Dr. P. Renee Baernstein

Renee Baernstein
Professor of History

143 Upham Hall



Office Hours: Spring 2020 W 10-11:15 or by appointment UPH 240

Affiliate of the Department of Comparative Religion

Associate Dean (Humanities), College of Arts and Science


PhD 1993, Harvard University

AB, Cornell University

Teaching and Research Interests 
  • Early Modern Italy
  • Women and family
  • Cultural history of religion
  • World history
Courses Recently Taught
  • HST 198 World History since 1500
  • HST 206 Historical Inquiry
  • HST 245 Making of Modern Europe, 1450-1750
  • HST 315 The Renaissance
  • HST/REL 316 The Age of the Reformation
  • HST 400.V Senior Capstone: Machiavelli
  • HST 452/552 Florence in the Time of the Republic, 1250-1550
  • HST 602 History and Theories
Selected Publications 
  • A Convent Tale: A Century of Sisterhood in Spanish Milan, Routledge, 2002
  • “Reprobates and Courtiers: Lay Masculinities in the Colonna Family, 1520-1584” in Florence and Beyond: Culture, Society and Politics in Renaissance Italy, ed. David S. Peterson with Daniel E. Bornstein, Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2008
  • “Tullia d’Aragona: Two New Sonnets,” with Julia Hairston, Modern Language Notes, 2007
  • "Roma caput Italiae. Elite Marriage and the Making of an Italian Ruling," Proceedings of a Conference on Early Modern Rome, 1341-1667, Association of American College and University Programs in Italy, Rome, 2011
  • "Regional Intermarriage Among the Italian Nobility in the Sixteenth Century" in Marriage in Premodern Europe: Italy and Beyond, Jacqueline  Murray, ed., Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2012
  • "'In My Own Hand:' Costanza Colonna and the Art of the Letter in Sixteenth-century Italy," Renaissance Quarterly 6 n. 1, 2013
  • (with John Christopoulos) "Interpreting the Body in Early Modern Italy: Pregnancy, Abortion and Adulthood," Past and Present 223 n. 1 (2014): 41-75.  Winner of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women's prize for the best article on gender in early modern Europe, 2014.
  • "The Nuns of Early Modern Italy: New Directions in Anglophone Scholarship," in La storia di genere in Italia in età moderna, ed. Elena Brambilla and Anne Jacobson Schutte.  Rome: Viella, 2014, pp/ 21-41.
Selected Grants and Awards 

Miami University College of Arts and Science 2014 Distinguished Educator

Ohio Academy of History Teaching Award, 2013

Visiting Professorship, The Harvard University Center for Renaissance Studies, Villa I Tatti, 2009

Work in Progress

Dr. Baernstein teaches the history of Renaissance, Reformation, and early modern Europe (1450-1800).  Her current book project, Gender and Marriage in Baroque Rome, draws on family correspondence networks to show how marriage helped create the early modern state.  She supervises graduate students working in early modern European history (including Britain), particularly in the fields of gender, religion, intellectual history, and political history.