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Dr Kenneth R G AustinM.A., M.Litt., Ph.D.(St.And.)

Senior Lecturer

Kenneth Austin

Dr Kenneth R G AustinM.A., M.Litt., Ph.D.(St.And.)

Senior Lecturer

Member of

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).

View research connections

Postal address:
13-15 Woodland Road
United Kingdom