Balliol College, Oxford OX1 3BJ, United
j o h a n n e s . m a c h i e l s e n [at] h i s t o r y . o x . a c .
successfully defended my
DPhil on the life
and writings of the Flemish-Spanish Jesuit Martin Delrio (1551-1608) in January 2011.
From January to December 2011, I was a Departmental Lecturer in Early Modern European History
College, Oxford. I started a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship on 1 January 2012.
My doctorate explored the life and
works of the Jesuit
Martin Delrio (17 May 1551 - 19 October 1608). Martin Delrio is
best-known for his Disquisitiones Magicae (1599-1600), an
influential book on demonology and superstition which was reprinted as
late as 1755. Delrio's life story has never been written. My
dissertation is based on research conducted in 10 different countries.
Using previously unknown letters and documents and drawing on Martin
Delrio's many different writings I show that the Disquisitiones
and its author
have been misunderstood. Martin Delrio was an editor of classical texts
and an active member of the Republic of Letters. The Disquisitiones
was the work of a humanist who never even met, let alone prosecuted, a
witch. I show that Martin Delrio wrote his book to carve out a
scholarly reputation for himself. The Disquisitiones
bears witness to the social and scientific status witchcraft theory
attained at the turn of the seventeenth century.
My British Academy postdoctoral project studies the
role witchcraft played within
the early modern university curriculum.
At Oxford I have taught
undergraduate courses on witchcraft
history, early modern science, and the Conquest of the Americas, as well as a number of methodological and historiographical subjects. I have also given undergraduate
lectures on many aspects of the history of witchcraft, the discovery of the New World, and early modern education.
|2012 - 2014
||British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship
Balliol College, Oxford
||Departmental Lecturer in Early Modern European History
Balliol College, Oxford
||Graduate Teaching Assistant in Early Modern History
Oriel College, Oxford
- Edited Volumes
- with Clare Copeland, Angels of Light? Sanctity and the Discernment of Spirits in the Early Modern Period (Leiden: Brill, 2013) [release date: December 2012]
- ‘The Lion, the Witch, and the King: Thomas Stapleton’s Apologia pro Rege Catholico Philippo II (1592)‘, English Historical Review (accepted)
- ‘Friendship and Religion in the Republic of Letters; The Return of Justus Lipsius to Catholicism (1591)’, Renaissance Studies [pre-published on-line: 28 September 2011]
- ‘Thinking with Montaigne; Evidence, scepticism and meaning in early modern demonology’, French History 2011 (25/4), 427-452.
- ‘How (not) to get published; The Plantin Press in the
Crossing 2010 (34/2), 99-114.
- with Jeanine De Landtsheer, ‘Recommending Lipsius; A
from Martinus Antonius Delrio to Leonardus Lessius’, Lias 2008 (34/2),
- Biographical Entries
- Entry on Martin Delrio (1551-1608) on Leiden
Dutch Revolt website (in Dutch).
- ‘Pierre De Lancre (1556-1631)’, in L. Foisneau (ed.), Dictionnaire des
philosophes français du 17e siècle
- Review of Thomas McCoog, "The Society of Jesus in Ireland, Scotland, and England, 1589-1597: Building the Faith of Saint Peter upon the King of Spain's Monarchy," The Innes Review 2012 (62/1), 270-72.
- Review (in English) of Vera Hoorens, "Een ketterse arts voor de heksen: Jan Wier (1515-1588)," Dutch Crossing 2012 (36/3), 279-81.
- Review (in English) of Renilde Vervoort, "'Vrouwen op den besem en derghelijck ghespoock’: Pieter Bruegel en de traditie van hekserijvoorstellingen in de Nederlanden tussen 1450 en 1700"; and Guido Marnef (ed.), "Tovenaars, heksen en een miraculeus beeld. De omgang met het bovennatuurlijke in het hertogdom Brabant (16de-17de eeuw)," The Low Countries Historical Review.
- Review of Judith Pollmann, ‘Catholic Identity and the Revolt of the Netherlands, 1520–1635’, The
English Historical Review 2012 (CXXVII/524), 168-69.
- Review of Oscar Gelderblom (ed.), ‘The Political Economy of the Dutch Republic’, The
Sixteenth Century Journal 2010 (41/4), 1136-37.
- Review of Hiro Hirai (ed.), ‘Cornelius Gemma:
Cosmology, Medicine and Natural Philosophy in Renaissance Louvain’, The Sixteenth Century Journal 2010 (41/3), 933-34.
- Review of John Newton and Jo Bath (eds), ‘Witchcraft
and the Act of 1604’, The Sixteenth
Century Journal 2010 (41/1), 190-91.
- Review of Chris Mackay (transl.), ‘The Malleus
Gerhild Scholz Williams (transl.), ‘On the Inconstancy of Witches’, Journal of the Oxford
University History Society 2009 (6).
|2007 – 2010
|| DPhil in History
University of Oxford; Lady Margaret
Hall (2007-2010) / Oriel College (2010-11)
Thesis Title : Demons and Letters; Aspects of the life and works of
Martin Delrio, 1551-1608
Supervisor : Mr Robin Briggs
Submitted: 05 November 2010
|May 2010 /
Institut d’histoire de la Réformation, University of Geneva
Course (2010) :
‘Guerres de religion, la religion face à la
Course (2009) :
‘La médiation du sacré au XVIe
| Jan. – April
||Visiting Student Research Collaborator (VSRC)
Prof. Anthony Grafton
|2006 – 2007
||MSt in Historical Research (Distinction)
University of Oxford; Lady Margaret Hall
Supervisor : Mr
Examiner : Prof.
|2005 – 2006
||MA in European History and Civilisation (With Merit)
Leiden University (joint MA with the University of
Oxford and the Université
de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Supervisor : Prof.
|Jan. – March 2006
Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
|2002 – 2005
||BA in Humanities and Social Sciences (Cum Laude)
Maastricht University (liberal arts degree with a focus on history and
|July – Nov. 2004
University of Queensland
Awards, Fellowships,& Scholarships
|2010 – 2011
|| Royal Historical Society Marshall Fellowship (six
Royal Historical Society / Institute for Historical Research
|2006 – 2010
||Scatcherd European Scholarship
International Office, University of Oxford
|2007 – 2010
||Doctoral Award (EU/fees-only)
Arts & Humanities Research Council
|2009 – 2010
University of Oxford
|2008 – 2009
Netherlands-American Fulbright Commission
|2007 – 2008
Lady Margaret Hall
Travel & Conference Grants
||The John Fell Fund (grant for the organisation of a two-day symposium)
University of Oxford
|| Isaiah Berlin Fund for Italian Studies (for archival
research in Rome)
University of Oxford
|| Abraham & Henrietta Brettschneider Cornell Award
|| SRS Study Fellowship (for archival
research in Munich and Graz)
Society for Renaissance Studies
Leiden University Library
||Conference Bursary (to attend a
conference on Jean Bodin)
Society for the Study of French History
|May 2009 / March 2008
Royal Netherlands Institute, Rome (KNIR)
|20-21 May 2011
|| ‘Angels of Light? Sanctity and Discernment of Spirit
in the Early Modern Period’
/ Balliol College, Oxford
two-day symposium, organised with Dr Clare Copeland.
|27 June 2008
||‘On the Fringes of Science? Natural knowledge and its
practitioners in Early Modern Europe, 1450-1650’ / All Souls College,
one-day graduate symposium, organised with Ms Valentina Pugliano.
Conference & Seminar Papers
|| Scientific and Other Mentalities in Early Modern Europe /
All Souls College, Oxford
Paper : 'Demonology as textual scholarship; the success and failure of Martin Delrio’s Disquisitiones Magicae (1599-1600)'
|| Neuere Forschungen zur Kulturgeschichte Kolloquium /
University of Saarbrücken
Paper : 'Truth and
Lies; (re-)constructing the worldview of Martin Delrio (1551-1608)'
|| Director's Seminar / Institute for Historical
Paper : 'Classical
texts and humanist self-fashioning; Martin Delrio's Adversaria
|| Early Modern European History Seminar / History
Paper : 'How to
talk about family; Martin Delrio’s memoirs on the Dutch Revolt (1576-8)'
|| Crossing Frontiers – Belief in Magic and Witch-Hunting
as Culture Transfer / German Historical Institute, Paris
'"Marvellously consistent throughout Europe and across all ages"; The
nature of evidence in Martin Delrio's Disquisitiones Magicae
|| Conference in honour of Robin Briggs / New College,
Paper : 'A tale of
two cousins; Martin Delrio and Michel de Montaigne'
|| History Seminar / Cornell University
Paper : 'Elizabeth
Regina; A witch in Flemish eyes?'
|| Low Countries Seminar / Institute for Historical
'Justifying the Indefensible? Defending the rule of Don Juan of Austria
|| Sixteenth Century Society Conference / Geneva
Paper : 'Between a
Rock and a Hard Place; Justus Lipsius and his Relationship with Martin
Delrio and Joseph Scaliger'
|| Renaissance Society of America Conference / UCLA,
Paper : 'War
Continued by Other Means: Learned Polemics and the Dutch Revolt'
|| Princeton University Center for the History of the
Book and Media
Paper : 'How (not)
to Get Published: The Plantin Press in the 1590s'
|| Princeton-Harvard Graduate Conference / Princeton
Paper : '"Between
the Jaws of Barking Dogs and the Bellowing of Lions"; Martin Delrio and
Justus Lipsius’s return to Catholicism'
|| Early Modern Philosophy and the Scientific Imagination
Seminar (EMPHASIS) / Senate House, University of London
'Demonology 101? Magic and the University of Leuven'
|| Reformation Studies Colloquium / University of York
and the Dutch Revolt'