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Dr Stefan Bauer

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Term-Time Office Hours: Tuesday 12:00-13:00 and Wednesday 12:00-13:00


Stefan Bauer is an intellectual and cultural historian of early modern Europe; his research interests cover humanism, religious polemic, church history, and censorship. Bauer is also a Research Associate at the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, University of York; an Honorary Research Associate at Royal Holloway, University of London; a Privatdozent at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland; a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society; and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He previously held positions as a Lecturer in Early Modern History at Royal Holloway, University of London; as a Lecturer in Early Modern History and Marie Curie Fellow in York; and as a Research Fellow both at the German Historical Institute in Rome and the Italian-German Historical Institute in Trent.



Building on my earlier work on Bartolomeo Platina’s History of the Popes, its afterlife and papal censorship, my third monograph, The Invention of Papal History: Onofrio Panvinio between Renaissance and Catholic Reform, came out with Oxford University Press in 2020. History-writing in early modern Rome is a surprisingly underexplored subject, with major open questions. Most importantly, how was the history of post-classical Rome and of the Church written in the Counter Reformation? Historical texts composed in Rome at this time have been considered secondary to the city’s significance for the history of art. My new book corrects this distorting emphasis and shows how history-writing became part of a comprehensive formation of the image and self-perception of the papacy. These new findings are situated in the context of the uneasy relationship between history and theology during the turmoil of politics and religion in the sixteenth century. The book was a finalist for the RefoRC book award 2020.

For recent audio and video interviews about this book see New Books Network and Il canale dei libri. I have also presented the book in The Spectator and The Tablet. In History Today, Peter Marshall referred to it as ‘illuminating’ and ‘judicious’.

I am a member of the expert panel of the European Commission which evaluates Marie Curie fellowship applications, and I have acted as a peer reviewer of unpublished manuscripts for Oxford University Press, Bloomsbury Academic, Renaissance Quarterly, Sixteenth Century Journal, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, and International Journal of the Classical Tradition.

Moreover, I am a managing editor of Lias: Journal of Early Modern Intellectual Culture and its Sources. Since 2016, I have acted as the UK Chair of the Marie Curie Alumni Association, which entails organizing fellows' events across universities. During my tenure, UK membership has increased from 30 to over 600. The Association has recently organised events on Equality and Diversity, Mental Health in Academia and Storytelling. Previously, we invited speakers such as the Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society.

I have achieved further impact through several activities, including exhibitions at the York Minster and the Middle Temple Library, public lectures and an extensive internet presence with two interactive digital exhibitions, a WordPress blog and Twitter feeds. I would enjoy engaging in other outreach activities, organizing, for example, events on the history of the freedom of speech or on forgeries and fakes, drawing connections to debates on post-truth. If you are interested in collaborating on any of my research themes, please do get in touch.

More detailed information about my research is available here.


Recent Publications


Reviews: ‘illuminating … this thoughtful and judicious monograph is to be welcomed for the considerable light it sheds on the confessionalisation of historiography’ (Peter Marshall, History Today); 'a true pleasure to read' (Jan de Jong, University of Groningen); ‘an outstanding study of one of the most important Catholic historians in early modern Europe ... This exceptional new book promises to do much to shape future work on history writing in early modern Europe’ (Crawford Gribben, New Books Network); ‘This important book helps us to better see papal history-writing not simply as polemical or as a chronicle of events, but as a dynamic intellectual field with its own critical methods’ (Robert Clines, Renaissance Studies); 'a short book that packs a lot of punch' (Jonathan Greenwood, Global Intellectual History); 'a valuable contribution to our knowledge of a period of historiography that has traditionally fallen in the gap between the Renaissance and Cesare Baronio’s Annales ecclesiastici' (Sam Kennerley, Reformation); 'Bauer is one of the greatest experts on early modern religious historiography' (Vincenzo Lavenia, Il Regno); ‘An impressive work. Stefan Bauer has scoured the European libraries and archives with extraordinary competence and thoroughness ... It will remain a major contribution’ (Alastair Hamilton, Church History and Religious Culture). Finalist for the RefoRC (Reformation Research Consortium) book award 2020.

Reviews: ‘beautifully produced, impeccably researched and presented ... a scholarly tool essential for investigating the intersection of late-Renaissance ideas and practices with those of the Catholic Reformation’ (Donald Kagay, Sixteenth Century Journal); ‘an excellent book on an important humanist, his rewriting of papal history, and the reception and censorship of this highly influential and often scandalous work’ (Anthony D’Elia, Renaissance Quarterly); ‘fascinating’ (Simon Ditchfield, Catholic Historical Review).


Public Engagement:

Recent Reviews:

Press Coverage



  • ‘Europe in the Making, 1450–1800’, Year 1
  • ‘The Elizabethan Reformation’, Year 3
  • ‘Themes in Early Modern History, c.1450–c.1800’, MA Early Modern History
  • ‘Themes and Approaches in the Historical Study of Religious Cultures’, MA

My teaching ranges across several periods, with particular attention to the early modern era. Both my research and teaching place an emphasis on transnational history. I believe that the best way to get students to engage with history is to offer them courses which encourage them to view what they are studying in a comparative perspective. My teaching philosophy is informed not only by the intensive experience of university teaching in different educational environments but also by rigorous reflection on my pedagogical practice. I have completed a portfolio for the York Professional and Academic Development Scheme and have been awarded a Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), which certifies a proven, sustained and successful track record in university teaching.

I have recently taught at Royal Holloway, University of London (2019–20); London School of Economics and Political Science (2018–19); University of York (2015–18); Warburg Institute, University of London (2014–19); and University of California, Rome (2017).


Twitter - @BauerStefan @histheol

Website -

Digital exhibitions: