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Benjamin Schmidt

Professor
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor
Benjamin Schmidt

Contact Information

(206) 543-2373
SMI 116
Office Hours: 
By appointment

Biography

Ph.D., Harvard University
MA, Harvard University
BA, Columbia University

Current Project:

  • "Mediating the World: Early Modern Things and their Global Iterations"

Research

Courses Taught

Courses Offered

  • "Exploration and Empire: The Art and Science of Global Power 1300-1800" (HSTRY 245)
  • "Early Modernity: Culture, Politics, Power, 1300-1700" (HSTEU 301)
  • "Spain and its Golden Age, 1469-1700" (HSTEU 361)
  • "Curious Things: Objects, Wonders, and the Global Renaissance" (HSTRY 498)
  • "Exoticism: Global Exchange 1400-1800" (HSTRY 388)
  • "Cities and Courts: Culture and Society in the Baroque World" (HSTRY 400)
  • "Traveling the Early Modern World" (HSTRY 498)
  • "The Global Renaissance: Topics in Early Modern European History" (HSTEU 505)

Graduate Study Areas

Division: Europe--Medieval to Modern Times

Professor Schmidt offers a field covering the social, political, and especially cultural history of Europe from around the mid-fifteenth century through the mid-eighteenth century. Topics vary from year to year, and students tend to play a considerable part in shaping their own programs of study. Recent graduate seminars have examined courts and court culture; habits of collecting and the practice of early modern "science"; Europe's encounter with the Americas; the expansion of early modern geography and the culture of curiosity; the history of reading, literacy, and the book; visual culture in early modern Europe. Europe's engagement with the non-European world is also included in the field: early modern expansion, colonialism, and globalism.

Division: Comparative History (Comparative Colonialisms)*

Students may work with Professor Schmidt to develop a field in Comparative Colonialisms that focuses on the early modern world.  This field might focus on the West--the history of the Atlantic World and the colonial (and imperial) enterprises that commenced from ca. 1492--or the to the East, in the latter case considering how European interventions in Asia fit into broader, early modern colonial and imperials trends.  This field would be done from a European perspective, to be sure, yet in a manner that explores how European colonial programs and golbal engagements fit into larger cultural and political developments of the period from ca. 1450-1750.

*Students may not offer a field in the Comparative History division as a first field.

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