Photo of Kenneth R G Austin

Dr Kenneth R G Austin

M.A., M.Litt., Ph.D.(St.And.)

  • BS8 1TB


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Contact Information

Office: 2.45, 13 Woodland Road

Phone: +44 (0)117 928 7620


Consultation Hours


Research Interests

My research lies in the field of late medieval and early modern European history. More specifically, I am interested in the intellectual, religious and cultural history of this period, and especially the connections between the worlds of the Renaissance and the Reformation.

  • My doctoral research focused on the life and writings of the sixteenth-century scholar and Jewish convert to Christianity, Immanuel Tremellius (c.1510-1580). In 2007, I published a biography of Tremellius. This was the first modern study of a highly influential figure who has been surprisingly overlooked in the historiography of the continental reformation. This work also intersects with a number of broader themes, including the intellectual and religious context of this period, sixteenth century scholarship, the European Reformation, friendship and patronage networks, and toleration and irenicism. In addition to the monograph, I published a number of articles stemming from this research.

In my more recent research, I have been pursuing several main strands.

  • I am currently working on a book-length study of The Reformation and the Jews for Yale University Press. I have given a number of conference papers relating to this work, including a keynote paper at the Society for Reformation Studies (Cambridge, April 2015) and a paper at the Society for Renaissance Studies (Glasgow, July 2016).
  • I have also been conducting research which focuses on correspondence and friendship networks within Renaissance and Reformation contexts. Most recently in this regard, I have published an article on Petrarch's letters of recommendation.
  • With Sebastiaan Verveij (English) I co-ordinate the faculty's early modern studies research cluster; I also run the Renaissance and Early Modern Seminar (REMS) in the School of Humanities.

Research supervision

I would be interested in supervising students who wish to work on any subject which overlaps with my research interests outlined above. I would particularly welcome proposals in the following areas:

  • Any aspect of Protestantism, and especially Calvinism, in continental Europe
  • The Renaissance
  • Scholarship of the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries
  • Friendship and correspondence networks in the Renaissance and Reformation eras
  • Topics relating to the encounter (positive or negative) of different religions and confessions
  • Late medieval and early modern Italian history

I currently supervise research students who work on the following topics:

  • The self-representation of physicians in early modern England
  • Seventeenth-century Catholic martyrs in a global perspective
  • Male witches in early modern England

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me to discuss your research ideas.


I currently teach a selection of the following undergraduate units:

  • The Culture and Civilisation of the Renaissance (first year Special Topic)
  • The Early Reformation (second year Lecture Response Unit)
  • Early Modern Italy (third year Lecture Response Unit)
  • Calvinism and Europe (third year Special Subject)
  • Getting Acquainted with Friendship (third year Reflective History unit)

I also contribute to the team-taught first year Lecture Outline, Introduction to Early Modern History.



Until 2018, I am a member of Senate.

I have previously been Programme Director of the MA in History (2010-13), and Deputy Head of History/ Undergraduate Programme Director (2014-16).

Until 2017, I am External Examiner for the BA in History at the University of Swansea.

Until 2019, I am External Examiner for the BA in History at the University of Reading.

I have previously been an External Examiner at the Universities of Birmingham (MA) and Plymouth (BA).

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Kenneth R G Austin is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Research Output

The Jews and the Reformation

Austin, K., 9 Jun 2020, Yale University Press. 288 p.

Research output: Book/ReportAuthored book

Immanuel Tremellius: from Italian Hebraist to International Migrant

Austin, K., 2018, Fruits of Migration: Heterodox Italian Migrants and Central European Culture, 1550-1620. Zwierlein, C. & Lavenia, V. (eds.). Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, p. 102 125 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

Jewish-Christian Relations: Christianity: Medieval Times and Reformation Era

Austin, K., 2016, Berlin : de Gruyter.

Research output: Other contribution


  • 25 Participation in conference
  • 18 Participation in workshop, seminar, course
  • 4 Public talk, debate, discussion
  • 3 Schools engagement

Public talk

Kenneth R G Austin (Speaker)

8 Nov 2016

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic talk, debate, discussion

Continuing Professional Development event

Kenneth R G Austin (Speaker)

8 Jul 2016

Activity: Talk or presentation typesSchools engagement

Society for Renaissance Studies

Kenneth R G Austin (Speaker)

18 Jul 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Supervised Work

Christian Philosemitism in England from Cromwell to the Jew Bill, 1656-1753. A Study in Jewish and Christian Identity.

Author: Curtis, R., 28 Nov 2019

Supervisor: Austin, K. (Supervisor) & Balserak, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Philosophy (MPhil)


Perspectives on Male Witches in Early Modern England

Author: Morgan, S., 25 Jun 2019

Supervisor: Austin, K. (Supervisor) & Hutton, R. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Traitors, Invaders and Glorious Martyrs: Attitudes toward the execution of Catholics in England, Japan, Paraguay and New France (c.1580-1650)

Author: Teather, R., 28 Nov 2019

Supervisor: Austin, K. R. G. (Supervisor) & Cervantes, F. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)