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UMass Sesquicentennial

University of Massachusetts Amherst

History Department

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Brian W. Ogilvie


Portrait of   Brian OgilvieAssociate Professor

Office: Herter 624
Telephone: (413) 340-1599
Fax: (815) 550-1415
Personal web site

Degree: Ph.D., University of Chicago (1997).
Field(s) of interest: Renaissance and early modern Europe, history of science, history of religion

Courses Taught Recently
Undergraduate: Introduction to World Religions; Western Science and Technology I; Renaissance and Reformation Europe; Witchcraft, Magic, and Science
Graduate: Scientific Revolution; Topics in Early Modern Europe; Witchcraft, Magic, and Science

Research Interests and Professional Activities
Brian Ogilvie's first book The Science of Describing: Natural History in Renaissance Europe (Chicago, 2006; paperback, 2008) examines the origins of modern botany and zoology in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He is currently working on two book projects: Nature's Bible: Insects in European Art, Science, and Religion from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, and Butterfly, for the "Animal" series from Reaktion Books. He is also involved in a Leverhulme Trust International Research Network on the scientific career of Francis Willughby, FRS (1635-1672). He has published several articles and chapters on early modern science and historiography, and, with Bridget Marshall, on a case of witchcraft in seventeenth-century Hadley, Massachusetts, the town where he lives. His broader scholarly interests include the history of scholarship, witchcraft belief and persecution, and the history of religion. He has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institut d'Études Avancées - Paris, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and the Columbia University Institute for Scholars at Reid Hall. He has served as the History Department's Graduate Program Director and as Director of the UMass Oxford Summer Seminar, and is currently co-director of the Digital Humanities Initiative in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts.