Professor Emeritus of History and Religious Studies, University of Virginia
Ellen Maria Gorrissen Fellow - Class of Spring 2011
Historian H. C. Erik Midelfort is a specialist in the social and intellectual history of early modern Europe and sixteenth-century Germany in particular. His extensive research into witchcraft trials and the history of madness in early modern Germany has resulted in numerous publications, most importantly A History of Madness in Sixteenth-Century Germany (Stanford, 1999), which won both the 1999 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and the Roland H. Bainton Prize for the best book of 1999. Midelfort’s book Exorcism and Enlightenment (Yale, 2005) centers on Johann Joseph Gassner (1727–1779), an Austrian exorcist whose mass campaign of “healings” came under sharp criticism both from enlightened Protestants and Catholics. Midelfort has been a visiting scholar at numerous institutions, including Oxford University, Yale University, University of Bern, and Harvard University.