Nicholas Terpstra is Professor of History at the University of Toronto. He took his BA and MA at McMaster University and his Ph.D at the University of Toronto (1989). Before coming to the University of Toronto in 1998, he taught at the University of Regina. He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Sydney, Warwick University, Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, and at the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies (Villa I Tatti, Florence).
Professor Terpstra has published widely on Renaissance Italian social history, with an emphasis on the intersections of politics, charity, religion, and gender. His publications include:
Lost Girls: Sex & Death in Renaissance Florence Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010.
Abandoned Children of the Italian Renaissance: Orphan Care in Florence and Bologna. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005.
Lay Confraternities and Civic Religion in Renaissance Bologna. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. Awarded the Howard R. Marraro Prize of the Society for Italian Historical Studies (1996).
Faith’s Boundaries: Laity and Clergy in Early Modern Confraternities. Main editor, in collaboration with Adriano Prosperi & Stefania Pastore. Turnout: Brepols, forthcoming 2012.
Brotherhood and Boundaries/Fraternità e barriere. Co-Edited with Adriano Prosperi & Stefania Pastore. Pisa: Edizione della Normale, forthcoming 2011.
Sociability and its Discontents: Civil Society, Social Capital, and their Alternatives in Renaissance and Early Modern Europe Co-Edited with Nicholas Eckstein. Turnout: Brepols, 2009.
The Art of Executing Well: Rituals of Execution in Renaissance Italy. Kirksville: Truman State University Press, 2008.
The Renaissance in the Streets, Schools, & Studies. Co-edited with Konrad Eisenbichler. Toronto: CRRS, 2008.
The Renaissance in the Nineteenth Century/Le 19e siècle renaissant. Co-Edited with Y. Portebois. Toronto: CRRS, 2003.
The Politics of Ritual Kinship: Confraternities and Social Order in Early Modern Italy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Articles – Early Modern Italian History:
“Real and Virtual Families: Forms and Dynamics of Fostering and Adoption in Bologna’s Early Modern Hospitals” Melanges de l’Ecole Francaise de Rome (forthcoming)
“The Burdens of Maternity: Devising a Demographic Policy for late-Renaissance Bologna” Jewish History (forthcoming 2011).
“Parentela al Patibolo: La fratellanza spirituale tra condannati e confratelli nel Cinquecento” in Vincenzo Lavenia and Giovanna Paolin (ed). Riti di passagio; Storie di giustizia (Bologna: il Mulino, 2011).
“Tra Misericorida e Carità: Icone della carità e limiti alla riforma dell’assistenza pubblica a Bologna nel Cinquecento.” in M. Carboni (ed), L’iconografia della solidarietà (Bologna: il Mulino, forthcoming 2011)
“Working the Cocoon: Gendered Charitable Enclosures and the Silk Industry in Early Modern Europe” L. Woods et al, eds Marginality and Gender in pre-modern Europe (Toronto: CRRS, 2011): 39-72.
“Morte privata ed esecuzioni pubbliche: spazi deputati e soggetti protagonisti dei rituali.” Rivista di storia del cristianesimo vol. 7/2 (2011): 437-59.
“Republics by Contract”: Civil Society in the Papal State” in N. Eckstein & N. Terpstra (eds), Sociability and its Discontents: Civil Society, Social Capital, and their Alternatives in Renaissance and Early Modern Europe. (Turnout: Brepols, 2009).
“Imagined Communities of the Reformation.” Sixteenth Century Journal 40/1 (2009): 222-25
“Le confraternite e la carità nel contesto urbano: le culture del governare e le culture di carità a Bologna e a Firenze nel tardo Rinascimento” in M. Gazzini (ed), Confraternie e società cittadina nel medioevo italiano (Bologna: CLUEB, forthcoming).
“Republics by Contract”: Civil Society in the Papal State” in N. Eckstein & N. Terpstra (eds), Sociability and its Discontents: Civil Society, Social Capital, and their Alternatives in Renaissance and Early Modern Europe. (Leuven: Brepols, 2009).
“Theory into Practice: Executions, Comforting, and Comforters in Renaissance Italy” in N. Terpstra (ed), The Art of Executing Well: Rituals of Execution in Renaissance Italy (Kirksville: Truman State University Press, 2008).
“Catechizing in Prison and on the Gallows in Renaissance Italy: the Politics of Comforting the Condemned” in N. Terpstra & K. Eisenbichler (eds), The Renaissance in the Streets, Schools, & Studies. (Toronto: CRRS, 2008).
“Il manuale della conforteria bolognese per l’assistenza ai condannati: un progetto editoriale” in A. Prosperi (ed), Misericordie: Conversioni sotto il patibolo tra Medieovo ed età moderna. (Pisa: Edizione di Normale, 2007): 71-84.
“L’indottrinamento nelle prigioni e sui patiboli nell’Italia del Rinascimento: la politica del conforto del condannato” in A. Prosperi, P. Schiera, & G. Zarri (ed), Chiesa cattolica e mondo moderno: Scritti in onore di Paolo Prodi. (Bologna: il Mulino, 2007): 215-34.
“Italy” in D. Whitford (ed), Early Modern and Reformation Research Guide. (Kirksville, Truman University Press, 2007).
“’Republics by Contract’: Civil Society, Social Capital, and the ‘Putnam Thesis’ in the Papal State” (www.storicamente.org/05_studi_ricerche/terpstra.htm). Posted on storicamente the on-line journal of the University of Bologna History Department
“De-Institutionalizing Confraternity Studies: Fraternalism and Social Capital in Cross-Cultural Contexts” in C. Black & P. Gravestock (eds), Early Modern Confraternities in Europe and the Americas: International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006): 264-83.
“Show the Poor A Good Time: Caring for Body and Spirit in Bologna’s Civic Charities" Journal of the History of Religion. 28/1 (2004): 19-34.
“Solidarietà, carità e ‘parentela tradotta’” in G. Boschiero & B. Molina (eds), Politiche del Credito. Investimento, Consumo, Solidarietà. (Asti: Centro Studi sui Lombardi, 2004): 297-307.
"Mothers, Sisters and Daughters: Girls and conservatory guardianship in late Renaissance Florence" Renaissance Studies 17/2 (2003): 201-29.
“Competing Visions of the State and Social Welfare: The Medici Dukes, the Bigallo Magistrates, and Local Hospitals in Sixteenth Century Tuscany” Renaissance Quarterly 54/4 (2001): 1319-1355.
“Confraternities and the Modes of Spiritual Community in Early Modern Europe”, in K. Comerford & H. Pabel (eds), Early Modern Catholicism: Essays Presented to John O’Malley (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001): 163-82.
"The Qualità of Mercy: (Re)building Confraternal Charity in Early Modern Bologna" in B. Wisch & D.C. Ahl (eds), Ritual, Spectacle, Image. Confraternities and the Visual Arts in the Italian Renaissance. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000): 117-145.
“The politics of confraternal charity: centre, periphery, and modes of confraternal involvement in early modern civic welfare” V. Zamagni (ed) Forme di povertà e innovazioni istituzionali in Italia dal medioevo ad oggi. (Bologna: il Mulino, 2000): 131-152.
“Making a Living, Making a Life: Work in the Orphanages of Florence and Bologna” Sixteenth Century Journal 31/4 (2000): 1063-1079.
"In loco parentis: Confraternities, Conservatories, and Orphanages in Early Modern Florence and Bologna" in N. Terpstra (ed), The Politics of Ritual Kinship: Confraternities and Social Order in Early Modern Italy. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000): 114-31.
“Civic Self-Fashioning in Renaissance Bologna: Historical and Scholarly Contexts” Renaissance Studies XIII/4 (1999): 389-96.
"Confraternities and Public Charity: Modes of Civic Welfare in Early Modern Italy" in J.P. Donnelly (ed), Confraternities and Catholic Reform in Italy, France, and Spain. (Kirksville, MO: Thomas Jefferson University Press, 1999): 97-120.
"Kinship Translated: "Confraternite maggiori" and Political Apprenticeship in Early Modern Italy" in D. Zardin (ed), Corpi, "Fraternità", Mestieri nella storia della società europea. (Rome: Bulzoni, 1998): 103-115.
"Ospedali e bambini abbandonati a Bologna nel Rinascimento" in A.J. Grieco & L. Sandri (eds), Ospedale e città (l'Italia del Centro-nord, XIII-XVI secolo). (Firenze: Le Lettere, 1997): 209-232.
"Confraternities and Local Cults: Civic Religion Between Class and Politics in Renaissance Bologna", in A. Johnson & W. Hüsken (eds) Civic Ritual and Drama. Volume 2 in the series "Ludus: Studies in Medieval Theatre and Drama". (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1997): 143-174.
"Confraternities and Mendicant Orders: The Dynamics of Lay and Clerical Brotherhood" Catholic Historical Review LXXIX (1996): 1-22.
"Frati, Fratelli, e Famiglie dirigenti: Fanciulli Esposti tra Carità e Politica nella Bologna del Rinascimento", in L.B. Lenoci (ed), Confraternite, Chiesa e Società. Aspetti e problemi dell'associazionismo laicale europeo moderno e contemporaneo. (Fasano: Schena Editore, 1994): 105-114.
"Confraternal Prison Charity and Political Consolidation in Sixteenth-Century Bologna", Journal of Modern History LXVI (June, 1994): 217-248.
"Apprenticeship in Social Welfare: From Confraternal Charity to Municipal Poor Relief in Early Modern Italy", Sixteenth Century Journal XXV/1 (1994): 101-120.
"Piety and Punishment: The Lay Conforteria and Civic Justice in Sixteenth Century Bologna", Sixteenth Century Journal, XXII/4 (1991): 679-694.
"Death and Dying in Renaissance Confraternities", in K. Eisenbichler (ed), Crossing the Boundaries: Christian Piety and the Arts in Italian Medieval and Renaissance Confraternities, (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1991): 179-200.
"Women in the Brotherhood: Gender, Class and Politics in Renaissance Bolognese Confraternities", Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réform, XXVI/3 (1990): 193-212.
"Renaissance Congregationalism: Organizing Lay Piety in Renaissance Italy", Fides et Historia, XX/3 (1988): 31-40.
Articles: Canadian History
"Murray, John Clark", Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. XIV (1911-1920). (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998): 778-779.
"A Tale of Two Cities: John Clark Murray's Search for the Industrial Kingdom of God", Journal of Canadian Studies 27/3 (1993): 5-27.
"Local Politics and Local Planning: A Case Study of Hamilton, Ontario, 1915-1930", Urban History Review, XVI/2 (1985): 115-128.
Reformation Refugees: Exile, Expulsion, and Religious Refugees in Early Modern Europe [under review]
Worthy Poor, Worthy Rich: Women, Politics, and the Reform of Poor Relief in Early Modern Italy [under review]
The Material Culture of Debt. Special issue of Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réforme co-edited with Mauro Carboni (forthcoming).
Professor Terpstra is currently working on three research projects: a study of prostitution in sixteenth century Florence, with an emphasis on the conjunction of sex and the sacred in the control of space; a study of how socio-religious concerns about purity and contagion lead corporate groups and civic governments to expel dissident or alien individuals and groups in the later fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, making exile, expulsion, and religious refugees into defining realities of the Reformation, and a study of the changing theological, literary, dramatic, and visual depictions of the Massacre of the Holy Innocents from the early Christian era to the end of the Ancien Regime.
Member of Executive Board of Renaissance Society of America (2005 -)
Associate Editor of Renaissance Quarterly (2006 - )
Member of Editorial Board of Advisors of Renaissance Studies (1996 - )
Member of Editorial Board of Sixteenth Century Journal (1998 - )
Member of Editorial Board of Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies (1998 - )
Member of Editorial Board of Early European Research series with Brepols (2006 - )
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