The Inquisition: What Really Happened?

Apr 20, 2016
Harper Memorial Library 120
1116 East 59th Street
Back to Events

Hannah MarcusStanford University

Daniele MacugliaUniversity of Chicago

Ada PalmerUniversity of Chicago

The Inquisition is a subject of much cultural fascination, invoking images of book burnings and gruesome executions. Yet these were only a small part of the activities of a vast and complex organization, involved in many subtler aspects of society, from the regulation of prostitution and homosexuality, to the development of copyright, to prescribing differences between elite and lower class education.  This panel of experts on the history of the Inquisition will discuss the realities behind the myths about this vast effort at information control, torn between many different goals and powers, and staffed by members who were often scholars or scientists themselves.

Hannah Marcus is a PhD student in History at Stanford University. She is currently working on a dissertation entitled “Banned Books: Medicine, Readers, and Censors in Early Modern Italy, 1559-1664” which examines the ways that many cutting-edge medical texts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were first prohibited, then expurgated, and finally permitted to certain readers with licenses.

Daniele Macuglia is a PhD student at The University of Chicago’s Fishbein Center for the History of Science and Medicine. He earned a bachelor’s degree in atomic physics from the University of Pavia in Italy, and a master’s degree in the history of science from the University of Chicago. He won the 13th Italian National Olympiads for Young Scientists, and received a European Union Contest for Young Scientists Special Prize. In his doctoral dissertation, Macuglia focuses on the main lines of the spread of Newtonianism in Italy between 1700 and 1750.

Ada Palmer is Assistant Professor of History, Associate Faculty of Classics, and Member of the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge at the University of Chicago. She holds a PhD in History from Harvard University and a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College. Prof. Palmer specializes in the early modern period, especially the Italian Renaissance and Humanist reception of classical philosophy, but also ancient, medieval and modern intellectual history, and is the author of Reading Lucretius in the Renaissance (Harvard, 2014).