Associate Professor Monique O’Connell Medieval, Italy B-104 Tribble Hall; 758-4711 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
BioMonique O’Connell is interested in Renaissance Italian history, particularly the political and social history of Venice. Her first book, Men of Empire: Power and Negotiation in Venice’s Maritime State (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009) placed Venice’s overseas holdings into the larger debate on early modern empires and state formation, offering a new reading of how Venice successfully administered a wide swath of diverse territory for hundreds of years. She is currently the project editor of Rulers of Venice (rulersofvenice.org), an electronic version of Venice’s medieval election registers, and she is completing a synthetic history of the medieval and early modern Mediterranean, co-authored with Eric Dursteler. She is also in the early stages of a project on the methods and means of political communication in Renaissance Italy. She is originally from Connecticut, and comes to Winston Salem by way of Rhode Island, Chicago, Venice, and San Francisco. She took a group of students to Casa Artom in the spring of 2010 and hopes to return soon!
CVEducation: B.A. Brown University 1996 M.A. Northwestern University 1997 Ph.D. Northwestern University 2002 Academic Appointments: Wake Forest University. Associate Professor (2010-present); Assistant Professor (2004-2010) Click here for the complete CV.
- Men of Empire: Power and Negotiation in Venice’s Maritime State. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.
- The Rulers of Venice, 1332-1524: Interpretations, Methods, Database. (RulersofVenice.org)
- “Maritime Venice.” In Oxford Bibliographies: Renaissance and Reformation. Ed. Margaret King. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013 Aug 26.www.oxfordbibliographies.com
- “A Tale of Two Families: the Abramo and Gradenigo between Venice and Crete,” in I Tatti studies in Honor of Joseph Connors, (Florence, Leo Olschki Press, 2013).
- “Individuals, Families, and the State in Early Modern Empires: the case of the Venetian Stato da Mar,” in Zgodovinski casopis/ Historical Journal of Slovenia 147, 1-2 (2013): 8-27.
- “From Travel to History: Shifting Venetian Perceptions of Alexandria,” in Sindbad Mediterraneo. Per una topografia della memoria da Oriente a Occidente, eds. Ch. Lee and R. Morosini. Lecce: Pensa Multimedia, 2013.
- “The Sexual Politics of Empire: Civic Honor and Official Crime outside Renaissance Venice,” The Journal of Early Modern History 15 (2011): 331-348.
- “Italy in the Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean,” California Italian Studies 1 (2010): http://escholarship.org/uc/item/1zv8s58x.
- “Oligarchy, Faction and Compromise in Fifteenth Century Venice,” in From Florence to the Mediterranean: Studies in Honor of Anthony Molho, ed. Diego Curto, Eric Dursteler, Julius Kirshner, and Francesca Trivellato, vol I, pp. 409-426. Florence, Leo Olschki Press, 2009.
- “The Venetian Patriciate in the Mediterranean: Legal Identity and Lineage in Fifteenth Century Venetian Crete,” Renaissance Quarterly 57 (2004): 466-93.
- “Italy in the Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean,” California Italian Studies 1 (2010) http://escholarship.org/uc/item/1zv8s58x.
- “The Castellan in Local Administration in Fifteenth Century Venetian Crete,” Thesaurismata 33 (2004): 161-77.
- “Sinews of Rule: The Politics of Office-holding in Fifteenth Century Venetian Crete,” Renaissance Studies 15 no 3 (2001): 256-71.
For a complete list of publications, click CV.
FYS: The Floating City: Public Life in Venice through the Ages
This course will introduce students to the spectacle and pageantry of life in Venice from the medieval to the modern era. Venice stands out in the popular imagination because of its extraordinary physical form—it seems to float on the water supported only by magic. This class looks at the ways Venetians and visitors have created and lived in the public spaces of the floating city from the medieval era to the present. We will look at images and read historical, literary, and travelers’ views of the city; read plays and listen to music composed and performed in the city; and debate the city’s fragile future in an age of mass tourism and climate change.
- HST 101 Western Civilization to 1700. Taking the Mediterranean Sea as its geographical center, this course investigates the development of the intersecting cultural, religious, and political systems that contributed to the development of what is generally called Western Civilization. After a brief overview of the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia, we turn to the classical world, examining the Greek and Roman worlds and their interactions with their neighbors. The spread of two new monotheisms, Christianity and Islam, transformed the late antique world, and we will look at the medieval dynamics of co-existence and conflict between European and Islamic civilizations on the northern and southern shores of the sea. We will explore cultural Renaissances and religious reformations in the early modern era, concluding with a look at the emergence of a scientific worldview.
- HST 106 Medieval World Civilizations This course provides an overview of world civilizations in the period generally understood as “medieval”—that is, from approximately 600 to 1600 C.E. The concept of a medieval, or middle, period in history originally came from European history, referring to the time between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance, or to a rebirth of classical knowledge. One of the questions of this course is to examine cultures and societies in east Asia, India, Africa, and the Americas as well as Europe during the same time frame and to ask if there is such a thing as a “medieval” world history. Are there patterns, transformations, and developments common to all these societies in the medieval period?What characteristics do these widely differing cultures and geographic areas share, and where do they differ?
- HST 206 Early Middle Ages: The Birth of Europe, 400-1100The central question of this course is one of identity: at what point can we speak of a distinctively “European” identity? In order to answer this question, we will investigate the political, cultural, religious, and material history of Europe from the later Roman Empire to the end of the Viking invasions around the turn of the millennium. Once dismissed as the “Dark Ages,” scholars now point to this as an era when some of the key cultural, political, and artistic foundations of later European history were forged. Indeed, these centuries saw the “birth” of a distinctive Western European civilization that arose from the ashes of ancient Greece and Rome.
- HST 207 High Middle Ages and Renaissance: Reform, Revival, and Renewal in Europe, 1150-1550The period from 1150 to 1550 witnessed a dramatic transformation in the patterns and practices of European culture. During these 400 years, Europe exploded from its boundaries, overturning religious and intellectual traditions and expanding geographically, economically, and politically. The High Middle Ages saw the rise of towns, universities, and cathedrals; the Church faced reformations from within and without, and the personal bonds of feudal kingship gradually gave way to the bureaucracies of developing nation-states. These transformations did not go unchallenged; struggles over religious unity and political hegemony combined with natural disasters such as plague and famine to further upset the traditional order. The European Renaissance revived the learning of the classical world, using it to claim a place for human reason and creativity in society. This class will examine how and why these transformations in European civilization took place .
- HST 305 Medieval and Early Modern IberiaThe cultures that flourished on the Iberian peninsula between the years 700 and 1700 were extremely diverse and contained often contradictory tendencies. Hailed by many as a haven of toleration and an example of co-existence between Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the medieval period, early modern Spain and Portugal were bastions of Catholic orthodoxy and the Inquisition. Iberians were at the forefront of global exploration and discovery, but Spain’s empire by the seventeenth century had fallen behind its English and Dutch competitors. This course is dedicated to examining these seeming paradoxes, looking at the formation of religious, cultural and political identities and the economics of empire in the medieval and early modern period.
- HST 307 Italian RenaissanceThis course examines the economic, political, intellectual, and social developments in the Italian world from ca. 1350 to 1615, a period that marked a profound transition between the medieval and modern worlds. Many examinations of the “Renaissance era” end on or around the year 1500, leaving the impact of the discovery of the Americas, the religious reformations, and the beginnings of the Scientific Revolution to the period often labeled as “early modern.” It is the purpose of this course to investigate to what degree these major transformations in western and world culture were rooted in and influenced by the social, cultural, political, and economic developments on the Italian peninsula beginning in the fourteenth century.
- HST 390 Italy and the Mediterranean in the Renaissance This research seminar is devoted to two intersecting themes: the cultural, political, and economic developments of the Renaissance (c. 1350-1600),and the intense cross-cultural engagement that characterized the Mediterranean world in the same period. Our readings and discussions will focus on the ways Renaissance culture developed across the Mediterranean, asking how and why the particularities of the region affected societal development. The course’s geographical focus will be Italian, although students’ research projects can look to Iberian or Islamic worlds as well.
- HST 391. Honors Seminar. Required for majors in History who are seeking departmental honors, this particular seminar examines the philosophy of history and the development of different methods of practicing history. We will also seek to understand history’s relationship with other academic disciplines and its role in a liberal arts curriculum.