Jacob M. Baum
Office: 457 Humanities
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
My research focuses on the intersections of ideas, culture, and daily life in later medieval and early modern Europe, with particular focus on the German-speaking world. My first book, Reformation of the Senses(2019), traces the history of the religious change in the Holy Roman Empire (the pre-modern political entity that roughly corresponds to modern Germany) from the perspective of the five senses, challenging centuries old mythologies about supposedly essential differences between late medieval and early Protestant forms of Christianity. I have also published several essays relating to this research previously, including the 2013 article “From Incense to Idolatry: The Reformation of Olfaction in Late Medieval German Ritual,” which was awarded the Hans Rosenberg Article Prize by the Central European History Society in 2015.
In 2020, I published with Marlene Eberhart (Vanier College) an interdisciplinary collection of essays in early modern sensory studies, titled Embodiment, Expertise and Ethics in Early Modern Europe: Entangling the Senses(2020). The volume offers a reappraisal of the last generation of scholarship on early modern sensory studies, de-centering more traditional intellectual-historical approaches to the epoch and instead arguing that sensory knowledge must be grasped as products of the multi-faceted, practical problems early modern people confronted in their daily lives.
Most recently, my work in sensory history as led me into the field of disability studies. I am currently at work on a pair of essay-length projects on sensory impairment in later medieval and early modern Europe, as well as a micro-historical study of Sebastian Fischer, a deaf shoemaker who lived the German city of Ulm in the middle of the sixteenth century.
At Texas Tech, I teach undergraduate courses in European history that reflect and build on my research interests. At the undergraduate level, these include surveys of early European history and the history of medicine, and the following upper-level courses:
HIST 3346: The Age of Chivalry
HIST 3350: Early Modern Europe
HIST 3358: Origins of Modern Germany, 1517-1871
HIST 4340: A History of Disability in Europe
HIST 4346: A History of Food in Europe
HIST 4348: The Renaissance
HIST 4349: The Protestant Reformation
HIST 4352: Witchcraft & Witch Hunting in the Early Modern Western World
At the graduate level I regularly teach courses in research methodology, as well as topical courses in late medieval and early modern Europe (ca. 1400-1700). I welcome the opportunity to work with students interested in pursuing an MA in topics within this chronological and geographical framework, especially those with interest in the histories of ideas, culture, and daily life in the German-speaking world.
Additional information and an up-to-date CV may be found at on academia.edu.