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Department of History
Old Horticulture
506 E. Circle Dr
Room 256
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
Main: 517.355.7500
Fax: 517.353.5599
Email: history [at] msu [dot] edu
Hours: 8:00-5:00 M-F

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Faculty

Dr. Waddell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History (25%) and the Lyman Briggs College (75%). He received his Ph.D. in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology from the Johns Hopkins University in 2006. His research is focused primarily in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and explores the complex interplay between science, medicine, religion, and magic in early modern Europe. His first book, Jesuit Science and the End of Nature’s Secrets, is under contract with Ashgate, and explores how several prominent Jesuit naturalists in the seventeenth century sought to make manifest the invisible and hidden parts of the natural world through experiment, imagery, and the exercise of the imagination. He also has an interest in theories of natural magic and related disciplines from the Renaissance to the eighteenth century, and has devoted considerable study to the infamous unguentum armarium, or weapon salve, which was reputed to heal wounds over great distances when applied not to the wound itself, but to the weapon which had caused it. For his next major project, he intends to delve more deeply into histories of the weapon salve and explore its impact on early modern notions of credibility, trust, and expertise.

Dr. Waddell teaches classes for both Lyman Briggs and History on topics including early modern magic and science, European intellectual history, cyborgism and transhumanism, and the relationship between race, gender, and modern science. He has also worked as a historical consultant on a traveling exhibition produced by the National Library of Medicine of the NIH: Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine.  The exhibition, which has been touring the country for several years, explores the history of science and medicine in the Harry Potter novels, and Dr. Waddell has also created a resource for post-secondary instructors who might want to incorporate some of this history into their own classes.

Selected Publications

Waddell, Mark A. Jesuit Science and the End of Nature’s Secrets (London: Ashgate) — forthcoming in 2015

Waddell, Mark A. “Mapping the Invisible World: Speculation and Imagination in Early Modern Geology.” Forthcoming in Nuncius: Journal of the Material and Visual History of Science.

Waddell, Mark A. 2010. “A Theater of the Unseen: Athanasius Kircher’s Museum in Rome,” in A World Such As This I Dreamed: Cosmogony in the Early Modern Mind, ed. Allison B. Kavey (New York: Palgrave-Macmillan).

Waddell, Mark A. 2010. “Magic and Artifice in the Collection of Athanasius Kircher.”  Endeavour, 34(1): 30-34.

Waddell, Mark A. 2006. “The World, As It Might Be: Iconography and Probabilism in the Mundus subterraneus of Athanasius Kircher.” Centaurus, 48(1): 3-23.

Waddell, Mark A. 2003. “The Perversion of Nature: Johannes Baptista van Helmont, the Society of Jesus, and the Magnetic Cure of Wounds.” Canadian Journal of History, 38(2): 179-197.

Mark Waddell

Position: Assistant Professor

Field: Early Modern, Intellectual, Religious, Science/Medicine

Region: Europe & Russia

Contact Info

Office: 244 Old Horticulture

Email: waddellm@msu.edu

Phone: (517) 884-4922