Loyola University Chicago

Department of History

Emeritus Faculty


Title/s:  Professor Emerita


CV Link: Rosenwein CV


Barbara H. Rosenwein (Ph.D. (1974), B.A. (1966), University of Chicago) is professor emerita at Loyola University Chicago.  An internationally renowned historian, she has been a guest professor at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France; the École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France; the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, the University of Gothenburg, Sweden; Oxford University, England; Reykjavik University, Iceland.  Since 2009, Rosenwein has been an affiliated research scholar at the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary University in London.  She was a scholar in residence at the American Academy in Rome in 2001-2002 and was elected Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America in 2003.

Rosenwein has lectured throughout the world, including France, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Spain, Germany, Israel, Sweden, Taiwan, Australia, Italy, and Iceland.  Her scholarship has evolved through at least four phases.  Her earliest work examined the monastery of Cluny, the “light of the world (lux mundi),” as one eleventh-century pope described it, and culminated in To Be the Neighbor of Saint Peter: The Social Meaning of Cluny’s Property (Cornell University Press, 1989).  Rosenwein then proceeded to examine the issue of immunities in the Middle Ages, resulting in Negotiating Space: Power, Restraint, and Privileges of Immunity in Early Medieval Europe (Cornell University Press, 1999).  In a third phase, she explored the history of emotions, beginning with the edited book Anger’s Past: The Social Uses of an Emotion in the Middle Ages (Cornell University Press, 1998), and continuing with Emotional Communities in the Early Middle Ages (Cornell University Press, 2006) and Generations of Feeling:  A History of Emotions 600-1700  (Cambridge University Press, 2016), translated into Italian: Generazioni di Sentimenti. Una Storia delle emozioni 600-1700, ed. and trans. Riccardo Cristiani (Viella, 2016).  Forthcoming are two new books: with co-author Elina Gertsman, The Middle Ages in 50 Objects (Cambridge University Press) and with co-author Riccardo Cristiani, What Is the History of Emotions?  (Polity Press).  She is author of numerous articles, including “Worrying about Emotions in History,” American Historical Review (2002), “Problems and Methods in the History of Emotions,” Passions in Context: Journal of the History and Philosophy of the Emotions 1/1 (2010), online at http://www.passionsincontext.de/.  Finally, Rosenwein has sought to link her research to larger themes in medieval and European history.  She has published several textbooks on the Middle Ages, including A Short History of the Middle Ages, the 4th edition of which is now in press; Reading the Middle Ages: Sources from Europe, Byzantium, and the Islamic World (3d ed., in press); and Debating the Middle Ages: Issues and Readings, edited with Lester K. Little (Blackwell, 1998).  She is also the co-author of popular and widely-assigned The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures (4th ed., Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2013).  In 2012, a conference was held at Auxerre, France, to honor Rosenwein’s significant contributions to medieval history (De Cluny à Auxerre, par la voie des "émotions". Un parcours d'historienne du Moyen Âge) and in 2014 another conference to honor her work was held at the Newberry Library, Chicago (At the Intersection of Medieval History and the Social Sciences), and most recently in Paris, where she presented presented her intellectual autobiography, “Une vie dans l’interdiciplinarité:  la fabrication d’une médiéviste américaine, Les 5emes Journées du LaMOP (2017).

Rosenwein has published in many languages, including English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and German, as well as in an impressive array of journals, including Médiévales, Annales, Studia Monastica, Speculum, History Compass, Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures, Historia: Journal of the Historical Society of Israel, Feministische Studien, Revue historique, The Haskins Society Journal, and History and Theory.  She has a distinguished record of service as a chair of the history department at Loyola University Chicago, an editorial board member of Médiévales, Reti medievali and Passions in Context, a co-chair of the program committee for the American Historical Association Annual Meeting in 2011, the president of the Illinois Medieval Association (1999-2000), the series editor for “Conjunctions of Religion and Power in the Medieval Past” at Cornell University Press, and a board member for the Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

Jan Plamper, “The History of Emotions: An Interview with William Reddy, Barbara H. Rosenwein, and Peter Stearns,” History and Theory 49 (2010): 237-265.

Research Interests

European medieval history, history of emotions

Recent Visiting Professorships

Reykjavik University, Iceland, May 2016. 

Oxford University (Trinity), May, 2015 (see http://www.humanities.ox.ac.uk/home)

University of Dresden, Germany, March, 2015

University of Gothenburg, Sweden, March-May, 2014


Selected Publications

The Middle Ages in 50 Objects (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), with co-author Elina Gertsman.

What Is the History of Emotions? (Cambridge:  Polity Press, 2017), with co-author Riccardo Cristiani.

Generations of Feeling:  A History of Emotions, 600-1700 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015)

Emotional Communities in the Early Middle Ages (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2006; paperback, 2007).

Negotiating Space: Power, Restraint, and Privileges of Immunity in Early Medieval Europe (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1999).

Anger’s Past:  The Social Uses of an Emotion in the Middle Ages, editor (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1998).

To Be the Neighbor of St. Peter: The Social Meaning of Cluny's Property, 909‑1049 (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1989).

Rhinoceros Bound: Cluny in the Tenth Century (Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982).

A Short History of the Middle Ages (Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview Press, 2001; 2d ed., 2004; 3d ed, University of Toronto Press, 2009; 4th ed, University of Toronto Press, 2014; 5th ed, University of Toronto Press, 2018)

The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures (Boston: Bedford,  2001; 2d ed., 2005; 3d ed., 2009; 4th ed., 2013), with Lynn Hunt, Thomas R. Martin, and Bonnie G. Smith.