Post-Doctoral Position in Religious History

The Newberry Library is offering a post-doctoral fellowship in religious history in conjunction with its initiative on Religious Change in Europe, 1450-1700.

Northern Illinois University graduate students who have taken HIST 640 Religious Violence in Comparative Perspective from 1500 to Today may be interested in applying for this fellowship.

The Newberry Library’s announcement reads:


The  Newberry Mellon Major Projects Fellow will participate in diverse aspects of planning and preparation for the library’s major scholarly initiative focused on Religious Change in Europe, 1450-1700. The initiative will include gallery and online exhibitions and additional digital resources, as well as programs for scholars, students, and the public. These programs will take the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses as a starting point for a multidisciplinary examination of the Reformation and its immediate aftermath. The majority of the public programs will take place during the 2017-18 academic year. The fellow will report to the Director of Exhibitions and Major Projects.


  • For gallery and digital exhibitions: collaborate with members of the project team (comprising Newberry staff members and outside scholars) in framing and refining exhibition categories; identify preliminary selections and research specific items in the collection for inclusion; translate titles and short texts into English; assist with label writing, planning, and administration
  • For related digital resources: collaborate with the Digital Initiatives Librarian and other members of the project team in conceptualizing, designing and implementing the digital humanities components of the project, which may include blog posts, podcasts, videos, interactive timelines and maps, outreach through social media, and crowd-sourced programs; identify preliminary selections, research specific items in the collection for inclusion, and assist with translation of and writing textual components and scripts and with planning and administration
  • Assist project team in conceptualizing and planning public and scholarly programs
  • Carry out other assignments as needed to achieve departmental goals
  • Provide assistance to other Newberry Library departments and initiatives, including but not limited to Collections and Library Services, Research and Academic Programs, Development, and Communications projects

PhD in a humanities field, with a research focus on the history of religion in early modern Europe. Reading fluency in modern and early modern German required; reading competency in two other European languages, such as Latin, French, Italian, and Spanish, highly desirable. Experience in digital humanities and using primary source materials in research preferred. Familiarity with Microsoft Office suite, Omeka, and project management software preferred. Demonstrated excellent oral and written communications skills and the ability to interact and collaborate with diverse constituencies required.

SCHEDULE: Full-time, 35 hours/week, Monday through Friday with occasional evenings and weekends for special events. One-year, grant-funded, exempt position.

TERM: July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Review of applications will begin May 1, 2016, and continue until the position is filled.

Send application materials to The Office of Human Resources at Include a cover letter, CV, short writing sample (30 pages or less), and contact information for three references. Please indicate your start date availability in the cover letter.

About the Newberry Library
A world-renowned independent research library in Chicago, the Newberry offers readers an extensive noncirculating collection of rare books, maps, music, manuscripts, and other printed material spanning six centuries. Its staff provides award-winning service and supports a rich array of programmatic opportunities.

Posted in Catholicism and Religious Violence, Christianity and Religious Violence, Confessionalization, European Wars of Religion, Graduate Studies of Religious Violence, Grants and Fellowships, Protestantism and Religious Violence | 1 Comment

Newberry Graduate Scholar-in-Residence Program

The Newberry Library in Chicago is offering residencies for graduate students researching and writing their dissertations.  Graduate students receive a carrel and have access to the impressive rare book, pamphlet, manuscript and map collections of the Newberry Library.

The Newberry has several major collections of religious books and pamphlets from the early modern period. Graduate students researching aspects of the Reformation and European Wars of Religion may want to apply for a residency.

Here is the Newberry Library’s announcement:


Graduate Scholar-in-Residence Program at the Newberry Library

The Graduate Scholar-in-Residence program allows Ph.D. candidates to be in residence at the Newberry for an academic year. We promise intriguing and often rare materials from our world-class collections in the humanities; a lively, interdisciplinary community of researchers; individual consultations with curators, librarians, and other scholars; and an array of both scholarly and public programs.

The Graduate Scholar Program encourages local graduate students who have advanced to candidacy (ABD status) by May 2016 to apply to be in residence. If selected, students must spend at least 10 hours per week in residence during the academic year, which we define as September 2016 to May 2017.

Although the Newberry cannot offer remuneration to participants of the Graduate Scholar Program, we can offer several privileges, including a private research carrel, access to the Newberry during extended hours, opportunities to present research and dissertation chapters, and intellectual support from the Newberry’s interdisciplinary scholarly community.

Deadline to apply: 11:59 CST on May 1, 2016. Applicants will be notified about the outcome of their application in June 2016.

For more information about this opportunity, including eligibility requirements, application guidelines, and a link to the application webform, please visit our website at:

Office of Research and Academic Programs
The Newberry Library
60 West Walton Street, Chicago, IL 60610
312-255-3666 |

Posted in European Wars of Religion, Graduate Studies of Religious Violence, Grants and Fellowships, Research Centers on Violence, Research on Religious Violence | 1 Comment

Brussels Attacks

Militants carried out attacks in Brussels this morning, exploding two bombs at the airport and another at a subway station during the busy rush hour commute. Dozens of people have been killed and injured by the explosions.


ISIS (the Islamic State organization) has claimed responsibility for the attacks, stating “we are promising the Crusader nations which have aligned themselves against the Islamic State that dark days are coming,” according to the New York Times.

The New York Times provides an analysis of recent ISIS attacks:


Le Soir, one of the major Brussels newspapers, reports on the Brussels attacks in French.

Le Monde and Libération have French language reporting from Paris, which is still recovering from a series of major attacks by ISIS in November 2015.

The New York Times and BBC have extensive reporting on the Brussels attacks in English.


Posted in Islam and Religious Violence, Religious Militants, Religious Politics, Religious Terrorism, Religious Violence, Religious Violence in the Media | 1 Comment

Mutual Imaginings of Europe and the Middle East Conference

Mutual Imaginings of Europe and the Middle East (800-1700)

A conference is being organized at Barnard College on “Beyond Borders: Mutual Imaginings of Europe and the Middle East (800-1700).” Faculty and graduate students in medieval early modern European and Mediterranean history may be interested in this conference.

Northern Illinois University graduate students who participated in my seminar on Religious Violence from 1500 to Today last semester may want to consider submitting a proposal.

Here is the conference call for papers:


Paper proposals are being accepted for Barnard College’s 25th Biannual Medieval and Renaissance Studies Conference, “Beyond Borders: Mutual Imaginings of Europe and the Middle East (800-1700),” to be held at Barnard College (New York NY) on Saturday 3 December 2016.

Recent scholarship is challenging the stark border between Europe and the Middle East during the long period between 800-1700.  Rather than thinking of these areas in isolation, scholars are revealing the depth of their mutual influence. Trade, war, migration, and scholarly exchange connected Europe and the Middle East in ways both cooperative and adversarial. The distant world was not only an object of aggression, but also, inextricably, of fantasy and longing. Jewish, Muslim, and Christian thinkers looked to each other to understand their own cultural histories and to imagine their futures.

Bringing together art historians, literary scholars, historians, scholars of the history of science, and scholars of religious thought, this interdisciplinary conference will explore the real and imaginary cultural interchanges between Europe and the Middle East during their formative periods.

The conference will feature plenary lectures by
Professors Nancy Bisaha of Vassar College, and
Nabil Matar of the University of Minnesota.

This conference is being organized by
Professors Rachel Eisendrath, Najam Haider, and Laurie Postlewate of Barnard College.

Please send an abstract (with title) of approximately 200 words and CV to
Presentations should be 20 minutes.
Deadline: April 10 2016

Posted in Christian-Muslim Violence, Christianity and Religious Violence, Conferences, Islam and Religious Violence, Judaism and Religious Violence, Religious Violence | 1 Comment

Graduate Conference on the Experience of Violence

Graduate students in History at Northern Illinois University may be interested in an upcoming conference on the history of violence.   Students who participated in my graduate reading seminar on HIST 640 Religious Violence, 1500 to Today during the Fall 2015 semester may want to consider submitting a paper to the conference organizers. Here is the call for papers:

Call for Papers:

Blood and Mortar: The Experience of Violence and its Aftermaths in History

11th Annual History Graduate Student Association Conference

Co-Sponsored by the Miller Center for Historical Studies

University of Maryland, College Park

March 4, 2016

Violence and the troubled aftermaths of violence have been constants of human experience since our emergence as a species. But the ways in which humans have carried out violence, experienced it, dealt with its effects, conceived its meaning, its value, its uses, and sought to limit it, have all varied immensely across history and human societies. We continue to struggle with past and present violence in contemporary societies, from the legacies of bitter civil wars, to institutional and structural violence, to the trauma of interpersonal violence, which is itself bound up in historical and social realities and patterns. This conference will grapple with this vast nexus of past and present acts and systems of violence and the unfolding of history, human and non-human.

Violence, as we understand it here, need not be physical, nor must it only involve human actors: rather, we encourage submissions dealing with violence and its aftermaths as enveloped within a broad continuum of further specifications: physical, military, rhetorical, discursive, structural, spontaneous, sexual, ecological, economic—the list goes on. We are especially interested in papers dealing with the intersection of urban history and violence: for instance, in what ways has violence–whether state, private, ecological, economic, or other forms–been constructive and destructive of urban life? How does urban life both constrict and expand the possibilities of violence in human and animal life? That said, we encourage submissions dealing with all facets of violence in history, from diverse disciplinary and methodological approaches, and hope to form panels that will reflect more specific themes–-such as religion and violence, ecology and violence, and so on. The conference will also include an address by our keynote speaker, Dr. Steven Miner, Professor and Director of the Contemporary History Institute at Ohio University, and author of various works including Stalin’s Holy War: Religion, Nationalism, and Alliance Politics, 1941-1945.

We welcome submissions from all sub-disciplines of history, as well as from graduate students working on history-related topics elsewhere in the humanities and social sciences. Since we aim for a genuine interdisciplinary dialogue about this topic, we strongly encourage graduate students from non-history disciplines to apply. We encourage submissions dealing with any period or place, from ancient to modern, America to East Asia and everywhere in between.

Paper proposals should be submitted by December 21, 2015. Proposal abstracts must be no more than 300 words and should include scholar’s name, home institution, e-mail address, the fundamental research question addressed in the paper, the evidence and methodological approaches to be used, and the argument to be made. Though conclusions need not be final, the areas of inquiry must be consistent between proposal and presentation.

If selected, participants will be asked to submit a ten to fifteen page final version of their paper by January 30, 2016. The best paper presented at the conference will receive a cash prize.

Submit proposals and questions by email to:

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Graduate Student Conference at the Newberry Library

There is a great opportunity at the Newberry Library for graduate students working on religious violence in the Renaissance and early modern periods. The Center for Renaissance Studies holds an annual Graduate Student Conference at the Newberry.


The call for papers reads:

“The Center for Renaissance Studies’ annual graduate student conference, organized and run by advanced doctoral students, has become a premier opportunity for emerging scholars to present papers, participate in discussions, and develop collaborations across the field of medieval, Renaissance, and early modern studies.

“Participants from a wide variety of disciplines find a supportive and collegial forum for their work, meet future colleagues from other institutions and disciplines, and become familiar with the Newberry Library and its resources. This year’s conference will comprise twenty-four sessions with three twenty-minute papers each, for a total of seventy-two presenters.”

The deadline to submit a proposal is 15 October 2015.

Northern Illinois University graduate students can receive funding to facilitate participation in the conference, since NIU is a Newberry Consortium institution. I would strongly encourage graduate students in my HIST 640 Reading Seminar on Religious Violence, 1500 to Today to consider submitting a proposal.

See the Newberry Library website for the full call for papers and further information.


Posted in Conferences, Graduate Studies of Religious Violence | 1 Comment

Wars of Religion: Past and Present

Brian Sandberg: Historical Perspectives

I will be participating in an upcoming conference on Wars of Religion: Past and Present at Princeton University on 23-24 April 2015. The conference is organized by the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts at Princeton and includes researchers and analysts from various disciplines.


I will be presenting a paper on “New Wars of Religion: Rethinking Contemporary Violence through the French Wars of Religion.”

I look forward to discussing the problem of religious warfare in detail with other conference participants and colleagues at Princeton.

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