Elizabeth Mellyn

Elizabeth Mellyn

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Associate Professor
Phone: (603) 862-3028
Office: History, Horton Social Science Center Rm 407, Durham, NH 03824

Elizabeth (Liz) Mellyn is a social and cultural historian with research and teaching interests in the global history of science, medicine, infectious disease, and mental illness from the ancient to the modern world. Primarily trained as a historian of Europe, she also teaches courses on the history of religious conflict as well as power and politics in medieval and early modern Europe.

Mellyn's first book, "Mad Tuscans and their Families," reconstructs the myriad ways families, communities, and civic and medical authorities met in the dynamic arena of Tuscan law courts to forge pragmatic solutions to the problems that madness brought to their households and streets. Her current book project, "Madness in an Early Modern City," reimagines the history of asylums in early modern Europe between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries from the perspective of public health and healthcare finance. Based on the archives of Tuscany’s first mental hospital, it analyzes a single institution through the eyes of magistrates, hospital founders, administrators and staff, patients and families within the context of an emerging system of public health to capture long-overlooked aspects of early modern European healthcare and healthcare economics.

Mellyn's research has been supported by the Fulbright Commission, Harvard University's Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at the Villa I Tatti, the American Academy in Rome, and a collaborative grant between the Modern Language Initiative and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Courses Taught

  • HIST 437H: Honors/The Mad Among Us
  • HIST 498: Expl Hist Perspectives
  • HIST 500: Intro to Historical Thinking
  • HIST 515: Game of Thrones
  • HIST 565: Women in Modern Europe
  • HIST 641/841: Europe after the Black Death
  • HIST 642/842: Saints, Sinners, and Heretics
  • HIST 690/890: Seminar: Historical Expl
  • HIST 695: Independent Study

Education

  • Ph.D., Early Mod Eur History, Harvard University
  • M.A., Harvard University
  • B.A., Medieval & Renaissance Studies, University of Chicago

Research Interests

  • History of science and medicine
  • History of medicine and the body
  • Global Health
  • European History

Selected Publications

  • Mellyn, E. W. (2021). Abortion in Early Modern Italy. ISIS, 112(4), 829-830. doi:10.1086/717060

  • Mellyn, E. W. (2021). Forgotten Healers: women and the pursuit of health in late Renaissance Italy. ANNALS OF SCIENCE, 78(2), 252-259. doi:10.1080/00033790.2021.1887352

  • Mellyn, E. W. (2020). The Economics of Healthcare and the Tuscan Medical Enlightenment. In Unknown Book (pp. 87-115). Retrieved from https://www.webofscience.com/

  • Mellyn, E. W. (2017). "Healers and healing in the early modern health care market". In The Routledge History of Madness and Mental Health. Taylor & Francis.

  • Mellyn, E. W. (2015). Walking Corpses: Leprosy in Byzantium and the Medieval West. ISIS, 106(4), 906-907. doi:10.1086/684621

  • Mellyn, E. W. (2014). Mad Tuscans and Their Families: A History of Mental Disorder in Early Modern Italy. Retrieved from https://www.webofscience.com/

  • Mellyn, E. W., & Mellyn, E. W. (2014). Mad Tuscans and Their Families A HISTORY OF MENTAL DISORDER IN EARLY MODERN ITALY Introduction. In MAD TUSCANS AND THEIR FAMILIES: A HISTORY OF MENTAL DISORDER IN EARLY MODERN ITALY (pp. 1-+). Retrieved from https://www.webofscience.com/

  • Mellyn, E. W., & Mellyn, E. W. (2014). Spending Without Measure. In MAD TUSCANS AND THEIR FAMILIES: A HISTORY OF MENTAL DISORDER IN EARLY MODERN ITALY (pp. 94-+). Retrieved from https://www.webofscience.com/

  • Mellyn, E. W., & Mellyn, E. W. (2014). From Madness to Sickness. In MAD TUSCANS AND THEIR FAMILIES: A HISTORY OF MENTAL DISORDER IN EARLY MODERN ITALY (pp. 128-+). Retrieved from https://www.webofscience.com/

  • Mellyn, E. W., & Mellyn, E. W. (2014). "Madness Is Punishment Enough". In MAD TUSCANS AND THEIR FAMILIES: A HISTORY OF MENTAL DISORDER IN EARLY MODERN ITALY (pp. 58-+). Retrieved from https://www.webofscience.com/

  • Most Cited Publications