Liam Brockey

Liam Matthew Brockey is a historian of Early Modern Europe. His primary area of interest is the history of Southern Europe, with a focus on Portugal, its overseas empire, and Catholicism.

Professor Brockey’s most recent book is The Visitor: André Palmeiro and the Jesuits in Asia (Harvard University Press, 2014), a study of the challenges faced by missionaries in Africa, South Asia, and East Asia in the early seventeenth century. His first monograph was titled Journey to the East: The Jesuit Mission to China, 1579-1724 (Harvard University Press, 2007; paperback 2008), a book which was awarded the John Gilmary Shea Prize by the American Catholic Historical Association and the First Book Prize by Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society. He also published a collection of essays called Portuguese Colonial Cities in the Early Modern World (Ashgate Publishing, 2009); and a study of the sacrament of confession in Late Imperial China in Forgive Us Our Sins: Confession in Late Ming and Early Qing China (ed. Nicolas Standaert and Ad Dudink; Monumenta Serica, 2007).

More broadly, Liam Brockey’s interests include the history of Spain, France, and Italy; the history of early modern Catholicism; and the development of European empires in the Atlantic and Maritime Asia in the early modern period. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Early Modern History, Itinerario, Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu, Monumenta Serica, The Catholic Historical Review, and the Journal of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His article “Doubting Thomas: The Apostle, The Portuguese Empire, and Christianity in Early Modern Asia” (in Van Liere, Ditchfield, and Louthan, eds., Sacred History (Oxford University Press, 2012)) was awarded the A.H. de Oliveira Marques Prize by the Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies. Professor Brockey’s essays have been published by the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune, as well as the Huffington Post and the History News Network.

Liam Brockey earned his B.A. in History and Medieval Studies from the University of Notre Dame (1994) and his A.M. and Ph.D. in History from Brown University (2002). He has been a two-time recipient of grants from the J. William Fulbright Foundation (for study in Portugal and Italy) and has received several fellowships from the Luso-American Foundation in Lisbon, Portugal. Professor Brockey has been elected to membership in the Academia Portuguesa da História (founded in 1720), and, most recently, as President of the American Catholic Historical Association.

Classes taught by Professor Brockey range from the introduction to World History to lecture courses on the Renaissance, Reformations, and the European Colonial Empires. He is also the chair of the Honors Program in History and the Scholars Program in History. In 2011, he was awarded the Richard E. Sullivan Endowed Award for Teaching Excellence.

Position: Professor

Field: Early Modern, Religious

Region: Europe & Russia, East Asia

Office: 212 Old Horticulture

Office Hours: By Appointment


Phone: (517) 884-6991

Book Cover The Visitor: Andre Palmeiro and the Jesuits in Asia Book Cover Journey to the east: the jesuit mission to china, 1579-1724 Book Cover Journey to the East Book Cover Forgive us our sins: confession in late ming and early qing china