.routledge.com/Sex-Gender-and-Sexuality-in-Renaissance-Italy-1st-Edition/Murray-Terpstra/p/book/9781138542457

2019

with Elizabeth S. Cohen, "Justice and Crime, A Companion to Early Modern Rome, edited by Pamela M. Jones, Simon Ditchfield, and Barbara Wisch. Leiden: Brill (2019), 115-130.

https://brill.com/view/title/33404?lang=en

2019

“A Daughter-Killing Digested, and Accepted in a Village of Rome, 1563-1566,”, Murder in Renaissance Italy, edited by Trevor Dean and K. J. P. Lowe, Cambridge University Press (2017), 62-81.

2017

“The Great Italian Political Shout," in Voices and Texts in Early Modern Italian Society, edited by Stefano D’Aglio, Massimo Respocher, and Brian Richardson (Ashgate, 2016), 23-36.

2016

“Tracking Conversation in the Italian Courts,” in Cohen and Twomey, Spoken Word and Social Practice: Orality in Eruope (1400-1700), ), Leiden: Brill, 2015, pp. 139-181.

2015

"Une épineuse histoire de pieuse pédophilie romaine (1558), in: Lucien Faggion , ed, La culture judiciaire: discours, représentations et usages de la justice du Moyen Âge à nos jours (Dijon: Editions universitaires de Dijon: 2014), pp. 373-89.

2014

translation of Renato Ago,"Splendor and Magnificence,” in Gail Feigenbaum, ed., Display of Art in the Roman Palace, 1550-1750, Los Angeles: Getty Museum, 2014, pp. 62-72.

2014

translation of Francesca Cappelletti, "Cardinals, Cardinal Nephews, and Aristocratic Collectors," for the same book, pp. 78-88.

2014

'Community and Village Conflict.' Sociability and its Discontents: Civil Society, Social Capital, and their Alternatives in late Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Ed. Nicholas Epstein and Nicholas Terpstra. Leiden: Brill, 2009. 24-50

2009

'Love.' Greenwood Encyclopedia of Love, Courtship, & Sexuality. Ed. Victoria L. Mondelli and Cherrie A. Gottsleben. Vol. 3. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2008. 1-52.

2008

(translation) : Fosi, Irene. 'Foreigners in Papal Rome.' Art and Identity in Early Modern Rome. Ed. Jill Burke and Michael Bury. London: Ashgate, 2008.

2008

with E.S. Cohen. 'A foreword to.' Shell Games. Ed. M. Crane, R. Raiswell and M. Reeves. Toronto: Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies, 2004. 1-7

2004

(translation) : Fosi, Irene. 'Court and city in the ceremony of the possesso in the sixteenth century.' Court and Politics in Papal Rome, 1492-1700. Ed. Gianvittorio Signorotto and Maria Antonietta Visceglia. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2002. 1-52.

2002

with E.S. Cohen. A Global Encyclopedia of Historical Writing. Ed. D. Woolf. New York: Garland, 1998. 33-36; 214-215; 368-9.

1998

Hoffmann, Richard C. 'Basurto's Dialogo.' Fishers' Craft and Lettered Art: Tracts on Fishing from the End of the Middle Ages. Trans. Thomas Cohen. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997.

1997

'A Note on Fra Pelagio, a Hermit-Prophet in Rome.' Prophetic Rome in the High Renaissance Period. Ed. Marjorie Reeves. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992. 231-237.

1992

'Agostino Bonamore and the Secret Pigeon (1559).' Essays on Life Writing Ed. Marlene Kadar. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992. 94-112.

1992

Book Reviews

Publication
Year

Rev. of Law, Marriage, and Society in the Later Middle Ages, by Charles Donahue. Canadian Journal of History Feb. 2010.

2010

Rev. of Pistols! Treason! Murder!: The Rise and Fall of a Master Spy, ed. Jonathan Walker Johns Hopkins. Renaissance Quarterly April 2010.

2010

Rev. of A Sudden Terror: The Plot to Murder the Rope in Renaissance Rome, by Anthony D’Elia. Journal of Modern History May 2009.

2009

Rev. of Information and Communication in Venice: Rethinking Early Modern Politics, by Filippo de Vivo. London Review of Books 30.11 (June 2008): 19-20.

2008

Rev. of Crime and Justice in late Medieval Italy, by Trevor Dean. Canadian Journal of History xliii (2008): 281-2.

2008

Rev. of Patrons and Adversaries, by Caroline Castiglione. Journal of Modern History 79.4 (December 2007): 630-2.

2007

Rev. of The Culture of Cleanliness in Renaissance Italy, by Douglas Biow. Renaissance Quarterly (2007): 909-10.

2007

Rev. of Papal Banking in Renaissance Rome: Benvenuto Olivieri and Paul III, 1534-1549, by Francesco Guidi Bruscoli. Sixteenth Century Journal 2007.

2007

Rev. of Jewish Life in Early Modern Rome: Challenge, Conversion, and Private Life, by Kenneth Stow. Catholic Historical Review 2007.

2007

Rev. of Machiavelli in Love, by Guido Ruggiero. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.

2007

Rev. of Strange Histories: The trial of the pig, the walking dead, and other matters of fact from the medieval and Renaissance worlds, by Darren Oldridge. The Medieval Review 2005.

2005

Rev. of Benvenuto Cellini: Sexuality, Masculinity, and Artistic Identity in Renaissance Italy, by Margaret A. Galucci. International Journal of the Classical Tradition 2005.

2005

Rev. of Elizabeth & Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens, by Jane Dunn. Globe and Mail 3 April 2004: 18.

2004

Rev. of Croiser le fer: violence et culture de l’ épée dans la France moderne (Xvuie-XVIIIe si ècle), by Pascal Brioist, Hervé Drevillon et Pierre Serra. Social History/ Histoire Sociale xxxvii.74 (May 2004): 98-100.

2004

Rev. of Spanish Rome, by Thomas Dandelet. American Historical Review 108.1 (2003): 281-2.

2003

Rev. of Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love, by Dava Dava Sobel. History of Intellectual Culture 3.1 (2003).

2003

Rev. of Church, Censorship and Culture in Early Modern Italy, ed. Gigliola Fragnito. Quaderni dell’ italianistica 2001.

2001

Rev. of Village Justice: Community, Family, and Popular Culture in Early Modern Italy, by Tomasso Astarita. American Historical Review (2001): 676-7.

1999

Rev. of Women in the Streets, Samuel K. Cohen. Sixteenth Century Journal XXIX.2 (1998): 577-9.

1998

Rev. of Renaissance Cardinals and their Worldly Problems, by D. S. Chambers. XXIX.2 (1998): 626-8.

1998

'Worldly goods: A New History of the Renaissance.' Rev. of Reformation: Christianity and the World 1500-2000, ed. Lisa Jardine. Globe and Mail April 19, 1997: E10.

1997

Rev. of Kriminalität in Rom: 1560-1585, by Peter Blastenbrei. Sixteenth Century Journal XXVII.3 (fall, 1996): 885-6.

1996

Rev. of Binding Passions, by Guido Ruggiero. Journal of Social History (Spring 1995): 668-670.

1995

Rev. of The War of the Fists, by Robert Davis. Journal of Social History (Spring, 1995): 704-6.

1995

Rev. of Historia et Fabula: Myths and Legends in Historical Thought from Antiquity to the Modern Age, by Peter Bietenholz. Canadian Journal of History (December, 1995): 554-555.

1995

Rev. of Mad Blood Stirring: Vendetta and Factions in Friuli during the Renaissance, by Edward Muir. Journal of Social History (1994): 881-3.

1994

Rev. of The First Jesuits, by John O'Malley. American Historical Review Dec. 1994: 1676-7.

1994

Rev. of A Cultural History of Gesture, ed. Jan Bremmer and Herman Roodenburg. Journal of Social History 26 (fall 1993): 145-6.

1993

Rev. of Patronage and Institutions: Science, Technology, and Medicine at the European Court, 1500-1700, ed. Bruce T. Moran. Canadian Journal of History XXVII (1992): 402-3.

1992

Rev. of Jerome Nadal, S.J., 1507-1580: Tracking the First Generation of Jesuits, ed. William Bangert and Thomas M. McCoog. Theological Studies 1993: 567-9.

1992

Rev. of The Jews in Piedmont, ed. Renata Segre. Journal of Modern History 63.3 (September 1991): 582-4.

1991

Rev. of The Renaissance in National Context, ed. Roy Porter. Canadian Journal of History XXVII (1992): 360-2.

1991

Rev. of Law, Family and Women: Towards a Legal Anthropology of Renaissance Italy, by Thomas Kuehn. Journal of Social History 26 (Winter 1993): 389-91.

1991

Rev. of Carlo Sigonio: The Changing World of the Late Renaissance, by William McCuaig. Canadian Journal of History xxv (1990): 406-7.

1990

Rev. of Un pontificato ed una città: Sisto IV (1471-1484). Atti di convegno: Roma, 3-7 dicembre 1984, ed. Massimo Miglio, Francesca Nutta, Diego Quaglioni, and Concetta Fanieri. Renaissance and Reformation 1989.

1989

Rev. of Schooling in Renaissance Italy: Literacy and Learning, 1300-1600, by Paul Grendler. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins 1989.

1989

Rev. of The Memoir of Marco Parenti: A Life in Medici Florence, by Mark Phillips. The Globe and Mail 1987.

1987

Rev. of Classi Poveri e Stratagie del Controllo Sociale nel Granducato di Toscana (1765-1790), by Simondi. Criminal Justice History 1986:196-9.

1986

Rev. of Religious Practices and Collective Perceptions. Hidden Homologies in the Renaissance and the Reformation, by Lionel Rothkrug. Canadian Journal of History XIV.2 (1981): 394-296.

1981

Rev. of Identifying People in the Past, by E. A. Wrigley. HAR/RAH 1973: 53-4.

1973

Rev. of Pauvres et la Pauvreté, by M. Mollat. American Historical Review.


Books

Publication
Year

(with E. S. Cohen): Daily Life in Renaissance Italy, 2d edtion Santa Barbara: ABCClio, 2019, xiv, 356 pp..

2019

Roman Tales: a Reader's Guide to the Art of Microhistory, (Abingdon: Routledge, 2019), 216 pp.

https://www.routledge.com/Roman-Tales-A-Readers-Guide-to-the-Art-of-Microhistory-1st-Edition/Cohen/p/book/9781138636934

2019

Claire Judde de Larivière, The Revolt of Snowballs: Murano Confronts Venice, 1511, London: Routledge, 2018 (translation by Cohen much collaboration, of La révolte des boules de neige, Murano face à Venise 1511 (Paris: Fayard, 2014).

2018

with Lesley Twomey, Spoken Word and Social Practice: Orality in Europe (1400-1700), Leiden: Brill, 2015, xv, 499pp.

2015

Fosi, Irene. Papal Justice (La giustizia del papa). Trans. Tom Cohen. Rome-Bari: Laterza, 2007; Catholic Universities Press of America, 2011

2011

Cultural History of Early Modern European Streets. Ed. Riitta Laitinen. Leiden: Brill, 2009. 176.

2009

Love and Death in Renaissance Italy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.

2004

with E. S. Cohen. Daily Life in Renaissance Italy. Westport CT: Greenwood, 2001. 316.

2001

with E.S. Cohen. Words and Deeds in Renaissance Rome: Trials before the Papal Magistrates. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993. xx-308.

1993

Journal Articles

Publication
Year

(with Thomas Robisheaux, Duke University), “Microhistory and the Historical Imagination: New Frontiers,” a special issue of Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Vol 47, No. 1 (Jan 2017). My essay is “The Macrohistory of Microhistory”: 53-73. I also co-edited the "Roundtable" transcript: 7-52.

2017

“Roman Law Meets Village Custom, Summoning Peasant Senses to Craft a Tale (1557),” forthcoming in International Journal for Cultural History (2012)

2012

With Germaine Warkentin of the University of Toronto, " Things not easily believed: introducing the early modern relation," a set of seven articles on Rélations/Relazioni, for Renaissance and Reformation, 34, no 1-2 (winter-spring, 2011): 3-243 (actually came out in winter of 2012).

2011

(with E. S. Cohen), “Charismatic things and social transaction in Renaissance Italy,” for Fabrizio Nevola, editor, Special Issue 03 (Locating communities in the early modern Italian city) Urban History, 2010: 474-82.

2010

with Riitta Laitinen. 'Cultural History of Early Modern Streets – An Introduction.' Journal of Early Modern History 12.3-4 (2009): 195-204.

2009

'The Death of Abramo of Montecosaro.' Jewish History 19 (2005): 245-85.

2005

'Contrafactual History Assignment.' Core, York’s Newsletter on University Teaching 13.3 (April, 2004): 7.

2004

'Reflections on Retelling a Renaissance Murder.' History and Theory 41:4 (2002): 6-16.

2002

with E. S. Cohen. 'Open and Shut: The Social Meanings of the Renaissance Italian House.' Bard Graduate School of Design Journal IX:1 (fall-winter, 2001-2002): 61-84.

'The Savelli Murder Project: Unsolved Mystery Story as Historical Pedagogy.' Positive Pedagogy 1.2 (May, 2001).

2001

'Three Forms of Jeopardy: Honor, Pain and Truth-telling in a Sixteenth-Century Italian Courtroom.' Sixteenth Century Journal XXIX.4 (1998): 975-998.

1998

'Social Memory as Therapy and as Village Politics.' Social History/Histoire Sociale (1997): 291-309.

1997

Fosi, Irene. 'Justice and Its Image: Political Propaganda and Judicial Reality in the Pontificate of Sixtus V.' Sixteenth Century Journal XXIV.1 (Spring, 1993): 75-96.

1993

'The Lay Liturgy of Affront in Sixteenth-Century Rome.' Journal of Social History 25.4 (1992): 857-877.

1992

'A Long Day in Monte Rotondo: the Politics of Jeopardy in a Village Rising (1558).' Comparative Studies in Society and History 33 (1991): 639-68.

1991

with E.S. Cohen. 'Camilla the Go-Between: the Politics of Gender in a Roman Household (1559).' Continuity and Change 4.1 (1989): 53-77.

1989

'The Case of the Mysterious Coil of Rope: Street Life and Jewish Persona in Rome in the Middle of the Sixteenth Century.' Sixteenth Century Journal 19.2 (Summer, 1988): 209-221.

1988

'Diversità nell' Esperienza Religiosa tra i primi 1259 Gesuiti.' Annali Accademici Canadesi I (1986): 7-25.

1986

with R.C.Hoffmann. 'El Tratadico de la Pesca. The Little Treatise on Fishing by Fernando Basurto from his Dialogue.' American Fly Fisherman 2.3 (Summer, 1984): 8-13.

1984

'Why the Jesuits Joined.' Canadian Historical Papers (1974). 237-258.

1974

Conference Papers

Publication
Year

(with E.S Cohen) , “Rioni di Roma: Peopling the City, ca. 1500-1650,” roundtable of contributors to the Brill Companion to Late Medieval and Early Modern Rome, Renaissance Society of America, Boston, 1 April, 2016.

2016

“L’Angelo Bianco, a Talking Mirror (Rome, 1567),” Renaissance Society of America, Berlin, 26 March 2015

2015

Workshop at Eötvös Lorand University, Budapest, on establishing an international MA in Microhistory (Iceland, Norway (Stavagner and Volda), Germany (Oldenburg), Hungary (Eötvös)). September 25-26, 2015

2015

“Courts Awry in Rome (1562) “, for a session I assembled: Governmentality (in Reval, London, Piacenza, or Rome)? No way!, Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, Vancouver, 22 October, 2015

2015

“The Macrohistory of Microhistory,” written and presented as a stalking horse for Workshop in Microhistory, Duke University, 13-14 November, 2105

2015

"Diamonds in the Soup or The Miseries of a Sixteenth-Century Cyrano." Session: Affliction: The Boundaries of the Suffering Self in Renaissance Italy, with Renée Baernstein, John Jefferies Martin and Daniel Smail commenting. I organized for AHA, Washington DC, 3 January, 2014.

2014

“A Daughter-killing Glossed, Digested, and Reluctantly Accepted,” for session on Murder organised by Kate Lowe and Trevor Dean, RSA, New York, 29 March 2014

2014

“An Invitation to Writing Microhistory: Love and Sex in Renaissance Rome, or the Lute-Maker’s Girls”: Duke’s Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies,” Duke University, Durham NC, April 15 2014. I presented case and methods and the 20 scholars worked on materials I had sent to them.

2014

“A Judge Molests Important Female Prisoners (Rome, 1558)”, for sessions: Outside the Court: Law in Daily Life, Sixteenth Cenury Studies Conference, New Orleans, October 16, 2014.

2014

“The Talking Mirror and its Impromtu Coven,” Rethinking Early Modern Collegialities, TRRC, University of Toronto, 8 November 2014

2014

"How did a Soldier Talk to a Renaissance Bandit," The 2013 Charles Lecture, Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Indiana, Feb. 11, 2013 (I also gave a pedagogical talk on simulation games for history students and guest-taught in four courses.)

2013

organizer and discussant for roundtable: "Gifts between Jews and Christians in the Renaissance" (Serena di Nepi and Marina Caffiero, both of Università di Roma, "La Sapienza" and myself, Renaissance Society of America conference, San Diego, 4 April, 2013

2013

Vox populi: speaking as a popolo to political effect," keynote speech, Oral and Written Culture in Early Modern Italy, Leeds, UK, 5-6 Sept., 2013.

2013

"A Castle in Peasant Eyes: Rocca Sinibalda from Below", Early Modern Rome 2 1341-1667: Rome and Bracciano castle, 12 Oct, 2013.

2013

"Entanglement: how the whole world worked, and how Jews latched on," keynote for Early Modern Workshop in Jewish History, Brown University, Providence, 26-27 February 2012

2012

Seminar, The Art and Agency Forum, University of Leiden : "Beauty and Danger: The Cultural and Social Anthropology of Art in Renaissance Rome." 21 May, 2012

2012

"Confrontation in Italian courts: was it a real conversation?", Gossip, Gospel, Governance: Orality in Europe 1400-1700, British Academy / University of Northumbria, London, 14 July, 2011. This was a keynote address to start the conference off.

2011

"The Historian as Ventroquist," for Graduate Colloquium, Department of History, University of West Virginia, Morgantown, WV, 30 Sept, 2011.

2011

'Trial testimony as Cognitive Map.' AHA. San Diego, January 2010.

2010

'Roman Law Meets Village Custom, Summoning Peasant Senses to Craft a Tale (1557).' Turku. 29 May, 2010.

2010

with E. S. Cohen. 'Where’s Madalena: the Big Woman from Modena? History from Roman Trials (1603).' Inaugural paper for graduate program in history. Nipissing University, North Bay, ON. 30 January, 2009.

2009

with E. S. Cohen. 'From Macro to Micro: Cultural History from Roman Trials, ca. 1600.' Renvall Institute. Helsinki. 31 March, 2009.

2009

'Fieldwork with the Dead: Anthropology in my Mountain Village in 16th-century Italy.' Canadian Institute for Mediterranean Studies. Toronto. 28 March, 2007.

2007

'On Teaching the Early Modern Mediterranean.' Networks of Interaction in the Early Modern Mediterranean. University of Toronto. 12-13 October, 2007.

2007

'A Touch of Evil, an Evil Touch: Some Lecherous Patronage in Sixteenth-Century Rome.' Invited lecture for Medieval Studies. St. Jerome’s University at the University of Waterloo. 2 November, 2007.

2007

'The Anthropology of Truth-Speaking.' Villa Spelman conference. 2006.

2006

'Community and Village Conflict.' Renaissance Society of America. San Francisco. 24 March, 2006.

2006

'Rhetorics of Truth.' Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies. Toronto. 28 May, 2006.

2006

'A Peasant March on Rome (1556).' 8th International Conference for Urban History. Stockholm. 1 September, 2006.

2006

with Elizabeth Cohen. 'In/visibility: Masquerade off-stage in early modern Rome.' Ritual in Renaissance Rome. Universty of Toronto, Toronto. 4 November, 2006.

2006

'Pensando al lettore…Perchè trattare la storia come di scrivere.' Seminar at Università di Roma I. La Sapienza. May 24, 2005.

2005

'Offering hostages to Win Trust: The Varied Ploys of ‘Fede’ in Italian Renaissance Culture.' Department of Italian Studies (ISSA). Berkeley. 30 September, 2005.

2005

'Authority, Trust, and Witness in Medieval and Early Modern Europe.' American Historical Association. Washington DC. 9 January, 2004.

2004

'The Anthropology of Truth-Speaking.' Conference: Truth and Falsehood in Early Modern Italy. Villa Spelman, Florence. 14-16 October, 2004.

2004

'Approaches to Active Learning.' Evaluating and Assessing Student Learning. York University Centre for the Support of Teaching. 16 February, 2004.

2004

'Welcome to our Classrooms.' CST. 24 August, 2004.

2004

'Armada War project.' CST. 2004.

2004

with Jerry Ginsburg. 'Beyond the Lecture: encouraging critical reflection through small group dynamics.' OHASSTA. Toronto. 7 November, 2004.

2004

''You Have Cut Off the Nose of Casa Savelli': Wife-Murder as Elegant Choreography.' Toronto Renaissance and Reformation Colloquium. University of Toronto. 28 January, 2003.

2003

'Judicial Epistemology in Sixteenth-Century Rome.' Sixteenth Century Society Conference. Pittsburgh. 1 November, 2003.

2003

'Rome in the Sixteenth Century.' Living and Learning in Retirement. 17 January, 2003.

2003

'Reading against the Grain: Hypothesis formation as pedagogy.' Ontario History and Social Science Teachers’ Association (OHSSTA). Toronto. 7 November, 2003.

2003

'The Spanish Ambassador's Brawl.' AHA. San Francisco. January 2002.

2002

'Political Ethics and Political Ideology in Two Marchigiana Towns.' Sixteenth Century Studies. San Antonio. October 2002.

2002

with Elizabeth Cohen. 'Just what science killed these baby pigeons? (Rome, 1572) .' Graduate Seminar in European History. Cornell University. 15 November, 2002.

2002

'Shell Games: Scams, Frauds, and Deceit (1300-1650).' University of Toronto. 28 April, 2001.

2001

'Pierre Bourdieu and the Seduction of Innocentia (Rome, 1570).' Sixteenth Century Studies Conference. Cleveland. 4 November, 2000.

2000

'Portia, prostituta ex hebrea.' Conference: L'altra metà della stella: spunti di storia di donne ebree italiane. Unione delle communità ebraiche italiane/ Centro bibliografico. Fondazione per i beni culturali ebraici in Italia. 14 March, 1999.

1999

'Honor among Thieves: The Ethics of Spanish Pick Pockets in Rome.' American Historical Society Conference. New York. January 1997.

1997

with E.S. Cohen. 'Open and Shut: The Social Meanings of the Renaissance Italian House.' Conference: Bringing the Renaissance Home, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum/ American Academy in Rome. New York. 14-16 March, 1997.

1997

'Prayer to One's Fellow Man or Woman.' Conference: Prayer: Situation, Representation, Enactment. Boston College. 22 March, 1997.

1997

with E.S. Cohen. 'Responses to Familial Woman-Murder in Sixteenth-Century Italy.' Third Carleton Conference on the History of the Family. Ottawa. 15-17 May, 1997.

1997

'Comment/Commentaire: Session on French social history.' CHA, Learned Societies. St. John's, Nfld. June 1997.

1997

'The Sad Death of Vittoria Giustini: True History as Soap Opera.' Conference: Writing Cultures/Making Culture: Sites, Stages, and Scenarios of Medieval Studies: CEMERS SUNY Binghamton. 18-19 October, 1996.

1996

'Social Memory as Therapy and as Village Politics.' American Historical Society Conference. Chicago. January 1995.

1995

'The Sad Death of Vittoria Giustini.' York Seminar on Social History and Social Anthropology. April 1995.

1995

'Alcohol and History, Sixteenth Century Society.' San Francisco. October 1995.

1995

'Sixteenth Century Society.' Toronto. October 1994.

1994

'A Festival of Memory in Sixteenth-Century Italy.' Canadian Anthropology Society. Toronto. 7 May, 1993.

1993

'The Art of Memory in an Italian Village.' Sixteenth-Century Studies Conference. Saint Louis. 11 December, 1993.

1993

'Witchcraft and exorcism.' American Academy in Rome. January, 1992.

1992

'Hard Times in Rocca Sinibalda: the Archeology of Village Memory.' American Academy in Rome. 25 February, 1992.

1992

'Il Linguaggio della mascolinità nel '500 Romano.' Seminario del Dipartimento di Storia Moderna. Università di Roma. April 1992.

1992

'Il Giudice che ballava a Rocca Sinibalda.' Coesistenza di Culture nel Tardo Medioevo: Italo-Canadian Conference on Late Medieval History. Università di Messina. 8-13 June, 1992.

1992

with E.S. Cohen. 'Sfregio: Facial Mutilation as a Social Tactic in Renaissance Rome.' RSA. Duke. April 1991.

1991

'How Should we Anatomize Practical Jokes in the Italian Renaissance?' YUMARA (York University Medieval and Renaissance Association) Annual Conference. March 1990.

1990

'Agostino Bonamore and the Secret Pigeon.' Conference: Directions in the Humanities: Dialogue and Debate. York University. April 1990.

1990

with E.S. Cohen. 'Male and Female Spoken Moral Discourse of the Popolo Romano: 1540-1620.' Italo-Canadian Conference on Late Medieval Social History. Ottawa. May, 1990.

1990

'Criminal Court Records, Narrative and Anthropology: Just How Far can We Scholars Go?' Sixteenth Century Studies Conference. Saint Louis. October 1990.

1990

'A Long Day in Monte Rotondo: The Micro-politics of Jeopardy in a Village Rising (1559).' Canadian Historical Association. Quebec. June 1989.

1989

'Agostino Bonamore and the Secret Pigeon (1559).' Sixteenth Century Conference. Minneapolis. November 1989.

1989

'The Lay Liturgy of Affront in Sixteenth-century Rome.' Social Science History Association. Chicago. November 1988.

1988

'Sociologie de la Croyance: les Jésuites au Portugal et en Espagne.' Les Jésuites parmi les Hommes. Ed. G. Demerson, G. Demerson, B. Dompnier and A. Regond. Clermont-Ferrand: Faculté des Lettres et Sciences Humaines de l'Université, 1987. 21-34.

1987

with E.S. Cohen. 'Camilla the Go-between: The Politics of Gender in a Roman Household (1559).' Medieval Studies Conference. Kalamazoo. May 1987.

1987

with Linda Carroll, E.S. Cohen, James Farr, and Edward Muir. 'Beyond Anecdote: Toward a Thick Description of Vernacular Culture.' Tempe, Ariz. October 1987.

1987

'Religious Vocation in the Sixteenth Century: The Jesuit Autobiographies.' Conference: Autobiography and Biography: Gender, Text, and Context. Stanford (Center for Research on Women). April 1986.

1986

'The Case of the Mysterious Coil of Rope: Street Life and Jewish Persona in Rome in the Middle of the Sixteenth Century.' Sixteenth-Century Studies Conference. St. Louis. October 1986.

1986

'Sociologie de la Croyance: les Jésuites au Portugal et en Espagne.' Colloque: Les Jésuites parmi les Hommes. Université de Clermont-Ferrand. May 1985.

1985

'A Social and Psychological History of the Jesuits in the Sixteenth Century.' CACI. Rome. October 1984.

1984

'Varieties of Religious Experience among the first 1259 Jesuits.' Canadian Historical Association. Vancouver. June 1983.

1983

'The Jesuit Recruitment in Northern Italy.' Sixteenth-Century Studies Society. Terre Haute. 1977.

1977

'Jesuit Religiosity.' Atlanta. 1975.

1975

'Why the Jesuits Joined.' Canadian Historical Association. Toronto. 1974.

1974

Conference Proceedings

Publication
Year

"On a Summer's Eve a Traveller...", in Tales from the Streets of Early Modern Europe, Renaissance Society of America, Montreal, March 23, 2011

2011

"The Historian as Ventroquist," for Graduate Colloquium, Department of History, University of West Virginia, Morgantown, WV, 30 Sept, 2011.

2011

Forthcoming

Publication
Year

with Germaine Warkentin, University of Toronto), guest editing "Things not easily believed: introducing the early modern relation," a collection of seven essays on The Relation or Relazione as a reportiorial genre, for Renaissance and Reformation, submitted in Jan 2011

2011