Dr Richard Kirwan

Dr Richard Kirwan
Academic Staff

On sabbatical leave January 2017-December 2017.

Dr Richard Kirwan specialises in early modern European history with a focus on the German-speaking lands of the Holy Roman Empire. His research interests include the social and cultural history of early modern universities, early modern print culture, early modern elites, and the culture and politics of religious conversion. Dr Kirwan's current project is a study of religious conversation, exile and migration among scholars in the Holy Roman Empire, c. 1555- c. 1648. This project is funded by the Gerda Henkel Stiftung.

Teaching Interests

  • HI4061 - Reformation and the Modern State: Europe in the Sixteenth Century
  • HI4217 - The Early Modern City, c. 1450-1789
  • HI6151 - The European Nobility, c. 1500-1789
  • HI6162 - University and Society, c. 1500-1789

Research InterestsEarly modern Germany; history of universities; early modern print culture; history of the Reformation; early modern religious conversion.

Select publications


Empowerment and Representation at the University in Early Modern Germany: Helmstedt and Würzburg, 1576-1634 (Wolfenbütteler Arbeiten zur Barockforschung, 46; Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 2009).

Edited Volumes:

Richard Kirwan and Sophie Mullins (eds.), Specialist Markets in the Early Modern Book World (Brill, 2015).

Richard Kirwan (ed.), Scholarly Self-Fashioning and Community in the Early Modern University (Ashgate, 2013).

Articles and Book Chapters:

 ‘Function in Form: Single Sheet Items and the Utility of Cheap Print in the Early Modern German University’ in Andrew Pettegree (ed.), Broadsheets. Single-sheet Publishing in the First Age of Print (Brill, 2017).

‘It’s Who You Know: Scholarly Networks in Liddel’s Helmstedt’ in Pietro Daniel Omodeo (ed.), in collaboration with Karin Friedrich, Duncan Liddel (1561-1613): Networks of Polymathy and the Northern European Renaissance (Brill, 2016).

‘Negotiating the Social Landscape: The Uses of Academic Space in Early Modern Germany’ in Karin Friedrich et al. (eds.), Die Erschließung des Raumes: Konstruktion, Imagination und Darstellung von Räumen und Grenzen im Barockzeitalter (Harrassowitz, 2014).

‘From Individual to Archetype: Occasional Texts and the Performance of Scholarly Identity’ in Richard Kirwan (ed.), Scholarly Self-Fashioning and Community in the Early Modern University (Ashgate, 2013).

‘Scholarly Reputations and Institutional Prestige: The Fashioning of the Public Image of the University of Helmstedt, 1576–1680’ in History of Universities, XXV/2 (2011).

‘The Paper Monument: University Histories and Institutional Prestige in Early Modern Germany’ in Anthony McElligott, Ciara Breathnach, Liam Chambers and Catherine Lawless (eds.), Power in History: From the Medieval to the Post-Modern World (Irish Academic Press, 2011).

Co-authored with Helga Robinson-Hammerstein, ‘University Ritual and the Construction of the Scholar’ in Helle Vogt (ed.), Liber Amicorum Ditlev Tamm: Law, History and Culture (Copenhagen, 2011).

‘Akademische Repräsentationspraktiken und der Umgang mit dem Öffentlichkeitsbild der Institution’ in Jens Bruning and Ulrike Gleixner (eds.), Das Athen der Welfen: Die Reformuniversität Helmstedt 1576-1810 (Harrassowitz, 2010).

‘The Appeal to Tradition in the Ceremonial Prescriptions of the Statutes of Helmstedt, 1576’ in Andrea Romano (ed.), Gli statuti universitari: tradizione dei testi e valenze politiche (Bologna, 2007).

Further publications