Brian Sandberg

Current Research

My research focuses on religion, violence, and political culture during the European Wars of Religion. I have authored a monograph entitled, Warrior Pursuits: Noble Culture and Civil Conflict in Early Modern France (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010). I have held fellowships from the Institut d’Etudes Avancées (IMéRA) de l’Université d’Aix-Marseille, the Institut d'Études Avancées de Paris, the Fulbright Scholar Program, the Institute for Research in the Humanities (University of Wisconsin-Madison), the National Endowment for the Humanities (at the Medici Archive Project) and the European University Institute. I recently published an interpretive essay, War and Conflict in the Early Modern World, 1500-1700 (Polity Press, 2016) and a collective volume, The Grand Ducal Medici and their Archive (1537-1743), edited by Alessio Assonitis and Brian Sandberg (Brepols, 2016). I am working on several research projects, including a monograph on A Virile Courage: Gender and Violence in the French Wars of Religion 1562-1629.



  • War and Conflict in the Early Modern World, 1500-1700 (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2016).
  • The Grand Ducal Medici and their Archive (1537-1743), edited by Alessio Assonitis and Brian Sandberg (Turnhout: Brepols, 2016).
  • Warrior Pursuits: Noble Culture and Civil Conflict in Early Modern France (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010) [paperback edition, 2017].


  • “‘Moors Must Not be Taken for Black’: Race and Cultural Translation across the Early Modern French Mediterranean,” Mediterranean Studies 29, no. 2 (2021): 182–212.
  • “‘Avarice Never Made Him Unsheathe a Mercenary Sword’: Military Contractors in the French Wars of Religion, 1562–1629,” in Die Kapitalisierung des Krieges: Kriegsunternehmer in Spätmittelalter und Früher Neuzeit, ed. M. Meinhardt and Markus Meumann (Berlin: LIT Verlag, 2021), 85-104.
  • “Ravages and Depredations: Raiding War and Globalization in the Early Modern World,” in A Global History of Early Modern Violence, ed. Erica Charters, Marie Houllemare, and Peter H. Wilson (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2020), 88-102.
  • "Digital Renaissance Studies: Student Research via the Medici Archive Project's Online Platform," Sixteenth Century Journal51, no S1 (2020).
  • "Reflecting on the European Wars of Religion in an Age of Religious Violence," Sixteenth Century Journal 50: 1 (Spring 2019): 176-182.
  • "Guerre et Religion," in Mondes en Guerre, ed. Hervé Drévillon (Paris: Belin, 2019).
  • "Peace, War, and Gender," in Cultural History of Peace: The Renaissance, ed. Isabella Lazzarini (London: Bloomsbury, 2019), 49-65.
  • "‘Mes hydres et monstres cruels rendront hommage'. L'imaginaire de la domination mondiale et le discours de l'empire à l'aube de l'empire français, c. 1600," in La domination comme expérience européenne et américaine (XVIe – XVIIe siècles), David Chaunu and Sévérin Duc (Brussels: Peter Lang, 2019), 35-50.
  • "‘The Enterprises and Surprises that They Would Like to Perform': Fear, Urban Identities, and Siege Culture during the French Wars of Religion," in The World of the Siege: Representations of Early Modern Positional Warfare, Anke Fischer-Kattner and Jamel Ostwald (Leiden: Brill, 2019), 265-287.

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests revolve around issues of violence, religion, gender and culture in early modern European and Mediterranean societies. I teach a range of courses on Renaissance humanism, Reformation movements, European Wars of Religion, European state development and early modern cultural history. Much of my teaching relates directly to my research on religious violence, gender and noble culture in early modern France and Tuscany. I am also interested in the comparative thematic study of religious violence, civil conflict, state development, Mediterranean history and globalization. I previously taught European and global history at Simpson College and Millikin University.

Courses Taught

  • HIST 110 History of the Western World I
  • HIST 311 Early Modern France, 1500-1789
  • HIST 384 History of War since 1500
  • HIST 390 Film and History: War in Film
  • HIST 414 European Wars of Religion, 1520-1660
  • HIST 420 The Renaissance
  • HIST 421 The Catholic and Protestant Reformations
  • HIST 422 Early Modern Europe
  • HIST 423 French Revolution and Napoleon
  • HIST 458 Mediterranean World, 1450-1750
  • HIST 495 Introduction to Historical Research
  • HIST 640 Reading Seminar on Religion in Early Modern History
  • HIST 640 Reading Seminar on Religious Violence in Comparative Perspective
  • HIST 740 Research Seminar on Early Globalization

Interdisciplinary Affiliations

  • Women's Studies Program


Personal webpage

Honors Faculty Fellow (2021-2022)

As an Honors Faculty Fellow, Professor Sandberg taught a seminar on Communal Strife: Civil Wars in a Comparative Perspective, in fall 2021 in the University Honors Program. The Honors Faculty Fellowship program identifies faculty eager to teach innovative, exciting seminars of interest to highly-motivated students from across the university.



Brian Sandberg
Zulauf 607
Curriculum Vitae

Early Modern Europe

Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001

Office Hours

Tuesday 2-3 p.m. and Thursday 1-2 p.m. (in person) or by appointment