Hannah Marcus

Hannah Marcus

Assistant Professor of the History of Science
Hannah Marcus
  • Region(s): Italy; Europe
  • Time Period(s): 15th century; 16th century; 17th century
  • Theme(s): History of Science; History of Ideas; Intellectual History; History of Censorship

Hannah Marcus is an assistant professor in the Department of the History of Science. Her research focuses on the scientific culture of early modern Europe between 1450 and 1700.

Marcus earned her BA at the University of Pennsylvania and her PhD at Stanford University in 2016. Before coming to Harvard, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher on the Galileo Correspondence Project, which she directs with Paula Findlen.

Marcus has three book projects underway. The first, Forbidden Knowledge: Medicine, Science, and Censorship in Early Modern Italy, explores the censorship of medical books from their proliferation in print through the prohibitions placed on many of these texts during the Counter-Reformation. This account explains how and why the books prohibited by the Catholic Church in Italy ended up back on the shelves of private and public Italian libraries in the seventeenth century. Her second book, Methuselah’s Children: The Limits of Life in Early Modern Europe, is a study of ideas about longevity and experiences of advanced old age in a period when the average life expectancy was 35. With Paula Findlen, she is also engaged in a study of Galileo’s correspondence called Galileo’s Letters: Experiments in Friendship, which grows out of their collaboration on The Galileo Correspondence Project.

Marcus teaches courses on the changes in scientific ideas and practice between the medieval and early modern periods, especially focusing on the early history of science, medicine, and the body, communication technologies, and the relationship between faith and science.

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