Meghan Roberts

Assistant Professor of History

Teaching this semester

HIST 2061. Culture Wars in the Age of Enlightenment

Examines a series of intellectual, political, and cultural feuds in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe, the so-called Age of Enlightenment. Thinkers aspired to implement sweeping changes in politics and society, but disagreed fiercely over what and how to change. Topics include atheism, science, political philosophy, sex and gender, and race. In addition to lectures and discussions, devotes several course sessions to an immersive role-playing game. Note: This course is part of the following field(s) of study: Europe. It also fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

HIST 2541. Crime and Punishment

Seminar. Crime provides a useful lens through which historians can understand the past because defining and punishing transgressions forced people to articulate their values and ideals. Considers criminal figures such as miscreant nuns, unfaithful wives, impostors, and murderers by examining celebrated court cases in Europe from 1500 to 1800. Students conduct independent research projects. Note: This course is part of the following field(s) of study: Europe. It also fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

Teaching next semester

HIST 2063. Challenging the Catholic Church, 1529-1633

Immerses students in the religious, political, and scientific culture of early modern Europe through the study of two key moments: the trial of Galileo Galilei for heresy and the efforts of King Henry VIII to divorce his wife and assume control of the Church of England. These episodes famously pitted these individuals against the Catholic Church, allowing us to consider how religion shaped the history of ideas and politics in this volatile period. Employs well-developed classroom simulations in which students take on roles of historical personae, allowing them to think through the broad forces shaping history as well as the potential for individual actors to affect change.

HIST 3060. Remembering the French Revolution

Advanced research seminar. Explores the relationship between memory and social, cultural, and political history through a focus on the French Revolution. Considers how memories of the past and dreams for the future shaped the course of the French Revolution and the turbulent history of France in the nineteenth century. Students conduct independent research in this area, teach their research to the class, and write a substantial paper based on analysis of primary and secondary sources. This course is part of the following field(s) of study: Europe.

I am a historian of early modern Europe with particular interests in cultural history, the history of science and medicine, and women's and gender history. My work focuses on the age of Enlightenment through the lens of lived experience: what did people think it meant to live in an enlightened age, and how did they put their ideals into practice?  For more about my current research, teaching, and CV, please visit my personal website: www.meghankroberts.com

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Education

  • Ph.D. , History, Northwestern University, 2011
  • M.A., History, Northwestern University, 2006
  • B.A., History, College of William and Mary, 2004